Are you keen to take your young one to see a children’s film and are finding your choices limited? “That is because,” says actress Nandita Das, “the Indian movie industry, that will turn 100 next year, is ignoring films for children.”
As one of the most flourishing movie-making nations, India churns out about 1,000 films every year but Nandita, chairperson of the Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI), points out that children’s films are merely a small percentage of that number.
“I do hope that films like I Am Kalam, Stanley Ka Dabba and Chillar Party start a trend and are not just films that come and go by,” Das told IANS in an interview.
She feels that film-makers should come together and give a much needed boost to the “ignored genre”, and produce something that is age appropriate for children. “How can the same film appeal to a six-year-old, a 16 and a 60-year-old?” she asked.
The sad state of children’s films could be understood from the fact that CFSI has made 250 films so far, but “I was so surprised to find out that not one film has been commercially released so far,” said Nandita.
Das informs that Gattu, about a boy’s obsession for kite flying, his aspirations and dreams, will be CFSI’s first commercial release and she is confident that children from all over India would be able to relate to Gattu.
She explained this by saying: “When you see another person enjoying what they are doing, you are able to extend your own dream as well”, she told IANS.
Talking about the making and promotion of Gattu, she said that it has been quite a struggle and that she has been conservative towards the marketing budget.
Though the film would have a commercial release, Gattu has no plans to compete with big names.
“It’s about creating space for these kinds of films. Only big starrers don’t have to be promoted all the time. People want to see other stories as well,” she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2012.
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