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The Story

Synopsis

After sending away his 12 year-old son Siddharth for work, Mahendra (a chain-wallah who fixes broken zippers on the streets) is relieved – his financial burdens will be alleviated. But when Siddharth fails to return home, Mahendra learns he may have been taken by child-traffickers. With little resources and no connections, he travels across India in pursuit, with the hope that whatever force arbitrarily took his child away will return him unharmed.

Director’s Notes

In 2010, I met a man on the streets of Delhi, who asked me for help in finding a place called “Dongri.” I asked him what it was, he told me he thought it was where his lost son was (!)

He went on to tell me his story – that he sent his 12-year-old boy away to work, and never saw him again. He believed his son was kidnapped and trafficked. After the initial shock wore off, I asked him for more details – a photograph, the spelling of his son’s name. He couldn’t answer any of them (being illiterate, and having never taken a picture). Since he was obliged to work every day to support his wife and daughter, all he could do was ask others for help. And he’d been doing this for over a year.

Knowing that this man didn’t have the ability, nor the means, to even properly inquire about his son is an unfathomable tragedy. He barely understood why this kind of thing happens, much less how. 

This film is my attempt to reconcile my extremely layered relationship with this circumstance. It’s a story made up in equal parts by tragedy and optimism, and I hope what we’ve done here transmits even a fraction of the confusion, sorrow, helplessness, and ultimately, hope that I felt in meeting this man. 

- Richie Mehta, 2013

The Team

Cast & Crew

Cast
Crew
  • Rajesh Tailang

    Mahendra Saini

    A graduate of the prestigious National School of Drama in Delhi, Tailang has acted in more than 500 episodes of various TV serials, as well as a dozen films, including Govind Nihalani’s 1084 KI MAA, TAKSHAK AND DEV, Ketan Mehta’s MANGAL PANDEY, Hansal Mehta’s JAYATE and Richie Mehta’s AMAL. Tailang has also acted in over 50 major plays, performing in Pakistan, Germany, France, China, Bangladesh and Kenya, and all over his native India. Tailang has also directed, translated, and written several plays, in addition to writing a book of original poetry ‘KUCHH@DIL.’ He is a visiting faculty at several institutions across India, including the National School of Drama and FTII (Pune).

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  • Tannishtha Chatterjee

    Suman Saini

    Chatterjee is best known in the west for her performance in the British film BRICK LANE (2007), an adaptation of Monica Ali's best selling novel of the same name, where she was nominated for the British Independent Film Awards as the best actress. Other notables roles include Academy Award-winning German director Florian Gallenberger's film, SHADOWS OF TIME, ROAD MOVIE, with Abhay Deol and BIBAR for which she won Best Actress at the 2006 Osian Film Festival. Other credits include Joe Wright's ANNA KARENINA (2012), DEKH INDIAN CIRCUS (for which she won the National film award for best actress) and MONSOON SHOOTOUT, which premiered at the 66th Cannes film festival.

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  • Richie Mehta

    Writer / Director / Editor

    Richie Mehta's first feature film, AMAL, has won over 30 international awards, was nominated for 6 Genie Awards, including Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay, and was named one of the top ten Canadian films of the decade by Playback Magazine. Mehta recently completed the sci-fi feature film I'LL FOLLOW YOU DOWN, starring Haley Joel Osment, Gillian Anderson, Rufus Sewell, and Victor Garber, for Resolute Films and eONE films, to be released in 2014.

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  • Steven N. Bray

    Producer

    Bray has produced two films and show-run 62 x 1 hour episodes of television content in over 35 countries such as India, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Cuba, Kenya, Egypt, Antarctica and North Korea. Bray garnered a 2009 Genie Award nomination for Best Motion Picture for his first feature film AMAL. Bray was a show-runner and distributor of the 42 x 1 hour television travel/adventure series DEPARTURES, which aired in Canada on Rogers Television, and Internationally on National Geographic Adventure, Travel Channel International and Halogen Network in the USA. His most recent adrenaline/doc series BOUNDLESS was released in early 2013 on Travel + Escape Channel in Canada and Esquire in the USA.

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  • David Miller

    Producer

    David Miller is an internationally established producer, who has overseen independent productions both within Canada and abroad. His films have collected many prestigious awards around the world including a 2009 Genie nomination for Best Motion Picture for the feature film AMAL. His latest project BLACKBIRD, garnered much acclaim - including Best First Feature at 2012 TIFF, the Canadian Screen Claude Jutra Award and the Grand Prix at Cannes Ecran Junior. Miller has recently completed three new feature films - SIDDHARTH (Richie Mehta), ALGONQUIN (Jonathan Hayes) and IT WAS YOU CHARLIE (Emmanuel Shirinian). He is currently in development on BASEBALLISSIMO (written by Jay Baruchel and Jesse Chabot), MY FOOLISH HEART (Emmanuel Shirinian) and BURDEN (Hubert Davis). Miller also has two dramatic TV series and a comedy in development, and recently helped launch a new initiative called MAPLE GRAVY - a production entity that includes CAA, A71 Productions and five of the top Canadian writers and executive producers living in Hollywood. David Miller is a standing member of the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), sits on the CMPA Feature Film Committee, resides on the Board of Directors for Channel Zero Inc., and is a partner in Agency 71 Inc.

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  • Andrew Lockington

    Music Composer

    Andrew Lockington has been writing music for feature films since 1997. Andrew’s scores for the Warner Bros. franchise “JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH” films have received critical acclaim worldwide and been a strong contributor to the films grossing over $600,000,000 at the Box Office. Awards include “BREAKTHROUGH COMPOSER OF THE YEAR” at the International Film Music Critics Awards, a ‘DISCOVERY OF THE YEAR’ nomination at the World Soundtrack Awards in Belgium, and numerous BMI and SOCAN Film Music Awards. Other film score highlights include the Tom Hanks produced “CITY OF EMBER“, starring Tim Robbins, Bill Murray and Saoirse Ronan, the Golden Globe nominated “FRANKIE AND ALICE” starring Halle Berry and Stellan Skarsgaard, Richie Mehta's "I’LL FOLLOW YOU DOWN" starring Haley Joel Osment, Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell, and the song "Stalking Stars" used in Ben Affleck's Oscar-Winning "ARGO".

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  • Mukesh Chhabra

    Casting Director

    Mukesh Chhabra is a highly successful international casting director, having many feature films and innumerable television commercials to his credit. Well known throughout the industry for his style, keen eye for talent, risk taking and achieving results, within India and abroad. Cumulatively, his films have premiered in Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Sundance, and Berlin.

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  • Bob Gundu

    Cinematographer / VFX Supervisor

    Bob Gundu is a freelance photographer, visual effects artist, and cinematographer. His work can be seen in design magazines around the world, as well as films such as "MIMIC" (Guillermo Del Toro), "SUPERMAN RETURNS" (Bryan Singer) and several of the HARRY POTTER films. He was also visual effects supervisor and 2nd Unit Cinematographer on Richie Mehta's "AMAL," and "I'LL FOLLOW YOU DOWN." "SIDDHARTH" is his latest feature film as Cinematographer and visual effects supervisor.

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Latest News

SIDDHARTH HEADED TO VENICE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL!

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user by admin
calendarMonday, 15 July

Toronto, July 23, 2013 – Richie Mehta’s second feature film SIDDHARTH will have its World Premiere in Venice Days section at the 70th Venice International Film Festival, as announced at today’s press conference. SIDDHARTH is written and directed by Mehta, and produced by Steven N. Bray, David Miller and Mehta.

“We are truly honoured to have Venice Days embrace our film,” said Mehta. “Siddharth is a story that I needed to tell, and hope will touch people’s hearts, It’s deeply rewarding to see this is happening.”

SIDDHARTH is a tender story about a chain-wallah who travels across India in search of his missing son.

After sending away his 12 year-old son Siddharth for work, Mahendra (a chain-wallah who fixes broken zippers on the streets) is relieved – his financial burdens will be alleviated. But when Siddharth fails to return home, Mahendra learns he may have been taken by child-traffickers. With little resources and no connections, he travels across India in pursuit, with the hope that whatever force arbitrarily took his child away will return him unharmed.

Giornate degli Autori / Venice Days, modeled after the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight of Cannes Film Festival, was conceived in 2004 with the goal of drawing attention to high quality cinema that demonstrates innovation, research, originality and independence.

SIDDHARTH is a Poor Man’s Productions’ film.

For more information please contact: Andrea Grau, Touchwood PR at andrea@touchwoodpr.com or 416.347.6749

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