New Delhi: Cinema for children in India has had an obscure presence, though over the years, there have been popular films, including Kidar Sharma’s 1957 classic ‘Jaldeep’, which won the Best Children’s Film award at the International Film Festival in Venice. . There was also Shyam Benegal’s 1975 film ‘Charandas Chor’, while in mainstream cinema films such as ‘Jagruti’ (1954), ‘Boot Polish’ (1954), ‘Ab Delhi Door Nahi’ (1957) entertained children. Tapan Sinha’s 1978 win Safed Hathi won the National Film Award in 1978. In recent times, India hasn’t produced enough content specifically for kids, but here’s a selection of some of the movies that not only captivated the youth, but also gave adults food for thought.
1. Taare Zameen Par:
Released in 2007, the Aamir Khan and Amol Gupte directorial was an eye-opener for many parents and teachers who were not aware of what dyslexia is and that children with learning disabilities are “slow” or “slow”. Not lazy, but need help to overcome them. Challenges they face while reading or writing. Produced by Aamir Khan, the film revolves around an eight-year-old dyslexic boy, Ishaan Awasthi (Darsheel Safary), who is deeply observant, sensitive and loves to paint. His teachers and father repeatedly make him feel worthless and he is sent to a boarding school where he retreats even more into his shell until a teacher Ram Shankar Nikumbha (Aamir Khan) gives him advice, guidance. decides not to commit and befriend him. ‘Taare Zameen Par’ was screened in 2008 and 2009 by the International Dyslexia Association in Seattle, Washington. It was India’s official entry for the 2009 Academy Awards Best Foreign Film category and also won the Filmfare Best Film Award and the National Film Award. Best film on family welfare.
2. Gandhi & Co. ,
Producer Mahesh Dananvar and National Award winning director Manish Saini have put Indian cinema for children on the world map with their acclaimed film, ‘Gandhi & Co’, which recently won the Golden Slipper Award at the 62nd edition of the prestigious global event. recognition has been achieved. Zlin Film Festival in the Czech Republic. ‘Golden Slipper’ is a prestigious award given to the Best Feature Film in the Children, Youth and Animation category. The film’s child actors Ryan Shah and Hiranya Zinzuwadia also won the Best Child Actor award at the New York Indian Film Festival 2022. The film won the 2nd Best Indian Feature Award and the Best Children’s Film award at the 13th Bengaluru International Film Festival. International Gujarati Film Festival (IGFF) 2022. It is winning hearts and minds in the international festival circuit, highlights the enduring value of Gandhian principles and revolves around two boys who discover Gandhi’s gentle heroism through a mentor. They learn that Gandhi is not just a chapter in the school book but a way of life. The film also stars Darshan Jariwala, Jayesh More, Drumma Mehta, Sunil Vishrani, Ryan Shah, Hiranya Zinjuwadia and Dhyani Jani.
3. Stanley’s Box:
Directed and produced by Amol Gupte, the film gives you a shattering insight into the lives of untouched children who come before them before they are ready to face the harshest realities of life. The film revolves around a schoolboy named Stanley, who does not have a lunchbox and has to rely on his friends to feed him during the holidays. No one knows the dark facts about his life as he is funny, keeps an irrepressible smile and is always cheerful. Despite difficult situations, he makes those around him happy. While his English teacher (Divya Dutta) is impressed by his sunny demeanor, he always faces the enmity of his Hindi teacher (Amol Gupte). The story offers a heartbreaking twist at the end, which explains why Stanley can’t bring a lunchbox to school. And why is he not like any other kid in the school. Partho Gupte received a National Award along with a Filmfare Special Award for his role.
4. Chillar Party:
Produced by Salman Khan Films, the 2011 comedy entertainer ‘Chillar Party’ captured all the sanctity and joy of childhood. Directed by Vikas Bahl and Nitesh Tiwari, the National Award-winning film (Best Children’s Film) stars a group of enthusiastic young children who challenge adult cruelty and political corruption to save a dog from certain death. In doing so, children teach adults that ideals such as “we should always help others” “a friend in need is really a friend” and “we should do what is right” are incorporated into the real, not in books. Life must be done. Led by young actors, Sarath Menon (Arjun/Encyclopedia), Naman Jain (Jhangya), Chinmay Chandranshuh (Panauti/Lucky) and others, the film beautifully showcases how only coexistence can bring true happiness and harmony. The stellar performances of the children impressed the adult actors as well.
5. Blue Umbrella:
Director Vishal Bhardwaj beautifully adapted a Ruskin Bond novel to the silver screen in 2005. Set in a Himalayan village called Banikhet, the film captures an idyllic, rural life of simple joys until a little girl Biniya (Shreya Sharma) gets a blue umbrella. Japanese tourist and umbrella becomes the attraction of all eyes. This inspires jealousy and negativity and also upsets middle-aged shopkeeper Nandkishore ‘Nandu’ Khatri (Pankaj Kapoor). One day the umbrella is stolen and Binya begins an investigation into the theft of her valuables. The film, jointly produced by Vishal Bhardwaj and Ronnie Screwvala, also won the National Film Award for Best Children’s Film in 2006 and was screened at the Pusan International Film Festival.
6. I am Kalam :
Directed by National Award winner and Padma Shri recipient Neela Madhab Panda, this 2010 film depicts how a positive role model can inspire a child to rise above his or her circumstances. The film was screened at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival and won 34 international awards at various film festivals. The story is told from the perspective of a child laborer, Chhotu (Haresh Mayor), who works in a roadside dhaba. There, he befriends Rannvijay Singh (Husain Saad), and being an avid learner, seeks his help to gain more knowledge. A sudden glimpse of the Republic Day parade and President APJ Abdul Kalam’s salute march changes something in him and he immediately decides to be like him. The film continues to remind us of the untapped potential in street children and child laborers whose dreams and reality never match, but their zest for life can inspire us all.