New Delhi, July 25(IANS) A diverse selection of animated, short and feature Indian and international films will serve as 'entertainment with a purpose' for children and young adults alike at a seven-day film festival that kicked off here Friday.
School children from Amity International School here enthusiastically queued up to watch the films Friday and came out greatly appreciating them.
The fest - WorldKids International Film Festival - is a first of its kind film gala happening in the capital city, though it has visited Mumbai last year and Indore earlier this year.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit inaugurated the event Friday evening in the presence of the partnering companies and institutes.
She presented special awards to filmmaker Amol Gupte and Sanjeev Bijli of PVR cinemas for their contribution to hit film 'Taare Zameen Par' that is about an eight-year-old dyslexic boy and how a teacher, played by Aamir Khan, brings him out of this predicament.
'The response was phenomenal and unbelievable,' said festival director Manju Singh, adding: 'Children today have access to everything but quality international cinema. Neither are such films shown in theatres or on TV. Even schools don't take much of an initiative to show them good films.
'When I was a child, movies like 'David Copperfield' used to be screened every month and we used to watch them for a rupee. Nowadays, children lack that enthusiasm,' she told IANS.
Gupte, who watched Iranian film 'Hayat' with the schoolchildren, expressed his delight at the audience breaking into loud applause when the film ended.
'It was amazing. Everyone was clapping and there were some moist eyes as well. This was a sign that the doors are open for such cinema to entertain children because they appreciate it,' he said.
Singh has been a media professional and an actress herself and took care in choosing the films to be showcased at the fest, held at the PVR Premiere of Select CITYWALK mall here.
'My criteria to choose the films was simple. A film did not have to be commercially big and I wanted to create a good mix of value-based films from a number of countries. So I have got a film from Kazakhistan, one from Cuba and then we also have some classics to which our present generation has not been exposed,' she explained.
Some of the films that will be showcased at the event include 'An Inconvenient Truth' (US), 'Red Like The Sky' (Italy), 'Magnifico' (Philippines), and 'Summer With The Ghosts' (Canada) among others.
The films have been clubbed together to create three-and-half hour long sessions that will include one feature film, a few short films and a discussion with the children on each day.
Students from 26 other schools will be thronging the theatres during the morning and afternoon sessions that will be reserved for them on weekdays.
The evening sessions as well as the weekends, however, will be open to all - children, young adults and their families.
There is no entry or registration fee to watch a film at the festival.