a naujawani feature film
When twelve people are thrown together into a single room as their World collapses outside, they are forced to look deep within and make the toughest decision of their lives
‘Their Last Stand’ is a naujawani production that was our first crowd-funded project launched in Spring 2015.
We opted not to fund the project through third-party websites, but retained familiar elements such as rewards for contributors and a sample of what we were trying to produce. We did not ask for donations – we asked our audience to back this film by buying their ticket to watch in advance, which was the perk available to every person contributing. There were a number of exciting opportunities for contributors to be part of our film-making process and you can read more about these in the crowd funding section further below.
Films based on contemporary history of importance to Sikhs have made their way onto the big screen in recent years.
Many were limited in their scope and vantage point, trying to narrate far too many strands of what transpired; almost all incorporated elements of cinematic story-telling that is popular in South Asia, but inappropriate for this subject matter, such as musical numbers and melodramatic acting. Our aim was to go to the other end of the spectrum, and to produce a film that is restricted to a single set, confined to twelve characters, and (hopefully) engaging the audience to ask what took place that summer in 1984.
‘Their Last Stand’ is the story of how twelve Sikhs faced the invasion of Darbar Sahib Amritsar, by the Indian State in June 1984. Despite being from differing backgrounds, they find themselves encamped together and forced to come to terms with the reality of the situation that they are in: besieged, without provisions, and facing a certain death. Amidst the questions, lamentations and struggles that each of them goes through in the hours that they are together, is a growing realisation that they have a decision to make – the most important one of their lives.
Written and directed by Harwinder Singh Mander
1st Assistant Director: Raj Hundal
2nd Assistant Director: Narvir Singh
Camera Operators: Raj Hundal, Narvir Singh
Editor: Narvir Singh
Script Editors: Jagdish Kaur Lall, Meharban Singh Lall
Produced by Jagdish kaur Lall, Bhups Deol
Music by Jetsonic & Squire Tuck; ‘The Last Whale’ by Jeremy Wray
Executive Producer: Jagdip Singh Mander
Starring: Ajmeet Singh, Baljit Singh, Biravtar Singh, Charan Singh, Chater Singh, Gurpreet Singh Rehal, Iqbal Singh Grewal, Jairam Singh Parmar, Pavandeep Singh Sandhu, Satbir Singh Kalirai, Shamsher Singh, Sunmit Singh
Crowd-funding for Their Last Stand ran throughout Spring 2015 when the project was initiated
A total of £3316 was raised by over 40 backers – thank you! We (the film-makers) have committed £20,000 of our own money to add to the budget and will be spending in excess of that now the production level has grown considerably.
A £6 contribution will be rewarded with a ticket to our first public screening.
A £24 contribution will be rewarded with a promotional t-shirt relating to the film PLUS the previous rewards.
A £12 contribution garners a cinematic release poster PLUS the previous reward.
A £48 contribution will be rewarded with a set of framed prints of stills from the film PLUS all previous rewards.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. In the context of Sikh and/or Punjabi affairs I am mostly known for my editorial articles and essays, but I have been a creative writer for some time now, authoring work for national broadcasters as well as working as a ghost writer. ‘Their Last Stand’ as a short film came about purely by chance when, whilst working on a different film, I found myself with over a dozen Sardar background-artistes (extras) who were not required on set for a shoot that they had all planned for in advance. Many of these guys had taken days off from work so rather than waste their holiday entitlement, I put forward the idea of shooting this short film. As luck would have it, a very talented videographer by the name of Raj Hundal was amongst the extras and agreed to shoot the short film with us, despite the short notice. Along with my regular creative collaborator at naujawani, Narvir Singh, we set to work creating the setting for ’12 Angry Men’ (the original working title!) with just a few hours notice. We found support from a new face at naujawani, Jagdish Kaur Lall who proved herself a most resourceful production assistant, and by the time we were shooting, she had taken over all elements of the production!
To say that I was surprised by what we were able to produce with limited planning, no money and an incredibly supportive cast, is an understatement. However, it wasn’t plain sailing; when we watched back the first edit, I was unhappy and disappointed with what I saw and I drew a line under the project as another one to chalk up to experience. However, undeterred, Narvir continued to work on the edit and came back to me with a wonderful vision of what could be. With the support of our most talented videographer Gurbir Singh Nakhwal, he created the short film that we are launching this crowd-funding project with – ‘Their Last Stand’. I am delighted that this creative team will be working together to create the feature film and with your backing, we will be adding more talented individuals to our crew to make this become the film that we know it can be.
Auditions in July 2018
Talent must be able to:
+44 (0)7870 138616
Did you miss out on crowd-funding ‘Their Last Stand’, but still want to show your support? Back the broader work we do at naujawani through the links below!