In an effort to make Bengali films popular among young minds and leave a positive impression in their hearts, a Bengali film enthusiast has come up with an initiative ‘iskule bioscope’. The ad-maker from Bengaluru hopes to motivate school children and inculcate in them the habit of watching Bengali films.
Conceived in 2017, children get to watch curated movies, developing in them a strong sense of ‘Bangaliana’ and connect them with the rich heritage of Bengali culture which is gradually on the wane.
Kaushik Chakraborty, the brain behind the initiative, is happy that his efforts have shown results. Narrating how the idea germinated, he said, “Once, during my visit to the city I came across a small girl who was with her parents. The girl was not willing to watch a Bengali movie at the theatre and the parents insisted on that. When I asked the girl the reason for it she said that if she watched a Bengali movie with parents, her friends at school would make fun of her. I was very intrigued. If such kids felt it a social degradation watching a Bengali film, then after a few years, there will be no audience left to watch Bengali films. The future looked bleak.”
Kaushik contacted Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI) and asked them to help him create an atmosphere for Bengali cinemas, again. On his way, he also got the help of sponsors, who chipped in with funds.
Indus valley World School, Modern High School, Heritage, garden High, Mahadevi Birla World Academy are some of the schools Kaushik and his team has been to. The demand is ever rising, he said.
“We do some activities with kids during the screening to get them involved. We ask kids to write about their experience in Bengali and also explain the film. Now, the response is so good that schools ask us in advance for next year’s theme. We have also got requests to involve the parents as they too need to be encouraged to interact with children in Bengali at home,” said the adman.
Sabuj Dwiper Raja by Tapan Sinha, Phatik Chand, Goopi Bagha Phire Elo, Patalghar, Adventures of Jojo are some of the films being screened for children.
Subha Das Mullick, former HOD, St. Xavier’s College and part of the iskule bioscope team, said, “We have got a request from Loreto Convent school at Entally wants 2-3 sessions for them as they want the whole school to watch films. At Shri Shikshayatan school we screened for Class VI students on Tuesday and the hall was packed. We are screening films for children from Class III onwards. Next we will visit Loreto, Eliot Road on 23 July and they want Bengali students from Class V to XII to be there.”