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Saturday, November 16, 2013

'Adult Content' Creeps Into Children’s Films In Festival

By Arhaan Faraaz | Hyderabad

The 18th InternationalChildren’sFilm Festival seems to have started out on thewrong footwithsomeofthe delegates. On the first day of the screenings on Friday, delegates were taken aback by the nudity, profanities and cruelty to animals that were shown in the films, despite there being stringent rules against showcasing thesein children’sfilms in the country. 
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. 
For instance, a German film titled ‘Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods’, shown at Screen 1V at Prasads Imax, 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 wordsin it.Thefilm 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 minuteslater, there was no sound. With the children beginning to shout, the organizers had to quickly pacify them. However, when the screening resumed, thechildren werestrucksilent 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 lead character in the film, a boy who wants to be a footballer likeMessi, isseen whipping and beating a donkey several times. 
When contacted, CFSI CEO Shravan Kumar said a 25-member selection panelchooses the movies for screening at the fest. “Sometimes objectionablescenes areoverlooked 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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