An opportunity to watch good films

An opportunity to watch good films

The ninth edition of Children’s Indian International Children’s Film Festival (CIICFF) was inaugurated in a grand way at Jnana Jyothi Auditorium on Monday. 

The festival, which will be held till January 24, will witness the screening of 200 films from 44 countries across venues like Bal Bhavan, Navarang, Badami House and Madhavan Park and Boulevard Rangoli. At the function, a variety of vibrant cultural performances by children were seen – from a bharatanatyam recital by a dance troupe from Kala Nikethan, Tirupati to a young kolata troupe from Davangere.  

Speaking at the ceremony, festival director NR Nanjunde Gowda said, “The goal is to prepare our children to become better global citizens and inspire them to appreciate other countries and cultures and break barricades. Instead of looking at merely entertainment, there’s a focus on wildlife, environment and films with serious themes because kids these days want to understand the problems of society.

 The target audience is children between eight and sixteen since all kinds of films are being showcased. One of the new features is ‘Films made by kids’, which will screen 20 films made by children from seven different countries.” He added, “The ‘Country Focus’ segment is on Denmark this year. Every year, we look at a specific country producing good children’s films and go in-depth. This is a way of exposing viewers to the background in which these films are made.”

Popular film-maker Vinod Ganatra, a member of the festival jury, said, “As the jury, I’m looking at the quality, treatment and message of a film. There are a lot of teachers and preachers but a film-maker has to be a good storyteller. But there is a lack of interest and awareness about children’s films in India and the schools and parents are to be blamed for that.

 They take children for a ‘Krrish’ or Harry Potter but not a serious children’s film. I’m hoping that festivals like this will intensify our efforts in promoting such films and that we start treating it as mainstream cinema.”

Leon Etchells, who conducts film-making workshops for children across India, is also part of the jury. “I’m looking for anything innovative and original that deals with social issues and helps India progress. Plus, I’m interested in seeing how this festival compares to others in this category,” said Leon. 

“The problem here is that everything is done by the government, who should ideally just be funding funds but not following it up. Young film-makers should be given the creative licence to address problems in their own way and capture the beauty of India,” he added. 

The inaugural ceremony was followed by a screening of Dutch film-maker Maria Peters’s ‘Mike Says Goodbye’.

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