Mumbai: Godrej India Culture Lab hosted a special event to usher in Children’s Day this weekend. The electrifying two-day festival in association with TheSwaddle examined a wide range of media avenues available for children and its consequent impression on young minds. A panel discussion ‘Screening the Screen: How to separate good from bad in an avalanche of children’s media’ analysed the need for the right kind of media exposure for kids in the digital era. Eight interesting films in three different languages were also screened on the concluding day of the festival.
Panelists Sashwati Banerjee (Managing Director of Sesame Workshop India), Monica Wahi (founder of South Asian Children’s Cinema Forum), Lisa Heydlauff (director and founder of Going to School), Dr Shabbi Luthra (founder and CEO of Consilience Learning) and Dr Anupam Sibal (pediatrician, Group Medical Director at Apollo Hospitals) were in conversation with Karla Bookman (founder and Editor of TheSwaddle). They addressed the issue of good media content for children, effects of technology on kids and different approaches parents can take so kids make smart choices.
Movies on the second included Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya, an animated film by Shilpa Ranade, award-winning short films from Canada and Ottaal (The Trap), a Malayalam film adapted by Anton Chekov’s Vanka. Jordan Reeves, Consul General from the Canadian Consulate also addressed the audience before an exciting hour long package of award-winning films from Canada. Mr Reeves said, “We are celebrating the 150th birthday of Canada this year and we are very proud of this collaboration. The main themes of diversity & inclusion, environment and youth are highlighted through our Canada 150 celebrations and these children’s films.”
Over 500 people attended the two day festival, including Mr. Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Industries and Mr. Pirojsha Godrej, Executive Chairman, Godrej Properties Limited.
Speaking at the event, Parmesh Shahani, head of the Godrej India Culture Lab, said “I am thrilled to see the success of this event. This was an earnest endeavour towards discussing what makes good children’s media and on the first day and showcasing that kind of media on the second. We hope this event triggered a thinking of choosing intelligent content for their kids in an age where unlimited content is being made available.”
Karla Bookman, founder of The Swaddle, says, “We had three goals for this event: to help parents become informed consumers and mentors around their kids’ media use, to provide an enjoyable family experience that showcases the diversity of quality films for children, and to start a conversation on how kids can learn from, and engage with, the material they see on their screens. With the event, I’m proud of how seamlessly those objectives came together. Hopefully, the conversation about raising responsible digital citizens will continue long after this weekend.”
TheSwaddle will be publishing a series of how-to’s on choosing kids media responsibly over the coming weeks, and will be releasing a video with highlights from the expert discussion.