Chuskit by Priya Ramasubban goes to Miami Film Festival as the lone Indian film, and in competition. Have you heard of it?
Author: Tribe Desk |
March 1st 2019
The 36th Miami Film Festival is now running, March 1 - 10 at the Miami Dade College in Florida, and there is one Indian film in the play for two awards. The 90 minute Ladakhi language film Chuskit is directed by Priya Ramasubban, who makes her feature film debut with this film. It is competing for the Jordan Ressler First Feature Film Award with a cash award of $10,000, and the Zeno Mountain Award for entertaining films which celebrate the diversity of abilities and disabilities, competing for a $5,000 juried cash award.
The story of a sprightly Chuskit, who's dream of going to school in her remote Himalayan village, is cut short when she is rendered a paraplegic after an accident. But she is far too feisty to give up. The girl locks horns with her tradition-bound grandfather, Dorje, who doesn't believe the school can handle her needs. Who will win at the end? We believe, it may the spirit of life. Watch the gorgeous trailer here. Featuring - Jigmet Dewa Lhamo, Morup Namgyal, Yanchen Dolma, Padma Chospel, SS Wangchuk, Satyadeep Misra.
Funds for Chuskit were raised via Kickstarter, where 244 backers pledged $98,499 to help bring this project to life during a period of 5 weeks in September - October in 2012. The project was later also developed as part of the Screenwriters Lab organized by the National Film Development Corporation NFDC, which is currently accepting applications!), under the mentorship of the Dutch writer Jolein Laarman. The film has been part of several film festivals starting 2018, and won the Golden Gateway Award at Mumbai Film Festival 2018 in the Half Ticket (Children's) Category.
The film is special for many reasons other than being based off a true story. As per the Kickstarter campaign, and in her own words, this film is close to the director's heart because her sister, Vidhya Ramasubban, has dedicated many years of her life working with the differently-abled in the remote regions of Ladakh. She is a founding member of a disability movement called People’s Action Group for Inclusion and Rights (PAGIR) in Ladakh and a tour company called 'Himalaya on Wheels’ (HoW!), which caters to tourism for people with disabilities and the elderly -- a first of its kind in India. And it is based off a successful book, written by another of Vidhya's friends, Sujatha Padmanabhan, who wrote a children’s book ‘Chuskit Goes To School' based on Vidhya’s efforts to get one disabled girl to school.
Priya Ramasubban, is a Chennai born filmmaker, who's previous work includes Lost Kings of Israel and Divine Delinquents for National Geographic, several episodes for the long-running series Digging for the Truth on History Channel, and episodes for the series Into the Unknown on Discovery Channel. She was written, directed and produced Chuskit.