I Am Fauja
A windy day on top of a skyscraper, Fauja Singh and his son take out their roti and daal and begin sharing a meal. During the middle of their lunch the manager calls for one of them to help with a heavy cement load, Fauja is about to go but his son stops him and tells him he will go instead. Moments later a scream is heard and a crowd of construction workers gather, as Fauja looks closer he sees' that his son has been crushed by the truck.
Fauja Singh is a boy from Punjab who has one dream: to go to Canada and become a professional runner. He’s therefore thrilled when he’s arranged a visa to Canada with his mother. Life in Toronto however, turns out to be anything but what he imagined. His new boss is a racist tyrant and Fauja quickly realizes his dreams are over when he’s required to work 7 days a week with no time for training.
20 years later, Fauja is accidentally thrown into the middle of the city marathon and feels the thrill of the sport he left behind years ago, he immediately signs up for the next race and starts training. But Fauja’s joy won’t last long... In a typically life shattering move, his mother dies from a heart attack, more determined than ever, Fauja quits his job and starts training full-time. It pays off... After a grueling five-month period of isolation, during which Fauja regains all the confidence he lost as a boy. Fauja enters the Malton Marathon and wins: breaking a world record.
At 99 years old Fauja Singh has run dozens of Marathons, around the world as a professional athlete. In the family room, his trophies and medals are proudly displayed. Fauja still gears up his sneakers and prepares for an early run. In a candid interview onset after a commercial by Adidas, he confesses that through the good times and through the hard times it’s the discipline of running that helped him conquer the battles of life. “When I took up running, it was like meeting god himself.”
Project Type:Short Script
Number of Pages:15
Country of Origin:Canada
Sarvan Singh has always enjoyed film-making. In fact, by the time he was 4 years old, he had already been acting in student films . Soon afterwards Sarvan Singh began writing, filming and directing his own productions. After graduating in 2008 from the Toronto Film School; Sarvan went on to direct, edit and shoot projects from around the world. He works with his wife Kelly Kalyan who is also a producer/director. In 2016 they teamed up with "Q" from Worldstar Hiphop and created viral content featuring superstars like Cardi B. In 2018 Sarvan was featured in Humble Beginning Entrepreneurs Magazine in Waterloo, Ontario. In 2019, Sarvan alongside Kelly started the horror film anthology Clubhouse of Terror. Since 2020, Sarvan has been working with world famous influencer Topper Guild and creating Documentaries with Goalcast that have reached over 50 million people around the world.
“I am Fauja” is my 5th narrative short film and I am hoping to come back on to the scene with a bang. This is a great story packed with hope and inspiration and it features one boy’s dream of pursuing his passion. My personal connection to this story is more then just sharing a last name and religious identity but about the hope and inspiration Fauja continues to spread around the world. Having gone to India in 2018, l have connected with my culture and realized why I need to tell stories: because it teaches us how to be better people. I hope to one day to live my dreams like Fauja by never giving up on pursuing my passion.
I want the audience to feel as they watch this short film a sense of magic and inspiration that they can apply to their own life. I want the audience to be in tears of hope, joy and love by the end of the film.
The style will be cold and moody, like American dramas that are shot in Boston or Massachusetts. The framing and motion will be depending on the action and on the scene but I do want to keep a slow pace for drama and a high pace for the running scenes.
Soundtrack: This will be an interesting choice to deal with when in post-production. I like to use soft but hard piano notes for when the tension is at ease, but I would also like to use strings and horns when the pacing is fast or angry. The character Fauja will have a soft Punjabi harmony that follows him throughout.
Editing: I plan to start the way the synopsis does, with danger, action and tragedy. The editing should be slow at critical drama points but then change to quick and unpredictable during the race or training scenes. No fancy editing transitions or noticeable edits, we need to focus on the story and keeping the editing as un-intrusive as possible.
Casting: Fauja Singh (boy, middle age, old)
Angry White Boss (middle age)
Son, Mother (Punjabi)