International children’s film festival Bangladesh is the only and most epic film festival for youngsters. It is a grand event that seeks to position itself as the space that brings together the visions, concerns, and interests of both local and international uprising filmmakers.
The 11th festival was the first time I attended it. It was a seven-day event. Through my visit, I came to know that the whole event is arranged by young volunteers. Each day different influential and inspirational figures visit to share their stories and experiences with the volunteers.
A couple of really good films were screened the day I visited, but my favorite was ‘Akhi O Tar Bondhura’.
Titu or Tita as everyone called him is a teenaged boy who dislikes everything about this life. He believes that education shouldn’t only be based on rote learning. But his family and school seem to be strictly against this idea. Due to his diversified view of education, everyone thinks he is a bad student who hates studying.
But new doors open for Titu when the new headmistress arrives. She takes a gospel that our education system is faulty and should be altered, and so she does. She opens up the school library and stops the practice of cramming and encourages teachers to have a more interactive relation with the students.
The headmistress brings Ankhi a blind girl to study at her school instead of attending schools for disabled children. Ankhi comes across a lot of difficulties in going along with the normal kids, but her friends including Titu help her through those hard times. Although Ankhi wants to be seen just like everyone else and not as the blind girl, she faces obstacles to do usual activities such as playing games. But Titu was very optimistic about her. He discovered that her hearing ability is very strong. With the help of a shoe smith Titu makes a cricket ball that produces a sound whenever its thrown.
Ankhi learns to play cricket just by utilizing the sounds. In their school’s cricket match Ankhi’s team wins and to celebrate their victory she and her friends visit Bandarban.
To us they were about to return to Dhaka, Ankhi including her five friends are kidnapped by a gang of smugglers who deal with illegal weapons. In a stressful and oppressive situation like this Ankhi and her friends show great ratiocination and trickery, in escaping and helping the police to capture the criminals.
Ankhi’s progression uplifts many more children with disabilities to not see their physical shortcomings as a barrier to succeed and do big things in life.
The festival’s selection of films is of very good quality. Each film portrays various important morals. The structure of the festival shocked me too. It was very different from all the other film festivals I had attended. This festival engaged many young possible filmmakers, writers, producers, directors, editors, etc of the future and brought them together in one place to strive and show their talents to an audience. The inclusion of foreign filmmakers was a great attraction too. I believe that this festival is a great way to bridge the world together and introduce the people of our country to the world of films. I surely recommend people of all age groups to attend this annual film festival.