Rajan Khosa shows how the sheer joy of flying a kite can transform a child

Unlike the dark, brooding tale of Khaled Hosseini'sThe Kite Runner, the young boy who flies kites in Gattu, the opening film of the 17th International Children's Film Festival of India, discovers that flying a kite ultimately makes him want to join a school.

Filmmaker Rajan Khosa is an alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, Royal College of Arts, London, and the National School of Drama. The haloed portals have ensured that he didn't take the mainstream route to make movies. “I didn't grow up watching and identifying myself with Bollywood,” he says.

Talking about how he came to be part ofGattu, he shares, “The story was written by four writers and it took a year to develop it. The Children's Film Society of India liked the idea and took up the project. Only then I came on board. One of the writers drew references from his own experience; he didn't have access to good education and used to look at children attending classes from outside.Gattu, similarly, is the story of a boy who doesn't go to school.”

Shot in Roorkee, the narrative leads you into the life of Gattu who sets his eyes on the big kite, Kaali, which no one has managed to cut till now. “This boy, coming from an ordinary background, doesn't have access to a high roof. His only option is to get hold of a school uniform and get to the roof of the school posing as a student. The story reveals how he happens to listen to a teacher explaining the science behind gravity-defying kites and how the boy ultimately gets interested in education,” says Khosa.

Khosa's earlier film,Dance of the Windstarring Kitu Gidwani, was an international co-production and fetched him recognition in the festival circuit. ButGattuis his first children's film and he says the experience is unique. “We conducted an acting workshop for two months at a school in Roorkee and selected one of the children to be the hero.”Gattuwas completed in time for the children's film festival and will see a mainstream release in 2012.

Rajan Khosa is now working on a biopic on Sadhu Vaswani.