The acclaimed Indian documentary feature, Chandrasekhar Reddy’s Fireflies in the Abyss will be featured in 2016 Hot Docs, Canadian International Documentary Festival, one of the most prestigious International documentary festivals, which will be held from April 28 – May 6, 2016.

The film is selected among 38 best features from across the world to be screened in the World Showcase section, marking its North American premiere at the festival.

Now in its 23rd edition, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America’s largest documentary film festival, conference and market that is held annually in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Reddy’s feature captures the dream of an 11-year-old boy who fights his way out of life in the rat-hole coalmines, to put himself in school.

The film made its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival and made its India premiere at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival where it won two top awards – the Golden Conch award for Best Documentary Feature film and the Best Cinematography in the National Competition category.

Delighted with the selection at Hot Docs, Chandrasekhar says, “After the response and appreciation at the Busan and Mumbai fesivals, it is a great opportunity for the film to get a platform at HotDocs, which will help reach the North American audiences and market. The Toronto audiences are known to be hugely appreciative and I am really looking forward to present the film there. There is also a brilliant selection of films this year to watch, including Herzog’s new film and am hoping to catch some of them.”

Apart from Fireflies in the Abyss, the documentary short, Amdavad Ma Famous, directed by Hardik Mehta, is competing in the international shorts category.

Synopsis of Fireflies in the Abyss:

The ‘rat-hole’ mines in the Jaintia Hills of Northeast India, are hostile pits where men and boys risk their lives everyday to scratch coal out of hard rock. Burrowing into narrow tunnels, they are armed with nothing more than a pickaxe and a torch.

Each of them comes to the coalpit for different reasons. But once there, all of them are looking for a chance to breakout. Some are able to escape, most can’t. Even with the odds stacked against him, Suraj, an 11-year old boy, grapples his way out of this abyss to eventually put himself in school.

The film follows Suraj and several other miners whose lives intertwine with his, to reveal lives under extraordinary circumstances and the brutal choices they are forced to resolve at every turn of their lives