'Bollywood doesn't make good children's films'

Vishal Bhardwaj, whose Blue Umbrella has bagged the National Award for best children's film, feels that Indian film industry avoids making good kids' flicks.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2007 20:10 IST

Vishal Bhardwaj, whose Blue Umbrella has just bagged the National Award for best children's film, feels the Indian film industry avoids making good kids' flicks and should learn a lesson or two from Hollywood.

"It is sad that our film industry does not feel responsible about making films for children. We have hardly made any film that caters to kids though the children's film industry is huge and untapped," Bhardwaj told IANS in an interview.

"I feel like working for kids and in future too will try and make films for children. Today, if we watch television, we find so many kids' channels but again the programmes are not made in India, they are dubbed in local languages. We don't have anything to offer to our children in India."<b1>

The children's film industry suffers from a low budget and has been neglected for decades by filmmakers and producers who feel investing time and money in this sector is not a safe bet for returns.

"Over the years, we have thought that because children's films are for small kids, the budget should also be small," he said. "We should learn from Hollywood where children's films like 'Harry Potter' sometimes have a bigger budget than regular films. This should be an eye opener for us.

"It is easy for everyone to say that children's films are bad commercially but the truth is that very few good children's films have been made in our country and they have gone on to do very good business."

Some of the previously successful kids films are Makdee - by Bhardwaj - which grossed over Rs.7 million, Hanuman which collected Rs.30 million and Koi ... Mil Gaya and Krrish, which earned over Rs.180 million and Rs.410 million respectively.

The critically acclaimed director of Maqbool and Omkara - Bollywood's take on Macbeth and Othello - said he was looking at a few scripts for his next flick and added that he wanted to complete his trilogy with Shakespearean plays at the earliest.

"I have to complete my trilogy with Shakespeare. That is on my mind all the time. Many directors are working with Shakespeare, so I'm yet to decide which one (play) to go ahead with," he said.

After making Omkara, a socio-political potboiler and Blue Umbrella, a children's film, he now wants to try his hands at a docu-drama.

First Published: Aug 10, 2007 19:21 IST