MAMI 2016 – Childhood Interrupted

Prithvi Konanur’s Railway Children is a gritty depiction of kids who escaped their homes on trains.

Software engineer-turned-filmmaker Prithvi Konanur’s second feature film Railway Children borrows from real incidents and Rescuing Railway Children, a book about children who use trains to run away from home. Konanur raised money for the film through crowdfunding. It is the only Kannada film competing in the India Gold section. Konanur’s first film Waves (Alegalu) premiered at Osian’s Cinefan in New Delhi and was screened at many international film festivals including TIFF Kids International Film Festival, Zlin Film Festival and Roshd International Film Festival, Tehran.

 

 

Excerpts from a quick chat:

His cinematic journey

One of my horror-thriller screenplays got auctioned by a producer for a Hollywood project but the film didn’t get made because of various reasons. I then studied film direction at New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. I made a short film called A Conditional Truce in Sri Lanka and then later a children’s film Waves that was produced by the Children’s Film Society India (CFSI) in Mumbai.

railway children

The story behind Railway Children

I didn’t know this story at all until I went to a government organisation in Bangalore. I wanted to make a film about kids who had run away from observational homes. I came in contact with one of the NGOs. When I heard their story, I didn’t really have to do anything. It was great.

 

Why the film holds universal appeal

First: There are plenty of issues that it brings forth – abuse, substance addiction, rescue, rehabilitation, violence, crime.

Second: For the performances of the actors, especially the children. Most of the cast including the children are non-actors.

railway children

Filmmaking inspirations

I would like to combine the body of work of many filmmakers – Majid Majidi, Asghar Farhadi, Miloš Forman, B. V. Karanth.

Freshman tip for aspiring filmmakers

Don’t hold on to anything very tightly.

 

 

Catch Railway Children at MAMI on: 

October 23, 1.45pm at PVR ECX Audi 4

October 26, 5.15pm at PVR Phoenix Audi 1

October 27, 5pm at PVR ECX Audi 3

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