ULTRA & SushilKumar Agrawal proudly celebrated and unveiled the DVD of I AM KALAM, an Iconic film, directed by Nila Madhab Panda, starring Harsh Mayar (National Award Winner), Gulshan Grover, Hussan Saad, Pitobash, Beatrice Ordeix, produced by development organization, SMILE FOUNDATION at Hotel Sea Princess, Juhu, Mumbai.
Ms. Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Gulshan Grover spoke on the ‘Spirit’ behind the making of the film and officially released the DVD of I AM KALAM’. Also Puja Batra, Pitobash, Pravin Dabbas, Tannishtha Chatterjee were the guests of the evening.
I AM KALAM is cinema that inspires, combining education and awareness on complex and sensitive topics, with the entertaining aspect, representing cinema that elevates society. I Am Kalam is the Triumph of the Human Spirit with the core message that ‘Har Chottu’ ban sakta hain ‘Kalam’. ‘I AM KALAM’ starts with an inspiring line of APJ Abdul Kalam ‘Great Dreams of great dreamers are always transcendent’ and Destiny can be changed by Action. I AM KALAM has already won 18 International and National Awards, the highest for any films in a year, so far. The film has also been nominated for the first prestigious award of this year SCREEN AWARD 2012, for the Best Child Actor, Most Promising Director and the Best Story category.
I AM KALAM has also become a movement based on child labour and their Right to Education. Director Nila Madhab Panda has been acknowledged as one of the most sensitive and promising director to debut in Bollywood with this path breaking film. His next mainstream commercial film THE DESSERT MERMAID is being considered as another classic in the making is being produced by ULTRA, the Rs-3-billion film production, distribution and Restoration Company headquartered in Mumbai. ULTRA, has also picked up the worldwide Satellite, Video and other digital rights including the international distribution rights of “I Am Kalam”
“After watching ‘I Am Kalam’, I was fascinated about the film, message and the director’s vision and immediately picked up all the rights of I AM KALAM. ULTRA is proud to be associated with this film which inspires and elevates society. And when the Director, Mr. Panda, narrated me the story of his next mainstream film ‘The Dessert Mermaid’, I was very much confident of his vision and thought that this is the best opportunity to be socially active through mainstream cinema since it is a subject told in an adventure thriller format that has immense market potential both in domestic and international markets says Ultra group CEO Sushil Kumar Agrawal. I AM KALAM has become a movement with the efforts of development organization, SMILE FOUNDATION and has reached out to 1000 Schools and 200 corporate to make a movement out of this film. The reach with this movement: – 10,00,000 children directly and will be able to sensitize approx 30,00,000 (Thirty Lakhs) Population indirectly through this. The Campaign was supported by Smile Foundation’s CFC (Child for Child) Programme Team of 50 members. Bollywood’s most promising and sensitive director Nila Madhab Panda shares his views on the spirit and making of I AM KALAM “ I come from a backward village in the Western part of Odisha state (infamous for the drought prone Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region), where there are no proper schools, no proper roads, and no development. The only thing available there for me without begging, without any cost, was “dreams”. These were not dreams which I had while sleeping, these were dreams which never made me sleep till I achieved them. I had seen those dreams and made my dream come true with true effort and education. And since I strongly believe in education as a route to success in life, I thought of making this film to celebrate childhood and dreams.
As Dr. Kalam says, “As a child you never failed to follow your dreams. Why change it now? You are what you dream of”. I believe in that, and constantly remind myself that “I am Nila Madhab Panda and I dare to dream”. I changed my destiny by putting hard effort. You can also do that.
I am a true believer of “Independent cinema” and independent storytelling. I truly believe cinema is the reflection of the society. As a child, the biggest entertainment is when you hear a story from your grandmother or parents. The treatment of “I am Kalam” is simply like that – it is told like the way our grandmothers used to tell stories to us. It’s a simple narration.
Quite a few of these awards have been audience choice awards. So, one cannot dub it art house cinema in that sense. The film has a great story, and uniqueness in narrating a dark prince-and-pauper story like a peppy, musical, colourful, entertaining film full of drama. It’s a true entertaining children’s film for the universal audience, which has been entertaining people in the 5-100-year age group in countries as diverse as Taiwan, Poland, Canada and Korea” Major Celebrities from Bollywood graced the DVD launch of this iconic film and supported the movement based on Child labour and the Right to Education.
I AM KALAM -AWARDS “I Am Kalam” also received the Best Feature Film Award chosen by the Young Jury at the 41st International Film Festival of India, Goa, apart from Best Feature Film awards at the Lucas International Film Festival, Germany and CMS Lucknow International Children Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles(IFFLA), The Don Quixote Prize of the International Cine Club Federations, Europe, Viewer’s Choice Award at the Montreal International Children’s Film festival, the Audience Favourite Choice award at the Barbican London Children Film Festival, the Special Jury Mention at the Cinekid International Film Festival, the Best Actor Work award at the Minsk International Film Festival, the International Jury’s Special Mention at the Ale Kino International Film festival, Poland, and the Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Child Actor awards at the Silent River Film Festival, USA.