CHILLAR PARTY may boast of biggies like Salman Khan and Ranbir Kapoor but Smile Foundation's film I AM KALAM has none other than the Missile Man of India, former Indian President Dr. A P J Kalam as its inspiration. The fun and family entertainer has a social message and just like the feel of the film the lead child actor Harsh Mayar has also had a story of grit and determination.
The actor Harsh, who is a slum kid from Delhi was first rejected by the makers of CHILLAR PARTY because he was a misfit for the rather urbane film. Needless to say, Harsh was disappointed by the rejection and returned to Delhi little knowing what was in store for him! Lady Luck did decide to smile on the kid wonder and he got noticed for his natural talent and got selected for I AM KALAM. Not just that, he got an opportunity to meet A P J Kalam himself and even complimented the Prez for his hairstyle! The little boy left the great Kalam himself impressed by talented.
Like it's said, it all happens for the best and being rejected for CHILLAR PARTY proved lucky for Harsh since he won the National Award for the film in the Child Actor category!
The film is fast becoming a movement... The story is about Chhotu who in spite of abject poverty has an inventive mind and a never-say-die spirit. (There are 60 million 'Chhotus' in India who are unfortunately involved in Child labour but dream of being educated.)
The film follows a fable like narrative, somewhat like The Prince and the Pauper friendship which adds to its universal appeal. It's also inspired from a true story.
Other than the Best Actor in Child Artiste Category, the film has won 12 national and international awards, including the best feature film in the Lucas International Film Festival (Germany), the Don Quixote Prize of the International Cine Club Federations (Germany), Young Jury Award at the International Film Festival of India in Goa; the 'Audience Favorite' Award at the Barbican London Children's Film Festival Award; a Special Diploma for the Best Actor Work at Minsk International Film Festival Listapadzik; and the Best Debutant Director Award at the Chalachitra Film Society, Kerela. The film has also received a Special Mention at the Cinekid International Film Festival in Amsterdam and the Ale Kino International Film Festival in Poland, for its attempt to disseminate an important social message.
With so much going for the film, it will definitely take the country by a storm for its honest subject and sincere performances.