We all know that age has nothing to do with being creative or proving one’s credentials. Then, why do children who are interested in filmmaking have to wait till they grow up to display their talent? That is why the Children’s Film Academy (CFA) is providing a platform for those children who have a taste for cinema. According to the academy, their aim is to inspire children and encourage them to create whatever they dream of.
The objective of the programme is to influence the children’s way of watching films and develop in them a taste for good films, giving children more options beyond just animation films. Since 2015, CFA has worked with a number of schools and organisations in and around Mumbai and has completed 25 workshops and made 60 films. It is designed in such a way that children recognise their talents themselves. They will be aided by the latest technology.
In connection with this, CFA had conducted a filmmaking programme last year The participants of the programme came up with a film titled The Letter, which went on to win the second prize at a film festival in Argentina. The festival, Cine a La Vista, is meant for young filmmakers. CFA focuses on children below 18 years. They impart basic skills in filmmaking such as story writing, acting, direction, editing, sound designing to animation to the students. The kids are also assisted in improving their skills in language, visualisation and expression.
“Cinema is the mother of all arts,” says Rajesh, one of the founders of the academy. Along with Rajesh, FIITian and filmmaker Ganga Mukhi and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute alumni and cinematographer Arun Baskar founded CFA in 2015.
The first workshop was organised in Orchid International School in Nasik, where they made six or seven short films of 2-3 minutes duration. The themes were classroom situation and sibling rivalry. They have also launched a YouTube channel to upload those films for public viewing. “CFA is trying to make kids aware of the medium of cinema and the vast possibilities it promises,” they said. The academy also helps in setting up film clubs and organises children’s film festivals, pre-designed or custom-made for specific themes.
CFA's collaborator is the Paris-based Cinematheque Francaise which arranges the Cinema Cent Ans de Jeunesse (CCAJ) programme for children below 18 years. They have attended meetings in Paris. For the time being the focus is on Mumbai and Kochi. The participants go through each stage of filmmaking with eight sessions of three hours each. The children take different themes and they are comfortable with all the equipment. The academy collaborates with schools, NGO’s and a few corporate houses. So, young filmmakers, here is the platform you have been looking for!