Children, Cinema & You!

I did not enjoy school much. I was out in the playground most of the time and I was, in general, pretty lost! I had always hoped for some clarity to just fall upon me from somewhere and now, in retrospect I realize, how this hope has made me the person that I am today!

I’ve told myself this: through WMF, I am going to relive all the things I hoped to get as a child, vicariously! As a first step towards this radical goal, I wish to screen films to children. Now, obviously there will arise so many questions pertaining to what it does to the children, in what way is this beneficial, how can children take time off their curriculum for something as trivial as “watching a film” where the (privileged) kids get enough of TV and youtube and what is the possible way to reach out to kids who are not able to afford formal education?

There is an inordinate amount of intellectual exchange that can happen via cinema and in most cases, we underestimate the emotional age of children and presume their ignorance on the subject matter. In my present brief stage as a filmmaker, I have learnt that kids understand so much more than we imagine them to, the conclusion I drew from visiting numerous film festivals for children, making films with children and quite simply, spending time with children. Cinema opens up opportunities for dialogues and discussions on topics they may otherwise be unfamiliar with. Visual medium is, in comparison, the best way to incite various thought process akin to growth, inquisitiveness and overall development of the child’s personality.

Okay, so how do we do this? I am listing out the kind of groups (of individuals) that can associate with WMF in this outreach program! If you are one of it and you are kicked about the idea, just pick up your phone and send us a message!

Corporate: You can literally transform the lives of the children all over India with this creative CSR plan in association with WMF. Corporate social responsibility refers to a business practice that involves participating in initiatives that benefit society. With mandatory CSR spend, so many companies are delving into innovative ways to extend their responsibility to the community, this could be yours – an educational and thought provoking way of reaching millions of children through the medium of cinema. There are SO many ways in which you could give and take from this project. Give me a shout; I will be happy to chalk an annual CSR portfolio tailored just for your company! You can count on WMF – Our previous event was a runaway hit and the media coverage it received is nothing but historic. An event hosted by a startup not-for-profit community has never previously received this level of media attention – about 30 news articles in the span of 15 days. That is, more than one article a day – sure, the last time something like this was spoken all over India in the news was during…(maybe our second event)

Send us a mail: contactwmfindia@gmail.com

Schools: Teachers, head of institutions and academic personnel – you will be absolutely LOVED by your students for making this accessible to the children because there is no way they can access these films otherwise. The films that will be screened are sent to WMF from all over the world. Going by the reception of films from the previous event, I am sure, this exclusive (age appropriate) children film screenings will be just as fun as the previous ones. This is also an opportunity for them to listen to how the films were made from the filmmakers (if available) themselves. All screenings will be coupled with discussion and QnA about the film, its content, the process et al. The type of films would be fiction, animation, documentary and silent films – which will be duly screened for approval of the school authorities before the agreed date. If you have a screening space – great! If you don’t, WMF will arrange for it. Your time is what we need!

Orphanages: Same goes for the lovely children growing up in orphanages. I cannot stress enough on how thankful I am to you for running the orphanage. Your service is inimitable and your time is much too prized. Please let us kindle children’s curiosity a little bit by making an evening out of cinema, creativity and contentment. WMF will arrange for the all the technical requisites for the screening. Everything is absolutely not for profit – this is my word.

NGOs: Do you work with children from the economically disadvantaged areas? Do you meet them, teach them and play with them? PLEASE get in touch with us. We would love to take the kids on a journey of films and fond memories. Again, if you can simply ensure a group of kids for the screening and perhaps accompany them, that is enough. Everything else will be taken care of by WMF.

Filmmakers: Have you made films with children? Would you like us to screen it as part of our children outreach programme? Then follow the steps below.

Step 1: Become a member of WMF (only if you identify yourself as a female filmmaker)

Step 2: Submit your film, read the terms and conditions carefully before submitting.

Even though WMF believes in promoting the work of female filmmakers / technicians, there is an exception only in this particular event. You could be anyone, as long as you have made a film about a child. If you are not a female filmmaker, it is a bonus if one of the department heads is a female.

Parents, children, film enthusiasts, film club owners and everyone else who has watched atleast one film in your lifetime: PLEASE help us spread the word. There is also going to be special screening of films made BY children, so if your child has made a film which you would like to showcase, head over to the form and send it to us. There is nothing more motivating than watching ‘one of them’ making a film. If you are interested in what we do and wish to have a screening in your child’s school – write to us @ contactwmfindia@gmail.com

I wish someone had come up with this plan when I was in school – it would have saved me 5 years of graduation, 5 more of corporate jobs before I decided what I wanted to do with my life….for now!

Here’s to my younger self, version 2.0 reliving my childhood.