Nila Madhab Panda’s I Am Kalam to screen at Cannes Film Festival


MUMBAI: I Am Kalam, a feature film inspired by the ex-president of India, Abdul J Kalam, is all set to be showcased at the Marche du section of 63rd Cannes Film Festival. The fest is scheduled to begin on 12 May, 2010.

Directed by debutant director- Nila Madhab Panda, this movie is known for bringing the topical genre of late Satyajit Ray’s cinema after decades. The movie revolves around the trials and tribulations faced by a small boy, who is yearning for education and is working to realize his cherished dreams.

Produced by the Smile Foundation, one of the leading National development organizations of India, this movie aims at sensitizing the masses, about the quest of a child, to nurture his dreams and subtle portrayal of basic child rights and subsequently, achieve one’s aspirations. Recognized for its intrinsic value and social message, this film draws a distinct parallel in the national and international film market.

Panda said, "I Am Kalam, 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 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 since it promises you something that hard work will win half of the battle in life rather than luck. However. I would also see it as a world cinema," he added.

This is also for the first time that any development organization in India has ventured to produce a full fledged feature film on an issue like child education that needs to be addressed in the present scenario in the country.

Smile Foundation GM – resources Anurag Bhatnagar says, "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. Furthermore, Indian Government has recently passed the bill on Right to Education. But the act will remain a mere legislation unless and until, the privileged mass come forward proactively for the cause. 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."