Mumbai: National-Award winning director of Kadvi Hawa and I am Kalam, Nila Madhab Panda’s next ‘HALKAA’, which had its World Premiere at the prestigious 21st Festival International du Film Pour Enfants de Montréal Film festival (FIFEM) won the top award ‘Grand Prix de Montreal’.
Halkaa (Relief) was selected among 7 international children’s films from different countries in the official competition of the festival held from March 8-11.
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 amongst 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 light-hearted and feel good film stars child actor Tathastu (Pichku), Ranvir Shorey and Paoli Dam, who make the perfect unmatched parents of Pichku.
The Festival Director, Jo-Anne Blouin, presented the award and said, “The jury was unanimously touched and enchanted with Halkaa and gave the top award to the film ‘for the audacity of its subject matter, the opportunity for children to discover the daily lives of children in such a different society and for the “joie de vivre” that overcomes adversity no matter what’.”
The director, Nila Madhab Panda, is overjoyed after winning the award and says, “Its a great honour that Halkaa won the top award at its world premiere screening. The film has already been invited to six international film festivals. India is one of the largest youth populated countries, but we hardly produce children’s cinema which is an irony.” The director added that Halkaa can be called a sequel to his much-acclaimed kid’s film, “I am Kalaam” and is based on a kid’s journey to becoming a hero. “I am sure audience will love this one as well. This is a family entertainer with amazing music from Shankar Ehsaan Loy.”
Halkaa is a story of an eight-year-old boy Pichku who lives in the oldest slums of Delhi and aspires for a better life. It is a story of a child who against all odds strives to achieve his goal and becomes a hero in the making for his parents, slum and society.
This is the maiden production of Shiva Nadar Foundation in association with Akshay Kumar Parija and Nila Madhab Panda and Supratik Roy is the associate producer.