EduFilm: Films for Education

Films have traditionally been spaces of entertainment, especially in the Indian context where mainstream films have been seen as ways of escaping from the worries of the real world into a land of fantasy, song and dance. We believe that films can be universal and extremely powerful tools for education. Cinema has the capacity to cross barriers of age, educational levels, socio-cultural contexts and standing, build awareness of the other and other’s worlds, and leave lasting impressions on the mind, heart and soul.

We bring you a curated and annotated collection of the best of Indian and World Cinema through the EduFilm project. The collection consists of fiction and short fiction films, documentaries, television series and productions. The films will help the viewer reflect on various themes around their own self and the societies that they inhabit. As such the films in this collection are centred on issues such as self (family, relationships, ethical and moral issues), religion and communalism, caste, gender and poverty.

The collection consists of mainstream Bollywood films ranging from Queen to Chak de India to Garam Hawa, where stories of interpersonal relationships, ethical dilemmas, family, grit and determination are masterfully interwoven with larger issues such as patriarchy and cultural roles of women, national identity, and the history of Partition and horrific incidents of communal violence. The collection also houses powerful documentary films such as Harvest of Hunger which examines the pitiable condition of tribal populations and the growing condition of debt bondage and distress migration or Patri par Bachpan which showcases the story of homeless children living on the streets of Delhi as seen through their own eyes.

Stories and story-telling are the most fundamental and lasting aspects of human communication and understanding. Cinema is story-telling on a grand scale and can be an excellent educational resource used to supplement classroom work and curriculum. Film screenings, discussions and other activities can help to build student’s awareness and understanding of a wide range of issues, build critical thinking and creative skills. Films can also be used in myriad ways as wonderful tools of community engagement, and action.

Through the EduFilm project we provide a rich set of annotations with each film to support learning in classrooms and for wider community engagement.

With the ability to touch hearts and minds, provide a visual and experiential register of feeling, and breathe life into the written word, we collaboratively work towards the use of film as curriculum and pedagogical resource for more effective learning in classrooms in India and abroad. We hope that other enthusiastic film studies scholars, students, commentators, reviewers and film buffs will join us in creating a rich collection of resources around some of the most influential and powerful films available to us.