Children of the Pyre

English (subtitled), 74 min, 2008, India

'Children of the Pyre' is a compelling real-life, self-narrative of seven extraordinary children of Varanasi who make their living out of the dead at Manikarnika, the busiest cremation ground in India. Tempered by the heat of the pyre, strengthened in the face of adversities, crafted by the volley of abuses, watch these imps weave through the pyres and struggle through disdain to snatch their livelihoods. This film is a terrible saga of exploitation that celebrates the victory of innocence over the most harrowing realities of life.

Rajesh S. Jala
Creative Crew
Rajesh S. Jala
Sheetal Koul
Giriraj Sharma, Mateen Ahmad, Raj Kishore
Roy Menenzes
Awards and Screenings:

Winner of Best Documentary:
Montreal World Film Festival, Canada 2008
Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Brazil 2008
Special Jury Award, National Film Awards, India,
Best Audiography, National Film Awards, India
Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, USA, 2009
Asiatica Film Mediale, Rome, 2009
IDPA, Mumbai, 2009
IDPA, Mumbai, 2009 Best Cinematography
Special Jury Award, Jeevika Film Festival, 2009

Nominated in Competition:
Pusan International Film Festival, Korea 2008
Leipzig International Documentary Film Festival, Germany 2008
Munich International Documentary Film Festival, Germany, 2009
Mumbai International Film Festival, India, 2010
Warsaw Film Festival, Poland, 2009
South Asian Film Festival, 2009
Split Film Festival, Croatia, 2009

Official Selection:
IDFA, Amsterdam, 2008
IFFI, Goa, 2008
Tamper International Film Festival, Finland, 2009
Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, Greece, 2009
Museum of Modern Arts, USA 2009
Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel, 2009