‘I am Kalam’ is the story of a child and his struggles to pursue his dreams and to surpass the boundaries of reality. It is a story of redemption, of the need to provide education to the underclass and to equalize social inequities. Inspired by former Indian President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the film was conceptualized after the Right to Education Act was enforced in India. Set in Bikaner, Rajasthan, the film revolves around the struggles of the protagonist – Chhotu, and is symbolic to the struggle of millions of such children in the country and how the civil society looks at the depravity but does not lift a finger to do anything about it.
I am Kalam is a Smile Foundation production and is the first film ever in India to be produced by a development organization. With this film Smile Foundation is trying to reach out to people around the world drawing their attention to support the movement of educating every child in India to secure a better future. It is a fact that in a world that is already exposed to extraordinary content, plain appeals do not stand a chance any more in grabbing attention. Keeping this in mind, Smile Foundation proactively took the initiative and the challenges therein to come up with a mainstream Bollywood film; and has tried to package a very important cause in a contemporary fable like manner in an attempt to reach out to the maximum number of people towards this cause.
The film has won 30 coveted national and international awards from the 40 prestigious film festivals that it travelled to, across the globe.
With its world cinema style, I am Kalam, has arrested the interest of the general audience, media and the film fraternity alike. The film is a proof that independent cinema in India, that is created with artistic content and reflecting the spirit of India in an entertaining way, has great potential of connecting with the world audience across all age groups.