Remember Partho Gupte? The pint-sized cherubic actor who made his debut in the acclaimed 2011 film, “Stanley Ka Dabba” (“Stanley’s Tiffin Box”), in a role that won him tons of accolades. Well, Gupte, who went on to win a number of awards, including the National Award for the ‘Best Child Actor’ for his stellar performance, is now wooing Hollywood with his filmmaking skills.
The 17-year-old, who is now a freshman at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, has found a fan in none other than “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow. Gupte won the under 18 ‘Emerging Storytellers Grant’ at the 2019 Scout Film Festival in Vermont, sponsored and announced by Trevorrow, that entails a one-on-one mentorship with him.
Gupte won the grant that celebrated budding storytellers for his short film, “Duel.” That grant was an opportunity for emerging filmmakers worldwide aged 18 and under to receive $5,000 and in-kind support for the completion of a new short narrative or documentary project or work in progress.
Trevorrow funded the $10,000 grant split between the 18 and under and 19 to 24 categories, and joined the panel of judges who reviewed and selected the winners. Gupte will also get to showcase his film during a special screening at the Scout Film Festival.
For his role in “Stanley Ka Dabba,” Gupte won every possible film award for the ‘Best Child Actor’ in India, from Filmfare to Screen Awards to the Big Star Entertainment Awards. Not only that, the SCHLINGEL International Film Festival in Germany, also awarded him the best actor award.
But Gupte, who was also singled out for praise for his starring role in the 2014 film, “Hawaa Hawaai,” is not one to rest on his laurels. He has been honing his filmmaking skills for a while. And as a filmmaker, too, this is not Gupte’s first recognition.
His first documentary film, “Pigeonhood,” was selected at over 12 international film festivals, winning recognition at U.S.-based festivals like the Providence Film Festival, Wellington Film Festival and Accolade Global Film Competition.
Previously, he won the inaugural ‘Laszlo Pal Emerging Filmmaker Award’ presented by The Friday Harbor Film Festival. At the 2018 Glendale Film Festival, his short on child street workers, “Jasmine Stung,” was voted the ‘Best Short Short.’ He also received a certificate of recognition from the California Legislature Assembly for his work on the film.
The young actor/filmmaker, who was a TEDx youth speaker in 2018, dons several hats. An amateur musician, Gupte’s poetry has been published widely, and has also won prizes in poetry competitions. He is also associated with the Model United Nations program, which provides students with a forum to hone skills in diplomacy, negotiation, critical thinking, compromise, public speaking, writing, and research.
Like father, like son. Gupte’s father is the celebrated Indian filmmaker Amole Gupte, known for films like “Taare Zameen Par” and “Hawa Hawaai.” And obviously, Partho’s parents are beaming with pride at his achievement.
Amole Gupte, who is currently working on badminton ace Saina Nehwal’s biopic, told India-West: “Incredibly proud of him...He has been winning accolades through his first term… it’s been a run for him since the time of his ‘Stanley’s Lunchbox’ awards and recognition...”