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Children are the toughest audience: Ranbir

Suresh Krishnamoorthy
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Off to a good start:Actor Ranbir Kapoor (centre), writer Gulzar (right) and Shravan Kumar, CEO of Children’s Film Society of India, at a press conference on 18th International Children’s Film Festival of India, in Hyderabad on Thursday.- PHOTO: P.V. SIVAKUMAR
Off to a good start:Actor Ranbir Kapoor (centre), writer Gulzar (right) and Shravan Kumar, CEO of Children’s Film Society of India, at a press conference on 18th International Children’s Film Festival of India, in Hyderabad on Thursday.- PHOTO: P.V. SIVAKUMAR

Children are the toughest audience to please and the best of critics, said Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor, while poet and filmmaker Gulzar said it was time children were given as much as they needed to be, in the form of good and clean, message-oriented entertainment.

That was how the press conference started off, a couple of hours before the kick-off of the 18{+t}{+h}International Children’s Film Festival of India (ICFFI), here on Thursday.

Mr. Ranbir Kapoor said while children were the most difficult of audiences to satisfy, they were also the best for a filmmaker, pointing out that as a producer he was on a project titled ‘Jagga Jasoos’ on the Picture Shuru Productions banner, directed by Anurag Basu.

“It revolves a lot around children and I also play an 18-year-old in the film,” he informed.

Mr. Gulzar said concerns of children needed to be addressed better than they were being done now. “There are gaps and we need to fill them up with positive entertainment. As far as such festivals are concerned, they also need to be taken to different locations and spread their reach as much as possible, across the length and breadth of the country,” he said.

The ace director recalled that among his best moments working with children were those that he experienced during the making of films like ‘Parichay’ and ‘Masoom’.

Replying to a question, the ‘Barfi’ star said among his first recollections of films he watched as a child were ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ and ‘Mr. India’ when he was few years older.

“The best way to bring out children’s curiosity is to engage them in discussions through more platforms like festivals and give them what they want, treating them as equals,” he added.

Festival Director and CEO Shravan Kumar said that as far as the City of Pearls was concerned, it was the ICFFI’s 10{+t}{+h}edition. It came with the promise of far superior entertainment in quality of projection compared to earlier editions, he said adding that of the 200-odd films, there were 27 from South America.

The focus this time was on children with special needs, he said. While there were two theatres earmarked for them, the festival had three films- one each from China and Scandinavia and another from the USA, specially on ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).


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