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Ajitpal Singh’s original series ‘Tabbar’ a thriller, is set in heart of rural Punjab

Ajitpal's first screenplay was part of Sundance Screenwriters Lab 2012, where it won the Sundance Grant. His first feature film, 'Fire In the Mountains’ had its world premiere at Sundance 2021 in the 'World Cinema Dramatic Competition’, winning eight awards.
A self-taught and award-winning filmmaker living in Mumbai, Ajitpal Singh’s own story is perhaps as exceptional as the ones he makes. Born in Punjab, his father, a farmer and former Army person, ran a cinema hall in Bathinda which suffered loss and was shut down during the insurgency.
As Ajit turned eight, his family moved to Ahmedabad where his father worked as a security guard. He grew up in a ghetto amidst poverty and violence and, being a Sikh, faced tremendous discrimination due to the anti-Sikh sentiments in India at the time. He studied chemistry, theatre and photography, and chose filmmaking as his calling.
Ajitpal’s first screenplay was part of Sundance Screenwriters Lab 2012, where it won the Sundance Grant. His first feature film, ‘Fire In the Mountains’ had its world premiere at Sundance 2021 in the ‘World Cinema Dramatic Competition’, winning eight awards. Closer home, Ajitpal is all set to present his first original series ‘Tabbar’, a family drama/crime thriller which will premiere on Sony Liv on October 15. It will be released in 28 global territories. Set against the backdrop of Jalandhar, ‘Tabbar’ is an eight episode series charting the journey of a retired police constable who pushes the boundaries to save his family from the consequences of an unfortunate incident.
The show, produced by Jar Pictures, features an ensemble cast of Pavan Malhotra, Supriya Pathak, Gagan Arora, Kanwaljit Singh, Ranvir Shorey, Paramvir Cheema and Sahil Mehta.
The year 2021 has been a rollercoaster ride for Ajitpal, with the release of his short film Rammat Gammat, feature film (Fire In The Mountains) and now Tabbar. He says, “It takes years to build a body of work and it’s amazing that they are all coming out in 2021.”
However, 2021 has not just been about highs for Ajitpal. The filmmaker was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in February. He began shooting the series in March, during the pandemic, just three weeks after undergoing surgery.
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Talking about the show, Ajitpal says, “I am always attracted to stories that provide me possibilities and freedom to explore subtext and themes. Tabbar is one such story. On the surface, it’s a crime thriller, but once you dig deeper, it’s a human drama and you will find themes like god vs no god, evil vs good, drugs, spirituality and suffering etc. I was confident that given the freedom, I would be able to shape this story in a refreshing way. As I come from Punjab, I understand the land very well. As a storyteller, I believe we can transcend borders and I hope the audiences will enjoy Tabbar.”

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