‘I am Kalam’, the feature film produced by Smile Foundation, has won the People’s Choice Award at the Montreal International Children’s Film Festival (MICFF) 2011. This is the 14th edition of the film fest Over the years, this important international event, presided over by juries of international professionals and Quebec children, has become the largest cinematographic event dedicated to families. Well rooted in Montrealers’ hearts and known as a major festival on the Quebec cultural scene, the MICFF is also well known abroad. This year the festival saw a footfall of over 16,000 spectators for screenings and special activities.
The film has also won the prestigious Aravindan Puraskaram 2010 (Best Debut Director award) of the Chalachitra Film Society. Aravindan Puraskaram, instituted in 1991 at the national level, in fond memory of the late Shri G Aravindan, for the best debutant filmmaker of respective years, is the fifteenth year milestone of Chalachithra, which over a period of time became the most honored ‘Puraskaram’, a debutant filmmaker can aspire to possess as the first recognition. The flawless selection by the eminent juries heightens the glory of this award year after year.
With these two awards I am Kalam has yet again proved how well received Indian independent cinema is on the world stage. The film has not only created a mark on international film festivals but has also show the path of success to such realistic, interesting and strong social stories.
The film has already won the award for the best feature film in the Lucas International Film Festival in Germany; the Don Quixote Prize of the International Cine Club Federations in Germany; Young Jury award at the International Film Festival of India in Goa; the “Audience Favorite” Award at the Barbican London Children’s Film Festival Award; a Special Diploma for the Best Actor Work at Minsk International Film Festival Listapadzik; and the Best Debutant Director Award at the Chalachitra Film Society, Kerela. The film has also received a Special Mention at the Cinekid International Film Festival in Amsterdam and the Ale Kino International Film Festival in Poland, for its attempt to disseminate an important social message.
Apart from these awards the film was also nominated for the Politiken Audience Award at the Buster Film Festival in Denmark, Cinekid Lion Award and Audience Award at the Cinekid International Film Festival in Amsterdam and the India Frame Showcase at Mumbai International Film Festival. I am Kalam also travelled to the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Giffoni International Film Festival in Italy, BFI Times London Film Festival, Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival, Kinder Festival in Vienna, Festicinekids in Columbia, the New York International Children Film Festival and the Kerela Film Festival.