CINEMA TO CHILDREN
Cinema provides a
healthy outlet for joyous learning. Keeping in view children’s
right to entertainment, the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI)
was established in 1955 under the aegis of Ministry of Information
and Broadcasting, with active support by the then Prime Minister
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The main objective of CFSI is to provide
children and young people with value-based entertainment through
the medium of cinema.
Since then CFSI has
been actively promoting children’s films by producing films for
children, organising 35mm/16mm shows, State and district-level
festivals, telecasts on DD,Regional Kendras and Satellite channels
besides participating in International Film Festivals. While ‘Rani
Saheba’ produced by V. Shantaram in 1930 can be acclaimed
as the first children’s film ever made in India, the first children’s
film ever made by CFSI is ‘Jaldeep’ in 1956. Recently,
CFSI has produced ‘Pani Re Pani’, a video film on water,
‘Bhasha Alankar’ – a video film in Sindhi under its literary
services and ‘Himmat’ – a docu-drama in Dogri language
concerning brave children. To take cinema to remote corners of
the country, it has organised District-level children’s film festivals
in Assam in May and June 2003. Its films ‘Hathi Ka Anda’
and ‘Himmat’ were sent for participation in Indian panorama
at IFFI-2003 while ‘Hathi Ki Anda’ and ‘Baaja’ found
a place in the National film awards –2003. These two films also
participated in Festival De Cans, France while ‘Baaja’
and ‘Rani’ participated in 21st International Young Audience
Film Festival at Poland.
To make films more
enjoyable to children, CFSI holds workshops for children where
they are exposed to the nuances of film-making. These workshops
are on animation, script writing, film appreciation and video.
Thirteen such workshops have been organised during the year 2002-03.
The mega event of
CFSI, however, is the biannual International Children’s Film Festival.
With Hyderabad being declared as the permanent venue for children’s
film festival, the city once again awaits to welcome the 13th
edition of International Children’s Film Festival to be held from
November 14th-20th, 2003. This will be the fourth successive time
the ‘Golden Elephant’ will be coming to Hyderabad. The festival,
which is organised in collaboration with the State government,
aims to bring together and promote films from all over the world
with the main purpose to entertain and educate children, to encourage
exchange of ideas between film-makers and children, and to exhibit
films which lead to better understanding between people and culture.
would screen a total of 109 films from 34 countries. The festival
has three sections - the International Competition, Asian Panorama
and Children’s World. Around 33 Indian films would be screened
in International competition. Eminent actress Asha Parekh, who
started her career as child artist would chair the International
Jury. Asian Panorama has 16 films of which 10 are Indian. Film-maker
Vijaya Mulay, a recipient of V. Shantaram award for Lifetime achievement
in the field of documentaries would head the Asian Panorama Jury.
The Children’s World section has 60 films of which 11 are Indian.
The Child Jury is headed by Ms. Manasa Rao, a 14-year-old student
and comprises of 8 other child judges. The Critics Jury is headed
by Maithili Rao, a veteran Indian film and TV critic. Forty animation
films and three Telugu films – Hero, Harivillu and Kutchi
Kutchi Koonamma would be screened at the festival. As a tribute
to Johnny Walker, the famous Hindi comedian, two of his films
– Udan Choo and Mr and Mrs. 55 will be screened
at the festival. Another notable attraction of this festival is
the screening of Tin Tin films for the first time. Around
350 delegates from 33 countries would be participatng in the festival.
will open with the screening of the film Mr. Bones at I-max
Theatre, a prestigious theatre which is fast becoming the new
symbol of Hyderabad. Besides I-max, which is the main festival
theatre, seven other theatres have been selected for public viewing.
To popularise children’s films throughout the State, for the first
time celebrated children’s movies are being screened in various
districts of Andhra Pradesh from October 30, 2003. It is expected
that more than 2.5 lakh children would have seen the movies by
November 18, 2003 when the screening comes to a close.
As a sequel to
the festival, various other activities like open house, workshops
on film-making and seminars are also being arranged for children.
All in all, a visual treat awaits the children of Andhra Pradesh
and Hyderabad in particular.
But Children’s films
need to be understood in a proper perspective as they have a vital
role to play in all-round development of the younger generation.
So it is high time the children’s cinema be recognised and polularised
as a better mode of education in the country. But only commercial
success holds the key to a popular cinema. Therefore the big production
banners will have to come forward to popularise children’s cinema
in a big way as proper packaging and presentation catch the attention
of young minds as well as their elders’ alike.(PIB Features)
Officer, PIB, Hyderabad.