Mannu Sandhu

Biography

At the age of 14, Mannu and her family moved from Chandigarh, India and settled in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she completed her high school studies. Throughout high school Mannu was actively involved within her school environment, specifically assisting with the organization of charitable events. After high school Mannu began modeling, but continued to actively participate in her community by volunteering for the Conservative party during Provincial political campaigns. As a result of her volunteer work, Mannu was invited to work as an Executive Assistant for Nina Grewal, Member of Parliament for British Columbia. The work in Victoria inspired Mannu to consider what was really important to her, and she found herself interested in pursuing a career as a Correctional Officer. She began a period of training for this career, and when completed, returned to Vancouver where she became engaged full time as a Correctional Officer for the Government of BC. Mannu has always been interested in the world of cultural expression and the arts. Through the modeling work she began shortly after high school, she was able to build up a substantial database of contacts in the worlds of fashion, and film. She was a finalist in the Miss B.C. pageant in 2009 and placed 1st Runner Up in the Miss Moella Canada Beauty Pageant in 2010. Mannu competed in Miss Universe Canada 2011 and the panel of judges placed her in the top 16 of the contestant. She also won the Miss Universe Canada 2011 Humanitarian Award for raising the most funds for the SOS Children’s Village project, a project designed specifically to build three computer centers for children in the SOS Nicaraguan center. It was however the work as a correctional officer that really impacted Mannu. Mannu found herself working with young men and women who were in the facility because of bad choices and decisions – be it through drugs, alcohol abuse, gang affiliations, weapons or assault. Many of the young people were from her own community, and she often felt frustrated because she did not know how to assist them or guide them. She believed her life had a much higher purpose, and part of that purpose certainly had to do with helping to inspire, motivate, and assist the troubled young people she met on a daily basis, from her community, and from the community at large. Mannu understood that one of the best ways to assist was by simply giving back – in simple, yet highly effective way To this end, Mannu threw herself into charitable work, which she continues to this day. She devotes a great deal of time to various charities and non-profit organizations such as the BC Children’s Hospital, Sikh Blood Donation; Pakistan Flood Relief, Salvation Army, Operation Canada and Mankind Charitable Society, an organization which makes it possible for her to travel to Baru Sahib Himachal Pardes, India every year with her colleagues to help children born with facial deformities. She feels strongly that women, all over the world, are mistreated and the object of deeply ingrained prejudice. It was clear to her that to create a message and have it heard, seen, and understood, she must become proficient in the medium of film and television. She decided to prepare herself for future work in film and television, by taking courses in production, acting, and related film and television studies. By the end of 2011, Mannu had finished her first Canadian feature film, Footsteps into Gangland directed by Mani Amar. Footsteps into Gangland is an adaptation of real events that shattered the South Asian community of Vancouver. The film provided for the audience, and in particular, parents of young people, an unbiased look into a single day in the lives of the main characters of the film. In Footsteps into Gangland, Manu plays Mya, a young woman who has spent most of her life in the foster care system. Shifted from one home to another all her life, Mya, now seventeen is waiting anxiously for her eighteenth birthday which will legally release her from the abuse suffered all these years at the hands of her foster father. Until she reaches her birthday, Mya, parties hard, and uses copious amounts of drugs in order to escape the torments of her daily life. Mannu recently signed two feature films, back to back, giving her the experience of acting in three films within a two year period of time. Her second film Saadi Wakhri Hai Shaan, by Gurbir Grewal (Mannat), is a Punjabi film, produced by Vibgyor Productions. In the film, Mannu plays a very fun and bubbly character called Rashi. The third film, Maple Heart, produced by KR Hollywood Productions, was primarily shot in the Vancouver area. Mannu plays the role of Rima, a young vulnerable woman who comes from a broken home. Her father is a typical alcoholic who denies his addiction while the family suffers the horrendous consequences of his denial. The film touches on potent and difficult issues such as sexual and mental abuse, mental illness, the profound distress that alcoholism can create within a family, and the choices that family members ultimately must make for survival Working as a Correctional Officer in the Canadian Prison System has opened her eye to many different personalities, and characters; Mannu has spent time with many young people and she has seen into their hearts. She has been witness to the truth many that young people in prison suffer from mental health issues, often stemming from years of family abuse and neglect. Feeling abandoned and unloved, having lost all sense of their own worth, these young people lash out at society, and the heartbreaking cycle begins anew. These young people do not get recognized, or “heard”; Mannu is actively searching for film roles which would allow her to inhabit their life stories, and in this way, bring new understanding and compassion to their plight. Aspiring actress Mannu Sandhu looks up to Vidya Balan and Angelina Jolie, both stunning actors, for their willingness to take on bold and uncompromising roles. She looks forward to new opportunities, and to working with directors and producers who will encourage her to character roles with complex and potent dimension. She is excited about working with new Canadian talent, as well as re-establishing her ties with the Hollywood production companies. A new goal for 2013: Mannu will be travelling to India with a desire to find production companies, producers, and directors who would be willing to give her an opportunity.

Filmography

Movie Name Release Date
PR May 27, 2022
Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas April 13, 2024