Monday, 13 November 2017

20th ICFFI gets a new high with Dia Mirza’s workshop

Many children from various schools in Hyderabad and elsewhere in Telangana thronged the theatres today  to  view films on the third day of 20th International Children’s Film Festival of India (ICFFI)  titled ‘Golden Elephant’ which also saw a series of special workshops on film making, animation and visual effects and story telling in which the kids wholeheartedly participated with great enthusiasm.

The highlight of the festival today was the workshop by actor Dia Mirza called ‘Gaj Yatra’ in which she interacted with children. The topic was ‘Reconnecting with Nature.’ A short film was shown to children to empower them with an understanding that they are a part of nature and their true sense of growth, inspiration and creativity can be nurtured by engaging with nature.

The Dia Mirza event was indeed gripping and the children enjoyed it thoroughly. Equally good were other workshops on ‘Film making’ by Producer Ashok Kaul and ‘Animation and Visual Effects’ by Dhvani Desai and ‘Story Telling’ by Ms Deepa Kiran..

The workshops are  organised to teach the children how to make films and make them learn animation and visual effects magic effect on the audience. “Every child  has a story to tell and all that he needs to be taught is how to make a film.” With this mind, workshops and Open forums are held every day at the Golden Elephant Festival 2017.  

In the workshop on film making, spanning five days from November 9, Kaul will teach the kids how to make a film. His approach is very practical as he would assemble a group of children and select from among them  producer, director, story writer, camera man etc and assign them their roles. He comes down to the level of children and interacts with them as part of the team. The shoot then begins and the crew gets ready to make a film. Within a span of 90 minutes, a short film is thus ready and the children learn the nuances of film making. The children, today, are very intelligent and talented and their responses in the workshops is very encouraging and fruitful.

The workshop on ‘Animation and Visual Effects’ by Dhvani Desai was equally interesting.  Desai has been working in the field of animation since last 25 years and she teaches children in the workshops at the festival about animation and visual effects. Desai is also on the advisory Board of Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI), which has organized this festival jointly with the Telangana Government.  

Desai also taught the children in workshops the importance of sound and music in animation films. According to  her,  sound and music has no barriers and does not need any language to make the audience understand the film. She believes that story is the soul of the film and says if the story is strong, the movie thus made will also be strong and gripping.

Desai also teaches in the workshops all the styles of animations, new techniques, mix media and folk arts. According to her, even though the subject may be the same, the visuals  could be different. Desai also briefed the children about the history of animation that has evolved all over the world in the past.  

In the five days, commencing November 9, Desai would educate the children on how to make animation films on various subjects such as social issues, medical films, 3D animation, Biography and Educational Films.        

In another development, at an Open Forum last night, Actors, Educationists and Cinema experts opined that women were talented and should play a pivotal role in children’s films while asserting that good and social oriented movies should be made for children and shown to them in theatres and festivals.

Addressing the delegates, I opined that women in India are worshipped as divine figures in the society and people have respect for them. Women play a pivotal role in making audience for children’s films and this will also encourage them (women) to play important roles in movies made for kids.

I also informed that Children’s Film Society, India, was making children’s films on social subjects such as sanitation and hygiene which would focus on open defecation rampant in villages and that such films would be shown to children in rural areas soon after the Festival was over.

Dr Madhu Chopra, mother of actor Priyanka Chopra, addressing delegates, said her home production was making three films for children. She said in a lighter vein that her company has employed 60 per cent women as staff and all of them had proved their mettle. Women, today, are talented and their works are outstanding, Chopra said. “All my three films for children have been directed by women.”    

However, Chopra had a work of caution for women who do negative roles and accept vamp roles. “Say No if you want to say No to such roles. My daughter Priyanka is very outspoken and takes a firm decision against such roles, Dr Chopra mentioned.

Film Actor and Educationist Amala Akkineni said, “In India, Cinema has to grow and evolve further in relation to society, Women, today, would do anything to achieve what they want. They are talented and sky is the limit as opportunities for them are manifold. However, education is necessary  for a woman to work in films, she opined. Education would give rise to opportunities and the number of women working in films would increase in future, she quipped.

The Open Forum was compered by eminent Educationist Ujjwal Choudhary.

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