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'I'll know which films to show my kid'

Says Nandita Das, the chairperson of the Children’s Film Society Of India, whose film, Krish Trish And Baltiboy, premieres on TV today.

entertainment Updated: Jun 11, 2010 19:10 IST
Rachana Dubey

Nandita DasShe’s expecting her first baby in a few months. Meanwhile, the Children’s Film Society Of India’s production — Krish Trish And Baltiboy — premieres on Pogo today morning alongside the channel’s in-house animation production, Kumbh Karan. Nandita Das gushes: "The film’s director had pproached Turner to promote and circulate his work widely. They agreed and approached my office. We had a chat and closed the deal. It’s great for the director because he was so enthusiastic about his film. He wanted every kid in India to see it. That’s something I don’t see too often."

But isn’t the film coming a tad late because the summer holidays are nearly over and kids would be back to school on Monday? “There are a few more days for some schools to open. I know of certain schools that have recently closed for the summer vacation. As long as kids catch the film on a Sunday, it’s fine with me. I’m confident they’ll like the film because I have seen first-hand reactions to it at our Summer Bonanza screening. Krish Trish and Baltiboy ran into a packed house at the fest and the kids were really enjoying themselves,” recalls Das.

Great ideas
Krishna Desai of Pogo says that his channel is keen on screening more films from the CFSI stable. “Various films are made keeping kids in mind but that doesn’t limit their viewership. Elders can watch them too, rewind to their childhood and what they learnt back then. So, we think it’s a great idea if we can extend our association with CFSI further and have more films from them on our channel,” he adds.

Das on the kiddy flick she wants to make next

Given that you’ll be a mother soon and that you have been working on content for kids since you became chairperson for the CFSI, is there a film you’d specifically want your child to watch?
(Laughs) Nothing obscene for sure! Actually, it’s uncanny that during my pregnancy, I’ve been actively working on content for children. After dealing with all kinds of subjects from different genres, by the time my child is old enough to watch movies, I’ll know what to show him or her... And what to hide away till my baby grows up.

What kind of films would you recommend for kids?
Anything that can help them evolve: animation, wildlife, even classics. We all know that kids these days are thriving on western content. As parents and elders, we must ensure that they are also exposed to ‘desi’ folk tales like the Panchatantra and Amar Chitra Katha. Children today don’t know a single Indian superhero though there are many in the titles that I have just mentioned. For them to relish these local folk tales, we, as producers, have to ensure that we recycle such content, giving it a contemporary touch.

Which stories from the Panchatantra and Amar Chitra Katha do you recall?
Tonnes. It’s through these books that I learnt about simple folk who are superheroes in their own right. But I don’t expect children today to pick up such books unless we translate them into films that speak the lingo of the Gen Next.

Even before CFSI, you’ve worked with kids and kiddy flicks, right?
Yeah. I did my masters in social work. I was closely associated with children in Alaripu where we were working towards making studies more fun. We used the audio-visual medium a lot. We even incorporated theatre. I’ve worked with children, trying to make them aware of various social issues. It’s been six months since you joined the CFSI. Yeah, and trust me, these six months have been great fun because I’m working as a producer here. We can’t stop children from watching what they want but we can create better alternatives for them. That’s what makes the job interesting.

Wouldn’t you want to direct a film for kids some day?
I’m toying with the idea. But it will take me a while because I have to deliver this baby first. I sure can’t direct during my tenure as CFSI chairperson. Once I’m through with my responsibilities here and at home, I’ll move behind the camera.