In order to promote indigenous and exclusive cinemas for children, Children’s Film Society India (CFSI) was established in 1955. CFSI is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
So far, CFSI has produced more than 250 films in different languages, contributing to healthy and wholesome entertainment for children. CFSI also organise film screenings across the country, reaching out to approximately four million children annually.
CFSI had started its journey with Pandit Hriday Nath Kunzru as President. CFSI’s maiden production Jaldeep won the first prize for best Children’s Film at the 1957 Venice Film Festival. Since then CFSI has continued to produce, exhibit and distribute quality content for children: from feature films, shorts, animations to television episodes and documentaries.
CFSI also organises a biennial festival International Children’s Film Festival India (ICFFI). ICFFI is also known as The Golden Elephant. At the event, outstanding features, shorts, live action and animation films are screened over seven days of festive celebrations, attended by more than one hundred thousand children and hundreds of film professionals from across the world. Every two years, the festival begins on 14th November, the birth date of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Films Produced By CFSI
The first film produced by CFSI was Jaldeep (1956), an adventure film directed by Kidar Sharma also starring Mala Sinha. Some of the brightest talents of Indian cinema like Mrinal Sen, Satyen Bose, Tapan Sinha, K Abbas, Shyam Benegal, MS Sathyu, Sai Paranjpe, Budhdhadeb Dasgupta, Santosh Sivan, Ram Mohan, Rituparno Ghosh and Pankaj Advani have directed films for CFSI.
The Government appoints the Chairperson of CFSI for duration of three years. The past chairpersons include Sai Paranjpye (twice), Nafisa Ali, Nandita Das, Raveena Tandon. Director-writer-actor, Amol Gupte is the present chairperson of the CFSI. Gupte is known for making critically acclaimed children-oriented films like Taare Zameen Par and Stanley Ka Dabba.