Upcoming and acclaimed film Gali Guleiyan, starring Manoj Bajpayee in an award-winning performance along with Ranveer Shorey, Neeraj Kabi and Shahana Goswami, features a young talented actor. Om Singh is at the heart of its plot, as the young boy Idris, and finding him for this role is both a chance discovery and a slice of real life meeting the reel.
Director Dipesh Jain auditioned close to 2500 young boys to find his actor. Finally, his search ended at the Salaam Baalak Trust with Om Singh. A non-profit organization that helps destitute children and teenagers, Om Singh had ended up here after having lived through child abuse. Jain explains, “On meeting Om, I was shocked to learn that he had been a victim of child violence and had run away from his home to escape this terrible experience. For me, I had found a real life Idris. I began working with Om immediately and had multiple discussions and interactions with him to find out how he would react to a certain incident from my script, and I incorporated these. Interacting with Om helped in adding realism to the film.”
Singh’s real life experiences came so close to that which Dipesh had written in the film, that the railway station where Gali Guleiyan had been filmed is the same one where this young boy spent many nights after having run away from the violence at home. Jain further explains, “ Singh had ended up at a specific platform when he escaped to Delhi. He would wait at a spot and just watch people passing by, not knowing what to do. In fact, we shot at the same spot and on the same platform. Om’s performance is lined with his real experiences. The whole journey of him playing Idris was a surreal experience for me.”
Having won accolades and awards across film festivals like MAMI, The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, Indian Film Festival of London and Busan International Film Festival, Gali Guleiyan will release across theatres on September 7.