KOCHI: "Why did we not get a film fest earlier?" was one of the questions young film lovers asked Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Friday. A dozen other queries were fired at the minister in the open interactive session at the Kairali theatre here.
Joining the celebrations at the first International Children's Film Festival of Kerala (ICFFK), the minister shared his excitement in being part of the initiative. "Rather than watching entertainment films which mostly steal the spotlight, ICFFK focuses on educating you through value-based movies as well," he said while elaborating on the ICFFK mission.
The Minister also highlighted the lack of good educational movies in the film industry today. "Producers are always profit oriented and they tend to only make movies which guarantees their money back. But ICFFK, I believe, has proven that children's films too have a considerable audience," he said. The minister promised the youngsters a bigger and more inclusive film fest next year.
The children raised the need for more films directed by youngsters, such as 'Noise' and 'Ekthara' both of which were featured at ICFFK. "Film fests usually require a year's planning. We had little time in our hands and thus couldn't pay ample attention to the selection of movies," Surendran said, assuring that future film fests will take their entries into serious consideration. "The films you choose to watch also matter. Go for screenings of movies in all categories and languages," he advised, emphasising that Malayalam movies too deserve the same preference as foreign films.
One of the youngsters cheekily asked for Bollywood stars as guests for the next year's fest. "That is an expensive demand but we will try our level best," the minister said. The children also enquired if the minister had any plans to jump onto the big screen. "Acting is a field that needs immense talent and patience. I don't think I am up to the job," he said.
"We are extremely happy that ICFFK has opened a cinema world for the children. Our government has always given priority to children's needs and interests and will continue to do so in the coming years."