The Birla Auditorium in the Pink City of Jaipur was decorated like a colourful bride on November 14. I was amazed to see the entire auditorium abuzz with laughter, cheer and hoots as the children expressed joy in seeing their favourite film heroes participate in the inaugural ceremony of the second edition of the National Children’s Film Festival (NCFF) in Jaipur.
Yes, it was a day to remember for me as well thousands of children from various schools across Jaipur and for the officials of Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI) and officials of Government of Rajasthan as well.
Jointly organised by CFSI and Government of Rajasthan, the three-day National Children’s Film Festival opened to a colourful start with the presence of noted Bollywood stars Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Ila Arun, Darsheel Safary, Tisca Chopra and Faisal Khan.
Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore, CFSI Chairperson Mukesh Khanna, Ad Guru Piyush Pandey and senior officials of Rajasthan Government were also present to kick start the event.
Actor Irrfan Khan, who recalled his childhood and how he became an actor, called on the children to 'keep dreaming', and said, "dreams come true when they are real."
|MoS Rajyavardhan Rathore, CFSI Chairperson Mukesh Khanna, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Ila Arun, Piyush Pandey and Ramkishan Choyal|
Khan said that his interest in education became serious when he realised which was the subject he liked the most - that's Drama. “One should understand the calling from within. You should listen to the voice that comes from within and only then your journey in the chosen field becomes successful,” he informed.
Actor Anil Kapoor said that making children's films is even more challenging in today's times as children are exposed to technology and the digital medium. “They know so much about this creative art of film making. With advancement in digital technology, children are involved in making short films and documentaries. This should continue,” he said.
Kapoor also expressed happiness on workshops and open forums being organised at this festival. “Let's make the festival theme 'Make in India' become a reality by making quality films for children and by children,” he said.
Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, who was very supportive in enabling us hold the second edition of NCFF at Jaipur, called on the children to enjoy themselves for three days and unleash their creativity in the days to come.
It was a real treat to one’s eyes to see thousands of children, accompanied by their respective teachers, had arrived in groups to witness the inaugural ceremony. The crowded auditorium resonated with laughter, cheer and screams during the various cultural programmes.
|Graceful Bihu Dance|
The inaugural ceremony saw some colourful performances including a vibrant dance performance by youngsters from the Terrence Dance Troupe, a colourful Bihu dance, Puppetry Show, a ventriloquism act etc.
CFSI’s offering ‘Gauru’, directed by Ramkishan Choyal, who is also from Rajasthan was screened as the opening film of the festival after the inaugural ceremony at the auditorium. Gauru holds a special place in the hearts of the audience as the entire film is also shot in Rajasthan.
The sprawling lawns of the Birla Auditorium was decorated with colourful buntings while Rajasthani Folk dancers and musicians welcomed the guests at the entrance. The children enjoyed the movement of a joker and a man dressed as Charlie Chaplin in and out of the auditorium. In all, the three-day film festival kicked off to a colourful start.
The Workshops, Open Forums and the Kids Carnival at Jawahar Kala Kendra also drew huge crowd.
The Open Forum, with the theme, "Children's Films: The Indian Experience, Challenges, Possibilities" saw the participation of children, parents as well as teachers.
With Prof. Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Media & Education Consultant, Former Dean, Symbiois & Amity Universities moderating the Forum, the panel was chaired by CFSI Chairman Mukesh Khanna; Abhishek Ray, Music Director, I Am Kalaam; Cyrus Dastur, Founder, Shamiana Short Film Movement and Avinash Tripathy, Jury, Rajasthan International Film Festival and me.
In all, it was an event to remember for children of Jaipur, who will get to see some of the best children’s movies during the three-day film festival.