Fire in the mountains screenshot. A woman knits in the foreground as the mountains are on fire.

by Ajitpal Singh

(India, 2021, 83 min., Hindi with English subtitles and Audio Description) 

Live Zoom Q&A with filmmaker on Saturday, Sept 25 @ 8 pm

Available for Streaming on Blackboard from Friday, Sept 24 @ 12 noon to Sunday, Sept 26 @ 11:59 am

Chandra and her husband, Dharam, run an inn that hovers high above the only road in a small Himalayan village. The terrain poses a problem for the family, who must transport their son Prakash down the mountain in his wheelchair to go to the doctor and school. Though Chandra believes Prakash needs more medical attention, Dharam isn’t as keen on the idea. He’d rather put the money toward a shamanic ritual he believes will rid them of a deity’s curse, the cause of Prakash’s affliction. Tensions increase as their worldviews collide and slowly erode their familial ties. The debut feature from writer-director Ajitpal Singh, Fire in the Mountains is a searing portrait of the power dynamics at play between tradition and modernity in one family’s foundation. (Sundance Film Festival)

Fire in the Mountains trailer

Ajitpal Singh is a self-taught filmmaker living in Mumbai, India. Born in Punjab, Ajitpal Singh was an 8 years old boy when his father ran a cinema hall in Bathinda which suffered huge losses and was shut down during insurgency in Punjab. His family moved to Ahmedabad where his father took up a job of a security guard. Ajitpal Singh grew up in a ghetto amidst poverty and violence and being a Sikh child, he faced a lot of discrimination due to anti Sikh sentiments at that time. His greatest passions are writing, reading, cooking and travelling. After studying chemistry, learning theatre and photography, he chose filmmaking as his calling.

His first feature film Fire in the Mountains premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, while his short film Rammat Gammat won an award at Oberhausen International Short Film Festival in 2018. Currently, Ajitpal is directing a web series for Sony Liv that will go on air in Oct 2021.