The Peoples' Institute for Re-thinking Education and Development

Nai Taalim Film Festival

Welcome to the Nai Taleem Traveling Film Festival 2015! This Festival is named after Gandhi's call more than 100 years ago for a new vision of education. We hope this festival inspires viewers to dream beyond the dominant model of factory schooling and co-create new models of learning and living for the 21st Century. This festival has been screened in over 30 locations around India, as well as in Bolivia, Ukraine, Thailand, Canada and USA. We expect Nai Taleem 2015 to travel to many more cities and venues around India and around the world, helping to stimulate much-needed critical and creative thinking about learning communities for the 21st century. In this letter, we have included some suggestions for organizing the festival in your area. Your imagination and experimentation in hosting the festival in your locality this year will help to set the stage for future festivals.

Check out this special playlist which has links to some of the films


We are so happy that you are interested in hosting this event in your area. There is a lot of freedom in organizing the event in terms of space, timing, publicity, discussion groups, etc. We want to encourage maximum creativity to break out of the often stiff, over-formal and elitest nature of many official film festivals. We hope this event inspires people to think about education and learning in new ways -- starting with their own lives. Shikshantar is encouraging schools, educational bodies, NGOs, social movements and film enthusiasts, in places large and small, to consider hosting the Nai Taleem Film Festival. So if you have interested friends in other areas, please ask them to get in touch with us. Please note that the festival will only travel to places where host individuals or organizations are willing to take full responsibility for publicity, screenings and all associated logistics. There can be multiple screenings in one city. We must make it clear at the outset that ABSOLUTELY NO MONEY can be charged for this festival. We have obtained permission from the various filmmakers and production houses to show these films in the public interest, and therefore no money can be exchanged or earned from screening the films, that is, no entry fees. We also would like to say that, in keeping with the spirit of Nai Taleem, NO AWARDS OR COMPETITION should be included within this festival. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding. The Nai Taleem package comes with over 100 films in VCD format, posters, festival brochure and display material. The mix of documentary and feature films is in a variety of languages, all having English sub-titles (a significant number of films are in Hindi). Cumulatively, the films constitute approximately 50+ hours of viewing time so you can mix and match according to your content.  We envision the audience for the films to be teachers, educationists, B.Ed students, social work students, parents, youth activists, etc. We will send you a festival brochure for distributing before and during the film festival. Please go through it closely. It requires that you tailor it to your specific situation before printing and photocopying it. If you have any questions or suggestions/changes about it, please contact us.  There will also be a summary insert describing each of the films in the festival in more detail which can fit into the festival brochure. You will be responsible for distributing the festival brochure and description of films.

Venue/ Space

The central principle we would like to invoke when thinking about where to host the event is accessibility. The venue should be easily accessible to people of all ages, sizes, shapes, etc.  The size of the event (from 5 - 250) is up to you, depending on what you feel comfortable with.  Just try to make sure that you don't sacrifice quality for quantity. You can try to enter into a partnership for space, so that you do not need to spend money for rental.  You can invite people to co-host the festival in exchange for their support. Explore open public spaces, such as your city's Information Center.  Or if you have a projector and speaker, you may consider holding an open-air festival in a public park or garden. Local community halls may be available.  Talk with community leaders, where the special focus could be with their community, but they may be open to other communities attending. B.Ed. Colleges may also be open to hosting the festival, particularly for their students and faculty.  You may also ask them to be open to inviting the larger public. Your home or office is also a possibility where you can screen the films on a TV set.  Small is beautiful!  An intimate gathering may even allow discussions to go deeper than a large event.


The dates for hosting the festival will be in your hands. Please schedule as soon as possible and let us know the dates in your locality so that we can post them on the email/web to others. Consider your primary audience. What timings will work best for them? Mornings and afternoons tend to be better for students; evenings are usually the best option for working people; Saturday and Sunday may be open to all. The festival is split up into five 4-hour blocks.  It could be held over five evenings (say 6-10 pm); or you can select films and create a full-day Sunday program (10 am to 10 pm). The five blocks are mix-and-match, so feel free to create the combination that works for you! Please make sure to leave some time after each session for open-ended discussion of the films.  


There are numerous ways to creatively publicize the event while keeping the publicity budget down. The idea of the festival is to get new people (not those who typically go to official festivals) to come and see the films. We will send you a sample poster for the festival, which you can modify with your own information, and post it at community centers, schools, temples, mosques, churches, local businesses, public libraries, shops, chai stalls, restaurants, etc. As much as possible, talk with someone specific wherever you are posting posters and ask them for assistance in publicity. You may also ask them for a time where you might speak publicly to their audience. You can also make your own posters and ask designers/children/youth to think about what nai taleem means to them. If you make your own posters, please send copies to Shikshantar so that we can share with others. You may hire a tanga (bullock cart or camel cart or horse cart) which can announce the festival through a simple microphone and pass out small flyers. Typically this can be done at very minimal cost for a few hours. You may focus especially on the area where you are hosting the festival. A press release to your local newspapers, especially those that feature local events, is good to share. If you have a city information center, it may be good to get in touch with the PR representative there, as s/he usually maintains close contact with the newspapers. We will send you a sample copy of a press release which you can modify for your situation. If possible, you can contact your local cable channel and ask them to air simple announcements of the festival.

Creative Learning Exchanges

We hope that you will be able to facilitate some discussion after each block of films -- each of the films provides different insights into transformative learning. This will help to deepen understanding of the content, share diverse experiences, relate the films to our own local contexts, and inspire new forms of collaborative activity. Budget allowing, you may want to invite the individual filmmakers to your venue. In addition to the films, you may wish to organize a Seminar on Learning for the 21st Century during the Festival. If you are interested in doing so, please contact us for more ideas on this. The Festival is also an opportunity to connect with the innovators in learning in your community. You may also have a mela (fair) during the festival, where individuals and groups may feature their work and practices and host mini-workshops. This could happen in off-times, or even as the festival is running, so people can have a few options. Interesting individuals or groups may also be invited to host discussions after films, so as to enrich the level of dialogue. There will also be a set of publications related to Nai Taleem that can be put on display. While it is not obligatory, you may also consider inviting someone associated with Shikshantar, who will be able to introduce the festival before the local audience and also help to facilitate the discussion sessions and seminars. Any host seeking the presence of Shikshantar team members will be requested to pick up the related cost of travel and stay.


Our working principle is 'contribute what you can plus a little more'. The suggested contribution for obtaining the Nai Taleem package will be Rs.2000 which will be used to cover cost of copying CDs and postage. Extra contributions will go towards supporting other local community groups in hosting the festival. We also ask that you consider making a contribution to the individual filmmakers or their organizations for films that you plan on screening again in the future or for films that you plan on copying. The filmmakers have very graciously agreed to waive their charges for the purposes of this Festival, despite themselves being in difficult financial circumstances. Your generous contribution will help to support their future work. Thanks for your interest in hosting the Nai Taleem Film Festival. Write to us for more details.

Check out this special playlist which has links to some of the films