The Children's Film Society India (CFSI) has put together a wonderful package of ‘must-watch' movies for kids.

What can children do in the rainy season? Watch movies — among other things like eating hot bhajia. After hugely successful screenings of a package appropriately titled ‘Monsoon Dhamaal' at the Films Division in Mumbai, Children's Film Society India (CFSI) is taking the fest to Srinagar, Kolkata, Indore, Ahmedabad, Chennai, New Delhi and Bangalore. Entry to the screenings will be free.

This specially curated package of ten award winning films covers a wide and entertaining range of genres from adventure and fantasy to wildlife and has already travelled to Kochi, Pune, Jaipur where it received an overwhelming response. Interactions with directors and child artists have also been organised as part of the event.

“Krish, Trish and Baltiboy”, the fest's opening film in Mumbai, had the audience, which consisted of students in the eight to 12 age group, laughing their heads off.

“Krish, Trish and Baltiboy” is a hilarious animated film which presents Indian folktales set in three different states of India — Rajasthan, Kerala and Punjab. At the inaugural film-maker Kunjal Shroff answered a lot of questions from his admiring young audience.

CFSI chairperson and actor Nandita Das recalled the tremendous response last year to the Summer Bonanza screenings. “This year, we thought we would invite children during the monsoon, when the rain prevents them from playing outdoors. Watching wonderful films would be a welcome relief.”

The screenings are part of CFSI's effort to promote children's films among young audiences, Das said.

Cinema exclusively for children was ideated by India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru whose affection for children is well known. To Panditji then goes the credit of inspiring the founding of the CFSI, which was formally established on May 11, 1955 under the presidentship of Pandit Hriday Nath Kunzru.

CFSI's 1956 production “Jaldeep”, is an adventure story about a lighthouse and underlines themes of courage and unity.

Movies to remember

The film directed by (the late) Kidar Sharma bagged the award for Best Children's Film at the 1957 International Film Festival in Venice. Sharma, who was also a producer, screenwriter, and lyricist went on to direct other films for children including “Scout camp” (1958), “Meera ka Chirta” (1961) and “Khudahafiz” (1983) although he is best remembered for “Neel Kamal” (1947), “Bawre Nain” (1950) and “Jogan” (1950).

Satyen Bose's Bengali film ‘Parivartan” was remade in Hindi as “Jagruti”.

Tapan Sinha's 1978 film “Safed hathi” won a National Award.

CFSI's first ever Telugu film for children “Gangabhavani” directed by T. Prakash Rao won a state award in 1980.

Shankar Nag's film “Swami” based on R K Narayan's book Swami and his Friends cannot be forgotten.

Satyajit Ray and his son Sandeep also made films for children.CFSI also conducts film-making and appreciation workshops to familiarise children with the grammar of filmmaking and animation. At least 16 programmes are held every year primarily in the rural and tribal areas of the country.

If you'd like to contact CFSI email or phone: +91-22-23526798 / Fax: +91-22-23522610