A kid’s watch

Poster of I am Jumping over the Puddles Again   | Photo Credit: mamp18JumpingPuddles

The Madurai International Children Film Festival is back for the 13th consecutive time and this year, the festival features an interesting mix of period classics and modern-day children cinema including animation films. “Every Children’s Day, we have been screening exclusive and rare collection of films. Over the years, we have collected nearly 5,000 such movies and we want to take forward this rich legacy to the young generation,” says R.S.Rajan, festival director. “Our idea is to give children the exposure to good films. Unfortunately, there’s no genre of children films in major Indian cinema industries. Tamil cinema has movies with child artistes but not a full-fledged children film.” Even the kinds of Kaaka Muttai and Pasanga are hardly children movies, he points out.

The annual festival organised under the banner of Tamil Nadu Children Film Society has struck a chord with kids and parents alike. “When we started the society fifteen years ago, we used to play in 70mm screens and there was hardly any patronage. Now, we screen in schools thereby achieving a wider reach,” says artist and poet S. Ravikumar, executive member of the society. He adds, “Cinema is a visual comic that children can easily relate to. The impact it has on the young minds is tremendous and that’s why it becomes important for kids to see good cinema.”

This time around, the festival showcases seven films belonging to various genres and languages – I am Jumping Over the Puddles Again (A 1970 film directed by Karel Kachya), The Little Prince (directed by Mark Osborne), Kubo and the Two Strings (directed by Travis Knight), End Game (directed by Carmen Marron), Hepburn: Bakemono no ko? (a Japanese film by Mamoru Hosoda), Ramayana: The Epic (directed by Chetan Desai), Brothers of the Wind (directed by Carroll Ballard). “It’s a good variety we are screening. I am Jumping Over the Puddles Again is a classic Czechoslovakian film on how a physically challenged boy overcomes the hurdles in life to realise his dream of becoming a jockey. While, Kubo and the Two Strings is a 2016 action-adventure animation on a one-eyed boy’s search of his Samurai father,” says Rajan. “Likewise, Eco Brothers is a Chinese film that shows how venturing into the forest can teach you a lot more things than text books.”

“Cinema is the most engaging method story telling. It’s time we introduce our children to films of international standards so that they also develop a sense of film appreciation,” says Ravikumar. Padmanabha Sai, a seventh grade student who has been a regular at the festival says that films open a whole new world for him. “While watching a movie, there are certain scenes that remain in our mind for a long time. I sometimes correlate instances in the plot to real life situations I face.”

The movies are screened every evening at 6 p.m. till November 20 at the Victoria Edward Hall. For details, call 9443062444

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 12:13:17 AM |

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