Golden Elephant stumbles over swear words, skin…

HYDERABAD: The 18th International Children’s Film Festival [ known as The Golden Elephant] seems raised the hackles of some prudes, and of course, the main argument is that Indian kids should see sanitised, banal films.

On the first day of the screenings on Friday, delegates were reportedly  ‘taken aback’ by the ‘nudity’, profanities and cruelty to animals that were shown in the films, despite there being stringent rules against showcasing these in children’s films in the country.

Of course, when other countries are making films relevant to their audiences [after all the term ‘children’ covers pre-pubescent kids as well as sexually active above 15 year olds who swear, fight and have sex, and several countries don’t shy away from telling it as it is. The idea is to show films to age-appropriate audiences, but in India this idea hasn’t happened yet], India is still governed by middle class prudery, but that’s another issue.

The films screened during the festival were selected by the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) from among a list of entries. However, the selected films are not made to go through the rigours of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which vets all the films in the country. This may have been the reason for the inappropriate content having crept into the films meant for children.

Some people were ‘shocked’ at  a German film titled ‘Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods’, that showed a woman in ‘skimpy clothes’ and bare back. Such content in the film meant for children above the age of five, left many adults in the audience ‘disconcerted’.

Another film, ‘Horizon Beautiful’, an Ethiopian and Swiss production, had several swear words in it. The film was shown to children aged 10 and above. At the outset itself, the audience grew impatient as the movie abruptly stopped in its run. When the projection resumed nearly 15 minutes later, there was no sound. With the children beginning to shout, the organizers had to quickly pacify them. and fix the issue. However, when the screening resumed, the children were struck silent as profanities, with subtitles, were shown.

Scenes in another film would not have gone down too well with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), which ensures that cruelty to animals is not shown in films and TV. The board examines all movies in which animals are involved.

The lead character in the film, a boy who wants to be a footballer like Messi, is seen whipping and beating a donkey several times. But as the AWBI did not vet the films screened at the festival, the scenes made their way to the screen.

The matter was brought to the notice of CFSI CEO Shravan Kumar said a 25-member selection panel chooses films for screening at the fest. “Sometimes objectionable scenes are overlooked due to the broader message of the film. But even during the fest, objectionable scenes can be deleted before they are screened,” he said.

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Posted by on November 16, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,Film,MEDIA,SOUTH-ASIA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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