Hindustan Times (6 May 2010)
I Am Kalam, a feature film inspired by the former President, Abdul J Kalam, is all set to be screened at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival.
The film, directed by debutant Nila Madhab Panda and produced by the Smile Foundation, will be screened at theMarche du section of the 10-day-long festival which begins from May 12.
The movie revolves around the trials and tribulations faced a small boy who is yearning for education and is working to realise his cherished dreams.
“It is a story of struggle that I have faced and observed since my own childhood. The film celebrates the survival of the human spirit against overwhelming odds. It is an inspirational film and I have given the treatment of a contemporary fable,” said Panda, who has directed some 60 short films before debuting into feature.
It is also India’s first feature film to be produced by a development organization in India. Smile foundation decided to be a part of the film because it deals with child education.
“The main objective of producing I Am Kalam is to highlight how a child aspires to dream in spite of all the hardships of the life. Indian Government has recently passed the bill on Right to Education. This film is an effort to appeal to all the privileged mass to come forward so as to make this act a reality on the ground as well,” said Anurag Bhatnagar, GM Resources of Smile Foundation.
The film has an ensemble cast that includes Bollywood’s Badman Gulshan Grover, child actor Hussan Saad of Delhi 6 and French actress Beatrice Ordeix. Mohana Krishna of Ishqiya fame is the director of photography while Sanjay Dasgupta is production designer. I Am Kalam has been shot in Rajasthan.