Dreaming of Words is a documentary film about Njattyela Sreedharan, a fourth standard [grade] drop-out, who compiled a dictionary connecting four major Dravidian languages in India.
Travelling across four states and doing extensive research, he spent twenty five years making the multilingual dictionary. This unique dictionary offers a comparative study of Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. Dreaming of Words traces Sreedharan’s life, work, love for languages and the struggles to get the dictionary published. The film also explores the linguistic and cultural diversity in India.
Dreaming of Words had its world premiere at the International Mother Language Day Celebrations 2021 organized by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and the Ministry of Education (India) in partnership with UNESCO. It was an official selection at the DC South Asian Film Festival, RapidLion Film Festival and Micheaux Film Festival. It won the Kerala State Television Award for Best Educational Documentary. It has been screened at the annual convention of the Modern Language Association and the annual conference of the Linguistic Society of America in January 2022.