Keshu lost his ability to talk and hear along with his mother when he was born. He was raised by his maternal uncle. Being quite mischievous, there was never ending complaints from the villagers. His uncle had no choice but to punish him, but to no avail. The only person who Keshu could reach out to was his distant relative and the maid of the house, Devu. This was the time when Shalini, a teacher transferred to that village started living with the family. Keshu did not spare her too from his mischief, but she did not complain to anyone, and instead started liking him. He reciprocated the affection shown to him and there was a gradual change in his behaviour. She encouraged him to take up drawing and even convinced his uncle to put him in a special school.When he wins an international award for his painting, ‘The elephant and the Mahout’, he becomes the darling of the whole village. The end of the happy chapter came in the form of a letter to Shalini having her marriage arranged. Her return was a torment to him, his family as well as Shalini. Whenever the train in which Shalini left, passed by, he made it a habit to wait at the railway station. The sound of the train tearing away the darkness tore his heart as well. He realises the folly of hoping for a return of someone lets his uncle take him back to the world of colours and lines.
Director’s Biography: Sivan
Sivan began his illustrious career as a photo – journalist, contributing to magazines such as Newsweek, Life and Span. He learnt the rudiments of film making as a staffer with the USIS. He is credited with making the first 16 mm film in India, “Labour Week, in 1953.
From 1972 onwards, Sivan has made a series of films that have won him awards and recognition. Sivan founded the film complex “Sivan Studios” in Kerala, which has extended to an art gallery for emerging artistes and photographers. “Swapnam” made in 1972 was his first feature film, which won 4 state awards and his second feature “Yogum” was as successful. His earlier children’s film “Abhayam” had won Silver Elephant Award at the International Children’s Film Festival, Trivandrm in 1991.
International Film Festival of India, 2009 Official Selection, Indian Panorama
Kerala State Award, 2009 Best Children’s Film
CMS International Children’s Film Festival, India 2010 Special Mention to the Child Artist
12 year old Roshni is left an orphan after a cyclone. She takes shelter in a refugee home. Coming to know of her plight her childless uncle and aunt take her with them. They live in a village in the interiors of Rajasthan which practices female infanticide. Not a single girl child has been allowed to survive in the past 80 years. Roshni’s optimism and vivacity surprise the villagers, exposing their fallacy of considering the male child superior than a girl. But can a lone girl change prejudice and faulty tradition of centuries? In a nation where female infanticide is still practiced, Laadli exposes one of male-dominated society’s most inhuman practices in an endearing manner.
Director’s Biography: Mazahir Rahim
Mazahir Rahim is and FTII direction alumnus. He trained in the Czech Republic for multi-screen film projects. Rahim started his career as Chief Assistant to H S Rawail in the hit ‘Laila Majnu’. He wrote and directed over 40 documentaries for the Films Division and won two National Awards for ‘New Images’ and ‘Mughal Garden’. He was also part of the directorial team for Sanjay Khan’s epic TV series ‘The Sword of Tipu Sultan’ and ‘Parivaar’, a 30 episode series for Doordarshan.
Bipin loves books and is fond of real-life adventures. Viju is his inseparable companion. Atul, a cunning man of histrionic talent, throws Bipin a challenge to go round Mumbai in search of 10 volumes of an encyclopedia in 12 hours beginning at the Gateway of India. Bipin, with the expectation of adventure, takes up the challenge. The expedition turns out to be an obstacle race with Atul chasing and obstructing Bipin’s pursuit under various disguises. Will Bipin and Viju manage to get rid of the problems on the way and win the bet? ‘Lagi Sharth’ is a hilarious, adventurous ride through the crazy streets of Mumbai?
Director’s Biography: Raghuvir Kulkarni
Playwright, poet, cartoonist and director Raghuvir Kulkarni studied art in the J J Institute of Applied Arts. As a playwright he has won awards for his plays “Kolishtak”, “Choohe” & “Devaski”. He has directed many films, among them ‘Mohare’ starring Nana Patekar and Mahuri Dixit and ‘Lagi Sharth’ for CFSI.
Chutkan lives with the family of his uncle who make him do all their work. His only escape is his imagination. Things go horribly wrong when Chutkan begins altering reality through his dreams. He changes the Mahabharata and the warring Kauravas and Pandavas now become friends. The drama folks bound by the spell of his dreams, are unable to recite their original lines. Chutkan then changes his bullying cousin into a donkey and few aggressive villagers into geese. When an exorcist is called to cure him, he dreams up the Pandavas to rescue him. They declare that the only Mahabharat that will be performed henceforth would be Chutkan’s Mahabharat in this Best Children’s Film National Award winning film that will delight everyone.
Director’s Biography: Sankalp Meshram
Sankalp Meshram did an FTII diploma in Editing. He won the National Award for ‘Best Editing’ in the non-feature-film category in 2001 for the film ‘Lokapriya’. He is also a TV director who has directed over 60 episodes of TV shows and a crime thriller. ‘Chutkan Ki Mahabharat’ is his debut film as writer and director and won him the National Award for the Best Children’s film in 2005. He is currently the head of the Editing Department at Digital Academy – The Film School in Mumbai
Best Children Film – 52nd National Film Award – India – 2005
Poverty forces little Lilkee, originally from Nainital, to become a domestic help for architect Bela in Mumbai. She has difficulty in adjusting to city life. To add insult to injury she is humiliated by a gang of four girls from a rich family. Later, when the girls come to know of her plight, they not only befriend Lilkee but try to raise money to help her go back to Nainital. But full of self respect, Lilkee politely refuses. One day, the girls ask her to accompany them to the sea during school hours. Lilkee informs her employer but the other girls don’t tell their parents. When the children don’t return for a long time, the parents get worried. After being found, they scold their girls but Lilkee’s sense of responsibility wins over Bela who admits her to a school.
Director’s Biography: Batul Mukhtiar
Batul Mukhtiar graduated in direction from FTII. She directed two short fiction films as diploma projects for the Film Institute and has worked as a researcher, producer coordinator and associate producer with international documentary crews shooting in Mumbai. In 2002, she made ‘150 Seconds Ago’, a documentary on the survivors of the earthquake that devastated the city of Bhuj (Kutch) in 2001.
Two kids, Vikram and Aditya, accompanied by their grandfather Chako, are enjoying a vacation amidst the sterling beauty of Ladakh. Their companion in fun is 10 year old Tsering, the cook’s assistant. Things take an ugly turn when a few goons try to kidnap Tsering when grandpa is away. Vikram and Aditya manage to save him, only to be accosted by the ring leader Akira. They hide Tsering in the village and manage to escape with the help of a tourist couple. Later when they return with grandpa to fetch Tsering, they discover that he has been kidnapped. Who are the goons and why are they trying to kidnap a cook’s assistant?
Director’s Biography: Vinod Ganatra
Vinod Ganatra has been active in the film industry since 1983. While working as an independent editor with television and the Indian Space Research Organisation, he launched his own production company, Movieman. He has several awards to his credit. Widely traveled, he has also served on juries of several international film festivals and selection panels.
Silver Remi Awards – Worldfest Film Festival – USA – 2007
First Children’s feature Film of the world shot at the highest Altitude – Limca Book of World Record – 2007
Little Mahek spends all her time fantasizing about achieving great things. In reality she does little else. One day she meets an old lady who claims to be a fairy. She advices Mahek to find out what she can do best. When a class essay competition is announced, Mehek decides to participate, but not happy with what she has written, throws away the essay. Strangely when the results are announced, her writing is adjudged the best. How did the essay get there? Who’s the gentle fairy? What is Mahek’s true calling in life? This gentle film has a simple message for the young and old alike – that dreams are good only if one wakes up to work hard and realize them.
Director’s Biography: Kranti Kanade
Kranti Kanade studied Direction at FTII and has also completed the Producer’s Program from UCLA. His thesis film ‘Chitra’ won several prestigious awards. ‘Mahek Mirza’ is his debut feature film.
Best Family Film (Platinum Remi Awards) – Huston Film Festival – 2008
Selected as a university Syllabus by OHIO university, USA
In the 17th century India, girls were encouraged to learn the folk art of Sanjhi. Girls would make paintings in that style and set them free in the river so that the universe blesses it. This was expected to bring suitable groom for the girls. This short film, using the same Sanjhi style, chronicles the story a girl’s father who journeys to find his daughter a suitable groom.
Director’s Biography: Dhvani Desai
Dhvani Desai began early, acting in children’s plays and appeared on TV and Radio as a child artist. After learning animation and working on a few films, she established her own animation studio, Metamorphosis. She is best known for her short animation film ‘Manpasand’ that won many awards globally. She has created many animation films and special effects for advertising films.
10 year old Chand admires his father’s artistry and helps him make clay toys. Over time modern kid’s fascination for plastic toys, drive them out of business. Poverty forces Chand to work in the city as a domestic servant. Here he uses wheat flour to make toys. Chand’s old friend Devrup tries to help him by entering an owl he has made into a competition. However Devrup’s jealous friend breaks the toy just before the competition. Chand is heartbroken as there is no time to make a new toy but Devrup inspires him and the two strike upon an innovative idea? What is that? Would it win Chand the prize?
Director’s Biography: Paushali Ganguli
A post graduate in history, Paushali Ganguli has worked as a freelance writer and made several TV programs, animation films, promos and ad films. Her short animation film ‘The Pink Camel’ produced by CFSI, won the National Award for Best Animation Short for the year 2002. ‘Mitti Aur Chand’ is her debut feature.
Devraj is a young boy living in the foothills of a mountain. His sister Paro falls ill and the only thing that can save her is a herb that grows beyond the blue mountain. Devraj readies to undertakes the perilous journey. Guided by the guardian spirit of his loving father who had died in an accident, the boy with his grandfather defies the odds and treacherous terrains to save the life of his sister. The film also stars Nasseruddin Shah.
Director’s Biography: Vivek Anand
Vivek Anand, a bachelor in History, studied films at the Polytechnic of Central London, UK in 1976. He has since been a cameraman, co-producer and co-director for many films, TV series and shows. ‘Neel Parbat Ke Paar’ for CFSI is his debut film.
Nandu is a small boy growing up in the limitation of his village and fixed mindset of his grandmother. He cannot even dream of going to school, but is happy with his life till one day he gets the desire to meet the President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Nandu innocently thinks of him as the king of the country. In his pursuit, he meets a retired army man who inspires him to join the army. However, Nandu soon realizes that he will have to study hard and become somebody important in life to achieve his dream. Will Nandu, saddled by the limitation of his life and village, be able to achieve the impossible?
Director’s Biography: Shaleen Sharma
An architect by qualification, Shaleen has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Delhi and a Masters degree in Film & Architecture from De Montfort Universtiy, Leicester, UK. He has made many documentaries on architecture, anthropology, history and culture. “Nandu Ka Raja” is his first feature children film.