By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: In an enterprising initiative that would hopefully sweep across the country, undertaken by the Children’s Film Society Of India (CFSI), 3,500 school children from schools in Delhi would be watching the CFSI’s 2012 film Gattu at multiplex theatres close to their schools by the end of this month.
This is an initiative for cinema sensitization among school children undertaken by CFSI chairperson Amole Gupte and Chief Executive Officer Dr Shravan Kumar, along with the Ryan International group of schools.
Says Amole, “I am happy that the Ryan group has embraced our initiative. They actually told us they want to make it a habit for children to watch good films regularly at theatres close to their schools.They will ensure that students from their school would see the films. We chose Gattu as the pilot film because we believe it’s a good story which children would enjoy.At the end of the film they will get a questionnaire to answer.”
Amole hopes the 3,500 students from the Ryan groups who would initiate the CFSI’s cinema-sensitization plan would grow into other school chains all over the country.
Says Amole, “Along with the movie-viewing experience we will also put together DVDs on cinema aesthetics which would go into every child’s school-bag so that the parents also get sensitized about cinema. After I was inducted my question to the members of the CFSI was, we at the CFSI have made so many films but where are the outlets? We can’t hope to compete with the big-budget blockbusters to get an audience for children’s films. The only hope of getting a captive audience for children’s films is to get them from the schools. We cannot convert parents into subscribing to children’s films. Parents take children to see ‘UA’ certified films which often have objectionable content such as item songs. But we can seek schools’ support in this endeavour. That’s exactly what we are doing. And we don’t want to restrict this movie-viewing initiative to Indian cinema. There are so many German, French, Iranian,etc children’s films that we’d like our school kids to see.”
The idea is to set up a parallel trend of children’s entertainment. “We want to inculcate an aesthetic level in an average child’s mind. Cinema viewing is not like other school subjects.To watch a film in a theatre with friends is a unique aesthetic experience.I want our children to get used to that experience,” says Amole.