Awareness about children's issues

Film festival

Awareness about children's issues

The second day of the ongoing Children’s Indian International Children’s Film Festival (CIICFF) saw a day’s worth of interesting films being screened at Boulevard Rangoli on MG Road.

Short films from countries like Germany, Mexico, Bangladesh, Spain, Italy, Poland and Brazil were showcased, exploring themes like family life, physical disabilities, living on the streets and facing one’s fears.

A special segment on ‘Documentary Focus – Dutch’ saw short documentaries like ‘Flying Anne’ by Catherine van Campen, which looked at the day-to-day life of a child with Tourette’s syndrome and how she accepted it as part  of life or ‘Sounds for Mazin’ about a boy who was hearing-impaired.

Animated films were also a highlight, with interesting ones like ‘The Sunshine Egg’ by Michael Haas, Human Ark’s animated TV series ‘Casparade’ and ‘Krake by Regina Welker.  Varying in subject and treatment, there were films that brought out the ill-effects of television and subsequent loss of imagination in children.

There were some who felt that the schedule could have had specific slots for each film. Another point of concern was the number of Indian films that were featured in comparison to international entries. But the majority who attended was impressed by the selection of films.

“We came here to decide whether to bring our school students to the festival. One problem is that it’s all being done during the daytime on weekdays whereas it should have been in the weekend. Still, the choice of films is good and some of them are truly educational. There needs to be a lot more awareness and publicity about these festivals,” said Anita Bajpai, director of Golden Bead Montessori. She added that it was unfortunate that the turnout was so low with more adults in the crowd than children.

Naveen, who came with his daughter Manasa, said, “I liked the film about Tourette’s because children need to teach other children how to deal with problems. They need to know that kids in other parts of the world are also going through the same things that they are and there’s nothing to feel afraid about. It’s that idea of being able to relate that makes festivals like this relevant.

Parents and teachers should encourage them to watch such movies rather than let them sit in front of the television aimlessly. I think they’ve also done a good job of dividing the screenings – for instance, the general ones are happening at the Boulevard while Bal Bhavan has serious films about say, organs being stolen from children in Africa. Those aren’t for children necessarily but about them.” 

Nine-year-old Manasa added, “I liked the film called ‘Galileo’s Dream’. Some of them were funny and entertaining while others made me learn new things.”

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