“Tikkun Olam” Winner of 8 Best Short Film awards. We chatted with Bob Ahmed Director and Film Maker.

“Tikkun Olam” Winner of 8 Best Short Film awards. We chatted with Bob Ahmed Director and Film Maker.

Bob Ahmed is a Pakistani-American film director. His movie, “Amka and The Three Golden Rukes” received a worldwide release on Amazon Prime this week. And his short film, “Tikkun Olam” has won 8 Best Short Film awards this year, and is in contention for the 2022 Oscars ®️.

Bob Ahmad (Pakistani-American Film Director)

Q: Tell us about “Tikkun Olam”

A: “Tikkun Olam” is a short film about a young boy in Washington, D.C. who brings hope and dignity to a homeless veteran. 

Q: So there are homeless people in Washington, D.C.?

A: Yes, you’ll be surprised to know that D.C. has the highest homelessness rate in America, compared to the states.

Q: Why did you make this film?

I used to work in Washington, D.C. And while walking to office I would see lots of homeless folks on the streets. In the beginning this really bothered me and I volunteered at a homeless facility, but as time went by, I stopped noticing the men and women on the streets. My only thoughts walking to work would be: how I can impress my boss and what I am going to have for lunch. And then one day a specific incident where a homeless gentleman was unconscious on the floor made me realise how far I had come from my humanity. At that moment I decided to write this film.

Q: What does the title mean?

A: The concept is defined by performing acts of kindness to repair the world. The young boy’s acts of kindness in the film are a reflection of this concept. 

Q: How did you learn about this concept?

A: Through a family friend, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. And through his book, “To Heal A Fractured World”, in which he talks about our responsibility as human beings.

Q: Any challenges making this film?

A: I feel like my primary objective and also biggest challenge is how to be authentic. And I am fortunate that the team I worked with all had a similar goal. 

Q: Your other movie, “Amka and The Three Golden Rules” is about a young boy trying to escape from poverty. Is there a common thread in your films?

A: In real life we see many things which dishearten are us. In films I’ve worked on I like to show the best of humanity. 

Q: You moved to England from Pakistan when you were young. How did you adjust to a new culture?

A: I arrived from a conservative culture in Pakistan and so it was initially a challenge to adjust and understand the differences in England. And it also made me more conscious of being “the outsider” for that initial period that I arrived. I loved the common elements like cricket and Pakistani food!

Q: How has your experience in America been? A: I feel that the essence of the American ideal is to help and understand “the other” and that’s what inspires me about the people here.

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