The 14th International Children’s Film Festival Bangladesh began on Saturday at Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium of Sufia Kamal National Public Library with the screening of Polish filmmaker Matra Karwowska-directed film Triple Trouble.
Children’s Film Society Bangladesh has organised the weeklong festival, which is featuring 179 films from 37 countries namely Bangladesh, India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Philippines, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Qatar, Iran, Australia, China, Thailand, Armenia, Bulgaria and others. This year 1,116 films from 81 countries were submitted to the festival.
The slogan of the event is ‘Future in Frames’. Besides, it is featuring four workshops and interactive sessions.
Information minister Hasan Mahmud inaugurated the festival as chief guest. State minister for cultural affairs KM Khalid was present as special guest at the inaugural ceremony, which was presided over by The 14th International Children’s Film Festival director Fariha Jannat Mim.
Children’s Film Society Bangladesh members began the programme rendering the festival song titled Alo amar alo ogo.
Following which, Hasan Mahmud, KM Khalid and Fariha Jannat Mim respectively hoisted the national flag, Children’s Film Society Bangladesh flag and the festival flag accompanied by children singing the national anthem of Bangladesh. Besides, guests and organisers also released pigeons at the event.
Programme editor of the event Rayeed Morshed gave the welcome speech.
‘The festival will be conducted following health guidelines formulated by the health ministry. We are very happy because the festival is going ahead amid the COVID-19 crisis. Visitors wearing masks will be able to watch films free of cost at the event. We will host film screenings at 11:00am, 2:00pm, 4:00pm and 6:00pm,’ said Fariha Jannat Mim.
‘It is a unique film festival because it is being arranged by children. This festival will provide an important platform for children interested in filmmaking. It is not an easy task for those under 18 to make a film. I thank Children’s Film Society for organising such event,’ said Hasan Mahmud.
‘I am surprised to see that our children have organised such a film festival. Film plays an important role in developing the children’s brain. I wish the festival all the best,’ said KM Khalid.
The films will be screened at Shawkat Osman Auditorium of Sufia Kamal National Public Library, Sufia Kamal Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum, National Art Gallery Auditorium and National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
The films will be screened under different sections namely Bangladeshi Children Filmmakers’ Section, Special Film Competition Section marking the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence, International Film Section, Young Bangladeshi Talent Section and others.
Bangladeshi Children Filmmakers’ Section will feature 19 films and five films will be awarded prizes, seven films will be screened marking the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence, Young Bangladeshi Talent Section will feature 23 films, Special Film Competition Section will feature six films, International Film Section will feature 116 films and a special section named New Normal will feature six films.
A jury board comprising Akram Khan, Sadia Khalid Reeti and Haider Rizvi will evaluate the films. Haider Rizvi is the chairman of the jury board.
Besides, a jury board comprising Piplu R Khan, Aung Rakhine and Bijon Irntiaz will evaluate films under Young Bangladeshi Talent Section.
The festival will feature workshops and seminars.
This year four workshops will be held. Amitabh Reza and Tahsin Rahinan will jointly conduct a session on Direction and Cinematography, Sadia Khalid Reeti will conduct a session on Script Writing. A session on Production Design will be conducted by Ranjan Rabbani and Festival Circuit session will be conducted by Abu Shahed Emon.
The first Bangladeshi woman to conquer Mount Everest Nishat Majumdar, Shayan Chowdhury Arnob and Sunidhi Nayek will attend a celebrity session today.
The festival will end on February 5.
Published in the New Age.
Photo- Sony Ramany