TIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Summer vacation has never been this much fun for Ishan, an eighth standard student who is among the hundreds of children attending the International Children’s Film Festival of Kerala.“Last year I went for a painting class and before that, it was a swimming camp. Though cinemas are my favourite, parents rarely get time to take me to a theatre,” he said.
The week-long festival organised by the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare has 140 screenings at five theatres. Short films, documentaries, workshops and interactions with artists are other highlights.
The first edition of the festival received an encouraging response, according to the festival organisers. As many as 4,670 children registered as delegates as against the organisers’ initial estimate of 4,000 delegates.
The event is also noted for its social inclusion - 400 each students belonging to tribal hamlets and orphanages are attending the festival free of cost. A few of them were visiting a movie theatre for the first time in their life.
A 12-year-old hailing from a remote hamlet in Pathanamthitta could not hide his joy when asked about the festival experience. “It’s for the first time I’m seeing such a crowd. The cinemas are good. I’ve also made new friends,” he said. “This is for the first time I’m travelling this long. I have a day’s walk in the forest to board a bus to the town and later to Thiruvananthapuram,” he said.The festival has brought cheers to parents as well as nuances of filmmaking is now part of the school curriculum. “Everyday there is an interaction with artists, both from the creative and technical sides of filmmaking. Children can clear their doubts there,” said Nisha V N, a young mother.
Next time truly international!
Kerala State Council for Child Welfare chairman SP Deepak said the festival will become truly international from next edition onwards. “This year, we got little time to invite foreign artists and delegates. Next year, the preparations will start six months in advance,” he said. The idea of a children’s film festival occurred after the council received complaints of the ban on children in the celebrated IFFK, he said. “We cannot force the IFFK as several films would be inappropriate for children. The only option left was to start an exclusive festival for children,” he said.
Deepak hopes the festival will help in a positive diversion of the children’s love for mobile phones. “The interactive sessions will help the children to make short films on their own. This will be an exciting hobby for them,” he said. The KSCCW plans to register 10,000 delegates for next year’s event. “There will be more films, theatres next year. We will try for representation from all schools in the state,” he said.
11:15 am-Colour of Paradise/ Rang-e-khoda
6:15 pm-Mr Frog/Meester Kikker
11:30 am-Chakkaramavin Kombathu
2:30 pm-Gauru-Journey of Courage
11:45 am-The Great Dictator
6:45pm-The Sound of Music
9:30 am-Nono, the Zig-Zag Kid
11:45 am-White Bridge
2:45 pm-Children of Heaven
6:30 pm-Bicycle Thieves
9:30am-The Jungle Bunch