MUMBAI—“I Am Kalam” and “Kadvi Hawa” director Nila Madhab Panda’s next, “Halkaa,” has won the Grand Prix for best film at the Kinolub Festival for Children and Youth, Poland.
After winning the Grand Prix De Montreal at the 21st Montréal International Children's Film Festival where it had its World Premiere, this is the second Grand Prix that the film has received. Presented by Shiv Nadar Foundation and featuring Ranvir Shorey, Paoli Dam and child actor Tathastu, “Halkaa” is set to release in India on Aug. 31. The Shiv Nadar Foundation is a philanthropic organization established by Shiv Nadar, founder of HCL, a $8 billion leading technology and healthcare enterprise.
The jury stated while presenting the award, “We awarded the Grand Prix to the film for its courage in undertaking a difficult subject and presenting it in an original and light way, accessible to the young viewer. The added value for the Polish audience is the opportunity to learn about the realities of living in a culturally remote country.”
“Halkaa (Relief)” is a unique take on a slum child’s heroism, aspirations and dreams. The child protagonist, Pichku, fights for the basic problem that he faces every day – defecating in the open with others. It is his dream to make a toilet of his own where he can enjoy his privacy and do the deed in peace.
The Foundation partnered with Panda as it mirrored the core of the Foundation’s belief that transformation begins with one person or one child addressing one issue at a time. With the movie, the Foundation hopes to inspire several others to reach for their dreams and achieve them. Ranvir Shorey and Paoli Dam essay the role of Tathastu’s parents.
Said Panda, “It is indeed a proud moment to receive a Grand Prix for the second time within months. ‘Halkaa’ has become the toast of the international film festivals. We are proud to see the film traveling to many festivals around the world.”
“Halkaa” is selected at many prestigious international children’s film festivals this year, including the 58th International Film Festival for Children and Youth, the Czech Republic, International Film Festival Schlingel, Germany, Tel Aviv Int’l Children’s FF in Israel, and Buster in Denmark. It is also in competition at the Ojo De Pescada, Chile, 23rd La Matatena, Mexico and the London Indian Film Festival.