The ideal child’s education situation shown in Taare Zameen Par is coming true. The film’s creative director Amole Gupte is launching an online essay competition for young students to express their creative urges after watching his film Stanley Ka Dabba which opens shortly.
Kids would have to react to what they feel about the film’s protagonist Stanley and how they relate to him.
The endeavour to take cinema about children to children just got much larger than ever before. Surpassing all movements through cinema to embrace the young, Amole Gupte has now launched an online essay competition for school children between the age of 9 and 15.
Explains Amole, “It’s not enough to make a film expressing a child’s fears apprehensions insecurities and other demons about school life. The endeavour must connect with the children as more than cinema. I’ve launched an online competition where school students would be able to say how they connect with the film’s young hero Stanley. It could be an essay, poem or a painting. The point is cinema is a medium of expression. And unless the young audience is able to express itself about Stanley, I don’t think I’d have succeeded in what I set out to do.”
All the entries from all across the country will be put on a website called The Great Wall Of Stanley. “So it would be literally the writing on the wall. Cinema needs to get proactive. And with this in mind, I’ve shown Stanley Ka Dabba to 250 school principals in Delhi. I wanted the principals to watch Stanley because they can influence teachers, parents and students. Unfortunately, the summer vacations have already started in Mumbai schools. So we’ll have to wait till June to get schools actively involved with Stanley.”
An even more revolutionary move to get children involved with the process of making cinema a window to a social awakening is to make tickets affordable for kids who can’t buy multiplex tickets at exorbitant prices. After the summer vacations, the Indian Merchants’ Chamber will arrange free shows of Stanley Ka Dabba for kids from municipal schools in Mumbai.
Says Amole, “During the vacation we can expect parents to take children to see Stanley. June onwards the Indian Merchants’ Chamber will make my film affordable to less privileged kids. I haven’t made the film for any one specific group of kids or parents.”
While Taare Zameen Par isolated parents by showing them as being insensitive to children’s special needs, Stanley Ka Dabba shows how much parents contribute to shaping a child’s destiny.