In an enterprising initiative undertaken by the Children's Film Society Of India (CFSI), 3,500 school children across the capital will be watching the 2012 film "Gattu" at multiplexes close to their schools by February-end.
This is an initiative for cinema-sensitisation among school children undertaken by CFSI chairperson Amole Gupte and CFSI Chief Executive Officer Shravan Kumar, along with the Ryan International Group of Institutions.
"I am happy that the Ryan group has embraced our initiative. They actually told us they want to make it a habit for children to watch good films regularly at theatres close to their schools. They will ensure that students from their school would see the films," said Gupte.
"We chose 'Gattu' as the pilot film because we believe it is a good story which children would enjoy. At the end of the film, they will get a questionnaire to answer," he added.
Gupte, known for writing "Taare Zameen Par" and directing "Stanley Ka Dabba", hopes the initiative would grow into other school chains all over the country.
"Along with the movie-viewing experience, we will also put together DVDs on cinema aesthetics, which would go into every child's school bag so that the parents also get sensitised about cinema.
"After I was inducted (as chairperson), my question to the members of the CFSI was, 'we at CFSI have made so many films but where are the outlets?' We can't hope to compete with the big-budget blockbusters to get an audience for children's films. The only hope of getting a captive audience for children's films is to get them from the schools.
"We cannot convert parents into subscribing to children's films. Parents take children to see 'U/A' certified films which often have objectionable content such as item songs. But we can seek schools' support in this endeavour. That's exactly what we are doing."
However, Gupte says CFSI does not wish to restrict this movie-viewing initiative to Indian cinema alone.
"There are so many German, French and Iranian children's films that we'd like our school kids to see," he added.
The core idea, he says, is to set up a parallel trend of children's entertainment.
"We want to inculcate an aesthetic level in an average child's mind. Cinema-viewing is not like other school subjects. To watch a film in a theatre with friends is a unique aesthetic experience. I want our children to get used to that experience."