“Komal” is a Short Film based on Child Sexual Abuse, commissioned to CLIMB MEDIA by Childline India Foundation. Child Sexual Abuse is a common phenomenon and a serious issue in India. How do we educate children and equip them with the right tools and information, so they know how to deal with it, not after the crime is done, but before it happens? Especially when the word Sex is a taboo word in our traditional conservative society, this film was a challenging one for CLIMB MEDIA and the CIF Team. CIF has dealt with hundreds of CSA cases and as a preventive measure they thought of coming up with such a film which can educate children and parents.
Hopefully this film will serve its purpose and help to protect our children. Childline will be screening “Komal” in schools across India. It has already been dubbed in 5 regional languages.
Creative Producer and Script writer , Mr. Kireet Khurana shared his vision about the film. He says "We want the film to be the benchmark on Child Sexual abuse communication and be shown all over the country for many years to come."
Mr. Kireet Khurana shared with us more about social message based films produced by CLIMB MEDIA and also about Film "KOMAL"
After "Toonpur ka superhero" a successful and remarkable 3D and Live Action Feature film, How CLIMB MEDIA thought of coming up with such social message based short film?
We have worked with several NGOs (UNICEF, Save the Children, NCERT etc) in the past as well and created several Public Service films on Social Issues.
Some of these are: Here I am, Sand Castle, Happy Diwali
"KOMAL” is a short film for CHILDLINE INDIA FOUNDATION. Can you tell us about CHILDLINE INDIA FOUNDATION?
CHILDLINE is a phone number that spells hope for millions of children across India, It is India's first 24-hour, free, emergency phone outreach service for children in need of aid and assistance.
It is the nodal agency of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development acting as the parent organisation for setting up, managing and monitoring the CHILDLINE 1098 service all over the country.
How story and script was build-up for the film? Can you share though process behind that?
Since this is a sensitive subject and CIF have dealt with innumerable cases of CSA, we worked very closely with them. They provided us with a detailed DISCUSSION NOTE on each subject - Child Labour (Education Counts), Corporal Punishment (The Rose), Child Marriage(Like Sisters) and Child Sexual Abuse(Komal), each listing the prevalent Laws of our country against each of these crimes, under what common circumstances do these crimes occur, how our society deals with & reacts to these issues and what is the desired outcome/impact that is required of each film.
Now came the challenging and the most crucial part of the process- STORIES. We had to develop stories that would communicate all the above expositions and not tread into the monotonous, verbose and boring zone. After several rounds of revisions, reviews and re-writing, the story of Komal was born.
Storyboard of the Film "KOMAL"
Who are the target audience? Where this film will be shown and when this will be available?
The target audience is Children, Teachers, Parents and Schools from every corner of India, transcending cultural and regional boundaries and diversities; be it metro cities, small towns, villages, rich, poor, education, uneducated, just everybody. The film has been created to communicate, build awareness and educate every child and family living in India.
Child Abuse is a serious issue in India, How this film is going to help parent and children to learn about it and what solutions this film offers?
The film will reach out to all in this country and will serve its purpose of educating children and adults about this issue. It teaches children about safe and unsafe touch. Most of the time, children do not understand what is happening, they are confused and finally left with a feeling of guilt. We have tried to tackle this through the story by highlighting different situations and examples of CSA. Hopefully CIF and its efforts will bring about the desired change. Hopefully, India will eventually be a safer place for our children.
This film is having very beautiful and simple artwork representing contemporary Indian culture and Society, what was thought process behind look and feel of the film?
We wanted to keep the style simple, colourful and essentially Indian in its style. Our TG, being Indian children, we had to choose a film-making technique/style they would relate to We however were very careful not to make it the regular toony style, which might take away the seriousness of message. We had to balance the entertainment value as well as subtely convey the message of the film. Children from the remotest villages, as well as the children from the metro cities (the ones who’ve been exposed to the best Hollywood animations), should be able to relate to the characters and the story.
Artwork of the Film "KOMAL"
What kind of research was done before conceptualising film story?
CIF provided us with firsthand accounts of the incidents that they had encountered. CIF also has a specific team that works on Child Abuse that contributed immensely to the film’s communication and treatment. We also watched videos and read a lot of news articles (Indian and International) on each of the issues that we had to conceptualise. Immense amount of research went into designing an appropriate look and feel for films so they can achieve the desired impact.
Why you thought adopting medium of animation for such serious subject?
These films are essentially for children, to prepare them, educate them and provide them with the tools to fight. It’s pointless to counsel the child and punish the criminal ounce the damage is already done. We have to equip our children with the right information, so they are not left with a feeling of guilt and shame, but empowered enough to fight and prevent any harm coming to them. The animation style was adopted as we want to speak to children in their language. We had to keep some important expositions, simple, graphic and easy to understand. We wanted to create a film that had a good story and not just preachy. It had to entertain yet convey the message emphatically.
Can you share director's vision for the film?
Prashant Shikare has previously directed the 3 other films done for Childline. Apart from designing and storyboarding the film Prashant was very uncompromising on the quality and treatment of the film.
Climb Media has executed this film in a very beautiful manner which touches all harsh aspects of the subject in very soft manner and definitely children will enjoy watching it and learn about subject very well. What team has to say about this creation?
The team themselves has learnt a lot in the entire procedure. We learnt a lot about the issues affecting children and the realities of our society. We were amazed to see the CIF Team’s passionate dedication towards this cause and their work which inspired & influenced Climb Media team. We are very proud of this film and the other 3 films done for CIF.
Is Climb Media is planning to come up with more social message films in future?
We have probably done something right with the CIF films. We are getting a great response for these films, with more NGOs approaching us for creating Public Service Films. We enjoyed this journey of learning, enlightenment and creativity and look forward to do more.
Nishit Kumar / Nipa Bhansali
Produced by: CLIMB MEDIA
Design & Direction: Prashant Shikare
Creative Producer & Script: Kireet Khurana
Exec. Producer: Raviraj Wade
Music: Ashish Jha
BG & Illustration : Raviraj Kumbhar
Compositor: Arvind Shirke
Animation : Vishnu Jadhav
Studio Head : Nikhil Warwadekar
VO Production : Vinod Kulkarni