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In Conversation With Jaspreet S Monga, Filmmaker

Nirmala Garimella
09/24/2015

(This article is sponsored by Tanna Insurance)

Jaspreet S Monga is a Writer and Director of Indian origin. He started his film career as an assistant director and line producer on a short film 'The Virtual'. There has been no looking back ever since. He has worked as Producer, Director, & Editor of short films and videos. He is passionate about narrating stories of ordinary people in an extraordinary way. He has always been intrigued by different cultures and places which influence his interest in cross cultural films and reflects in his work style. His films include 'The Virtual', 'She did it Again', 'Breaking the Ice'. In addition to this, he is an ardent writer and his scripts include 'Far Away', 'Chaukidar (story of a watchman)', 'Jeet (A-1984-story)', and 'The Plan'. His current film in production is 'Far Away' which explores the world of Indian immigrants living in America.

What prompted you to make this film? Did you have any personal experience?

I wanted to make a film on Indians living in America from long time but dint really have a story until I met an Indian cab driver while travelling in San Francisco.
We were discussing routine things when the topic about our stay in the USA came up. I still remember when I asked the driver about his plans to visit his family he went quiet and the conversation just stalled. The cab driver had been in the USA for 7 years and had never visited home (India).
It was that moment, in that silence when I realized that this is something I want to take to a larger audience .
In course of time I met a lot of immigrants (not only from India) and almost everyone had the same stories and dilemmas of being away from their families & loved ones.
Taking cue from those small conversations I started conceptualizing my FAR AWAY script.

 Please share with us the premise of the story that it is based on?
The movie depicts the emotional & internal struggle of people who moved to the USA to follow their dreams and in hope of a more secure future.
 
At some point in life each one of us goes through that phase when we question our decisions of moving away from home or when our distance starts influencing our life . The film tries to acknowledge this same feeling in our day to day life .
 
You said that the stories that you feature here are a collective experience of most immigrants?What struck you as the common chord ?
 
 The thing that struck me is everyone always questions or tries to justify their move. Somehow their mind is blocked by the obligations towards their families in India.
 
I feel the film is definitely a collective experience of most immigrants where they are torn between their future in this country and their attachment to their motherland.
 
Do you hope to send a message of hope across with this film?
 
Moving away from ones roots is never easy and no one ever addresses this fact. Everyone needs emotional support but they don’t always reach out for it, so we want to take that support to them through this film. We believe that by our film we can reach out to such people to let them know that they are not alone in this struggle and give them the strength and courage to move on .
 
You have a day time job? How do you find time to do this? Who else is part of your team?
Yes I do have an IT job , but making films is my passion and I try to invest as much time as possible. I spend late weeknights and most weekends on my film projects . Usually I use my commute time to come up with plots for my screenplays (along with of course keeping an eye on the road!).
 
I have a strong 24 member team which includes 6 talented cast and 18 amazing crew members.
 
Finally how do you need help for this film. Are you running a crowd funding campaign?
 
We have completed the principal photography and need help raising funds for post production. We are running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo called " FAR AWAY- Short Film" and the link  is :
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/far-away-short-film/x/11638813#/story
 
We also have a facebook page named "Farawaythefilm"  and the link  is 
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/far-away-short-film/x/11638813#/story
 
We also have a facebook page named "Farawaythefilm" and the link is https://www.facebook.com/Farawaythefilm.



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