“We become the stories we absorb”
Stories travel. Stories bridge. Stories connect.
Not long ago, these were the same stories that we filled up our vacations with- summer, winter and the others in between. Stories which led us to believe that endings are also a new kind of beginning. Stories, depicted via the medium of films, which influenced us in more ways than one. But today, in a digitally hyper connected world, these stories have disappeared for our Children.
Where have their films gone? And why?
“When I started the shoot of 'Chillar Party' sometime around 2009, hardly did I know that it will set me off onto a path of discovery and exploration of Children's Films in India. Immediately followed the Oscar nominated 'The Good Road' with 2 Child artists and 'Shortcut Safaari' with 7. By the time I completed filming these, I guess the die was cast. During this 3 film epic journey, I was deeply inspired and moved by the earnestness of all the child actors, who would brave against all odds and uncertainties of every filmmaking process and infuse life into every scene that we made with the strength of their innocence and faith. Their unparalleled devotion into the cinematic world of Stories. Their stake, which must not be ignored.”
Cinematographer and producer Amitabha Singh says that he realized the power that cinema can have on the minds of young and impressionable children, soon in his career. In 2016, he launched Cinevidya, a series of all India film festivals and workshops for children. This setup is a definitive attempt to change the overall positioning of cinema in a child’s world of engagement, inspiration and expression. And thus, to catalyse a process that would improve the content that children absorb through audio-visual media.
The market of Children's Films in India has been dormant for many years. Once it awakens, it will result in a thriving ecosystem of content creation, dissipation, consumption and sustainable business. Cinema has the power to change the awareness levels and behaviour of the mass since it's a highly effective medium of communication and influence and they have been applying the tools of advertising films to benefit brands and their products for a long time now.
By taking finely curated films to children, he wishes to bring about a positive change in them in all spheres of their lives. This will translate into a change in our youth and hence our society, country and the world. Moreover, when the mass of audiences will get aware and accustomed to such fine content, the demand will increase which will mean increase in business and motivation for the makers to continue making such films.
With this annual project, Amitabha plans to take Cinevidya to 30 cities in India. Their recent event held in Gandhinagar was a roaring success, therefore he is very keen to keep this movement on a roll so that it gains size and proportions. The gross cost of having these events and award functions in 30 cities is expected to be in excess of 2 crores. While a substantial part of this will be covered by sponsors, it will not be sufficient to reach 30 cities. This is where you can step in to help.
Films need to be viewed as a tool to educate children of different backgrounds, and inculcate morals and value education. Films need to be at the heart of their learning experiences, for it has the ability to foster creativity and ignite imagination. There are hundreds of films that release every year but if you believe that our children should grow up consuming quality cinema that bring out and nurture important social values, then you can help Amitabha achieve his social initiative.
After all, being Indians, we are constantly absorbed in cinema. Routine life is composed of filmy elements reeling out the reality. So if you ever aspired to be Shahrukh when lifting hands during P.T class or Madhuri when performing at a society function or just randomly observing rain and dreaming your favorite ‘baarish’ sequence in your head as the hero or heroine - support Cinevidya.
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