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1001 Stories Collection

Like Stars on Earth

1001 Like Stars On Earth
Added on 06th October 2020

Director Aamir Khan
First released 2007, India - Hindi

Identity and fairness School

This film explores the life of Ishaan, a child with dyslexia, as he discovers his potential.


Ishaan is sent away to boarding school for having bad grades. At his new school he starts to make friends but remains desperately unhappy until his art teacher realises he has dyslexia and helps him uncover his creative potential.

Why we chose it

In the words of a film studies teacher ‘showing it to a group of primary aged children was one of the most exciting film education events I've ever been involved in. They were transfixed!’

Where it came from

Amole Gupte and his wife Deepa Bhatia developed the idea first as a short story, looking at why some children didn’t flourish at school. They researched reasons why children struggle and found information about dyslexia. They worked with children with dyslexia to develop their screenplay and make sure it was authentic.

Bhatia has said in an interview that the idea was based on a biography of Japanese filmmaker Akita Kurosawa who did not get on at school, but found an art teacher who really inspired him.

Director Amir Khan has said that it is aimed at parents and adults who will soon be parents, to encourage them to deal with these issues better than the previous generation.

Where it went next

Like Stars on Earth is a Hindi language film.

It was originally released across the world but was picked up by Disney and an international edition was released in 2008. This was the first time the video distribution rights for an Indian film has been bought by a global company.

It has received numerous awards including the Filmfare Award for Best Film in 2008.

It is quite often used in schools, either to show cultural similarities and differences, or to develop understanding of learning differences.

Associated stories

Like Stars on Earth is generally seen as being a very genuine and accurate depiction of dyslexia. Many modern television series and films have characters with dyslexia including Pearl Harbour (2001), Star Trek: Discovery (2018) and Glee (2010).

As a result of the film awareness of dyslexia particularly in India and China increased hugely with support organisations reporting thousands of additional calls.

In October 2008 it was screened by the International Dyslexia Association with an overwhelmingly positive response.

Added on 06th October 2020

Director Aamir Khan
First released 2007, India - Hindi

Identity and fairness School