KENDRAPARA: Filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda has fond memories of Dr Kalam. The director of ‘I Am Kalam’, Panda had met the former President in 2010 during the course of making the film in New Delhi.
“When I told Dr Kalam that the film will be based on a child’s struggle to get education against all odds, he had asked me to go ahead with it. His unassuming character and austere lifestyle had left a lasting impact on me,” says Panda.
‘I Am Kalam’ revolves around Chhotu, a poor Rajasthani boy, who is inspired by the life of the former President and wants to study. The film was produced by Smile Foundation.
“I had arranged for a special screening of the film at Dr Kalam’s house in New Delhi four years back. He was so happy that he embraced the child actors of the movie after the screening,” he said, adding that he decided to make the movie after being inspired by the ‘People’s President’.
“In the recent past, Dr Kalam is the only national leader who has caught the imagination of young generation, particularly children,” said Panda.
The film won 12 international awards including the Audience Choice Award at Indian Film Festival in Los Angeles (IFFLA), four years back.