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Children's Film Society

Children's Film Society
Amulya Rajan /
Were you aware that the Children's Film Society Of Hyderabad was involved in the making of the animation film Pocahontas? I don't blame you if you weren't. I wasn't too, when I sauntered in to review the place. And, I'm guessing it is because... well, they didn't.

Well, now that I do have your attention, I can tell you what they actually did. They had organized the 1st Asian Children's Film Festival in 2002. In fact, they had also organized the 2nd Asian Children's Film Festival in November 2004. And this was in collaboration with the A P State Film And Theater Development Corporation. And for a seemingly infinitesimal organization that has its head office in a minuscule school located in a patli galli of Hyderabad, that is a highly commendable feat.

Another very admirable feature of the Children's Film Society is that they don't charge any money whatsoever from their little student members. Everything monetary is obtained either from sponsors, from donations or from the Chairman Veda Kumar's own pocket. So now imagine doing something the scale of an Asian Film Festival solely on external aid. It's no wonder that their office looks like a pigeon-hole when compared to other NGO offices. But then, dirt under your skin is much worse than dirt on it.

While the head office of this organization is in Hyderabad, it has many other branches in the districts of Andhra Pradesh. And all of them strive towards one goal. For, as high as their visions are their ideals. Their motto is to bring literacy to students through cinematic movement, as Prabhakar, their coordinator, tells me.

They achieve these skyscraper goals by conducting diverse workshops on scriptwriting, animation, puppetry, filmmaking and an assortment of other activities in the studios of the twin cities, and screenings of films for students, either in their school or in rented studios. Another interesting activity is their Film Festival, which they conduct in collaboration with the the Film Development Corporation.

All the workshops are conducted by eminent personalities in the field, and imbue numerous skills in their students that help the latter immensely in the long run. For instance, the filmmaking workshop would edify the students in everything from scriptwriting to finding sites for the shoots, dubbing, costumes, and finally, going through with the actual shooting. These films are then screened to the students at their schools or at their film festivals.

While at present they have about 30-40 schools which are constituents of their Society, they are more than keen to increase the number of their members. To acquire admittance into this society, a school would have to form a film club. Don't try being the lone wolf here; for individual student members are not encouraged.

Instead, look at it this way; now, all that separates you and Hollywood is a film club at school.
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