Producer Mahesh Danannavar and Director Manish Saini’s award-winning Gujarati film for children, ‘Gandhi & Co’ continues to garner international acclaim across the world. After winning the coveted ‘Golden Slipper’ award at the 62nd edition of the prestigious Zlin Film Festival in the Czech Republic, it has now screened at Melbourne and Toronto. The Manish Saini directorial was screened at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) and the International Film Festival of South Asia Toronto.
Says Mahesh Danannavar “For a regional children’s film to be screened at so many prestigious international film festivals is a huge honour. I feel the film’s universal appeal is rooted in its simplicity and wholesomeness. Also, the overarching theme of Gandhian idealism is a huge draw and continues to win over hearts and minds wherever the film is screened.”
He says the success of the film both at home and at international forums owes a lot to the way Gandhian ideas are presented. Even though the film explores a serious theme, it does so with humour and without being preachy.
Director Manish Saini says, “Kids and adults have loved the film equally and have been entertained and moved by it. On the surface, it is a story of two 11-year-olds who don’t really know much about what Gandhi represents. Later, through an influential adult, they begin to find out more about Gandhi, and the film transitions into a depth that the children and the audiences had not anticipated. It has truly been an honour to tell this story and to see it going places.”
‘Gandhi & Co’ also won the second-best Indian film award at the Bengaluru International Film Festival and the Best Children Film honour at the International Gujarati Film Festival (IGFF) 2022. The film stars Darshan Jariwala, Jayesh More, Druma Mehta, Hiranya Zinzuwadia, Shah Reyaan, and Dhyani Jani.