A saga for peace
A scene from "Little Terrorist".
IT'S A-15-minute film. It has no established actors and actresses, no mind boggling locations, no item numbers and not even Hindi language. Yet it is getting released this Friday at 14 cinema halls across the country. Out of which in Delhi it will be shown at PVR Saket besides two cinema halls in Gurgaon. In Mumbai it has got seven and in Pune three cinema halls. This film is Little Terrorist. In the Oscars, it is India's only hope in Best Live Action Short Film its Academy Awards.
Made by young Ashvin Kumar, this is for the first time in the history of Indian cinema that such a short film is being released at major cinema halls. "The film will be released before the mother film of the cinema halls' owner's choice," says Aditya Shroff, the distributor of the film in India.
Little Terrorist is about a 10-year-old Muslim Pakistani boy called Jamal, who by mistake crosses the border between India and Pakistan and is chased by the security forces hence. An old Hindu Brahmin Bhola spots him and provides him shelter in his home. But his niece Rani insists that keeping him at home would be dangerous; both from security and religious reasons. The security forces in search of this `terrorist' reach Bhola's village. Jamal's hair is cut but a choti is kept intact to impart him a Brahmin's look, the security forces are fooled and the boy is escorted back home at night.
Human bond film
Though the film is set against political hotbed yet the maker insists, "For me the film is all about paternal love. Though it has a political backdrop yet my attempt is to show the bond of humanity than exhibiting the terrorism factor," says Kumar. The film made in approximately 15000 Pounds, is shot in Rajasthan with the cast from the Rewari community of Haryana, hence the characters speak in Rewari language. "Ideally I would have gone to Saurashtra to shoot the film but the shoe-string budget did not allow me," says Kumar for whose film the costumes were specially flown from Bhuj though the pagdi was designed in Delhi.
The film already has gathered a few feathers in its cap. It has won the first prize at the Montreal Film Festival, Best Film award in Manhattan Film Festival and Flanders Film Festival. It is a Grand Prize winner in Teheran International Short Film Festival and has got Audience Choice Award in Sao Paulo international Short Film Festival.
"I have been trying to establish myself as an international filmmaker for four years now. So I take up subjects of international appeal," says Kumar whose short film Road To Ladakh won critical acclaim and a few awards too at different film festivals.
Ashvin's next venture The Forest, "a jungle thriller on animal poaching with an opened ended treatment" will be a full-length feature film with Irfan, the 10-year-old boy of Little Terrorist as the protagonist.
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu