Sunday, 22 November 2015

What made #19ICFFI a landmark?

Dr Shravan Kumar looks back at the week gone by at this edition of the children’s film festival in Hyderabad

Over 2.5 lakh children saw our films
We reached out like never before as we set a new attendance record for ourselves: Over 2.5 lakh children watched the set of films we laid out in the 19th ICFFI 2015 in Hyderabad.  The programme content and structure was widely acclaimed by the public and critics both. The fact that jury member Satish Kaushik even postponed his flight to stay back and watched every film like a student made it an absolute pleasure! So much so that everybody is already reaching out to us and our celebration in 2017.

Raising relevant questions at open forums
The open forums at the 19th ICFFI 2015 had a lot of interesting debates – be it with policy makers or theater people or even the film makers who brought up very relevant queries and concerns. We ensured that all questions found answers or atleast were documented to be reviewed by those concered.

Be it 360 degree marketing of films, where we learnt lessons from the commercial success of Chotta Bheem through Samir Jain of Green Gold or film maker Nishit Takia who shared his difficulties faced on distribution in India: “It is truly difficult to get screens in India. Our film in China was screened in 12000 screens simultaneously. Children’s cinema hasn’t taken a form of paid entertainment in India.” And I understood his heartbreaking dilemma!

Moderator and curator Ashish S K – a film maker in his own right rounded it aptly when he said the digital platform is changing the way Indian content is being consumed and on the type of screen “We have to now make episodes/videos for 7 minutes rather 22 minutes to hold their attention!”

Making workshops count!

The workshops held for 5 days at Jawahar Bal Bhavan brought in the best quality of teachers to the forums. As I did my rounds, I was happy to watch the progress and interact with the young children delighted at this opportunity. And also glad to have an answer to a question raised by the Class X student of Mahboobia Girls Government School in Hyderabad – Bushra Begum. Bushra who is in love with animation, was thrilled with the animation workshop set out in our schedule, practicing even after class ended and even sharing her lessons with her neighbours and friends. She asked me with much concern, “How can I continue this learning after the workshop?” Luckily, I was able to reach out to the IT secretary in Telangana to look at a revised way to include animation in the school curriculum. And this truly is the power of these interactions – where the voice of the children can reach those in power easily without getting lost in translation.

The Jury fought with us for more awards!
The members of the jury fought with us to award more films and people. They complained that some of the films, especially in Live Action category deserved more awards. We had to double the number of awards in the Little Director’s Category! They were persistent in their endeavor hounding me and the team every day last week to give out more awards. “How can we do our duty and be fair to the content and the outstanding movies we have seen?” was what I heard from every single jury member.  It was truly the final salute to the excellent curation of films done internally by the CFSI team who watched 1204 submissions to pull out the best. Hear film director Satish Kaushik also share his experience on video

The celebration continues
The number of requests received from people all over the country for us to ensure they see the movies is phenomenal. Our plan at CFSI is to start with Kashmir and take the films and the workshops to Kanyakumari – because the celebration of films and the celebration of children can never end!

Hope you will join us too in them and spread the mandate of promoting every child's right to entertainment across the country. 

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