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4-D Movies: Changing the Film-Watching Experience

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By Arshia Chatterjee:

“3D is the future of movies”. Indeed, at the time that this assertion was made, it seemed like 3D movies would be the ultimate theatre experience in years to come, what with the release of Harry Potter, Avatar, Titanic and Toy Storyin 3D. The most famous 3D movie series of all time has probably been Spy Kids, and there is barely anybody who is not familiar with the Spy Kids film franchise. Now, after a much awaited eight years, the new Spy Kids 4D movie, called All the Time in the World is out. With 4D replacing 3D, which had become the supreme movie experience, the film world has undergone a major makeover.

The hype and hysteria surrounding 3D films died down sooner than expected. It seems like there is a new contender to be the“future of movies” now, a phenomenon that has recently begun to emerge — 4D.4D combines the three dimensional sense of the 3D movies with yet another facet. Till a while back, 4-dimensional movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Spongebob Squarepants and Shrek were being shown only exclusively at theme parks or special theatres, but recently the trend has picked up in several other places, including individual movie theatres in various countries. 4 dimensional movies feature “special effects” such as wind, rain, mist, water sprays and even the seats shifting during the movie to offer a wholly rounded experience of movie watching.

Reviews from people who were audiences at 4D movie screenings are mostly positive, especially from children who are delighted at the feeling of almost being a part of the movie itself. Initially, 4D movies began to incorporate a sense of smell by projecting numbers onto the screen according to which the audience would scratch special cards given to them to smell what the characters on screen smell too. Since then, this method has evolved momentously. Gone are the scratch cards, and instead, it only takes a swipe of one finger to fill the entire area with scent. Recently, in Disneyland, a preview of Mickey Mouse was screened. My friend was a witness to it, and recounted to me in great detail with extreme excitement about how the Mickey and Donald were throwing tomatoes at each other on screen, while simultaneously the audience was being sprayed with squirts of ketchup.

Going to watch a movie has grown and progressed beyond conception. In a recent interview, James Cameron stated that if today’s technology had been available to him when he was in the process of making his famous Titanic, he would have used it to the maximum. Statistics also prove that since the advent of three and four dimensional movies, the number of people visiting the theatres has escalated. One of my friends is a video game fanatic and seems to think that the movie experience has become more like a game and much more involving and interactive since the films have been screened in 3D, and now that 4D is becoming more common, he is absolutely on top of the world.

Not all feedback has been positive though. Although younger children go completely nuts over 4D movies, most other audiences complain about it. Headaches, due to the bright lights and strong smells, have been a constant complaint because of which a majority of people I know prefer to watch movies without any “special effects”. Also, some people who are movie buffs and enjoy watching and constructively commenting on movies seem to think that these special effects take attention away from the plot and acting. A recent screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has received more negative than positive reviews, because of the constant water sprays which started to make the people in the audience feel uncomfortable and clammy. A report also states that a great deal of people, while watching the latest Transformers, Dark of the Moon, complained about the extra-loud noises and of queasiness because the predominant smell throughout the 4D movie was supposedly that of burnt rubber.

Upon asking my friends how they felt about four dimensional movies, the prevailing response that I received was one of groans and sighs. “The tickets are too expensive”, was what most of them said, and this was followed by complaints about how the “special effects” are too unexpected and take one by surprise. The water sprays they said are uncomfortable and the strobe lights and the intense smells give rise to headaches and a sensation of sickness. Although I did receive some positive appraisal from a couple of people, the number of individuals who said they prefer normal movies, or even 3D, over 4D definitely outweighed the number that sounded satisfied with 4D movies.

Three dimensional and four dimensional movies have transfigured film-watching beyond imagination. But it is yet to be seen what kind of reception 4D movies get from the larger public, and more importantly, it is yet to be seen how long the 4D rage lasts before it too becomes a thing of the past and gets supplanted by something more revolutionary.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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