The 38-year-old made his debut in 2010 with National Award winning film 'I Am Kalam', about a poor Rajasthani boy, who is inspired by former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's life and has a strong desire to read and write. 'I have a special connection with kids. I believe the way a child can narrate a story in his innocence, an adult can never do that,' Panda told IANS.
Citing an example, Panda added that when a chainsmoker is asked by people to quit smoking, he may not do it. 'But when a child says the same, it hits you and the person stops it. When a child puts up questions, it touches your soul.' His second film 'Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid' came this year and talked about female foeticide and received good reviews.
Children will be a part of his film in future too, says the director. 'Children are a major part of the society and they will always be a part of my films. My next two films are not children's film. They are family entertainers, but yes, there are kids playing important characters,' he said. Didn't working with child artists restrict you?
'Not at all. People think there are restrictions with children but I feel working with them is much more easier. You can't always treat them as children. The moment you start treating them like a person and understand them, they are the easiest people to work with.' 'Adults complain, throw tantrums and sometimes lie too, but children never do that. When a child says he is tired and can't work, then it is genuine,' said Panda.