By Nita Deshmukh. Posted on March 29, 2016
Two Indian documentaries are set to screen at this years' edition of Hot Docs, one of the biggest international documentary film festivals in the world. While Chandrasekhar Reddy’s Fireflies in the Abyss will screen in the World Showcase section, Hardik Mehta's Amdavad Ma Famous, which won the National Award yesterday, will compete in the international shorts .
Reddy’s feature captures the dream of an 11-year-old boy who fights his way out of life in the rat-hole coal mines, to put himself in school. The film made its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival and made its India premiere at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival where it won two top awards - the Golden Conch award for Best Documentary Feature film and the Best Cinematography in the National Competition category.
Delighted with the selection at Hot Docs, Chandrasekhar says, “After the response and appreciation at the Busan and Mumbai fesivals, it is a great opportunity for the film to get a platform at HotDocs, which will help reach the North American audiences and market. The Toronto audiences are known to be hugely appreciative and I am really looking forward to present the film there. There is also a brilliant selection of films this year to watch, including Herzog's new film and am hoping to catch some of them."
Chandrasekhar Reddy is an independent producer/director, who's worked in a variety of documentary formats –factual, developmental and environmental for National Geographic Asia, Discovery Asia, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) amongst others. Fireflies in the Abyss is his debut feature length documentary.
Apart from Fireflies in the Abyss, the documentary short, Amdavad Ma Famous, directed by Hardik Mehta, is competing in the international shorts category. Mehta has earlier worked as a Script supervisor in films like Lootera & Queen & his short film Skin Deep was part of the anthology film Chaar Cutting that Jamuura released last year.
Set during the kaleidoscopic backdrop of the kite-flying festival in India, Amdavad Ma Famous, witnesses the transformation of an 11-year-old Zaid from a boy next door to an aggressive and a passionate kite-runner until he comes across a hindrance that prevents him from flying kites on the terrace. And thus begins the fight for the terrace on the day of the biggest kite flying festival in India.
Now in its 23rd edition, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America's largest documentary film festival, conference and market that is held annually in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The festival will be held from April 28 – May 6, 2016. You can check the complete line up here.