TIRUVANANTHAPURAM : There is a certain language in children’s films which is special and heartwarming. Every child who turns up here to watch a movie should feel they are being represented in the movie,” feels Monica Wahi, noted curator, distributor and creative producer, who has given 12 years of her life to the genre of children’s films.Monica says the movies screened at the first International Children’s Film Festival Kerala (ICFFK) covers two aspects - enlightening the kids and offer them an array of perspectives beyond their imagination.
“There is a child in every one of us. During the course of life, we tend to suppress the child. If you feel you want to give a little space, a short window of life to that child, please come and watch these movies. Once you unleash the child in you, that’ll not only take you back to your olden days but also let you once again believe in a world where you can empathise with others, ask questions and still remain fearless. Because children’s films are refreshing and enlightening,” she says.
Monica is a former artistic director at the Children’s Film Society India (CFSI) and its children’s film festival ‘The Golden Elephant’, in addition to serving as director of the South Asian Children’s Cinema Forum. Apart from organising and curating children’s film festivals, she’s also active with children’s film projects and programming slates. She also handles international children and family films for Indian broadcasters. All the international films that are being screened at ICFFK are brought by Monica. Though she’s not curating ICFFK, it was Monica who programmed the international section here.
As a children’s media specialist and creative consultant, Monica has developed programming, production and promotion strategies for national and international, private, government and non-profit organisations involved with children’s media in and around South Asia. “I feel it’s a great initiative from the Government of Kerala to have an independent children’s festival. It is so wonderful to see house-full shows during the inaugural edition itself. Obviously, there’s no other time than the holiday season to conduct a film festival for children,” she says.
Before dedicating herself to festivals, Monica used to produce children’s films and later got associated with the CFSI and International Children’s Film Festival India (ICFFI), popularly known as the Golden Elephant. “My first exposure to Golden Elephant was a turning point and since then children’s festivals have kinda hooked me in,” says Monica. Eagerly waiting for the next edition of ICFFK, Monica feels it’s not only kids who should watch children’s movies. Even adults should come for such festivals and watch the movies along with the kids.