This year, the 17th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which commences on Friday, hopes to see greater involvement of children and also encourage film-making for children in the state.
An exclusive children’s movie section will be screened at Kanakakunnu Palace and Nishagandhi Auditorium on December 8 and 9.
Said Deputy Director of Festivals Beena Paul Venugopal, “a workshop on the making of children’s films involving South Asian film makers will be held at Kanakakkunnu on December 9 and 10. This will provide a forum for discussion on how to go about making children’s films.”
The two movies being screened for children are ‘Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid’ and ‘Gattu’.
‘Jalpari’ is directed by Nila Madhab Panda of the ‘I Am Kalam’ fame, and revolves around the theme of female foeticide - a social evil still very much rampant in the rural parts of India. The story is of two children, born and brought up in the city, who take a trip to their ancestral village in Haryana. This village is a far cry from the village of their imaginations - a dusty, dry and hostile place instead of the land of streams and meadows they had expected. The film follows the adventures of the siblings in the village and unveiling the secrets lurking in that place.
From Haryana, it is to Uttarakhand that the next film ‘Gattu’ will take the audience. Directed by Rajan Khosa and co-produced by the Children’s Film Society of India, this movie is set in a town that has a common collective hobby - kite-flying. When a mysterious black kite called ‘Kali’ appears and dominates the skies, a nine-year-old street kid named Gattu dreams of taking it down. To do that, he needs access to the school roof and so he has to sneak in pretending to be a student. That he is illiterate only adds to his difficulty. But Gattu is not one to give up.