The Little Directors of Bihar and their Young Mentors recognised at the 20th ICFFI in Hyderabadby Azeemuddin Sayyed December 1 2017, 6:14 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 24 secs
The International Children’s Film Festival of India popularly known as the Golden Elephant was held in Hyderabad from 8th to 14th November this year. The event was organised by the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI), a nodal organisation of the Government of India that produces children’s films and television programmes in various Indian languages.
The ICFFI is a biannual event where outstanding features, shorts, live action and animation films are screened over a period of seven days of festive celebrations, attended by over a lakh children and hundreds of film personalities from within the country and abroad. This year, the 20th ICFFI received record number of 1402 entries, drawn from as many as 109 countries in various categories including Animation, Documentary and Short films.
CFSI had introduced the concept of ‘Little Directors’ in the 18th edition of ICFFI in 2013, where films were made and directed by children themselves. For the 20th edition, CFSI received 179 entries in the Little Directors’ section, of which 101 were from India and the rest (78) from other countries. This year the Little Directors program has gone rural and CFSI in partnership with Asian Centre for Entertainment Education (ACEE) conducted filmmaking workshops for children from five different communities in Bihar.
The ACEE team of filmmakers Denver Fernandes, Azeemuddin Sayyed, Aaron Edwards and Debroop Chakraborty and Creative Producer Aakanksha Solanki were on board as Mentors for this program in Bihar. The mentors conducted the workshop about filmmaking for these young talented kids and also on how they can convey their concerns regarding various issues like Drinking Water and Sanitation to the whole world through the medium. They guided these kids and helped them create five short-films which was directed, acted and edited by the kids.
The outcome of this workshop was the production of five short films on the themes of drinking water and sanitation intersecting with gender. The five films, the mentors and three children representing the five teams from Bihar were recognised and applauded by Dr. Shravan Kumar, CEO of CFSI during a Press-meet held on the side-lines of the ICFFI in Hyderabad. Also, present at the event was Vinta Nanda, the Managing Director of ACEE, who elaborated the program and its outcome in a presentation she made to the press.
The film ‘The Story of Khachrapur’ mentored by Aaron Edwards and directed by Amit and Abhishek (two children from Saidpur Slum, Patna) was the highlight of the event. The 14 years old Poonam Chand from Nawada, who directed the film ‘Swacchta Ki Khoj’ about open defecation under the mentorship of Denver Fernandes, was the star of the event. The other 3 films ‘Bachpan’ made by children of Rainbow Children’s Home, Patna under mentorship of Debroop Chakraborty; ‘Master ki Class’ and ‘Soch Souchalay’ by the children of Beguserai and Lakhiserai respectively under the mentorship of Azeemuddin Sayyed were also showcased and appreciated.
“If anyone wants to shoot a film in Bihar, they should contact Amit and Abhishek, the Little Directors of The Story of Kachrapur”, said Aaron Edwards, the excited and enthusiastic mentor of the kids. Vinta Nanda traced the 55-year journey of the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) and the contributions made by Dr Shravan Kumar in commercialising content for children across the country. Dr Shravan Kumar congratulated the team and appreciated the efforts put in by the children in creating such wonderful films on issues close to their heart. He also stressed that, “Little Directors is a platform, which through the powerful medium of films, can be used to communicate for the betterment of various sections of society”.
The Golden Elephant is a festival which encourages and provides a platform to kids like Amit, Abhishek and Poonam to come out and unveil their talents to the world. This year children from around 31 countries participated in the festival and we hope to see more and more kids exhibit their talents in front of the world. Hats of to the Little Directors!