IIFL (12 November 2010)
This film is the first ever to be produced by a development organization in India, addressing the issue of child education. Smile foundation, a national development organization, showcased the first look of the feature film ‘I am Kalam’.
This film is the first ever to be produced by a development organization in India, addressing the issue of child education. Winner of 3 awards; the film has already been selected for 16 film festivals.
‘I Am Kalam’ was screened in the Marche Du section at Cannes. The movie has won the Best Feature Film at the Lucas Film Festival, Don Quijote Prize of the Federation Internationale des Cine –Clubs in Germany and Audience Choice Film Award at the London Film Festival 2010.Actor Gulshan Grover, who plays an important character in this film said, “This film for me holds a very special place because it’s an effort from my end to voice the issue that I have always believed in. This film will definitely help to sensitize the privileged masses to do there bit towards the society.
”Set in Bikaner, Rajasthan, the film revolves around the trials and tribulations of the protagonist’s struggle for education. It has a fairy tale treatment and a positive tone despite the serious issues it touches. The film is the directorial debut of Nila Madhab Panda, who has produced and directed over 60 documentaries, short films, television drama and films for national broadcasters.
With a strong script by Sanjay Chauhan, great blend of Indian classical, Rajasthani folk and western music by Susmit Bose and a fantastic ensemble of actors like Gulshan Grover, the film have so far received great adulation. The screen is also shared by the French actress Beatrice Ordeix. “I Am Kalam” is an awaited treat in store for all those who love cinema for a cause.
With this film, Smile Foundation has tried to reach out to people around the world, drawing their attention to support the movement of educating every child in India to secure a better future. Told in the classic prince-and-the-pauper format, the film strikes a chord with the viewers, thanks to the heart-warming acting by Delhi slum boy Harsh Mayyar in the title role. Chhotu, in a way, represents millions of other kids who could become a “Kalam”. Harsh Mayyar, the child artist who debuts with this film said, “I Am Kalam for me was like living my dream in reality. I feel proud to be a part of this great film which depicts the aspirations of so many children like me.
I am happy to see the film doing so well around the world. It’s great to hear that the audience globally has appreciated the work.” The Film also received a special mention at the Cine Kids awards held in Amsterdam during the last week of October, 2010.The film is also participating in the Goa Film Festival and the Mumbai International Film Festival. The Lucas award was announced by the jury in the award ceremony held on 10th September 2010 in Germany. Lucas is a 35 year old International Children’s Film Festival that presents sophisticated and promising productions aimed at children 4 to 12 years of age. This is an independently selected competition programme that consists of artistically and thematically valuable films to make foreign cultures understandable for children.
Speaking on the occasion Nila Madhab Panda, Director ofI am Kalam expressed, “I wanted to send out a message that effort is more powerful then fate and that the privileged masses must join the effort to educate the children and help them to dream and turn their dreams into breathing reality. The film celebrates the survival of the human spirit against overwhelming odds.
It is an inspirational film aimed at both children and adult viewers.” “To make it more interesting I have given the treatment of a contemporary fable, which would surely attract children more. However, I would also see it as a world cinema” he added. The movie has also been nominated for the “Politiken Audience Award” at Buster film festival, Denmark; The Lion Award (best feature film) and The Audience Award at the Cinekid film festival, Amsterdam. Speaking on the occasion Shantanu Mishra Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation said “We are proud to be a part of this historic feature film. With this film, we have tried to reach out to people around the world drawing their attention to support the movement of educating every child in India to secure a better future.
Chhotu’s story is the story of millions of children in India and is very close to our cause. The film is an attempt by our development organization to disseminate a social message through this mass medium and to sensitize and appeal to the society to come forward for the cause of education to all children, irrespective of their social standing