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Interesting fare in children’s film festival

Clipping (47kbs) - The Hindu, 16/11/1999. By Gautaman Bhaskaran

Record Number : A0090063

Click to browse by keyword: Cinema Film Exhibition Filmographies/Film Listings


Interesting fare in children’s film festival

By Gautaman Bhaskaran

The International Children's Film Festival settled into its groove here today with screenings for the Press and delegates being held in two theatres and for the public in several halls spread across the city.

One of the interesting features shown today was a German work Two in a boat, by Ms. Cornelia Grunberg. It was part of the competition at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. The movie, which is competing for the Golden Elephant here, was reminiscent of Enid Blyton’s “Famous Five” series, which fascinated readers with nail-biting suspense.
Two in a boat takes viewers on a gripping adventure. Knut, his grandsons and a friend’s daughter canoe to see a rare eagle’s nest. The old man has a heart attack and collapses on the way and the children put aside their differences to save him.
Shot in difficult locations — mostly in creeks and lagoons — the picture narrates the adventure in about 70 minutes.

The lucidity of the film and the style of shooting keeps the tempo of the movie literally above the water.
It was not very surprising that the few children who were part of the audience — the main theatres ran almost empty today — were moved by the experience, and some of the questions they asked the director displayed not only clear thinking, but also a firm grip over the medium, and, above all, a willingness to look at cinema without prejudices.
This proved that boys and girls in the country appreciate sensible fare, and the contention that only “masala movies” appealed to them rings hollow.
A little later, Ms. Grunberg told this correspondent that bad cinema dominating good cinema was a global phenomenon.

“In Germany, Hollywood trash is threatening to demolish the good celluloid stuff being made there. In any case, it is quite difficult to make children’s cinema there, with funds hard to come by. Not more than a couple of such films are made in a year. There are many projects, though, but directors have to fight for years to get money. Ultimately, some of them get into television. Cases of a single movie being funded by several agencies are not exactly rare.

However, the few children’s movies that are made find eager viewers.
Two in a boat, for instance, was a big hit with school students, who took their parents and older friends along to see it.
Educational institutions also booked tickets en masse for their students.
Ms. Grunberg said that a good story always found an audience. And adventures, more so.
A look at the computer games played by children will make it obvious that they are hooked on to anything that has an element of fear and thrill.

The secret is to get them hooked, but at Hyderabad one saw that despite the efforts by the organisers to spread information about the movies, most of the young viewers were in the dark about what they were about to watch.







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