Filmmaker Sunil Kumar Reddy jury member at the Childrenâs Film Festival in the city, says that though Hyderabad is the permanent venue for this event, local filmmakers are not taking any advantage of it. âEarlier the government used to give subsidies through the AP Film Development Corporation. But now it has almost stopped,â he says, adding, âThese days, when a childrenâs film releases, parents feel that it is meant only for children. They never come to watch it. If a filmmaker is encouraged, he will try to make another film,â feels Sunil. He adds that in the last 10 years, the number of locally-made childrenâs films have decreased.
The filmmaker rues that while the festival attracts filmmakers from around the world, Indians are not interested. He says âWe got over 800 entries this year from all over the world. The organisers have taken only 200 for screening.â
He further complains that the government is taking the festival as an normal event. âThey are doing this like a normal event which comes every two years. Local culture, sensibilities and so many things are not being highlighted,â he says, adding that schools should encourage children to participate. âDuring the opening and closing ceremonies, the dignitaries speak about en-couraging local filmmakers and then everybody forgets about it till the next functions.â
Tâwood stars to give fest a miss?
Producer and director Thammareddy Bharadwaj, who is looking after the theatres in which the films for the festival are being screened, says he doesnât think any Tollywood stars will attend the festival.
âThe names are on the cards. Though the Telugu Film industry has supported the Childrenâs Film Festival since the beginning, the final call (about special guests) is Delhiâs. We havenât received anything till now,âhe says.
Talking about Ranbir Kapoor being roped in as a special guest, he points out not only is the Bollywood starâs name printed on the card, there was much publicity given too. âForget about Tollywood stars, if the local committee membersâ names are not appearing on the card, they, too, may not come,â he says. Sources say, as a face saver, the organisers might rope in some Telugu stars in the last minute.