Croatian actor-director Boris Bakal is currently visiting Dhaka to attend the on-going 13th edition of International Children film Festival under way at different venues in the capital.
Boris has been running a film school for children for the last ten years in his homeland and seems very passionate about children and their sound development.
Boris shared his purpose of visiting Bangladesh, importance of children's film festival and more in an interview with New Age.
‘I am from Croatia and my grandfather is from Ukraine. I am enjoying every single moment because the festival is very beautifully organised. The children are attending the festival amid festivity and enthusiasm. The festival is definitely fabulous,’ said Boris Bakal.
‘First, I was inspired since two of our films namely “Life of a Butterfly” and “I am George” would be screened on January 25 at Alliance Française de Dhaka. I was invited here and, on top that, I have never been in Bangladesh. During my childhood, I learnt a lot about Bangladesh and I wanted to know more about the country, the film industry here and, additionally, I wanted to visit the historical places. Also, in any European film festival, you don’t get to see many Asian films and this is a great opportunity for me to do so,’ Boris added.
‘I came here to learn something from Bangladesh as well as share my experience with the people of the country. I wanted to know how the local filmmakers work with films and tackle the problems of society in their work. I was also impressed by the audience. I have watched many films and also followed the workshop. I see how the filmmakers are teaching the youngsters,’ said Boris.
He also visited the Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University. It has been a great learning experience for him. He liked the architecture complex. Boris also has plans to visit the national parliament. He will also visit some historical places in the city.
When asked whether he was one of the globetrotting actors, he said, ‘I am going around from festival to festival as much as I can. I am a documentary filmmaker but I acted in many feature films in my lifetime. In my country, I am quite well-known as an actor. I don’t consider myself as a filmmaker, theatre maker or writer. I am just an artiste.’
‘Ten years ago, I founded a film school for children where film serves as the basic premise. We are teaching them to dance, make theatre and to understand life. We are not only teaching films but also how to approach the problems in everyday life. We are not escaping from the problems and we think children must know life as it is,’ argued Boris.
When asked whether parents should send their children in film festivals Boris said, ‘I think we should teach children from early age what film is, because today it is an integral part of our life. We should explain to them that film is work of art and not to be confused with reality. We should explain to all children how film works. We can start such education with very small children to make them understand the technique as well as the nitty-gritty of films.’
‘If it is a very cruel film, you have talks with them. We have to spend a lot of time talking and playing with them. You have to talk before and after watching the film. Sometimes they see much more than we are seeing. We have to explain them how it works,’ Boris added.
The 13th International Children’s Film Festival has been organised by Children’s Film Society Bangladesh. The festival is featuring 179 films from 39 countries, namely Bangladesh, India, Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Croatia, Canada, Qatar, Korea, Armenia and others.
The festival will end today.
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