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Ragini with children in the film "Harun-Arun"

Vinod Ganatra’s children’s film “Harun – Arun" Wins Liv Ullmann Peace Prize in International Competition

Liv Ullmann Peace Prize is given to the film which positively addresses to children’s difficult topics, such as racism, prejudice and abuse, conservation of the planet; alternative dispute resolution (of individuals, organizations, and or countries) or the exploration of any topic which brings children closer with an understanding of the global culture in which they function.

HARUN – ARUN’ is a cross over film pertaining to our INDO-PAK Border and fully shot at Kutchchh border by Vinod Ganatra, the prolific film and documentary maker

What does it mean to cross a border that exists only on a map, but not in the hearts and minds of people ?

The partition of India in 1947, divided not only country but so it did many hearts & many families. Thousands of people migrated from one side of Border to another side leaving behind, their home, farm, relatives and friends with heavy hearts. One such man separated from his motherland Lakhpat in Kutchchh, India is Rashid Suleman, now living in Pakistan with his only surviving grandson HARUN.

Rashid had long harboured hopes of visiting his estranged family members and childhood friends living in India. An old man now, he has been planning to cross the Kutchchh border into India since there is no way he can afford to take the official route to India. This film explores the story of Harun, a young boy who is extremely fond of Indian films and songs. The rough life in a hostile environment has taught young Harun a lot of survival skills. He proves to be an exception as he can do many things that normal children of his age would not even dream of doing.

Harun has been hearing stories about his family in India and wants to visit them too. The visit excites him doubly but when the two are separated while crossing the border, Harun is compelled to undertake the rest of his journey to Lakhpat on his own. On the Indian side, Harun comes across three Indian children who take him under their wings hiding and protecting him without the knowledge of their mother Valbai until he can find his new home. An exuberant game of hide-and-seek ensues in this heart warming story of youthful courage and powerful friendship in a divided nation…

This proves one point, that the issues of the heart are the issues of the world, not limited to any community or clan or Geographical boundaries…

Renowned film maker Vinod Ganatra deserves accolades for winning an International honour for a children film which is so humane and close to our heart.

Written by: 

Mohan Siroya

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