Drishyam Films to release the docu about kids working in Coal Mines in the North East
Drishyam Films will release the internationally acclaimed docu-feature Fireflies in the Abyss, directed and produced by Chandrasekhar Reddy in India. The award winning film will have a limited release across major metro cities on July 1.
The film had its world premiere at Busan International Film Festival, 2015 in the competition category and India premiere at Mumbai International Film Festival, 2016 where it won the Golden Conch award for Best Documentary Feature film and the Best Cinematography in the National Competition category. The film was also part of the Market section of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
It was the only docu-feature from India selected at the prestigious Hot Docs, Canadian International Documentary Festival held early this year, and has been winning accolades at the international festival circuit ever since.
The 88-minute feature captures the dream of an 11-year-old boy who attempts to fight his way out of the rat-hole of coalmines, to put himself in school, and stars Nishant Rai, Raj Rai and Suraj Subba in central characters.
Chandrasekhar Reddy is optimistic about the feature’s theatrical prospects. He says, “After travelling the world and screening at some of the most prestigious film festivals, I have become certain of one thing – every kind of audience responds to the film with tremendous emotion and enthusiasm. This is what has given me the confidence to reach out to a wider Indian audience. To have the support and expertise of Drishyam Films in this effort, I believe, gives the film the best possible chance to succeed.”
Talking about the first docu-feature Drishyam Films is distributing, Shiladitya Bora, CEO, Drishyam Films, says, “Documentaries as a cultural medium hasn’t been fully explored in India, and we at Drishyam want to make it a sustainable endeavor. Fireflies in the Abyss is a powerful and award-winning film, navigating a difficult subject matter with a light touch, and we are sure it will make its mark on the silver screen.”
The film produced under the banner of Mayabazaar Productions founded by Chandrasekhar Reddy will be distributed by Drishyam Films.
The ‘rat-hole’ mines in the Jaintia Hills of North East India, are hostile pits where men and boys risk their lives everyday to scratch coal out of hard rock. Burrowing into narrow tunnels, they are armed with nothing more than a pickaxe and a torch.Each of them comes to the coal-pit for different reasons. But once there, all of them are looking for a chance to breakout. Some are able to escape, most can’t. Even with the odds stacked against him, Suraj, an 11-year old boy, grapples his way out of this abyss to eventually put himself in school. The film follows Suraj and several other miners whose lives intertwine with his, to reveal lives under extraordinary circumstances and the brutal choices they are forced to resolve at every turn of their lives
About the Director:
Chandrasekhar Reddy is an independent producer/director, with an extensive experience in independent film & television, both internationally and in India. Previous credits include films for BBC, National Geographic Asia, Discovery Asia, United Nations Development Program (UNDP). His short ‘Coalboy’ was part of the international “Why Poverty’ series. ‘FIREFLIES IN THE ABYSS’, is his debut feature length documentary.
About Drishyam Films:
A company born out of love for cinema, Drishyam Films aims to build a platform for unique voices of Indian independent cinema and create global content with rich Indian flavours.
Their filmmaking journey started with the award-winning film Ankhon Dekhi directed by Rajat Kapoor. Its success was followed by Umrika directed by Prashant Nair which premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2015 and won the Audience Choice Award in the World Dramatic Competition section.
Soon after, Dhanak directed by Nagesh Kukunoor not only premiered in the Generation Kplus at Berlinale 2015, but also won the Grand Jury prize, as well as, a Special Mention from the Children’s Jury. The success at Sundance and Berlin was amplified by Masaan directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, that premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes 2015 and brought home laurels by winning the Un Certain Regard Promising Future Prize and FIPRESCI Award. Drishyam’s latest film Waiting directed by Anu Menon, premiered in the ‘Cinema of the World’ program at the prestigious Dubai International Film Festival, and released across India on May 27 to universal acclaim.
Their upcoming productions include Atanu Mukerjee’s Rukh starring Manoj Bajpayee and Amit Masurkar’s Newton starring Rajkummar Rao. Drishyam Films has also partnered with the Sundance Institute, USA to organised a Screenwriters’ lab for Indian writers. The second edition of the Drishyam Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab was conducted in Udaipur, Rajasthan, in April this year. They have recently set up a VFX studio specializing in post-production and visual effects for feature films and commercials.
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