Slum children from Gurgaon have proved that they are not behind anyone when it comes to talent and creativity.
An animation picture on road safety made by five of them was recently screened at the 7th International Children and Youth Animation Film Festival, Varaždin (VAFI) and has been selected for the final round. Out of a total 60 entries, 16 have been shortlisted for the final round.
The Croatian festival is the only such event dedicated to the creativity of children and young people involved in making animated films. During the festival, a VAFI trophy is awarded to competing cartoons produced by young animators between 7 and 18 years of age.
Sanima, Saleem, Sathish, Armaan and Pratima took 20 hours to make the movie ‘The alien police’.
The children, aged between 8 and 13 live in the slums of Gurgaon’s sector 56, were able to make the movie after they attended a workshop last summer. The Children’s Animation Film Making Workshop for Road Safety was organised by Gurgaon police and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.
At the workshop, the children learnt drawing and techniques of editing and syncing music. They were also provided with equipment like HD broadcast quality cameras, non-linear editing system, tripods, microphones, etc.
The workshop was directed by Nitin Donde, director at Angles Audio Visual Studio. Donde still coaches these children.
Five movies were made under the series, Oh Rahi-Yo Traveller. Each of them was one minute thirty seconds long.
“The films made by them were screened at international film festival and one of them was shortlisted for the final round. Apart from conveying messages on road safety, the films also display various emotions. Some have humour while others have emotions,” said Nitin Donde.
The summer workshop last year laid the foundation for these children.
In the film, ‘The alien Police’ aliens pick up a bus carrying children for jumping traffic light. The children keep screaming but the aliens released the bus only after the driver apologised for his mistake.
The children had a wonderful time while making the film. They formed groups and brainstormed to write the story, drew characters and objects to paste them on the chart paper to reflect an action.
Camera shots were combined to create an animation. They were edited by Nitin Donde and music was added to it later.
Taking about the children’s achievement, Arun Laxman, senior Manager Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, said, “We connected with under-privileged children and encouraged them to participate in large numbers. Their creative contribution in designing and conceptualising these films has given us a lot of confidence. Children are the citizens of tomorrow. The values imbibed in these workshops will take them far in enhancing awareness on road safety. It is an honour that one of the films will be aired internationally. It will help us spread awareness worldwide.”