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There are so many wonderful movies being made the world over. But you need to know about them, and, more importantly, have access to them, or you will never be able to watch these movies. That is why we are trying to do our bit,” explains Vidyun Singh, director, programmes department, Habitat World at the India Habitat Centre (IHC). Over three days, starting Friday, IHC is organizing a Habitat Children’s Film Festival.
The Film Club at the IHC is known for its Habitat Film Festival, and, earlier this year, it hosted the first Habitat International Film Festival. As part of these festivals, children’s films have always received positive feedback. So for the first time, the IHC is dedicating an entire festival to films made for children aged 8-12.
“We are looking at this as a pilot run, to see how these films are going to be received by children. We have also timed it so that they get to enjoy their summer holidays, instead of just sitting at home,” adds Singh.
The movies that will be screened include Shortcut Safari (Hindi) about a group of schoolgoing children who get lost, and Babar Naam Gandhiji (Bengali), based on an orphan boy’s struggle to defeat all odds and emerge successful in life. It will also showcase some international movies such as Iqbal And The Secret Recipe, about a boy who accidentally blows up his school; Antboy, about a 12-year-old superhero; Going To School, about a clumsy young boy who drives adults up the wall; Marco Macaco, an animated movie about a monkey and his quest for love (all from Denmark); and Red Dragon Flies (Singapore), about three friends who explore an abandoned railway track but are caught unawares by an unforeseen incident.
Singh recommends Babar Naam Gandhiji (for the way it has handled the issue of morals, without being preachy) and Antboy (because superhero stories are always popular and pure fun for viewers).
The festival has been designed without a theme in mind. “The idea was to bring great movies from different languages and regions and see what works with which age group. The films children get to see usually are only the commercially successful ones. These will be different and will give them a wider perspective,” says Singh.
The Habitat Children’s Film Festival will be held from 16-18 June, with screenings at 10am, noon and 4pm (the latter only on Saturday), at the Stein Auditorium, IHC, Lodhi Road. Seating is on first-come, first-served basis.