Gattu, the Children’s Film Society, India film directed by Rajan Khosa has yet again proved its potential on international film arena. The children’s film was invited to the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. On Sunday, the film won the “Audience Award” and “Honorable Mention Award” in LA. “It is a very proud moment for me and everyone who is associated with Gattu. Gattu, played by Samad Mohammad, whose trust and love I received, was a natural kite flyer. In almost every small town in India, you see street kids, selling trinkets, playing pranks and begging. You ignore them, or you dole out a coin or two, but you and I know, they are far too smart to be wasted like this. So for GATTU, we deliberately chose a small town, representative of majority of India. Today the film belongs to the community of Sati Mohallah in Roorkee where we shot, every object and actor in the film is local, except for a very few theatre actors. We scanned the streets and schools for kid actors, inviting them to join our film workshop. The film GATTU, we told them, will communicate the need to educate street children. These awards are only a tiny step towards the massive task of empowering street children in India,” says an excited Khosa from LA. The film was screened at Arclight Hollywood, which is the biggest movie screen in LA.
Nandita Das, CFSI Chairperson says, “We are delighted with this double win, especially the Audience Award. That is really the true test of any film. The film has charmed children at Berlin and now it has charmed adults as well. An endearing story, when it well told will surely connect with everyone – whether you are 6 or 60.” The movie was earlier slated to release in April 20th, 2012. However, keeping all the international film festivals invites in mind the release of the movie has been postponed till July. “Gattu has created quite a buzz in the international festival circuit and its travelling to many prestigious festivals throughout the summer. Lots of schools have shown interest in the film and pushing the release to July would help us get their participation. Our primary mandate of reaching out to more children will be better fulfilled through the school outreach programme that we have planned during the release, after the vacations,” says Nandita.
Children’s Film Society India (CFSI) is an autonomous body under Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India. It was established in 1955 to create and nurture a dynamic children’s film culture in the country. Since then CFSI has produced, exhibited and distributed films, serials, animations and documentaries – that entertain while also encouraging children to reflect upon the world around them. Over the years some of the brightest talents of Indian Cinema – Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal, Satyen Bose, Tapan Sinha, MS Sathyu, Sai Paranjpye, Santosh Sivan and Pankaj Advani to name a few – have directed films for CFSI. They are joined by many other new and imaginative filmmakers who have created some of the most delightful children’s content in the country. With an enviable catalogue of over 250 films in 15 different languages, CFSI remains the prime producer of children’s films in the country. Several of these films have won prestigious national and international awards. CFSI shows its films annually to over four million children through regional film festivals and reaches millions of other audiences through television networks like Doordarshan, Star, Sahara, Hungama, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network etc.