Friday, 04.10., 3 pm, kinoeins
Sprightly Chuskit’s dream of going to school is cut short when she is rendered a paraplegic after an accident. She’s confined to life indoors in the company of her strict grandfather, Dorje. Chuskit continues to harbor hopes of school but Dorje tries to make her understand that school can’t handle her needs. As life at home gets harder, her battle with her grandfather exacerbates. Caught in between their struggle are Chuskit’s parents and her enterprising brother who want to respect the old world views that Dorje represents, but also want to keep Chuskit’s spirit alive. Chuskit will have to get her grandfather to yield or she will have to accept the reality he has chosen for her.
Conversations with my sister, Vidya, sowed the seeds for my film CHUSKIT. Vidya has worked with the differently abled in Ladakh for almost a decade. She was instrumental in sending Sonam, a nine-year-old with cerebral palsy to school despite the arduous terrain in her remote Himalayan village. While working with Sonam, Vidya learnt of other such children who yearned to lead as normal a childhood as they could. Their stories were filled with pathos and hardships, yet not one of the children gave up their quest to go to school. That is why I shaped Chuskit’s character to be unrelenting and gave her the spunk to triumph over adversity. For most children outside the West, life as a differently abled person is tough at best and excruciatingly hard at worst. My wish is that a small measure of hope and inspiration stays with the audiences when they walk away from my film.
Priya Ramasubban, born 1972 in Chennai, India, is a reputed filmmaker who has traveled the world for over fifteen years making films for National Geographic, Discovery, History Channel and other major international broadcasters. She has written and directed Lost Kings of Israel (National Geographic), Divine Delinquents (National Geographic), several episodes on the long-running series Digging for the Truth (History Channel), episodes on the series Into the Unknown (Discovery Channel), an episode on Monster Fish (National Geographic) and several other notable productions. Priya was one of the six people chosen from all over India as a part of a screenwriter’s lab organized by the National Film Development Corporation where she received an opportunity to evolve her story for Chuskit under the mentorship of award-winning Dutch writer Jolein Laarman.