No kidding!

Published: 14 November, 2013 00:04 IST | Urmimala Banerjee and Rashmi Henriques |

Experts say that if a child likes a film it's bound to be a superhit. However, there are not many films made for young audiences in the country. On the ocassion of Children's Day, CS speaks to a few filmmakers on this issue and finds out what can be done to change this scenario.

Vikas Bahl, director
It think it takes one successful film to make a difference to a genre. We saw how women-centric films got a boost after Kahaani.

A still from I Am Kalam

I feel that it’s a matter of belief. Having a superstar does help but then a film can work without an A-list actor in it as well.

I feel that the definition of a children’s film is somewhat unclear. According to me, a children’s film is one that appeals to children. There are films that have children in it, yet they are not children’s films in the truest sense of the term. They are multi-layered films talking about serious issues.

Mangesh Hadawale, director
When it comes to children’s films, I feel that filmmakers shouldstrike a balance between content and commercial viability. Also, such films need to be made from a child’s perspective than those of adults. Children need to be taken seriously in order to work on subjects that relate to them. Government can do its bit by showing classic children’s films at schools in semi-urban and rural areas. They can also be promoted online through social networks.

Amole Gupte, screenwriter and director
I feel that children’s films need to be promoted in a better manner. It is discouraging for filmmakers when they don’t even recover the capital amount from a children’s film. I can’t complain that audiences don’t like children’s films as both my films were well-appreciated. It also depends on what the outlook of a producer is. If he’s looking at profits, then a children’s film is not for him. For me, there’s no other world than the world of children. Cinema can be used to sensitise people about children’s issues that are equally important as those faced by adults. Children’s films can help introduce cinema as a subject to kids rather than showing them films with objectionable U/A content.

Jahnu Barua, director
In children’s films, there are two categories -- films for children and about them. The former is meant to entertain them while the latter is more content-driven. The reason producers don’t back such films is because of the lack of commercial viability associated with such projects. They don’t bring in a large audience to the theatres. I feel that cinema needs to be introduced tochildren at an early age. The education system has neglected this art so far. Once a child is taught about a film and its various aspects, he or she will automatically develop an interest in it.This will help in creating an environment for such films in India.

Nila Madhab Panda, director
In 100 years of Indian cinema, there isn’t one remarkable children’s movie that we have made. Most distributors and producers don’t want to invest their time and money on a genre that is not given due recognition. I strongly feel that the Indian government needs to intervene in this. Some basic rules should be in place. For instance, children’s movie should be made tax-free. Also, we need to learn to utilise the wide school network the country has. Lastly, I urge filmmakers to think of different ways to market the films.  

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