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The Mumbai Litfest To Host An Exclusive Virtual Children's Lit Fest This Year

Vani Venugopal Vani Venugopal 3 Mins Read

Vani Venugopal Vani Venugopal


Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest is hosting "The Little Festival" - an exclusive virtual lit fest for children on November 17-18. Read on to learn more

Pre-schooler to 18+
The Mumbai Litfest To Host An Exclusive Virtual Children's Lit Fest This Year

Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest is hosting "The Little Festival" exclusively for children. Started last year, the Little Festival is being carried forward as a part of the virtual platform on which the LitFest is being held because of the pandemic. This, hope organizers, will also encourage many more children to participate in the festival.

The Little Festival will be online for two days - on November 17 and 18 - offering an exciting line-up of conversations, sessions, workshops, and performances. It will feature both Indian and international children's authors.

"It is our privilege to be able to have a Festival that is truly inclusive for all children. Last year, the Festival focused on NGO-assisted schools. They loved the experience. This year, we've gone a step further. Apart from 7 to 13 year-olds in private, NGO-assisted, and government schools, there are sessions that children with special needs will also enjoy," says Anil Dharker, Founder and Festival Director.

Characters from around the world

The theme of the Festival: "Characters From Around The World" has been chosen to introduce young viewers to many aspects of life, nature and cultures, through storytelling, music, dance and performances. For example the inimitable Sudha Murty will talk about 'Grandparents' Bag of Stories' - she and Arshia Sattar will also be in conversation with teenagers.

Ranjit Lal, the teller of wildlife tales, will narrate how animals and human beings share common behavioural traits. Celebrated author Bijal Vachharajani and illustrator Lavanya Kartik will engage young minds with their unique sessions. Anurima Roy will help create magical beasts that children can fashion for themselves. I Made Sidia, one of Bali's foremost shadow artistes, and Australian puppeteer Peter Wilson will demonstrate the art and craft of shadow puppetry. The internationally renowned cellist Matthew Sharpe will perform his enthralling version of The Snow Queen through music, song, and narrative. Kiran Millwood Hargrave, British award-winning writer for children; and popular spoken word performer Sophia Thakur from London, will also participate.

"Children also need to be mentally stimulated and positively engaged during this pandemic and the Little Festival promises to do that and more. Imbibing and encouraging the love for books, arts and culture in our children is a responsibility that we take very seriously and we are delighted at this year's line-up of sessions and events to engage the children," Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons.

Sessions for children with special needs

The Little Festival will also feature sessions specially curated for children with special needs - the first ever in a Festival for children. One such unique session will be Blindfolded: Stories Ka Pitara Reloaded! by award winning animator Chetan Sharma. Though the focus group for this session will be visually impaired children, it will be open to any others who might wish to join. However, to create an equal experience, all children attending the session will have to be blindfolded. Mr Sharma will use his storytelling skills to ignite the children's imaginations with tales to be heard and experienced through voice modulation and music.

Another session for children with other special needs will be Birdie Dance: Stories Through Dance Mudras conducted by Swapnokalpa Dasgupta, Head of Department of Dance at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai. She will perform an Odissi dance about birds, and demonstrate mudras that communicate meaning which the children can learn.

Please visit the Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest 2020 website for more details.

About the author:

Written by Vani Venugopal on 04 November 2020.

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