Salam-e-Madrasa – A Film by Shrey Rajdeo

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“Salam-e-Madrasa” which had its Grand trailer launch in Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa Dubai, is a film dealing with the issue of an Islamic school (Madrasa). The story revolves around two children, Ali and Imran, who make friends with a rag-picker, Bantu, while playing football. As they find out that Bantu wants to go to school, they invite him to study along with them in an Islamic school in rural India where they were studying. The Maulvi (religious teacher in the school), learns about Bantu’s keenness to study. He manages to convince Bantu’s father to let him study in the school, though the father initially resists by saying “once a rag picker, always a rag picker.”

The term “Madrasa” comes with a perception, either biased or unbiased, such is the irony of South Asia’s largest education network. Because of biased media reports and restricted entry in these institutions, in general, their contribution to society is not fairly evaluated.

The film is directed and written by Shrey Rajdeo, filmmaker, producer, and founder of Le Village Guy Pictures Pvt Ltd.

The film’s Producers are Rajendra Kumar Verma & Romana Zafar.

The cast of the film includes not only professional theatre actors, but also regular citizens who have zero experience in acting in a film. “I like to choose my characters myself and know them well. When I saw these guys, I said to myself, ‘Yeah, they can do it‘,” Rajdeo said.

There are no lead characters in the film. Everyone in it plays an important part since all characters have something that connects them to the story. The kids are fabulous, Bantu is played by Yuvraj, Ali by Sharjil, and Imran is being played by Anas.

Esteemed theatre actors Shubham Sharma, Abhijita Sharma, Nishant Kumar are playing prominent characters in the movie too.

The project has been supported by actors and team members from Qatar and Dubai. Besides India, a part of the film was shot in Qatar, with Arab actors. The background was set in Jharkhand. Most of the scenes in the film were shot in real locations to keep the real feeling and texture of the places intact.

The film’s editing is performed by National Award Winner, Jishnu Sen, and the sound design has been done by Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) graduate, Pallab Vicky Mitra. Mohammad Muslim is a Creative Head from Qatar.

“Salam-e-Madrasa” has been selected for International Festivals such as Lift-off Sessions, London (2019, 2020); First-Time Filmmakers Session, London (2020) and has been a finalist at Flick Fair, an online film festival platform. It was shown in the Viewing Room Library at Film Bazaar, Goa, India (2019).

Le Village Guy Pictures, an India-based Production house started by father & son duo Rajendra Kumar Verma and Shrey Rajdeo, picked this challenge of “Salam-e-Madrasa” as their first project through which they are trying to bring a clear picture of Madrasa’s educational activities and their contribution to society.

Currently, followed by its release in theatres and OTT platforms, the film is eying for major International Film Festivals.

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