FESTIVALS / NOMINATIONS
Since its world premiere in September 2004, LITTLE TERRORIST has been invited to 121 film festivals (as below) till date won awards in SEVENTEEN of them, an honorable mention by BAFTA LA, nominations to both the OSCARS and the EUROPEAN ACADEMY AWARDS. It is the first Indian short film to get a theatrical release in India.
NOMINATED FOR ACADEMY AWARDS,
OSCAR FOR BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
NOMINATED – EUROPEAN ACADEMY AWARDS
1ST PRIZE – MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL, CANADA
BEST FILM – MANHATTAN FILM FESTIVAL, NEW YORK, USA
BEST FILM – FLANDERS FILM FESTIVAL, GHENT, BELGIUM
BEST FILM – DOCUFEST FILM FESTIVAL, KOSOVO
GRAND PRIZE – TEHRAN INTL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, IRAN
BELL EXPRESSVU AWARD, REELWORLD FILM FESTIVAL, CANADA
SATYAJIT RAY AWARD, BEST SHORT FILM, SATYAJIT RAY FOUNDATION, UNITED KINGDOM
WINNER – ALTERNATIVE FILM FESTIVAL, ROMANIA
WINNER – LUCANIA FILM FESTIVAL, ITALY
WINNER – SALENTO FILM FESTIVAL, ITALY
HONORABLE MENTION BY BAFTA/LA, ASPEN SHORTFEST, USA
AUDIENCE AWARD, ALMERIA EN CORTO, SPAIN
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE - TEMECULA VALLEY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL,USA
SILVER CONCH - MUMBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, INDIA
WINNER – SOUSSE INTERNATINAL FILM FESTIVAL, TUNISIE
WINNER – BUFF FILM FESTIVAL, SWEDEN
AUDIENCE FAVOURITE, SAO PAULO INTL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, BRAZIL.
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL
San francisco film festival
CANADIAN WORLDWIDE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
ALMERIA EN CORTO FILM FESTIVAL
PALM SPRINGS SHORT FILM festival
CHICAGO CHILDREN’S FILM festival
ASIANA FILM festival
BERLIN INTL SHORT FILM festival
Cinequest FILM FESTIVAL
LA CITTADELLA DEL CORTO
BOLLYWOOD AND BEYOND
TOBOR FILM FESTIVAL
ASIAN AMERICAN INT. FILM FESTIVAL
EXPRESSION EN CORTO
MOTOVUN FILM FESTIVAL
OFFICIAL SELECTIONS of PREMIUM FESTIVALS
TELLURIDE INTL FILM FESTIVAL
LONDON INTL FILM FESTIVAL
ROTTERDAM INTL FILM FESTIVAL
BANGKOK INTL FILM FESTIVAL
ODENSE FILM FESTIVAL
SAN FRANCISCO INTL FILM FESTIVAL
TAMPERE FILM FESTIVAL
SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Full List of festivals for Little Terrorist
- Montreal World Film Festival, Canada, September 2004, World Premiere
Winner First Prize
- Sao Paulo Int. Short Film Festival, S. America, September 2004 Audience Favourite
- Palm Springs Int. Short Film Festival, USA, US Premiere, September 2004
- Telluride Film Festival, USA, September 2004
- Manhattan Short Film Festival, USA, September 2004, Winner Best film
- Flanders Film Festival, Belgium, October 2004, Winner Best film
- Cork Film Festival, Ireland, October 2004
- Chicago Int. Children’s Film Festival, USA, October 2004
- London International Film Festival, UK, October 2004
- Hawaii International Film Festival, USA, October 2004
- Asiana Int. Short Film Festival, Korea, October 2004
- International Short Film Festival, Berlin, Germany, November 2004
- India International Film Festival, India, November 2004
- Tehran Film Festival, Iran, November 2004, Winner Grand Prize
- River to River Film Festival, Italy, December 2004
- India International Film Festival, Chicago
- Bangkok Film Festival, Bangkok, January 2005
- Rotterdam Film Festival, Netherlands, January 2005
- Academy Awards, nominated in Live Action Short category, USA, February 2005
- European Academy Awards, nominated (presented by Wim Wenders)
- Satyajit Ray Foundation, Winner Satyajit Ray Award
- Fajr International Film Festival, Tehran, February 2005
- Miami International Film Festival, February 2005
- Kinofilm Film Festival, Manchester, February 2005
- Cinequest Film Festival, USA, March 2005
- Tampere Film Festival, Finland, March 2005
- Vail Film Festival, Colorado, US, March 2005
- New York Int. Childrens Film Festival, USA, March 2005
- Aspen Short Film Festival, USA, April 2005, Honorable Mention
- Human Rights Night Film Festival, April 2005
- Reelworld Film Festival, Canada, April 2005, Winner Bell Expressvu Award
- Washington DC International Film Festival, USA, April 2005
- Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, USA, April 2005
- Newport Beach Film Festival, USA, April 2005
- Tribeca Film Festival, USA, May 2005
- San Francisco Int. Film Festival, USA, April 2005
- International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, Germany, May 2005
- Almeria en Corto, Spain, May 2005 WINNER
- International Indian Film Academy Festival, Amsterdam, Holland, June 2005
- Bayside Film Festival, Australia, June 2005
- Canadian Film Centers Worldwide Short Film Festival, Canada, June 2005
- Sydney Film Festival, Australia, June 2005
- La Cittadella del Corto, Italy, July 2005
- Giffoni Film Festival, Italy, July 2005
- Bollywood and Beyond, Germany, July 2005
- Tabor Film Festival, July 2005
- Asian American International Film Festival, USA, July 2005
- Expresion en Corto 2005, Mexico, July 2005
- Motovun Film Festival, Croatia, July 2005
- Indigo Film Festival, Singapore, July 2005
- 6th FILMI South Asian Film Festival, Toronto, August 2005
- Lucania Film Festival, Italy, August 2005 WINNER
- Indepenent South Asian film festival, Seattle, August 2005
- Anonimul Film Festival, Romania, August 2005
- Sarajevo Film Festival, August 2005
- Salento International Film Festival, Italy, September 2005 WINNER
- Temecula Valley Int. Film Festival (India Showcase), US, September 2005
- Best of Shorts Film Festival, France, September 2005
- Bite the Mango Film Festival, UK, September 2005
- Festival de Cinema Politic, Barcelona, September 2005
- Shots but Great Film Festival, Italy, October 2005
- Mill Valley Film Festival, US, October 2005
- Cinema Tout Ecran, Switzerland, October 2005
- Interfilm Berlin, Germany, November 2005
- Sevilla Festival De Cine, Spain, November 2005
- Med Film Festival, Rome, November, 2005
- Cardiff Screen Festival, Wales, November 2005
- Brief Encounters in Bristol Int. Short Film Festival, UK, November 2005
- Kerala Film Festival, Inida, December 2006
- Prague Short Film Festival, Czech Repulic, December 2005
- Paris Internation Short Film Festival, France January 2006
- Int. Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands, January 2006
- Seattle International Film Festival, January 2006
- The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), February 2006
- Mumbai Int. Film Festival, India, February 2006 WINNER
- Sousse International Film Festival, Tunisie, March 2006 WINNER
- International Film Festival on Human Rights, March 2006, Switzerland
- The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, March 2006
- The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma, March 2006
- Tiburon Film Festival, March 2006
- Munich International Film Festival, March, 2006, Germany
- BUFF Film Festival, Sweden, March 2006 WINNER
- Tampere Film Festival, Finland, March 2006
- Wisconsin International Film Festival, March 2006
- Denver Film Society, April 2006
- Belgrade Doc. and Short Film Festival, Serbia and Montenegro, April 2006
- Filmfest Dresden, Germany, April 2006
- Mediawave Int. Film Festival, Sweden, April 2006
- Festival Del Cinema Europeo, Lecce, Italien, April 2006
- North West Film Center, Portland, Oregon, May 2006
- Cinema/Chicago, May 2006
- Transilvania Int. Film Festival, Cluj, Romania, June 2006
- Arcipelago- Int. Fest. of Short Films and New Images, Rome, Italy, June 2006
- Jerusalem Int.Film Festival, Jerusalem, Israel, July 2006
- Filmfest Muenchen, Germany, July 2006
- National Film Museun, Indian Art Exhibition, Italy, July 2006
- Dokufest Film Festival, Kosova, August 2006, WINNER
- Festival on Human Rights - VIVISECTfest, Serbia, Sept 06
- Umea Int. Film Festival, Umea, Sweden, September 2006
- Helsinki Int. Film Festival, Helsinki,Finland, September 2006
- Int. Short Film Festival of Drama, Drama, Greece, September 2006
- Nordisk Panorama Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark, September 2006
- Panorama of European Cinema, Athens, Greece, September 2006
- Panorama of European Cinema, Nicosia, Cyprus, October 2006
- Night of British Shorts, Kyiv IFF Molodist, UK, October 2006
- British Film Week in Brussels, October 2006
- Kalpanirjhar Int. Film Festival, Kolkata, India, October 2006
- Istanbul International Children Film Festival, Turkey, Nov 06
- Int. Filmfest Braunschweig, Germany, November 2006
- Exground Filmfest, Wiesbaden, Germany, November 2006
- Alternative Film Festival, Romania, November 2006, WINNER
- Siena Film Festival, Italy, November 2006
- National Museum of Singapore, December 2006
- Internacional de Cine Las Garzas Festival, 2006, WINNER
- Himalya Film Festival, Denmark, February 2007
- Salaam DK - Multicultural Film Festival, Denmark, February 2007
- DeReel Independent Film Festival, Australia, May 2007
- New Jersey Independent South Asian Cine Festival, USA, June 2007
- Giffoni Film Festival, July 2007
- Courts-Boullon Festival, France, October 2007
- Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, Nepal, Dec 2007
CAST AND CREW CREDITS
ALIPUR FILMS AND RITIKA PRODUCTIONS
CAST: SALIM ALI KHAN, SUSHIL SHARMA AND MEGHNAA MEHTTA
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: MARKUS HUERSCH
SOUND RECORDIST & EDITOR: ROLAND HEAP
COSTUMES: RITU KUMAR
MUSIC: NAINITA DESAI, FEATURING KOHINOOR LANGA & PARTY
WRITTEN, EDITED, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY ASHVIN KUMAR
A twelve year old Pakistani Muslim boy mistakenly crosses the mine-field strewn border into India and finds an unusual ally - Bhola, a Hindu school teacher who must find a way of hiding him from Indian soldiers looking for the ‘terrorist’ who crossed over..
LITTLE TERRORIST: Jamal, a 12 year old Muslim Pakistani mistakenly crosses the border between India and Pakistan, finding an unusual ally in a Hindu Brahmin, Bhola. Indian soldiers descend on Bhola's village searching for the 'terrorist' who crossed over. His neice Rani, insists they can't let a Muslim into their Hindu home. With Bhola and Rani grappling with the consequences of harboring a Pakistani and their deep-set prejudice against Muslims, Jamal's only hope is the humanity shared by a people separated by artificial boundaries a long time ago.
Based on a TRUE STORY: In early 2003 - a twelve year old Pakistani boy crossed the Indo Pak border by mistake. Indian Prime Minister Atal Bhihari Vajpaee, amidst PR fanfare, restored the boy to his family in Pakistan, kicking off the thaw in tensions between these two nuclear countries who came so close to war less than a year earlier.
Ashvin Kumar (director, producer, scriptwriter, editor) began working as an actor and director in theatre. He undertook a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmith’s College, University of London, in 1996, after which he began working in films as an editor. Ashvin edited, produced, acted-in and directed plays, short films, commercials and music videos, whilst setting up his own digital post-production business in New Delhi, India which he sold in 2001 to pursue a full-time career in film-making by relocating to London and briefly attending the London Film School.
In the fall of 2002, he wrote a 48 minute featurette, ROAD TO LADAKH, and mounted an ambitious production to be filmed in the remote north-Indian region of Ladakh. ROAD TO LADAKH was shown at Vancouver, Raindance, LA Shorts International film festivals and received theatrical distribution through the BFI and broadcast on SBS TV in Australia. The film was discovered at Cannes 2004 by Judith James of Dreyfuss/James Productions, LA who partnered with Ashvin to turn the featurette into a full-length feature starring an American actress and Bollywood star Irfan Khan. Ashvin made his second short, Little Terrorist, in January 2004.
In July 2004, Ashvin wrote his second feature film THE FOREST, a thriller with a strong message for conservation set in the jungles of India to be co-produced in collaboration with Dreyfuss/James Productions.
Ashvin has also been working as a producer of a DVD entitled ADVENTURES IN SHORTS – a film-maker’s journey to Hollywood which is a compilation of his short films plus three half hour documentaries about their making and one about the Cannes Film Festival. The DVD is on sale from the website www.adventuresinshorts.com
Ashvin serves as a writer, editor, director and producer on his shorts, though it is writing and directing he’s focusing on for his features. He lives between London and New Delhi.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Markus Huersch is a Swiss National who started his career as a teacher. A History of Arts and Philiosophy major, he is a London Film School graduate (1997) and an invited participant at the 5th Kodak International DOP Masterclass in Budapest (Masters: Laszlo Kovacs ASC and Vilmos Zsigmond ASC).
Starting his career as a focus puller, Markus soon (1999) moved into cinematography he has shot commercials, music videos, short films and documentaries. An international career spanning UK, India, Switzerland and SouthAfrica Markus has filmed partisans in Kosovo, pearl divers in the Middle East fishermen in Malaysia, gypsies in Hungary.
In 2002, Markus answered an internet advertisement for a crew to shoot in the Himalayas which began a fruitful collaboration with director Ashvin Kumar with whom he has shot Road To Ladakh and the multi-award winning Little Terrorist. Having worked in micro-budgets on both these ambitious projects which were filmed in impossible circumstances in the Himalya and the Indian desert, cinematographer and director developed a unique understanding and relationship that they will carry through into their debut feature, FOREST.
Markus finds great satisfaction having been involved at a very early stage in pre-production - "It gives me the opportunity to dig deep into the story and do a lot of research, prepare myself carefully to a level so I can work creatively and concentrate on the visual story telling rather than get overwhelmed by solving technical problems due to a lack of prep time.."
Most recently, Markus has filmed an award winning, large scale film for the Swiss Air Force. The film offered many cinematographic challenges - spectacular night trap maneuvers, air-to-air refueling of an F/A-18, night search and rescue operations on a glacier in 15'000ft altitude with the REGA and a Super-Puma helicopter, F/A-18 and MiG-29 engaging in a dog fight and was certified for creative exellence, Int. Film Festival Los Angeles, Silver Globe award International World Media Festival, Hamburg.
JAMAL – Salim: is a from the SAALAM BAALAK TRUST (established by film director Mira Nair after the success of her film Saalam Bombay for lost and orphaned children on the streets of Delhi). He was separated from his family at a fair when only seven years old and, after spending a few days without food, sleeping under fly-overs in New Delhi, was found by a social worker who brought him to the trust. It took the trust three years to locate his family, who were found in a slum in New Delhi, based on the fragments of information provided by Salim. Even though Salim sees his family regularly now – he prefers to live with his friends at the Saalam Baalak Trust where he attends school and is encouraged to participate in an invigorating programme that includes theatre and dance.
A naturally gifted performer great acting discipline and responsibility that makes him a delight to work with. Covered with thorns, having to squat in uncomfortable rocky holes for extended periods of time and having to brave the Rajasthani winter in nothing but a cotton kurta / pyjama (his costume), Shafiq never once complained of the physical hardship that he no doubt underwent.
BHOLA - Sushil Sharma: works as a clerk in the Delhi electrical supply company. He has been part of Delhi theatre, which he does in his spare time for years. Sushil was the only person auditioned for the part of Bhola. His striking face and presence honed by years on the stage show through in a sensitive performance. Sushil also takes character parts in television.
RANI - Megnaa Mehtaa: discovered that she had become Head Girl of Vasant Valley School, New Delhi during the shooting of Little Terrorist. This is the first time Megnaa has appeared on screen, indeed acted in an important part – it took her no time to find her feet in an alien medium and delivered an excellent performance. Megnaa has just graduated from school.
LITTLE TERRORIST - PRODUCTION NOTES
From idea / script to screen – the production of LITTLE TERRORIST was completed between Nov 2003 and March 2004, less than four months. The crew was assembled by Kumar’s Alipur Films in London via shootingpeople.org (an internet recruitment website) and all crew members worked free-of-cost and travelled to India at their own expense.
Working to a shoe-string budget, an exciting shoot began with the crew welcoming in the New Year 2004 at a tented camp in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. The crew had to contend with freezing mornings and nights, a remote location and logistical nightmares.
Due to the limited budget and director Kumar’s insistence on authentic Rajasthani music for the film, several troupes of Laangar musicians auditioned for the cast and crew after wrap each night, under the stars, around a bon-fire. The selected group not only featured in the film but were called out to the wrap party where sound recordist Roland Heap, who works at Abbey Road as sound engineer, set up a virtual studio and recorded everything they sang that night. The rustic sounds of the desert add to BAFTA nominated composer Nainita Desai’s score and the laangar troupe not only provide the music in the film but also feature in it as the wandering minstrels. What started as an improvised cost-saving impulse became a lyrical and unique fusion of Indian folk and a more traditional western composed film score.
A freak accident almost brought the production to an early close as the tent containing the film stock caught on fire and was burned to the ground. Brave members of Vans Pradeep’s crew ran into the burning tent to retrieve the stock.
In this remote desert location word spread quickly that a film was being shot. In the land of Bollywood, cinema-crazy tractor loads of villagers from far-flung villages poured onto the set with wives, children, dressed in their best as if for a day-out to the circus. Two hundred villagers crowded dangerously on the lip of a amphitheatre like quarry where we were shooting a complicated scene. Getting live / sync sound during these periods was no mean task by sound recordist Roland Heap. We disappointed our eager audience who waited in vain for Megnaa (Rani in the film) to break into a traditional Bollywood dance sequence.
Other mishaps included a heard of cows, panicked by our Swiss DP Markus Huersch with camera on a crane, head-butted each other almost taking with them our three actors who were crouched under a bush waiting for them to pass. The shot was framed so that we saw the actors from between the cow’s legs but the shy bovine refused to co-operate and our trying to time this sequence with ‘magic-hour’ (or the time when the sun is just about to set) was in vain. The only casualty in that mishap was one of Roland’s expensive microphones. On the final day, the wandering musicians (who feature in the film) almost did not make it to the set in time, being arrested in Jaipur due to a misunderstanding over their papers and line-producer Vans Pradeep had to pull strings to get them out.
A self-funding professional crew, a multi-dialect production team, the remote location, a very stretched budget, crew illness, burning tents, broken equipment and unwanted extras...just a few of the unusual and challenging elements to this production. But it also proved an unforgettable experience for all involved. In the end, it is testament to the crews’ dedication that the resulting film is such a success of emotive and visually-stunning storytelling.
“From its tense beginning to its compelling conclusion Little Terrorist is an engaging well-paced story, full of tension and release at all the right places. I’d only planned to watch a few minutes but it drew me in! Keep your eye on Ashvin Kumar – a talented new voice”
MICHAEL WIESE, filmmaker, publisher
REVIEWS FOLLOWING ROAD TO LADAKH:
“Cinema at its most adventurous. Something rarely attempted in India…Demonstrates the courage of a young film-maker willing to plunge into the unknown”
THE STATESMAN, CALCUTTA
“…a watershed for Indian cinema…”
DANIEL BRIGHTMORE, MOVING PICTURES
For further in-depth reviews please see the official website: www.roadtoladakh.com
For more information, please visit the official website: www.little-terrorist.com
ADVENTURES IN SHORTS, THE DVD - PRESS RELEASE
ADVENTURES IN SHORTS: A FILM MAKER'S JOURNEY TO HOLLYWOOD is a 2 disk DVD containing two and a half hours of short, featurette and documentary films aimed at the aspiring film-maker and film-buff.
"I said OK because, frankly, the whole thing sounded completely crazy!"
DoP Markus Huersch (on why he paid his own airfare to work for free in India)
UK-based Alipur Films, and director Ashvin Kumar, have produced two internationally successful short films over the last two years. ROAD TO LADAKH (www.roadtoladakh.com), filmed in 2002 it was spotted at Cannes and subsequently optioned by Judith James, Richard Dreyfuss's partner in their company Dreyfuss/James Productions, Hollywood to be re-made into a feature film with funding by the UK FILM COUNCIL. LITTLE TERRORIST (www.little-terrorist.com) was filmed earlier this year, and is currently on the film festival circuit (selected in competitions for: Locarno, Montreal, Telluride, London, Palm Springs, Sao Paulo, Hawaii, Manhattan Shorts, Chicago Children's, India, Giffoni, Jove, Brisbane, Huesca International Film Festivals).
"Totally empowering - I want to get out there and make a movie today!"
ADVENTURES IN SHORTS: A FILM MAKER'S JOURNEY TO HOLLYWOOD is based on the experiences of making and marketing these films and their film-maker. Aimed at the aspiring, emerging, student filmmaker, short filmmakers and film enthusiasts, it loosely charts the a filmmaker's JOURNEY having quit film school to a feature film deal in HOLLYWOOD through two internationally successful and award-winning short and featurette films...all in two years!
"Absolutely stunning, beautiful short films! Ashvin Kumar is a talent to watch."
The DVD contains:
1) Road To Ladakh (www.roadtoladakh.com) 48 minutes, 35mm.
2) Little Terrorist (www.little-terrorist.com) 15 minutes, 35mm
3) Writer/Director and Director of Photography commentaries for both films.
4) THE NEAR UNMAKING OF ROAD TO LADAKH (37 min)
5) BEHIND THE DUNES OF LITTLE TERRORIST (37min)
6) CAN YOU CANNES? (15 min)
"anyone interested in that leap from short films to features can make it here."
ROAD TO LADAKH is a suspenseful tale of a feisty fashion model who falls in love with the wrong kind of mysterious stranger near the boarders of India and Pakistan. A road-movie that drew the talents of actor Irfan Khan (The Warrior) and a European crew to complete an overly ambitious Himalayan adventure so fraught with disasters that it nearly didn't get finished; as documented in THE NEAR UNMAKING OF ROAD TO LADAKH.
LITTLE TERRORIST is the heartwarming story of a Pakistani boy who accidentally crosses the mine-field strewn India-Pakistan border and finds himself stranded in a foreign country in which he's branded a terrorist. BEHIND THE DUNES OF LITTLE TERRORIST takes an international crew recruited from the internet to a camp in the deserts of Rajasthan who, having met for the first time, are entrusted with wrapping the picture in six short days of shooting.
ROAD TO LADAKH was spotted at CANNES by a Hollywood producer and now is being remade into a Hollywood feature film. CAN YOU CANNES? is shot on location at CANNES, the biggest movie-making event in the world, and draws on the expertise of directors of major film festivals, sales agents, film-makers and producers looking for new talent. A users guide to creating opportunities, shameless self-promotion, getting noticed and walking that road to a feature film.
"the behind-the-scenes documentaries tell a real story - engrossing"
- Languages English and Hindi with English subtitles
- DOLBY DIGITAL, DTS 5.1.
- Shorts - widescreen 1.85:1
- Documentaries - 4:3
"the shorts are great, documentaries compelling and the commentaries entertain - this two disk set packs a punch"