TIRUVANANTHAPURAM : They came in hordes, the little ones carrying the festival bags, sifting through the festival book and pouring through the schedule until they zeroed in on the movies to watch.
They shuffled into the theatres with much excitement and the screens flickered to their delight, with some of the finest movies being screened. The first International Children’s Film Festival of Kerala (ICFFK) opened to a full house here on Monday.
Children from across the state streamed in to attend the film festival which was more of a carnival of sorts, introducing them to an otherworldly realm of cinema. “These aren’t movies that children generally get to watch. I didn’t know that there was a section of movies that is dedicated to children and all these movies have an element of interest to children. It offers a great opportunity for the children to get introduced to world cinema and I thought of taking a pass as well. The list of movies seem impressive and films of different languages are screened,” said Vidya V who accompanied her daughter, Sathwika S Nair for the film festival.
The first day of the screening witnessed a huge applause by children who flocked the venue. Each child had a lot to share about the films that were screened. Not only children, even parents accompanied their wards to witness the first-ever ICFFK.
Movies such as Children of Heaven, The Lion King and Ishu were screened on the first day. Children of Heaven is a movie about two children who invent an intricate plan to conceal the loss of a pair of shoes.
Abhishek S B studying at Government UPS Thirumala who came for the film festival said, “I saw Children of Heaven and this is the first time that I am watching this movie. What I liked about the movie is the role played by the child who works hard for gifting his sister a pair of shoes.”
Besides the children from the city, the film festival was also attended by hundreds from the tribal belts in the state and from orphanages. A group of five children along with their caretaker Suja from Kozhikode Children’s Home came for the film festival. She said the initiative by the government was very thoughtful. Suja said, “Children are very happy after watching the movie. We are really happy that such film festivals are conducted so that children are exposed to good movies.” Bijesh from Palacode, a remote tribal area, came along with seven of his friends to witness this film fete. He says, “This is the first time that we are witnessing something like this.”
“Modern day parents seldom find time teach their children moral ethics. We believe films can be one of their best teachers in this regard . “The aim of ICFFK is to foster etiquette among children through a medium that can fully capture their attention. The programme offers free screening for 50 children in each district, 20 of them from tribal communities,” said Azhikodan Chandran, vice-president of Kerala State Council for Child Welfare. A separate event in connection to the programme will showcase cultural performances of tribal children, he added.
The film festival is not only being conducted for children, the programmes are being led by the children themselves. For the festivals, children are anchoring before the movie is screened. Gouri and Adarsh are two of the anchors in the festival. “ For the first time such kind of festival is being conducted in the city. As it is vacation time, this film festival is good for the children, “ said Manju, Gouri and Adarsh’s mother.
Noushad Shahul who came along with his children opined that it is good that such kind of festivals are being conducted.