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Actress Nandita Das is usually in the news for her choice of unconventional films and roles, but now she is in the limelight because of the award she received from the International Women’s Forum for her commitment towards global cinema. She does different and challenging roles in her films but also tries to bring innovativeness and variety in whichever field she dedicates herself to.
She is the Chair Person of Children Film Society India. Recently a film festival was held in Delhi by CFSI, about which she said, “Many informative and entertaining films were shown to the children, and many useful workshops on different aspects of film and cinematography were held.” In succession to this, another Film Festival will be held in Hyderabad starting from 14th November till 20th November.
This 17th International Film Festival to be held in Hyderabad, Shilparamum, has received 741 film entries from 86 countries, out of which 170 films have been shortlisted from 44 countries. It is for the first time such a large number of film entries have been received. And also, for the first time there are films which are directed by children from the age of 6 to 16 years and a special jury presides over it.
Nandita Das added, “Movies in this category includes, Iran’s “The Other’, France’s “Tales of the night”, China’s, “The star and the sea”. Denmark’s “The Great Bear”, India’s “Chillar Party”, “Stanley ka Dabba” and “I Am Kalam”. Along with these include Australia’s, “The lost thing” by Andrew Ruhemnon, a 2011 Oscar Winning Film. Also the “Ugly Duckling” and “Tales of the night” will be screened. To screen these films at the venue, 3 artificial AC theatres have been made. Along with feature films many good short films will be shown at the festival.
On asking her what do children gain from this festival, the Chair Person replies, “Of course, children get to see many various well made films through such festivals. We are trying to show them better films so that we can provide them with a lot of entertainment. I’d like to share an experience I had in Kashmir when I showed them these films, the children were more excited about watching it in a theatre rather than the film itself, as they are no theatres there. So you tell me now, whether the children gain anything informative and valuable from these film festivals or not?”
When asked that she herself makes such good films then why not on children, she said, “Right now I am the Chair Person of CFSI so I am contributing for children in this way. My child is also growing up so I wonder what will he watch when he grows up?”
On asking Nandita Das why the International Film Festival takes place only in Hyderabad every year, she replied, “I wish to organize it around India in different states, but one simple reason for why in Hyderabad, is that the government here is very supportive and helps us throughout to promote it.”
Besides these what’s new at the festival? “We have tried to get Indian film producers and directors to take part in this festival. And its bearing fruit, as the director/singer Gulzar is composing the lyrics for the festival and Vishal Bhardwaj is composing the music. Besides this Mohan Agashe, Budhdev Dasgupta and many other film producers and directors are with us and supporting us.”