Rajan Khosa`s `Gattu` earns special mention at Berlinale

Berlin: An Indian film `Gattu` directed by Rajan Khosa has been honoured with a special mention at the prestigious film festival 62nd Berlin film festival.

The film won the award in the Generation KPlus category in which films meant for children are screened.

"I`m very thrilled," says Rajan Khosa, whose film is produced by the Children`s Film Society of India.

"To children, I wish to say, believe in your dreams against all odds and your dreams will come true. And to adults, I wish to say, make sure all across the world, that no child remains on the street, but in the trustful environment of the school."

The film has the charming Mohammad Samad play an orphan who wants to escape working in his uncle`s garbage recycling business in order to attend school.

"We had sold out shows of Gattu in Berlin, and I`m delighted with the response of the children. I had to sign 400 autographs," said an exhilarated Khosa, who is attending the festival with the film`s co-writer Ankur Tewari.

"It is a proud moment for all of us in CFSI. Berlinale is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world and the little street urchin Gattu won many a heart by his witty pranks and his determination to fulfill his dream," Sushovan Banerjee, CEO, CFSI, told PTI in New Delhi.

India earlier made a big splash with the Berlinale Special Gala screening of Farhan Akhtar`s `Don 2`. Shah Rukh Khan made Dieter Kosslick, Berlin Film Festival director, and Kirsten Niehuus, Managing Director, Film Funding, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, which co-produced `Don 2`, dance onstage to the film`s theme song.

Altogether, the Berlinale has numerous sections in which Indians have participated this year. Ritesh Batra`s `Dabba/Lunchbox` and Bobby Bedi`s `Kutch` were selected in the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

The selected directors and producers meet upto 25 potential co-production partners in Berlin. "Dabba is about how a dabba in Bombay is delivered to the wrong person, and that starts a beautiful relationship between a young housewife and an old man," says Guneet Monga of Anurag Kashyap Films, the film`s producer, who is in Berlin along with Kashyap.

Veteran producer Bobby Bedi, who has produced `Bandit Queen` and `Maqbool`, says of `Kutch`, written by Sujata Sabnis, which he will direct himself: "Kutch will be shot as a thriller, but in fact it is about female infanticide."

Mohan Kumar Valasala`s `Panchabhuta` (Five Elements) is in the Berlinale Shorts Competition. A student at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute of India, he is in Berlin along with the film`s associate director and fellow student Venkat Amudhan. The film observes how the poor make a living out of a Kolkata garbage dump.

"The audience response to my film was my biggest high," says Valasala. Explaining his choice of subject, he says, "The dumping ground was very surreal, with a lot of garbage, dust and fire. The presence of the fire, dust, wind, sky and water also helped decide the film`s title."

Iram Ghufran`s film There is Something in the Air, which explores the spiritual possession of women at a Sufi shrine, is in the Forum Expanded section.

The National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) organised an India Pavilion during the European Film Market that runs concurrently with the Berlin film festival.