As if five awards at prestigious international film festivals such as the Berlinale and New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) werent enough,theres more to the success story of 12-year-old Mohammad Samad,who played the endearing lead character in the critically acclaimed film,Gattu. This time,however,it has got to do with Samads own life and dreams. The little boy,who belongs to Sati Mohalla in Roorkee,from where many elements for the film were also taken,has just been gifted a one-year scholarship and admission at the school of his dreams,St. Gabriels Academy in Roorkee,by the films director and crew.
Samad wanted to study at probably one of the best schools in Roorkee St Gabriels Academy. His old government school was only till Class V and he had just completed it, says director Rajan Khosa,adding that they informed Samad about the grant right before NYIFF. There,Gattu won the Best Film award and Samad himself bagged the Best Young Actor award for his performance. Im very pleased with him receiving the award at NYIFF on his own merit, adds Khosa.
Samad,in the meantime,is at home in Roorkee. When I met Rajan sir in Mumbai some time ago,and saw him smiling constantly at me,thats when it hit me that I must have done something right to get that award, says the 12-year-old. Now,with the scholarship and the admission,he can barely breathe in anticipation. I cant remember since when,but I have always wanted to go to St. Gabriels. I really want to learn all that the kids my age learn there, he says.