It was a memorable date with movies for an estimated 1,00,000 (one lakh) students from 350 schools in the capital and the NCR at the recently-concluded Annual Movie Festival organised by the Partnerships for Action in Education (PACE), the Hindustan Times’ Newspaper in Education (NIE) initiative.
Organised across nine cinema theatres between April 27 and May 9, the festival featured two children’s favourites — Bhoothnath, the story of a little boy and his ghostly friend played by Amitabh Bachchan, as well as Jumbo, the tale about a cute elephant, starring Akshay Kumar.
For most children, including those who had already watched these films before, what made the experience really special was the fun they derived from watching the movies in the company of school mates. It was evident from the boisterous cheers that punctuated the screenings.
At the Sangam theatre, for instance, when the screening of Jumbo began with the popular song titled Everything’s Gonna Be Alright..., nearly a thousand schoolchildren sang along in unison, while many of them broke into a dance.
“Watching the movie with friends is an awesome experience. Though we have watched the movie earlier, we are having more fun today,” said Class V students Gaurav Sharma and Shelton Prabhakar of Mt Carmel, Anand Niketan.
Shubha Sekhri, a teacher of the Mayur Public School in IP Extension, who took students to Regal theatre at CP for a screening of Bhoothnath, said: “Such events, which combine education with fun, are the need of the hour. It’s really good that HT-PACE has come up with the idea of hosting movie fest annually.”
Apart from the above venues, the other ones were Vishal, Rajouri Garden; Liberty, Karol Bagh; Samrat, Shakurpur; Aakash, Azadpur; Delite, Darya Ganj; Sapna, East of Kailash and M4U, Sahibabad.