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LIFFT India shows heart by inviting kids from orphanages in Pune to enjoy a day of cinema 

The festival, held at the Fariyas Resorts in Lonavala, saw a gathering of 60-80 kids enjoy an outing of cinema and fun, on Day 3. 

Photo: LIFFT India

Shriram Iyengar

The best test of a children's film is the effect it has on children. LIFFT India Awards and Filmotsav being held in Lonavala's Fariyas Resorts brought an innovative and delightful touch to the gathering of cinema lovers by bringing in children from the Sampark and Shikshan Gram orphanages near Pune for a day out. 

The third day of LIFFT India will see a number of children's films being screened at the venue, Monarch screening room, specifically for kids. The Childrens' Film Society of India (CFSI) has offered several films to the festival for special screenings — Pinti Ka Sabun by Pramod Pathak, Blue Mountains by Suman Ganguli, Happy Mother's Day by Anjuli Shukla and Tennis Buddies by Suhail Tatari. 

Photo: LIFFT India

The screenings began with Firoz Zahir Khan, a graduate of the NSD and Whistling Woods, getting the kids started on an acting workshop. Soon, actor Vipin Sharma, whose fame as 'Ishaan's Papa' from Taare Zameen Par (2007) continues to surpass him made a special appearance at the event. The kids, more than 60 in number, were delighted at the opportunity to step out and watch such films. Speaking to the children, Sharma said, "You have to write. If you start writing stories, anything that comes into your mind now, you will be able to make it into a film someday." 

LIFFT India: You have to create the universe within a scene, says Vipin Sharma on acting

Speaking to Cinestaan.com after the event, Khan mentioned that he has been working mainly with children conducting workshops to help them develop better skills in the world. The first screening of Pinti Ka Sabun, based on a short story by Sanjaya Khati, told the tale of  a little boy in a village in Uttarakhand and his special bar of soap. The laughter of the kids was perhaps the best review to give to the film. 

After the screening, Cinestaan.com spoke to a few of kids about their experience. Renuka Rajguru, 16, said, "We saw Pinti Ka Sabun, and it was a nice film. I loved the character of the little boy in the film." Priyanka, 14, added, "It was a nice film. It taught us not to be selfish about things." 

Chaitrali Mane, 15, said, "I felt very nice that they allowed and organised a film festival for us. I enjoyed coming here and watching this film. Thank you."

The teachers themselves seemed to enjoy the workshop and the film. Speaking to us, one of the teachers, Rajesh Sir, mentioned, "It is one of the first times that an initiative has been taken to invite children from orphanages to watch films and enjoy. It is something that needs to be appreciated. Riju Bajaj had invited us for the opening day, and it is a nice festival to come to. I have also suggested that they can come over to the orphanage to conduct workshops to help these children." 

Photo: LIFFT India

The festival will also see a number of children's films from across the world being screened. In addition, so far, the children certainly seem to have enjoyed their time at the event. 

LIFFT India Awards and Filmotsav will conclude on 5 September.

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LIFFT India screening