With over 11 million passengers, 39,450 miles of tracks, 15,000 trains, and 7,000 stations, Indian Railways, India’s train system, is a universe unto itself. Each year over 120,000 destitute children, with nowhere else to go, arrive at the platforms and join a gang in order to survive. Depending on their gang leader, some pick rags, serve tea or collect water bottles. Others turn to pick-pocketing or worse, glue-sniffing and prostitution.
Lucky Express: India’s Forgotten Train Kids crisscrosses India’s railways with the desperate children who have made this vast network their home. Lucky, a former train kid with dreams of becoming a filmmaker serves as the guide, allowing intimate access to the children who share their astonishing life stories, hopes, and dreams.
Criss-crossing the plains of India all the way to Nepal, the film follows Lucky, as he returns to the Himalayan foothills to search for the family he left at the age of five years old.
Film Information:Director: Anna Fischer
TRT: 87 Min
US Distributor: Cinema Libre Studio
Download Press Notes
DIRECTOR / PRODUCER / FILMMAKERAnna Fischer is an American filmmaker who grew up around the world. She attended the United Nations International School in New York and Switzerland and received her Masters degree from New York University in Journalism and International Relations. She has worked with UNICEF in Geneva, Switzerland, volunteered with a peace organization in former Yugoslavia at the height of the war, has worked in Pakistan for the World Health Organization (WHO) and in refugee camps on the Pakistani-Afghan border, and has taught hygiene for midwives in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule. She lived in Kathmandu, Nepal for three years and has been living in Varanasi, India since 2003.
In India she shot her first documentary, "Laxmi Burns", on the subject of dowry burn victims and worked with mothers who have lost their daughters to dowry murders (brides immolated in kerosene by their in-laws for not providing enough dowry money upon their marriage). She also created a public awareness day against the evils of dowry in Varanasi in 2004 (aired on TV), which included public speeches by some of India’s leading feminists.
In April, 2012, Anna won "best Director of a Documentary" at the ITN Distribution Film Festival, Los Angeles, California, USA for "Lucky Express".
PRODUCER, EDITOR, SOUND DESIGNER, SOUND EDITOR, SOUND MIXER AND COMPOSER FOR LUCKY EXPRESSMultimedia artist Thomas Simon has worked as DP and editor on documentaries, music videos, activist & educational programs and high profile events. As a musician, he toured internationally with alternative rock bands (Love Alien, MUSICIENS SANS FRONTIÉRES) and has been commissioned to created music for film, tv and theater. Thomas' visual and soundtrack works have been selected, so far, to over 60 international film festivals, in the last few years, winning multiple awards. thomassimon.nyc
CAMERAMAN / INTERVIEWER / LEADING CHARACTER IN THE DOCUMENTARYLucky Bahadur ran away from an abusive family environment in his homeland of Nepal at the age of five, by hitching a ride with a truck driver headed to India. He was dropped off at the New Delhi train station.
Five years old, alone, and not a word of Hindi, Lucky worked for a "chai wallah" (man who serves tea) on the train platform for many years. He was only given small scraps of food as payment. Later, a gang member took him under his wing and taught him to pickpocket at the train station.
At New Delhi train station, Lucky remarkably survived eight years on "platform 10" until he finally was persuaded by a social worker to join the non-governmental organization, Salaam Baalak Trust, that provides care for abandoned children. Lucky instantly took the opportunity and left the train station and has lived in one of their boy's homes ever since.
He returned once to Nepal to try and reunite with his family, but he never found them.
Lucky is now twenty-one years old and his greatest passion in life is to become a filmmaker so that he can show the world the lives of the street children of India. After shooting the film, Lucky started film classes at The Asian School of Media Studies in Delhi in August 2010.
1- Delhi to Mumbai – RAJDHANI EXPRESS – 1384 km / 859 miles – 16 hours
MUMBAI – Dadar Station. Interview with Rupesh, Firoz, Raju, Sanjay, Paramjeet, Sorab.
Lucky sees the ocean for the first time and the microphone gets stolen
2- Mumbai to Bhubaneswar, Orissa – KONARK EXPRESS – 1932 km / 1200 miles – 37 hours
BHUBANESHWAR: Ruckika NGO, meeting with Inderjit Khurana in hospital, Munir, Sandiya, Devedi, Benudhar, filmed platform school
3- Bhubaneswar – Kolkata – SRI JAGANNATH EXPRESS – 502 km / 311 miles – 9 hours
KOLKATA : Cini Asha / Lopa Mudra and Kamal at Night Shelter and other social workers.
4- Kolkata – Varanasi – AMRITSAR MAIL – 760 km / 472 miles – 14 hours
VARANASI: Kutumb NGO, Dr. Ashish and wife, Puja
5-Varanasi – Moghulsarai – RICKSHAW WITH RAJ KAPOOR –
MOGHULSARAI- Raj kapoor rickshaw wallah, kids at station
6- Moghulserai – Delhi – SHIV GANGA EXPRESS – 758 km / 470 miles – 12 hours
DELHI – Salaam Balaak, City Walk Tour with Brijesh. Kids from Delhi station. Interviews on top of Lucky roof.
Total distance traveled = 5,336 km / 3315 miles and 88 hours
Educational & Public Use
The license for educational use and public performance allows colleges, universities, K-12 schools, research institutions, grassroots and non-profit organizations to share Lucky Express with students or at cultural events. For details, visit our FAQ.
Public Performance License - This license is required if you plan to show the movie to a public audience (50 – 300 people), regardless of whether admission is charged or not. These types of screenings are typically onetime events, festivals, or semi-theatrical screenings.
Educational Use License – This license is required if you plan to use the film as a teaching tool, within a College, University, K-12 School, Research Institution, Grassroots Organization, or Non-Profit Organization to a classroom sized audience of students for the life time of the exact DVD or Blu-ray purchased, without any admission charged. Cannot be used for Public Performance unless Public Performance Rights are also purchased.
Grassroots & Non-Profit Viewing Parties – If you have an organization related to Lucky Express’s subject matter then you may qualify for our Grassroots Special. Get 5 DVDs for $50 along with a 1-time screening license for audiences less than 50 people. The DVDs will be yours to sell or distribute as you please.
Questions about screenings or education use? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org