26 May, 2013

Children’s Film Festival captivates Islamabad

86 Brilliant films from 32 Countries

Sana Jamal

To celebrate the world cultures, a first-of-its-kind Children's Film Festival was arranged in the capital city that was an absolute treat for the kids, and film buffs. For children, the festivity was a doorway to the magical world of films that sprinkled little magic, heroism, laughter, honesty that our lives are lacking. The films filled them with hope that things will get better, good can vanquish evil and inspired kids to make all their dreams, however scary, a reality.



With an inspirational motto ‘Let’s entertain, inspire and educate!’ the FilmSaar International Children’s Film Festival screened 86 wonderful films from 32 countries. Although the long list films were appropriate for all ages, but the major audiences were school children along with their teachers. “The films were not only entertaining but full of learning. It has inspired the children to bring some new changes in their lives” said Turbia, a teacher at Sir Syed Star Lyceum School. 
Laughter and chuckles during the witty bits, and clapping towards the end of the movies, and gleaming faces as they came out of the auditorium reflected that the kids were pretty impressed. “I loved the movie about painting” said little Wajeeha. “I would become a painter too when I grow up” she added with a shy smile. 

The festivity was a celebration of world cultures where some of the best of international films made for children and young people. It was organised by The Little Art, a non-profit organization promoting positive social values through arts among children. “We have carefully selected the films made for children to entertain and educate the future generation, to offer learning through a global perspective” said Ali Hameed, filmmaker and spokesperson of The Little Art. 
The festival was a rare opportunity for the film buffs of the city to enjoy some of the best of foreign films, but sadly the event remained less-attended, “since There is little sense of uncertainty in the capital city as compared to Lahore,” Ali felt. Lahore International Children’s Film Festival is an annual event being organised since 2008. “This year we decided to extend this cinematic charm to 6 cities: Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi” told Ali.

The film festival included animation, fiction, short and feature films, documentaries and some made by children themselves. Interestingly, few Pakistani films were also part of the festival. ‘Bhaoo’ a short film by Shezray Hameed, was about the realities of a child's life coupled with his fears and wishes. ‘Son of a Lion’, an award-winning film in Pashto, was about a young boy growing up in the arms manufacturing village of FATA who dreams of going to school, while, ‘Gutter Gate’ reflected on the lives of two children who collect garbage in the streets of Lahore.
Among the most loved films by the children were:
‘Lost and Found’, (British film) winner of BAFTA Children’s Award is a magical tale of loneliness and friendship. ‘Papa's Tango’ (Netherlands film), story of Hannah, for whom dancing and her father are two things that belong together.

‘Mustafa's Sweet Dreams’ (Turkish award-winning film), was about 16-year-old Mustafa, who dreams of becoming baklava (Turkish dessert) master. 'Varmints’, an animated film, is on a small creature whose selfless acts of love plant the seeds of change that will ultimately prove the salvation of his world but at what cost to himself. ‘Copia A’, an Argentinean film, tells the adventures and misfortunes of Demdoco, a projectionist, who discovers by chance a one-of-a-kind way to get pleasure; however, abusing it leads to risky consequences.
‘The Pirate Ship’, a Spanish film, was about a boy whose parents are separated and he has asked his father for a pirate ship for Christmas. Some other award-winning films included ‘Soul Boy’ (German film), ‘Bread’ (Turkish film) and ‘Left-brained Larry And Right-brained Rachel’ (Danish film), 'Madagascar, a Journey Diary' (French film), 'Lighthearted Boy' (Italian film). ‘Shikashika’, a United States film, is a rhythmic portrait documentary that reveals the process of making a colourful shave ice called Shikashika. ‘Something Left, Something Taken’ is an animated dark comedy about a vacationing couple’s encounter with a man they believe to be the Zodiac Killer. ‘The Market’, a United Kingdom film, explores people’s behaviour during ordinary, everyday shopping at market places.