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IFFI 2017: Dangal Director Nitesh Tiwari Thinks India Could Become a Global Powerhouse of Films for Children

During a panel discussion on Children’s films in India cinema at the ongoing International film festival of India, Tiwari recalled the time when he and Bahl finished writing Chillar Party and approached a number of filmmakers.

Shrishti Negi | News18.com@shrishti_03

Updated:November 23, 2017, 5:10 PM IST
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IFFI 2017: Dangal Director Nitesh Tiwari Thinks India Could Become a Global Powerhouse of Films for Children
Image Twitter/ Nitesh Tiwari
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Director Nitesh Tiwari garnered critical acclaim for helming Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal, which did not only win several accolades for its stellar script and performances but also went on to become Bollywood's highest ever grossing movie till date.

Tiwari made his directorial debut in the Hindi film industry with a children’s film Chillar Party, which he co-helmed with Queen director Vikas Bahl. However, he revealed he and Bahl never aspired to be filmmakers.

During a panel discussion on Children’s films in India cinema at the ongoing International film festival of India, Tiwari recalled the time when he and Bahl finished writing Chillar Party and approached a number of filmmakers.

"We went to so many directors but nobody wanted to direct it. They said, 'There are 10 kids and one dog, Koi star toh hai nahi.’ It was ultimately left to us and Vikas told me if we wouldn’t make it then nobody is going to make it ever. So, we were reluctant directors. We never wanted to be directors. We had to make it because we were so much in love with Chillar Party. It’s an unfortunate scenario in our country that a film's budget is decided not on the basis of the script, but on the basis of the star."

The panel was moderated by Censor Board chief Prasoon Joshi and also included Devika Prabhu, executive director, content, Disney India and Rajiv Chilaka, founder and MD of Green Gold Animation.

Joshi said India has the capability to become a global “powerhouse” for children-oriented films but noted some filmmakers, who started making such films and did some good work, didn’t go back to making them again.

Citing Vishal Bhardwaj’s example, Joshi said, “He also has not gone back to making a Makdee kind of film again.”

Though Tiwari said it’s extremely difficult to pin point the exact reason, he thinks commercial viability could be one of the factors behind it, noting, “If stars start acting voluntarily in children's film I think things will change... If big names get attached to children’s films and help promote them, everything will be in place."
Joshi further said he thinks it’s high time children’s films should break boundaries in terms of gender sensitivity.

"In my opinion, why should Chota Bheem (cartoon character) do all the things and not the girls? I think the distinction has to be more conscious. I would say if we’re talking about gender equality then probably some things a girl character can do and others can be done by a boy. Gender sensitivity at the time of conceptualisation of films is important," he said.
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