Many in the audience at the evening shows of the Lahore International Children’s Film Festival on Tuesday were moved to tears during the screening of Dreams in the Depths, a 12-minute film by Iranian Director Armin Isarian, on the Palestinian and Israeli children of war. The strong screenplay and heart-rending performances of the actors left the packed hall in palpable silence.
The film takes the viewers back to 2007, when a tunnel through the Gaza Wall was the only conduit for communication between residents of the Gaza Strip and the rest of the world. The film is about a merchant and his son who cross the tunnel to sell their wares on the other side of the wall. The boy wants a bicycle but his father wants him to play football instead. The father tells his son that he and his brother used to copy football legends like Diego Maradona when the 1990 World Cup took place. “A bicycle is good...but football is better,” the father tells his son. The father and son discuss the merits and demerits of football and bicycles till one day a bomb goes off in the tunnel, killing them both.
Actress Uzma Hassan, who was present among the audience, said, “The film beautifully depicts the harsh realities of war. That is why it has managed to move audiences across the globe. A strong screenplay and expressions add further value.”
The Great Journey, a 15-minute short film (live action category) directed by Carolina Fioratti, stood out because of its unique storyline. It shows Mario, an old mentally impaired man who cannot distinguish between the past and the present. Although he has always wanted to travel the world, he has never had the opportunity. The man’s grandson Felipe takes him on a great journey around the world.
The movie Rising Hope proved a great favourite with the audience. The 10-minute animated film by Milen Vitanov depicts the relationship between a jockey and his racehorse. It shows how Rising Hope, a racehorse, wins racing events to help his owner, who is an ordinary jockey, become a champion. The film shows how the horse beats all odds to keep racing.
Zarafa, an hour-long feature film that won the best animated feature film award, was screened again on public demand. State-of-the-art animation and moving dialogues make it a favourite with the audience.
Margarita, a 15-minute shot film (live action category), by Alessandro Grande also captivated the audience.
Eshaw Rana, a teacher at Beaconhouse School System, said, “The film festival is a great initiative. The movies screened are thought provoking, easy to understand and children can relate to them.”
Mariam Mirza, a 16-year-old O-level student, said, “I enjoyed all the movies screened today. The animated movies were breathtaking.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2013.
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