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"Naanu Gandhi" selected for China Children's Film Fest

Scene from the movie 'Naanu Gandhi'
Scene from the movie 'Naanu Gandhi'
"Naanu Gandhi" (I am Gandhi), a children’s film in Kannada, which has used a contemporary story in a unique manner to underline the continuing relevance of Mahatma Gandhi for all ages, has been selected for the 10th China International Children's Film Festival next month.

The festival is scheduled to take place from September 9-14 in Qingdao, Shandong Province.

"Naanu Gandhi", which has already won international recognition, has attracted attention for the way it reaches out to the young like no one has done before.

Directed by N R Nanjunde Gowda, this film won the Best Film Award for propagating educational values at the Columbia International Film Festival in Carthagena, the first for any children's film from India. It has also been screened at film festivals in Giffoni, Italy, Sousse in Tunisia and Toronto in Canada. It had a successful run in Karnataka late last year.

Gowda has for long been a champion of children's cinema. His "Chukki Chandrama" (Star and Moon) was the inaugural film at the International Children's Film Festival at Thiruvananthapuram in 1991 where it won the Best Screenplay award.

A film that made the adults think about the values they were inculcating in their children, it featured teenage children narrating in a mature way the thin line they tread between love and sex.
Scene from the movie 'Naanu Gandhi'
Scene from the movie 'Naanu Gandhi'

He followed it up with `A Aa I II' (ABCD) that depicted, both at the children's and adults’ levels, the inherent contradictions between globalisation and native culture and their impact on young minds. The film was a runaway success.

Gowda has also set up Children's India, a non-governmental organisation aimed at promoting the cause of cinema for children. It organises an annual film festival in Bangalore.

"Naanu Gandhi" tells the story of a young child who is often teased by his fellow villagers because his name is Gandhi. He was named thus because his grandfather Rangappa had fought for the freedom of the country, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.

Produced by Ms Kokila N Gowda, wife of Gowda, the film is based on a story by Dr Besagarhalli Ramanna. The screenplay is by Gowda himself. The music is by Raju Upendra Kumar. It stars Master Likhit in the title role along with Ramesh Bhatt, Sundar Raj, Pramila Joshai, Sadashiva Brahmavar, Mandya Ramesh, Raaga Ranga Nagaraj, Venkatachal, N.G.E.F. Sri Kantaiah, Mosale Manjunath, Master K S Sharath Kumar, Master Nandan Kumar, Master Shashank, Baby Nisha, Baby Soumya, Baby Sneha, Bharathi and others.

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