Image Above: Om Puri and Deep Dhillon.
Tampa Bay, Florida
Little Terrors screens at the Tampa Bay Film Festival.25jan
Limited Festival Run
Little Terrors will soon begin a limited festival run before its theatrical release. Check back for dates.
Deep Dhillon joins cast of Little Terrors
Bollywood legend Deep Dhillon has joined the cast of Little Terrors. Mr. Dhillon, a longtime mainstay of Punjabi and Hindi cinema will play the role of Zafar Khan in the picture. The role is a stretch for Dhillon as it includes a large English spoken-language role as well as ancient Urdu dialogue.
Om Puri joins the cast of Little Terrors
Om Puri, who is familiar to both Eastern and Western audiences for films such as City of Joy, Gandhi and East is East, is on board to play a crucial role in Little Terrors. Mr. Puri plays the part of Kamil, the elder statesman of a training camp for jihadists. He is influential in the shaping of the main character Samih along his journey to martyrdom.
Inspired by True Events
Samih was born in the United States. Raised in a strict household, his father takes a radical approach to raising his family, returning them to Afghanistan after years of living in Detroit.
There Samih's older brother Rasin becomes radicalized and kills himself in a suicide mission at a University. Forces that want the aclaim of having an American bomb the U.S. embassy in Delhi quickly recruit 13-year-old Samih.
Throughout his journey into jihad, Samih is mentored by several figures to follow his path, or abandon it. Among them is Zafar (Deep Dhillon) and Abdul-Wadood (Om Puri). A young rising star among the jihadists, Tarek (Aamrik Arjun) who is aiding them, now acts the part of the older brother ensuring Samih's conversion. Together, they push Samih towards his suicide mission.
Things change and Samih begins to doubt himself when a captured American journalist Steve Winthrop, played by Daryl Dougherty, is brought to the camp. Their shared American background leads to an unexpected friendship in the remote Northern landscape of a training camp in Pakistan where they bond over things that are western and still relevant to Samih.
Samih, who has always had a challenge being understood and believes that his voice and sentiments are never heard, finds a sympathetic friend in Steve. On his part, Steve, despite being a captive, undertakes the dangerous task of trying to persuade his brainwashed young friend to thwart his mission.Read More
Maninder Chana - Writer | Director
Mr. Chana is an award winning filmmaker. He is currently producing his fourth feature. His other work includes Cell 213 (starring Bruce Greenwood, Michael Rooker and Eric Balfour), amongst television and commerical work.
Cabot McNenly - Cinematographer
Mr. McNenly is a sought after DOP with several features under his belt including Running Mates, An Insignificant Harvey and You Are Here.
Ken Gill & Dave Mangat - Producers
Little Terrors marks Mr. Gill's second foray into feature film. His first outing called Mystic is currently playing on Super Channel. He co-produces the film with first time producer Mr. Mangat, who among other things runs a successful dance and theatre company.
The Story Continued
Setting out on his mission, Samih is brought to Delhi where he stays with a Muslim family. The father in the family is only harbouring him for money and doesn't necessarily believe in the cause. When he sees something in Samih that he believes can save him, he begins to play a dangerous cat and mouse game to convince the boy not to go through with the task.
“The film itself is a composite of a number of different true life incidents and stories culled into a dramatic format: the Khadr family, Daniel Pearl, shooting incidents in Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden, as well as Muhammad, the Hadiths and so forth,” says director Maninder Chana who shot the movie over a gruelling schedule of 20 consecutive days, in various parts of rural Punjab and Rajasthan in India.Little Terrors has a versatile mix of an international star cast including veteran actor Om Puri, Deep Dhillon and Nirmal Rishi along with a younger, newer cast such as Armaan Kabli, Harjot Thandi and Dulha Bajwa. The result is a good mix of different styles of acting. While it's a delight watching stalwarts like Om Puri and Deep Dhillon, the younger cast members hold strong on their own. Dulha, in a powerful scene in which the eight year old is punished for a crime he didn't commit, totally steals that scene.
The multi-level movie that focuses on various facets of Islam is broken up into chapters, each of which begins or ends with a quote from the Hadiths, the sayings of Prophet Muhammad. Little Terrors, without coming across as if it's preaching, brings home the message to go back to the beginning to understand Islam, instead of following the middlemen's version of the religion.
A feature film by Maninder Chana