Festival of international children’s films at bakul


BAKUL Foundation has been organizing a Festival of International Children’s Films at the Bakul Library in Satyanagar from 13 to 19 June. Everyday at 5PM, children and adults alike have been treated to a unique visual experience of the best of cinema from around the world, from Europe (France), Africa (Uganda), West Asia (Iran), East Asia (Japan), South America (Uruguay), North America (USA) and India. All the foreign films have English subtitles and will appeal to children (8 years and above), young adults and adults alike. The films have diversity of style from animation to Japanese anime to social drama and fantastic cinema.

Eminent director, Mira Nair’s multi-award winning film “Queen of Katwe” was screened on Sunday. The film is a biopic about a chess prodigy from Uganda in Africa. It’s an inspiring and uplifting story of how people can be empowered even when the odds are stacked against them. The film is about 10-year-old Phiona, who grows up in a slum in Kampala, Uganda. Her life changes after meeting Robert Katende, who teaches her chess.

Many children play chess, and they found it inspirational. The last film to be screened on Monday, “The Red Turtle” has incredible maritime animation and has no dialogues at all. It is also an inspirational story about a man, shipwrecked on an island, whose life changes after he encounters a red turtle. The first film in the Festival was Karamati Coat from India, the award winning children’s movie, about Raghu, a poor rag-picker who discovers a magical coat which changes his life.

The other films shown included the all time classics, “Children of Heaven” by the eminent Iranian director, Majid Majidi and “My Neighbour Totoro” by Hayao Miyazaki, a classic of Japanese animation, about a sister who takes the help of the Totoros, magical spirits of the forest, to find her missing sister”.

According to Ashutosh Mahapatra, who sends his son, 8 year-old Aditya everyday to the film festival, “I want to expose him to cultures and life in different countries depicted and reflected through the films. My wife and I also go went along with him on the holidays so that we could discuss the films with him and with other children. The films are well-chosen and motivating for kids and also for us. We are very happy.”

The Film Festival has been curated by two young volunteers of Bakul Foundation, Saubhagya Beura and Tanisha Agrawal. Tanisha and Saubhagya had some of her earliest exposure to world cinema at earlier film festivals at Bakul and had become avid film enthusiasts. They said, “We firmly believe that cinema has the power to entertain, educate, and inspire. Consequently, we handpicked films that seamlessly blended fun and entertainment with deeper themes and messages.”


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