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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 17:39 GMT
Film director, 10, calls the shots
Master Kishan directing a shot
On the sets of the film, Kishan Shrikanth confidently calls the shots like all other directors - even though he is only 10.

Master Kishan - as he is known as - comes from the southern Indian city of Bangalore and is a veteran in the regional film industry.

Starting at the tender age of four, he has already acted in 24 regional feature films and has starred in 1,000 episodes of a hit Kannada-language soap opera on television.

But now Master Kishan has decided to try his hand at directing his first feature film, C/O Footpath (Care of Footpath), which he has also co-written.

The film is about the street children who have no other address than the footpaths in India's big cities.

"When I was six years old, I saw slum children selling newspapers at a traffic signal and I asked my dad why they are not like us. Why they do not go to schools.

"My dad said they do not have parents. I felt very bad and thought I must do something for them," Kishan told the BBC.

"Then I wrote a short story and read it to my dad who narrated it to his friends as well. It was my dad's friends who suggested that I should direct the film myself, as I had written the story."


The film is more than two hours long and tells the story of a street child who gets to go to school and ends up being a success and an inspiration to others.

Master Kishan with Bollywood star Jackie Shroff
Bollywood star Jackie Shroff (left) has a pivotal role in the film

Having acted most of his life, direction was a big step for Kishan and he had to prepare for it. He also asked questions on the sets where he was acting.

"I read many books on Hollywood and saw DVDs. I had to learn camera angles and understand which lens will make things look narrow or wide.

"I used to ask questions to directors, cameramen, assistants, everybody," he said.

Kishan convinced Bollywood star Jackie Shroff, comedy actor Saurav Shukla and national award winning Kannada actress Thaara to star in the film.

"He is such a genius that I had to work in his film. He is constantly thinking about his next shot, constantly innovating to make it better. He is sure about what he wants from his actors," Shroff told the Press Trust of India.

Shooting for the film, which has a budget of about 8m rupees (under $200,000), is 85% complete.

School and friends

Kishan, whose father is a tax officer, juggles school around his filming schedules, but he is confident of doing well.

Master Kishan with a camera
Kishan aims to hold the world record for youngest director

"When I am absent my friends take notes and give them to me," he says. "I'll pass my exams."

The boy of 10 misses playing with his friends but says he also enjoys making films and has no regrets.

Kishan is eyeing a place in the Guinness World Records for the youngest director as well.

Kishan is very clear about what he wants to do in future - and it's not just films.

"I have a one-line thought about the next film, but I have still not decided. I will be directing in future and I also want to become a 3-D graphics engineer."

C/O Footpath, due to be released this year, is being shot in Kannada and is expected to be dubbed into Hindi, Oriya, Malayalam, Bengali and Tamil.

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