Filmmaker Prakash Jha’s directorial “Pareeksha: The Final Test” will have its UK premiere on June 27 at the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival (LIFF), which will be held online because of coronavirus restrictions.
The film had earlier its India premiere at the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in the Panorama section.
Written, directed and produced by Prakash Jha, “Pareeksha” is inspired by real events and makes a sharp comment on the education system of India.
It’s a story of Bucchi, the rickshaw puller whose biggest dream is to provide decent education to his son, and this dream takes him on a dangerous path, which could shatter all that he holds dear.
“We are thrilled to make our UK premiere with LIFF which is one of the finest overseas film festivals showcasing Indian films. I am looking forward to seeing how the UK audience responds to my film,” said Prakash.
The film, which stars Adil Hussain, Priyanka Bose, Sanjay Suri and Shubham Jha, will subsequently stream as an original on ZEE5.
“I am absolutely thrilled that ‘Pareeksha’ is being screened at the London Indian Film Festival. ‘Pareeksha’ is a very important film of our time, which tells a story of a brilliant boy being deprived of his right to education due to his poverty stricken family. The far-reaching consequences of such a situation is disastrous. The COVID-19 has locked us all in. The OTT platforms are serving as the windows to the world of stories. But good stories matter a lot. It shapes our worldview. ‘Pareeksha’ is such a story, which will stir your heart,” said Adil Hussain, who plays Bucchi the rickshaw puller.
Priyanka, who essays the role of Radhika, wife of the rickshaw puller, said: “‘Pareeksha’ is a special film. I want to thank LIFF team for inviting our film. It brings a simple story and an important message across to the audience.”
Sanjay Suri said “Pareeksha” is a film with its heart in the right place. “A father who aspires to educate his child, a child who has the seed of a genius and an officer who waters that seed for it to grow. With adequate opportunity many can bloom and that’s the message I carry from the film,” he said.
Talking about the inspiration behind the film, Jha said: “The film is inspired by the real events and people. Shri Abhayanand is an IPS officer and educationist who while serving as the Police Chief in Bihar’s Naxal infested areas, came across kids from those villages who were so bright with their native wisdom that they inspired him to begin coaching them to crack the IIT-JEE… the toughest exam/test which the young students must clear to be able to join one of the best educational institutes in the country. Their success had a great impact in the crime infested badlands of Bihar and made a difference.”
Shri Abhayanand, who is a Physics graduate, continues to conduct free tutorials and has now taken his social experiment to a wider forum so that more underprivileged and talented children from minority communities can also benefit from it. He continues to academically support the Rahmani 30 classes.
He said: “I had in one of my conversations with Prakash Jha ji mentioned having met mathematically talented village urchins who couldn’t even afford going to school in the Naxal belt of Aurangabad in Bihar. I started a special project of coaching such children who could make their way to IIT/NIT. Prakash ji requested me one day to associate with him and help in the script writing and dialogue specially relating to the physics questions. I felt happy that Prakash ji was making a film on this sensitive socio-economic theme. I have seen this film end to end. The film is not a biopic but has brought the sensitivity involved in the issue at hand in all dimensions possible. May this film find its rightful place in the social niche it portrays.”