Need to make films, plays for children: Gulzar

The Asian Age.  | Lipika Varma

Entertainment, Music

Shilpa is a well known illustrator and designer who has illustrated almost all the children’s books written by Gulzar.


Five decades after Satyajit Ray’s fantasy-adventure Goopy Gyne, Bagha Byne hit the screens, an animated version of the classic titled GGBB:Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya, directed by Shilpa Ranade is all set to release on March 1. Shilpa is a well known illustrator and designer who has illustrated almost all the children’s books written by Gulzar.

Produced by Children’s Film Society India in association with publishing house Karadi Tales (known for children’s books), GGBB has been nominated and won awards at many film festivals, both in India and abroad.

“It is a matter of responsibility to work for children because this is how we can pass our culture to next generation,” Gulzar said. He was speaking during an event in Mumbai to launch the trailer. Regretting that children's films were not made while he was a kid, he said, “We have been working for Children’s films from a long time. I remember after passing out from film making institutions, all the trained directors and makers would love to clean their hands making children’s films. But from the very beginning cinema was in private hands and we could not avail of any theatres for these films. So parents and children could not go together to watch films. I remember Eros was known to do a Britannia Biscuit program that was a special show on Sunday mornings only for children. The Children’s Film Society has never been able to work on becoming a body independent of cinema."

All praise for Jaya Bachchan he recalled, “During her tenure she had made it feasible for Children’s’ films and got a special Sunday morning timing for children’s films.”

Adding more he said, “I think it needs some different sort of set up and planned way of taking the children’s film ahead. The government has to specifically show what they are doing to promote Children’s films.”

Gulzar went on to question, “What are we are doing to educate children in art, music? What education are we imparting to children? I admire the way Karadi Tales have carried it forward. The family seems to be committed in its efforts. We need to impart some good literature to children and by doing so we will show our love and respect to them.”

Asserting that something for children on television as well in theatres needed to be done, he rued, “Nothing is being produced for them…All that comes up is mostly dubbed content.”