Everything at the 11th
International Children’s Film Festival Bangladesh is about children. The films, the platform, the décor, the young volunteers in orange tees helping audiences navigate through the festival – all create a cheerful milieu for both children and adults.
Eminent filmmaker Haider Rizvi, who attended the opening ceremony of the festival, told Dhaka Tribune’s Showtime, “This year it was better organized. Children volunteers are super.”
One such very young volunteer, Anindo, helped me find my seat at the Sufia Kamal Auditorium on January 29, when 8 short films were screening as a part of the “Child Filmmaker’s Section.”
“This is my first time volunteering. I’m here because I love films and also for my sister (who is only 17 years old, by the way) volunteers here a lot. She makes short films and wants to become a filmmaker someday,” he said.
The shorts in this section included “Journey by Life,” a story about the dire effects of a religious father’s refusal to see a doctor and “Call Record,” a suspense-packed action thriller about time travel, among others. The first was very mature and socially conscious in its sensibility and the later was a worthy crowd pleaser with an edge-of-your-seat story and brilliant sound effects.
The other shorts in this section included “Katataar” (2 min), “Film Crazy” (12 min), “Life without Dreams” (12 min), “Recharge” (11 min), “To the Children of Palestine” (5 min) and “One Two Three” (8 min). All five members of the jury board for the “Child Filmmaker’s Section” are also children. A total of 21 films will be screened in this section. Five of those films will be awarded.
Azmail Ahsan Arnob, director of “One Two Three,” said, “This film is about many things. Apparently it might look like it’s about begging, but it’s really about the copying tendency in children; a child’s endeavour to fulfil his fantasies.”
With a houseful of audience cheering the young filmmakers, these films give us hope about the future of filmmaking in Bangladesh.
Young volunteers at the event said one of the films they are looking forward to watching at the festival is “Ankhi O Tar Bondhura.” It’s expected to draw more audience than the usual houseful the festival has been experiencing. The film, directed by Morshedul Islam, screened on January 30, the fourth day of the 11th
ICFFB, at the Central Public Library, Dhaka. Based on a novel by eminent writer Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, the film is about the adventures of Ankhi, a visually impaired child, and her friends.
The festival will conclude with a closing and award giving ceremony at the Central Public Library at 5pm on February 2.