The 13th International Children’s Film Festival Bangladesh commenced on Friday at Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium of Sufia Kamal National Public Library with the screening of German filmmaker Katja Benrath directed ‘Rocca Changes the World’.
Besides, Sudipta Saha directed ‘Khoka Jokhon Chhoto Chhilen’ was screened marking the 100th birth anniversary of country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Children’s Film Society Bangladesh has organised the weeklong festival which is featuring 179 films from 39 countries namely Bangladesh, India, Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Canada, Qatar, Korea, Armenia and others.
Former finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith attended the inaugural ceremony as chief guest and state minister for information and communication technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak was present as special guest.
Besides, president of Children’s Film Society Bangladesh Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, general secretary Munira Morshed Munni, founder of CFSB filmmaker Morshedul Islam and festival director Fariha Jahin Biva, among others, were present at the programme, presided over by chairman of the festival’s advisory committee eminent artist Mustafa Monwar.
The inaugural ceremony commenced with children rendering the Tagore song Alo amar alo aloy bhuban bhora at the open stage in front of Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium. The guests and organisers hoisted the national flag, festival flag and flag of Children’s Film Society Bangladesh while children rendered the national anthem.
Following which, a discussion was held at the auditorium.
‘This festival features films that both entertains and educates children. Organisers of the event select best films from across the world which makes children aware about cultural diversity. Children’s Film Society has been organising the festival for more than a decade. I hope the festival will continue in the coming years,’ said Abul Maal Abdul Muhith.
‘I feel honoured to be invited to this programme. Such festivals help children develop communication skills, leadership and others. Cinema is a very powerful medium of mass communication. Through films, we can teach the children, who are the future leaders, about important values,’ said Zunaid Ahmed Palak.
‘We should encourage children to actively use their imagination. We should not question their creative pursuits and help them develop a creative mind-set,’ said Mustafa Monwar.
Children’s Film Society Bangladesh has been organising the festival since 2008. It is one of the biggest film festivals in Bangladesh and also the only international film festival dedicated to children.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Under The World’.
The films will be screened under different sections namely ‘Bangladeshi Children Filmmakers’ Section’, ‘Special Film Competition’, ‘International Film Section’, ‘Young Bangladeshi Filmmakers’ Section’ and ‘Bangabandhu Through My Lens’. Besides, the event will feature workshops and interactive sessions.
The films will be screened every day at 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm and 6:00pm at five different venues including Sufia Kamal National Public Library, Bangladesh National Museum, Alliance Française de Dhaka, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Goethe-Institut Bangladesh. The screenings are free for all.
The festival will end on January 31.
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