True hero: Amar with film-maker Andrew Hinton and Vijayam Kartha, the director of Kerala Public School Trust, in Jamshedpur earlier
This 15-year-old gutsy lad is up for 20 hours a day, as a newspaper vendor, an electrician’s apprentice and a student.
He still manages to top his class.
Meet Amar Pratap, Class X student of Kerala Samajam Hindi School, whose eponymous 9-minute, 45-second documentary by London-based film-maker Andrew Hinton is earning raves at film festivals in the UK, the US, France, Germany and India.
This month, Amar, the film which captures a day in the life of the boy, was declared the best documentary at the Vimeo Festival, New York. The film bagged a cool $5,000 as prize money for coming out on top.
The Vimeo awards, which saw as many as 14,567 entries from close to 147 countries across the globe competing for the honour in 13 categories, was organised from June 7 to June 9. A team of judges carefully scrutinised all the entries and also took into account the results of an online voting contest for choosing the winners.
“I am speechless. I just want to thank God and Andrew sir for taking an interest in me. I will continue to strive hard to keep up to Andrew sir’s expectations,” the teen, who has never been to New York, said.
This triumph at Vimeo, which showcases and awards creative video content hosted on its site, is Hinton’s hat-trick.
The film had won the best documentary award at the London-India Film Festival and best film at the Jeevika Film Festival in New Delhi last year.
Qualitatively, Amar’s daily routine has not changed much. But the film on him has won him friends all over the world.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Amar’s school principal Anuranjan said: “I am glad that the story of a simple boy with limited resources and unlimited capacity for hard work has earned global raves. It is good to know that people across the world like the story of a boy who is a dutiful son, a bright student and a good human being.”
Hinton’s film showed the breathless pace of Amar’s 20-hour day. It showed how the boy gets up at 4am, delivers newspapers, goes to an electrical shop to work, reaches school in the afternoon and later again goes back to the shop to work till night. Then, he comes home and starts his homework. After all, he has a reputation as a class topper to live up to.
Hinton, who had promised to share half the prize money if his biopic won at the London festival, gave away Rs 40,000 to Amar in February. The school has kept the money in the bank as a fixed deposit. It will come of use to Amar when he turns 20.
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