Thursday, August 4, 2011


After gaining highest acclaim around the world and winning the hearts of millions worldwide, I AM KALAM finally arrived in the Indian shores with the premiere of the film at Cinemax, Versova yesterday.

And it turned out to be the perfect evening as Gulshan Grover who has been nominated for the National Award welcomed the Celebrity guests who came to support the film. I AM KALAM is the first film in the world produced by a development organization -‘SMILE FOUNDATION’.

Normally development organizations produce documentaries, but SMILE Foundation has taken the initiative to produce a mainstream Bollywood film ‘I AM KALAM’ starring National Award winner Harsh Mayar, Gulshan Grover, Pitobash Tripathy (Shor in the city), French actress Beatrice Ordeix, Hussan Saad and Namrata Dixit .The film is going to be distributed pan India by Reliance Entertainment.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder & Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation said, “When we were making the film, we never expected it will win hearts of people across the world. We had just focused on making a special film and our efforts have paid off.

It certainly feels very good that we have been able to draw attention of people across the world irrespective of their race, ethnicity, age and interest towards this cause of sending every child to school. Our goal is almost accomplished given the overwhelming response the film has got the world over. And once it gets the similar kind of response from the Indian audience at its theatrical release scheduled for this August, the full circle of accomplishments will finally be etched. We are very thankful to Centuryply to have associated with us as the promoter of the film. Their support has been invaluable. Our country needs more such socially responsible corporates.”

Present at the premiere were Nila Madhab Panda (Director) ,Harsh Mayar (National Award Winner and the protagonist of the film), Gulshan Grover, Hussan Saad, Beatrice Ordeix (French Actress), Pitobash Tripathy (Shor in the city fame), Namrata Dixit

The film has so far travelled to over 25 film festivals across the globe and has won 12 prestigious awards so far. Among all the awards the film has won, 4 have been Audience Choice Awards where the audience has chosen I AM KALAM as the best feature film over cult films like 3 Idiots, Dhobi Ghaat and Udaan. Across the globe the film with its world cinema style, has gathered not only critical jury acclaim but also the adulation of the general audience irrespective of their ages.

I AM KALAM is a ‘Fable’ Like Narrative, of a prince and a pauper in the setting of Rajasthan palaces and locales, entertaining with universal appeal. It is the story of the underdog, ‘Chottu’, a helper in the roadside dhabha, who watches APJ Abdul Kalam on TV, and is inspired to be like him. He is inspired by the fact that APJ Abdul Kalam distributed newspapers to pay off his fees and through his sheer grit and determination achieves his dreams.

I am Kalam is the feature debut of director Nila Madhab Panda and has fetched for him the Aravindan Puraskaram 2010. Talking about the thought behind the film, Nila Madhab says “I wanted to send out a message that effort is more powerful then fate and that the privileged masses must join the effort to educate the children and help them to dream and turn their dreams into breathing reality. The film celebrates the survival of the human spirit against overwhelming odds. It is an inspirational film aimed at both children and adult viewers.To make it more interesting I have given the treatment of a contemporary fable, which would surely be found attractive by all age groups.”

And definitely I AM KALAM is so inspiring, that it has started a movement to reach out to the underprivileged sections of the society.(You can catch the movement on It is a film every family should watch with their kids because it’s a film that entertains and inspires!

With this I AM KALAM movement Smile Foundation plans to reach out to 1000 Schools, 100 Colleges and 200 corporates. This movement will reach 10 lac children directly and will be able to sensitize approx a population of 30 lac indirectly. The movement will be supported by Smile Foundation’s Child for Child Programme. This movement that has already begun in colleges, will be initiated in schools across India from September 2011 onwards. Launch of the school campaign will be on World Literacy Day (September 8).
Awards and Acclaim of I am Kalam

With the newly won Audience Choice Award for the Best Feature Film at IFFLA 2011 and the 58th National Award for lead actor Harsh Mayar, I AM KALAM now has 12 awards in its kitty. Premiered at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, the film has already won the best feature film in the Lucas International Film Festival in Germany; the Don Quixote Prize of the International Cine Club Federations in Germany; Young Jury award at the International Film Festival of India in Goa; the Best Children’s Feature Film at the CMS International Film Festival Lucknow; Aravindan Puraskaram (Best Debutant Director Award) at the Chalachitra Film Society, Kerala; the “Audience Favourite” 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 a Special Mention at the Cinekid International Film Festival in Amsterdam and the Ale Kino International Film Festival in Poland.

About Smile Foundation
Smile Foundation is a national level development organization that benefits 200,000 children and youth directly, across 22 states in India through 150 development projects in subjects like education, healthcare, livelihood and girl child empowerment. Following the principles of Good Governance, Smile Foundation works on its innovative model of Social Venture Philanthropy.

About Child For Child programme
The Child for Child (CFC) programme is such an initiative of Smile Foundation that sensitizes privileged children of the existing disparities in the social order and motivates them to contribute their individual mite towards the cause of the less privileged. It brings together children from both the backgrounds – affluent and deprived, in an attempt to foster in the affluent children a sense of responsibility towards their less privileged counterparts, early on in life. CFC currently reaches out to nearly 2 million children in 2500 schools, in 16 states. Over the years it has moved ahead from only creating awareness among people, to getting large scale participation from them in its national level events.