`Need to assess impact of films focusing on disability issues`

Mumbai: Filmmaker Govind Nihalani says there is an urgent need to assess the impact of films and other initiatives taken for creating greater awareness among the general public, about problems of the disabled.

Inaugurating the 8th edition of the first-of-its-kind travelling educational film festival, the `We Care Filmfest 2011` on disability issues in Mumbai yesterday, he expressed hope that the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) which had a disability centre would help in this regard.

He said it would be interesting to know if the festival which had been held since 2003 had in fact made any impact on the institutions where it was held or on the people who had come and seen the films.

Nihalani said that the `We Care Film Fest` was the only festival in the world which was travelling to educational centres including mass communications and disability institutions.

Speaking at the function held at the YB Chavan Centre here, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) for India and Bhutan National Information Officer Rajiv Chandran made a call for corporates and others to come forward support the venture financially if it had to grow, since it was presently been run solely by Brotherhood, the non-governmental organization which had launched it.

He said the UNIC had decided to recognise the Festival since it lived up to the aspirations of the Convention passed by the United Nations in May 2008 on the rights of the Disabled.

Ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar said that parents did not often recognise a disability, especially, if it was mental early enough to take action to check it. He said that he had come across many cases where a child was prevented from doing what he wanted just because the parents did not realise his aspirations.

He hoped the festival would correct such misunderstanding and bring about greater awareness. Festival founder Director Satish Kapoor said he had started the fest in a very small manner but the response had encouraged him to take it all over the country.

He said this year the festival may travel to all the SAARC countries under the auspices of UNESCO, and had also been invited to Turkey.

The festival had received films from all over the world. This year a total number of 67 documentary films in four categories, up to one minute, up to five minutes, up to 30 minutes, and up to 75 minutes - from India and from various other countries like the USA, Canada, Israel, the UK, Indonesia, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Australia, Nepal are being exhibited.


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