The potential of film pedagogy

“One of the biggest messages which our children need to learn and grow up with is empathy. This is such a diverse world and as adults, we often tend to be stuck with our perspectives. We then tarnish children with these perspectives on low empathy to cultures, languages or people. Exposure to an activity like a film festival helps our children build empathy, apart from seeing what’s happening in different parts of the world,” says Syed Sultan Ahmed, managing director of LXL Ideas, known for their work in filmmaking, organising events, publishing and delivering holistic research and training. They do this through their brands School Cinema, Krayon, Mentor, LXL Teach and Expressions Society that channelise teaching through ‘unconventional, innovative methodologies’.

The potential of film pedagogy

He is also the festival director of the International Kids Film Festival (IKFFI), which is happening for the first time in India, from November 14 to 19. The festival will be conducted in association with the French Embassy, Culture House of Iran and Children’s Film Festival, Seattle.

“Also over the past decade, a lot more content is being consumed over the visual medium than the written medium. And so I believe that teaching children filmmaking and film appreciation becomes part of core pedagogy because they need to be exposed to good content, just like they needed to be exposed to good literature earlier.”

This is why, says Syed, apart from enhancing empathy, exposure to the world, art and creativity, film festivals are important because film is a format that people are going to increasingly consume and create in the future.

IKFFI is also set to be India’s first online film festival that will feature films from over 25 countries.

“As a content creator, I realise that films showcased in festivals are unique because they are not seen anywhere else and are of high standards. They are made sensitively and that’s the kind of content we need to expose our children to. But the reality is that a very small sectionget to attend them. And so we need to take the festival to the children.”

The potential of film pedagogy

He observes that going online makes the access to film festivals more democratic, allowing every section of the young audience of engage with it, especially in the smaller cities and towns in India.

“There are two parts to the success of a festival. The first part, which is curating content is one of the most difficult and so we decided to associate with two countries which are known for their children’s films — France and Iran. We also tied up with the Children’s Film Festival of Seattle. This gave us access to good content and beyond that, we kept it open for a lot of international platforms and other filmmakers to send in entries,” he explains.

“The second part is about convincing schools to do something more for Children’s Day than just cultural events. Since we come from a background of having done events in the past through our Krayon programme, we reached out through our network and also through social media. Our tie-up with Youtube helped open up what was intended to be a 10-city, 10-centre, 10-school festival.”

And so schools from across the corners of the country, from Jammu and Kashmir to Nagaland are taking part in the festival.

LXL Ideas is also hosting a filmmaking competition for children as part of the International Kids Film Festival. For details, visit

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 12:29:23 AM |

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