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సంక్షిప్తంగా “శీష్ మహల్” by avanti ruya

A festival of films, for kids. So we have kids, coming in from all across the state to the capital to watch films. They will be taken around the city, to various cinemas, multiplexes, open air screenings and near dead theatres. Teachers in charge, the girls and boys, the media, theatre crew with their extra hours…got us thinking, this is a great setting for some ‘slice of life’.

So we’ve come up with a canteen supervisor in one of the dying single screens, named him Faisal and he hates the festival. The sales are down, the international films are boring and he needs some kind of a relief from the loans piling up. May be Majid Majidi can help.

What about girl who has come to Hyderabad for the first time (Lavanya) with her friends and a nagging teacher. What if, just what if there’s a city boy (Advaith) who missed his friends because he came to wrong theatre, and met this girl.

We are talking about cinema here, about dark halls that have become second homes to many, let’s get into the hall. There’s this kid called Fakeer, about 11, 12 years old. He’s had a narrow escape from the cops last night, just another petty theft for him and his friends. Better stay out of the known places for now. Why are all the kids being taken into those cinemas, these many kids? He’s got some money left from the last score and he’s found the perfect place to hide, all he needs are some good clothes and some cool shoes may be.

And then there’s RK, one of the many aspiring filmmakers that have come to see the light of some actual action – shoot, edit, plan a re-shoot, give up, come up with a new idea – thanks to the digital camera. RK decides to take some time off work (a crime reporter for a news channel) to get back to what will make him feel alive, shoot. He believes the films at the festival can be life altering for the kids, for a few at least – his documentary idea. And as often with an independent project with no remuneration but the rush of it, things fall apart quicker than expected.

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