Release from Kriti Team
15 Nov.Starting at noon, with introductions among the children and the Kriti team, the first set of films were from Nitin Das’s series ‘Jadui Pankh’. With Kaaju as the ‘innocent’ kid who witnesses a conversation on bombing, this short film on the Mumbai riots came with its share of seriousness and some magic for the viewers. Then the title film ‘Jadui Pankh’ with its light-hearted message of hope during difficult times through the metaphor of a magic feather brought some cheerfulness and the ‘ghost’ film which led to the children agreeing and disagreeing about ghosts being real or not, was it a she ghost or he ghost!! With some children trickling in, we broke for a lunch spread laid out in the sun with child friendly but as healthy as possible pasta, vegetable noodles, fries, orange tang, and some fruits.
New friendships were gradually getting made, some silence, a lot of laughter, some kids sitting down near our children’s book rack to read, others playing around after their meal.
‘Lukka Chhuppi’ by Vinod Ganatra had the kids sitting glued, then turning sleepy, waking up again, giggling, wondering why this little kid was being kidnapped again and again. From classes 1st to 6th, between 7-16 years of age, a gang of 17 kids, including 7 girls spent the afternoon at the festival. The intervals and the activity hours in between the films provided the kids ample opportunity of interacting and sharing with each other.
A little break in the screenings brought some kids to the park in front of our workplace, some to the drawing sheets and colour pencils, and some to finding snails in the garden. Soon enough every kid was looking for snails and some even started to do some potting of plants. We know what we should organise as our next event for these children and more…
Besides being entertaining, the films also triggered thoughts on environment and the role of relationships in life. The kids were quite deeply touched by the message in the film ‘Fable’ on conserving nature and planting more trees to save life on earth. It was really heartening to hear them derive meaning from the film in the form of comments such as “one should not be afraid of anything in life” and “even small efforts can go a long way”.
Ending with ‘The Fable of the Himalayas’, by Nitin Das on global warming and climate change, some fruit, cake and cookies, some little ‘return gifts’ to them and expressions of their day at this Children’s Film Festival and we said our byes to the sparkling eyes and energies of these beautiful children who said they would love to come back again for a day with the Kriti team. The children summed it up in their own words at the end of the day by describing it as ‘full of fun, excellent, happy, excited, i made new friends and lots of joy”.
What was also heartening was the coming together at the festival of kids from lower income community in the neighbourhood along with the middle and upper middle kids, breaking some barriers (we hope) that otherwise prevent such interactions in ‘normal day to day lives’.