Sunday, May 1, 2011

From Mumbai to Cannes : Here I go, says Lokesh Todi

This apt quote by Mirza Ghalib given alongside goes to explain the extreme desire that Lokesh Todi aka Lokiish Todi shares for his creative work. And no doubt when that desires translates onto a work on screen, this man was sure to come up “Thumbs up” and a winner. Yeah, a winner whose work “Poor Scum” - a short film of two minutes duration on a theme line “Whoever You Are, Be Pure” was adjudged as the winning entry by the best talents in the films and glam world among 271 entries in the 1takemedia / Gorbatschow Pure Shots Film Competition.

It all started in December, 2010 when it was splashed all over internet and especially on facebook that Vodka Gorbatschow has launched a 2 min short film competition on the theme “Whoever You Are, Be Pure”. This was a kind of dream come true to all kind of short film makers - established as well as amateurs to try their hands at something and as well get a platform to showcase their talent. Also the grand prize was something any filmmaker would give his tooth and nail for - a straight ticket to Cannes Film Festival 2011. Cannes that is the mecca of filmdom all around the globe. And Lokesh was also one among all who wanted to try his hands at this given opportunity. But hardly did this idea cross his mind that he would emerge a winner.

Speaking about how the film idea came about, Lokesh says, “From the moment I read on Internet about the competition, I started thinking about the tag line “Whoever You Are, Be Pure”.  The Tag line was not only thought provoking but had a strong sense of being. It was so specific yet so open that one could deal with a very large variety of emotions. I had been thinking about a lot of possible story lines, but I thought I had to go out of pressure and desire and think of an unexpected reaction which would reveal the true nature of my protagonist. Finally the idea evolved as a story about a street smart beggar and a small kid who meet on a busy Crossroad of life.”

Poor Scum that was adjudged as a winning entry was decided by a jury of eminent personalities that included Mahesh Bhatt, Sudhir Mishra, Shyam Benegal, Nagesh Kukunoor, Prahlad Kakkar, and Gul Panang. It’s the story of a small kid pitted against a beggar who meet at a busy crossroad. The small child is trying to collect donation for Tsunami victims but is shooed off by one and all. Pitted against him is this Nigerian beggar with a false hand cast (a slip on plaster which he casts on his hand) seeking alms at the same junction. Looking at his pitiable condition, the motorists who stop at this busy signal help this dishonest man by giving him alms. But a small school boy with an honest and noble intention is turned away. The contrast comes at the end when this Nigerian donates an amount to this child. The contrast of cheating for a living against the noble intentions of donations clearly stood one making it a winner. This was not only a pretty interesting contrast both in nature and physical look but also beyond the lines as the actors came from diverse nations.

Lokesh says, “My idea to cast a person of Nigerian origin occurred to me as contradiction of human nature was a universal theme and I wanted the content to have a worldwide appeal. This was perhaps the winning streak. Though I was hoping that perhaps my entry will be chosen among the winning entries, never did it once occur that I would emerge as the winner. I was really astounded when my name was announced. My joy knew no bounds.”

Lokesh Todi aka Lokiish Todi was born in Kolkata, a city where Art is a very integral part of life. Music, dance and acting came naturally to him as his parents were musicians and also into events. At early age he learnt Classical Vocal from Ustad Raza Ali Khan, grandson of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (Kasur Patiala Gharana).With an MA in Film Studies and a final paper in Script Writing from Jadavpur University, Kolkata he later did a diploma in Cinematography before embarking on a journey into film making. He also equipped himself with Post-Production DI training from Singapore as he wanted to facet himself with all the departments of filmmaking. After this course, there was no turning back. Currently he has ventured into Production under his own company Cinevat Mediaworks which is involved in making different kinds of contents.

Lokesh will soon be flying to Cannes to attend the Cannes Film Festival on an all paid trip by Gorbatschow. His film is not a part of the festival though, but he has no qualms about it. He says, “The future is unknown and unseen. Who knows with the intentions I produced “Poor Scum” and landed in Cannes, one day I might be a part of the festival and walk down the red carpet.” Even we at FTV feel the same Lokesh. All the best…


  1. I am very happy to see the interesting and successful journey of Lokiish Todi, which is reaching to a 'Muqam'. I have also been witness to his life and his various achievements (besides ups n down, which are also part & parcel of life). May I wish him all the Luck in his favor & he could reach to the TOP level in the creative world...Aameen!

  2. congrats Lokesh, I am really proud of you. You deserve to be in cannes. My son " RAHUL PENDKALKAR" who acted in 90 ads, 11 films and 11 serials also wishes you good luck.

  3. Now thats quite an achievement Pravin, that Rahul has achieved...

  4. Hey lokesh..hearty congratulations :)