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

Mumbai, Jan 18 (PTI) Filmmaker Govind Nihalani says thereis an urgent need to assess the impact of films and otherinitiatives taken for creating greater awareness among thegeneral public, about problems of the disabled.

Inaugurating the 8th edition of the first-of-its-kindtravelling educational film festival, the ''We Care Filmfest2011'' on disability issues in Mumbai yesterday, he expressedhope that the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) whichhad a disability centre would help in this regard.

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

Nihalani said that the ''We Care FilmFest'' was the onlyfestival in the world which was travelling to educationalcentres including mass communications and disabilityinstitutions.

Speaking at the function held at the YB Chavan Centrehere, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) for India andBhutan National Information Officer Rajiv Chandran made a callfor corporates and others to come forward support the venturefinancially if it had to grow, since it was presently been runsolely by Brotherhood, the non-governmental organization whichhad launched it.

He said the UNIC had decided to recognise the Festivalsince it lived up to the aspirations of the Convention passedby the United Nations in May 2008 on the rights of theDisabled.

Ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar said that parents did notoften recognise a disability � especially if it was mental �early enough to take action to check it. He said that he hadcome across many cases where a child was prevented from doingwhat he wanted just because the parents did not realise hisaspirations. .

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

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

The festival had received films from all over the world.

This year a total number of 67 documentary films in fourcategories � up to one minute, up to five minutes, up to 30minutes, and up to 75 minutes - from India and from variousother countries like the USA, Canada, Israel, the UK,Indonesia, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Australia, Nepal are beingexhibited.

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