Udupi, Oct 17, 2016: ‘Railway Children’, a feature film made by Tindrum Beats of Udupi through crowd funding has been selected for screening at the Mumbai International Film Festival scheduled from October 20 to 27.
Titled “Railway Children” and directed by Prithvi Konanur, it is the only film from Kannada competing in the India Gold Section. Out of the 170 entries, 11 have been short-listed for screening, including “Railway Children”, in the particular section, according to Anjali Nayak and Vijay, partners of Tindrum Beats.
Inspired by real life happening and research book, “Rescuing Railway Children”, by Lalitha Iyer and Malcolm Harper, this docudrama has a documentary approach. Mostly non-actors have donned the roles for the first time. Many children run away from homes using trains every year. Their harmless intention of earning a living turns them into addicts and criminals. This particular film explores this world through the eyes of Raju, a 12-year-old runaway. He steps out to an unknown, never-seen-before world on the railway platform. He is timid, insecure and unsure. The boy falls into the hands of a gang involved in illegal platform businesses.
Raju meets a gangmember Jollu — of the same age, a boy addicted to glues, who teaches Raju about the tricks and trades of living on a railway platform. Raju slowly gets used to the platform life and is emboldened in his approach towards life. Soon, Raju and Jollu start a competing business with the boss of the gang. But this dangerous move has its own perils and repercussions.
It is Konanur’s second feature film after “Alegalu”, which was produced by Mumbai-based Children’s Film Society, India. “Alegalu” premiered at Ocean’s cinefan film festival in New Delhi and went on to be screened at Tehran, TIFF-Kids, Zlin and other film festivals.
A former software engineer, Konanur had his first screenplay optioned by a U.K.-based production company for a Hollywood film. While that didn’t happen, it led him to New York Film Academy, Los Angeles, to do a diploma in film-making. He made his first short-film in Sri Lanka, “A Conditional Truce”, which went on to be screened at many international film festivals. Manohara K., Syed Pervez, Yash Shetty, Divya M.R., Karthik and Parimala are among the cast in “Railway Children”.