Young Designers 2011

The Boy Who Slept in Class
Animation Film Design | GDPD
Sekhar Mukherjee
Thoughtshop Foundation, Kolkata
Domestic violence
The film is about a school-going child who suffers as a result of domestic violence (DV). Children do not respond well to the disturbances at home. Their reactions can vary from withdrawal to aggression. They often feel ashamed to talk about their troubles and are not always ready to ask for help. Domestic violence not only affects their behaviour but also their performance at school. Thus it is important for teachers to look into a childís condition and offer him/her help or guidance.

In the film, seven-year-old Ranjan is seen sleeping at his desk in class one morning. When his classmates start pestering him, the teacher notices him and his lethargic behaviour. Initially, she disapproves of him but slowly starts wondering if there is a reason why Rajan feels this way. She starts talking to the boy. He gradually reveals a disturbing story. Shaken but determined, the teacher attempts to help the child and his parents see light at the end of the tunnel.

Making the film was a new experience for me. I had a timeline to follow and had to start from scratch and finish it all on my own. The subject of the film required understanding and patience, and had to be portrayed in a sensitive way. Working with a NGO not only helped sensitize me towards the subject but was also an eye-opener. I started seeing situations around me that I have sometimes overlooked in the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life.
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