Little Terrorist (2004)

Little Terrorist (17 min Movie))


Director:Ashvin Kumar

Writer:Ashvin Kumar (writer)

Genrerama | Short more

Plot: Jamal, a 10-year-old Pakistani Muslim, mistakenly crosses the border between India and Pakistan and finds an unusual ally in a Hindu Brahmin... more | add synopsis

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Awards: Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination


The leading cast of the movie consisted of Julfuqar Ali (Salim), Sushil Sharma and Megnaa Mehtta. None of them had ever acted in a movie before this[1] and while Julfuqar is a street child, Sushil Sharma is a clerk in the government service in Delhi and Megnaa was a 12th standard student at the time of shooting the movie.[2]

The production of the film commenced in November 2003 and was completed in March 2004. The crew were selected by Alipur Films via Shooting People, the online filmmakers community and worked free of cost for the movie and even travelled to India at their own expense.[3]

The movie was shot in the deserts of Rajasthan on a very tight budget. The crew faced various difficulties due to the multilingual production team, remote locations and the shoestring budget. These were further complicated when a tent with the reel burnt down. The crew were however able to salvage the reel from the tent. At another time, a herd of cows stampeded through the shooting location.

Despite all mishaps, the movie was completed in less than four months.


The movie revolves around Jamal (played by Salim), a 10 year old Pakistani Muslim boy. While playing cricket near the Indo Pakistani border, the cricket ball is tossed over to the Indian side of the border separated by a fence.

Jamal crosses the fence to fetch the ball. He is however spotted by the Indian security forces and shot at. He hides in an Indian village where he is provided shelter by Bhola (Sushil Sharma), a devout Hindu Brahmin. Both Bhola and his niece, Rani (Megnaa Mehtta), are skeptical about allowing a Muslim boy in their home.

However, when the security forces come looking for Jamal in the village, he is protected by Bhola and Rani.

Jamal does manage to return to Pakistan in the end.


Since its world premiere in September 2004, the film has been invited to 103 film festivals and has won awards in fourteen of them. Chief among them was the nomination for Academy Awards, USA in the Best Live action short films category. It was also nominated for the best short film award in the European Film Awards.[4]

It went on to win the audience award in the Almería International Short Film Festival, the UIP Ghent Award for European Short Films in the Flanders International Film Festival, the grand prize in the Manhattan Short Films festival and the first prize in the Short Films category in the Montréal World Film Festival.

The movie was officially mentioned and selected in various other competitions.[4] It also won an honourable mention by BAFTA LA. It is the first Indian short film to get a theatrical release in India.


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