Age is just a number for many children whose films were screened at Big Cinemas, Paras Downtown, Zirakpur, on Sunday, as a part of TAN Film Festival.
These kids from various tricity schools, aged between 6 to 18, have done all that the process of film-making requires---writing scripts, directing, acting, being a part of the post-production, and much more---they have tried to discover themselves while giving a voice to their ideas, no matter how absurd.
This is exactly what makes their films stand apart. They talk about anything and everything from the desire of a boy working at a tea stall to sit in a school bus to how we use different chairs at every stage in our life.
Delivering right message.
While some films highlighted socially-relevant issues such as underage driving and the need to donate blood, other more abstract subjects such as believing in good wishes and the need to break free from the monotony of daily life, sparkled on the silver screen with their sheer brilliance.
Udbhav Mehta, a student of Class-8 at Saupin's, Sector 32, Chandigarh, who directed two films and acted in one, feels that acting is more difficult than direction. Although he stole the show with his performance in a short film called 'Piloo Aaya', he admits that he was nervous throughout the shoot. "It is not easy to act with all your friends around you trying to make you laugh," he says candidly.
Shweta Parakh, whose brainchild is Purple People Labs (PPL), that enrolls students in what she calls a communication development programme, says, "Children learn so much all the time but have limited avenues to deliver. We wanted to create a space for them where they could communicate what they think without the pressure of performing well."
The PPL has engaged with as many as 5,000 children in cities like Mumbai, Gurgaon and Chandigarh and has made 126 short films in just three years. "It took me two years only to convince school principals," adds 26-year-old Parakh.
Usha Mehta, Udbhav's mother, was reluctant about the whole idea when her 13-year-old son first mentioned it two years ago. "I thought it was just one of the many activities that schools come up with every now and then. But Udbhav was adamant." Today, when she sees her son star in a short movie and contribute in several others, she is a lot more than just satisfied.
Teeshaa Arora, a student of Class 5 at The Gurukul, Panchkula, who was the protagonist in a film called 'All the Best', liked "leaning, filming, handling cameras and acting so much" that she would want to do it for the rest of her life.