‘KALLOLA Awards 2019’- Short Film Contest on Child Rights

Bhubaneswar: UNICEF Odisha in collaboration with Aaina, an Odisha-based voluntary organization organized Season 5 of KALLOLA Awards 2019, a short film contest on child rights of Nutrition – Every child’s right for a healthy life. The award winning ceremony was attended by Ms. Nandita Das as the chief guest, Shri Rashmi Ranjan Nayak, Joint Secretary, ICDS & IT, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Odisha, Ms. Archita Sahu, Ollywood Actress, Mr. Akash Das Nayak, Dr. Monika O. Nielsen, Chief, UNICEF Odisha, Mr. Ananta Mohapatra, eminent theater personality, Mr. Debidutta Mohanty, Alankar TV, Mrs. Sneha Mishra, Secretary, Aaina as the esteemed guests.. The contest this year was in collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Odisha and Alankar TV. Also present were Ms. Lopamudra Tripathy and Mr. Sourav Bhattacharjee from UNICEF Odisha.

Kallola 2019 invited entries for short films (30, 60 and 90 seconds) on the theme Nutrition – Every child’s right for a healthy life. The sub themes were: 1) A balanced diet for growing children and 2) Ending gender discrimination in nutrition. In this theme based short films competition five short amusing films on child nutrition were nominated to bag the best short film awards. The short Film Waw…. of 90 seconds directed by Usharani Patra was bagged the Children Choice Award, film Khira of 60 seconds by Saptarshi Mandal bagged the Jury Choice Award. The short films Sikhaa by Pradeep Kumar Jena, Pusti- towards a healthy Life by Gulshan Mohanta, Essence of Nutrition by Ritwik Das each of 90 seconds bagged 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively.

On this occasion chief guest Ms. Nandita Das said, “It gives me immense pleasure to be part of the Kallola awards – a short film contest initiative by Aaina & UNICEF in Odisha. It is heartening to see that it is Kallola’s 5th year and those more than 100 short films on the issues of children have already been made! As a mother of a nine-year-old, I dream of a world where all children get what I want for my child. It is heartening to see that more and more people are interested in film making a medium to discuss issues that affect our lives and also invisibly like nutrition. There is a need to create this silent revolution of short films on child nutrition. Short films are powerful, precise and the subject is put forward passionately. I am also happy that the more than 100 films have already been made on sensitive child issues. They have the power to change people and their mindset! It is a slow process but a powerful one. All of us have responsibilities towards children and Kallola provides a platform to filmmakers to raise important issues through their stories. It is encouraging that young enthusiasts are putting their talent to make refreshing and innovative short films to trigger conversations and create empathy.”

Speaking at the function, Dr Monika Nielsen, Chief, UNICEF Odisha said, “Nutrition for women and children continues to remain the top most priority of the state government, UN agencies and civil society organization in the state. While relentless efforts continue to be made by all stakeholders across the state; there is a widespread recognition that there is more to be done to bring about more awareness generation not only rural communities but also amongst urban families. The first step towards bringing ‘nutrition as a right for every child’ is a concern for each family; to change their understanding, attitude and mindsets towards ‘nutrition’ for women and children. This is a step for awareness generation, mindsets and sometimes very stringent social norms and practices around these topics. UNICEF has always looked at methods and mechanisms to not only strengthen service delivery but communicate these issues to all communities are it urban or rural. We need to make 360 degree effort to bring this high on the agenda of all especially amongst the most under privileged in rural communities and urban slums in the state. We are encouraged that this year we have received 49 entries into the contest. The enthusiasm shown by young film makers show that there is openness amongst our communities to discuss difficult issues that plague our lives and strongly impact development indicators of our state.”

In his deliberation Shri Arvind Agrawal said, “It’s a great pleasure to me for being a part of this journey. Nutrition is much more important for the growth of the child. I appreciate the effort of Aiana for carrying out such initiative in Odisha to fight against malnourishment.”

Address the gatherings actress Ms. Archita Sahu said, “I see the importance of talking of nutrition at different forums. With anemia amongst young girls in Odisha being one of the highest in country and I think it’s our responsibility to highlight this as an important pointer for development. With this passion I have been a part of this campaign to fight against malnourishment in Odisha.”

In his deliberation actor Mr. Akash Das Nayak said, “It’s extremely heartening to see that more and more people from the film fraternity see the importance of communicating crucial social and development issues through films. Short films everybody would agree are not only difficult to make and challenges the maker with time – constraint, precision and bringing the impact in 30 secs by contrast to a feature which looks at three hours. While have their place in film making, intelligently and passionately putting forward in flat 30 or 60 seconds is amazing. I congratulate UNICEF Odisha and Aaina for this annual contest since the last 5 years. Secondly, I also see that nutrition is not only the responsibility of the mother or the woman; both parents – the father and mother are responsible to give their child a healthy start to life. I call upon all men to participate in the growing up of their children by emotionally engaging with them Financial contribution is secondary! I stand by the GoO in this campaign to reduce malnourishment against children.”

The contest this year was open to everyone – professional filmmakers, film students, amateurs or anyone with a good idea and filmmaking skills. For this purpose a thematic and technical workshop was held in the city on 8th September 2019. At the outset of the award winning ceremony certificate of appreciation was given to those who participated during this year’s short film contest. A quiz competition on child nutrition was also held amongst the school going kids.

Sharing her thoughts on the occasion, Ms. Sneha Mishra, Secretary, Aaina said, “It is a pleasure to see Kallola stringing beads of films to grow stronger over last five years and reach out to mass on different films on rights of children. In its fifth edition it focused on “Nutrition: Every child’s right for a healthy life” and we are overwhelmed to receive 49 films this year. Nutrition rights of children is a vital issue; specifically in Indian context as the Unicef report says more than one third of the world’s children who are wasted live in India! I sincerely hope that these films will create a sense of responsibility towards nutrition and rights of children.”

Speaking during this ceremony Mr. Ananta Mohapatra said, “By the age of five years a child’s brain develops perfect more than at any other time in the life. For this, nutrition plays a vital role which is a right of a child.”

Background: Kallola, is an annual short film contest on child rights that was launched by UNICEF Odisha in partnership with Aaina, a state-based NGO in 2015. The themes covered in last four seasons are Ending Violence Against Children; Ending Discrimination against Girls; Ending Violence against Children…Soch Badlo; Water and Children. All films are in the category of Public Service Advertisements i.e. 30, 60 or 90 seconds and are made pro bono by the filmmakers. Best five films are awarded annually. Till date 155 filmmakers have participated and 20 films awarded.