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Film Connoisseurs: Kerala State Chalachithra Academy president K.R. Mohanan and actor Madhupal interacting with children at the film appreciation camp organised by the academy and the Kerala State Child Welfare Council in Thiruvananthapuram.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Twenty-three all-time greats were screened at a film appreciation camp, organised at the Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan by the Kerala State Chalachithra Academy and the Kerala State Child Welfare Council, for the 50 children attending the camp.
For five days from May 18, the children aged between 10 and 15 watched classics such as The Kid, Great Dictator, Modern Times, Children of Heaven, Red Balloon, Battleship Potemkin and Pather Panchali. The camp, though, was not just about watching good films.
Academy secretary K.S. Sreekumar said the aim of the camp was to instil in young minds the culture of watching and appreciating good films. “For the last three years, we have organised such camps. This time we held a camp at Kattappana for children from Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Idukki, one at Kasaragod for those from Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasaragod and Wayanad and the last one in Thiruvananthapuram for children from Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram.” The job of selecting the children who participated in the camp was that of the Child Welfare Council.
Experts from various areas of filmdom took classes at these camps. Classes were held on the ‘language’ of the visual and auditory media, on acting, editing cinematography, sound recording, dubbing, script design, history of cinema, and on appreciating cinema. The participants of the camp got to interact with the likes of K.K. Chandran, Sunny Joseph, Bhagyalakshmi, K.R. Mohanan and Madhupal.
The Academy, in addition to organising such camps for children, also holds appreciation classes for school teachers. As Academy president Mr. Mohanan reasoned, it is easier for the organisation to reach the culture of watching good cinema to children through teachers than through children themselves. “Even if we hold camps for 300 children or so, there is a limit to what we can do. However, if we train teachers they, in turn, can spread the message among children. Last year, we had about 250 teachers at our camps. Film clubs were set up in almost all schools from where teachers attended the camp,” Mr. Mohanan explained.
This year, the Academy has already held film appreciation camps for activists of film societies and camps specially aimed at women. The latter was organised in association with the Mahila Samakya.
At the valedictory function of the camp, here, the participants were given certificates by treasurer of the Child Welfare Council C. Narayanan. Camp director Madhupal presented a report on the camp’s activities.
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