The quintessential world of fantasy and drama viewed through the digital screen plays a crucial role in the day-to-day life. Cinema with its world of glitz and glamour becomes a notion of wonder for the ordinary. A movie-goer often walks into the theatre as a blank slate, eager to explore a new world of imagination and creativity. The cinema is a creative tool, powerful enough to instil emotions giving way to presenting a lasting impression in the minds of the audience. The capacity of the cinema to affect the audience often raises the question of, what is ‘good cinema’ and how does it influence the viewers? The Indian film industry produced over one thousand six hundred films in 2018 alone. According to IBEF, the industry is predicted to bank over US$ 3.7 billion by the year 2020. Through the years, the number of cinemas produced has increased rapidly. Encompassing varied genres and forms, the film industries around the world allow the viewers to choose from ample options.
The majority of the consumers of the cinema, as a means of entertainment, are made up by the youth. The youth population in any country becomes an important factor in the functioning of the society. Once, alerted and made cautious, the youth community will be able to develop into an active and productive constituent in the societal framework. In the present day society, we find young adults engaged in malpractices such as addiction and violence, along with being affected by various disorders such as anxiety and depression. Cinema as a tool can help counter this nature of vagueness and uncertainty. The idea of ‘movie with substance’ is an important notion to help improve and substantiate the film industry along with producing quality works for the audience. This would suggest the movies to become a source of relaying moralistic and ethical information to the audience for the purpose of assimilation. Hence, filmmakers should then take responsibility of creating content which has a ‘substance’ relevant for the masses. The freedom of artistic expression should thus be able to produce quality content invigorating the youth through its message and objective.
The act of using cinema as a means of expression can also allow the creators to venture and find solace in the art. The making of films becomes a means of creative expression, allowing the filmmakers to explore and use the medium as a means of self-expression. Woody Allen, the Academy Award winning director talked about how his, “films are therapy” for his “debilitating depression”, suggesting how cinema can be used as creative expression for self-improvement.
The medium of cinema has the capacity to affect the masses unlike any other, giving abundant freedom and creative space for the creator and audience to find perspective in. The tool when used appropriately can become a source of positive empowerment of the masses through its subject. Incorporating cinemas to motivate and stimulate the vulnerable groups such as children and the youth can be a significant mode of devising constructive plans for the society. Thus, cinema becomes a versatile form of artistic expression, which when used dutifully can become a pragmatic solution, other than a mere form of amusement.
SIFFCY (Smile International Film Festival for Children & Youth) is one such special film platform devoted to a greater appreciation of meaningful cinema made for children and youth which can bring change in the society by showcasing those films, supporting emerging filmmakers, recognising the pioneers and leaders of the similar industry and by promoting the diverse perspectives of Good World Cinema. It caters to young people (aged 6 to 25) with just about every level of interest in film, whether to watch and enjoy, create their own work or take things a stage further and find out more about a career in the film or television industry.