As the fourth Karachi International Children’s Film Festival (KICFF) gets into high gear, film enthusiasts come together to watch some of the best films made for children and the youth across the globe. The four-day festival, which is being held in collaboration between non-profit organisations The Little Art and Teachers’ Resource Centre, began on October 20 at Cinepax in Ocean Mall, Clifton and City Auditorium, Federal B Area.
The event comprises screenings of 58 films from 28 countries. Day two of the festival saw the screening of many short films. The first slot from 9:00am to 10:00 am catered to children between the ages of four and seven, while the second and third slots, from 10:30am to 11:30 am and 12:00pm to 1:00pm, respectively, were for eight-year-olds and above. “The main aim of the festival has always been to promote film as a visual medium for learning,” Omar Ijaz Khan, programs manager at The Little Art, tells The Express Tribune.
He shares that when The Little Art was initiated back in 2007, there were no such festivals and outlets for children to explore and display their artistic talents. “We decided to organise the Lahore International Children’s Film Festival (LICFF) in 2008. Owing to the overwhelming response we received for our inaugural event, we decided to stage the festival in other cities as well,” states Khan.
Khan, who is part of the organising team for the event, clarifies that the festival is not only for children, but also adults. “Older audiences can watch [movies being screened during] our 6:00 to 7:00pm slot. The short films being screened then are for all age groups,” he comments.
The 7:15pm to 8:45pm slot is dedicated to the screening of a different popular animated film every day, with days one and two having already screened The Lego Movie and Rio 2, respectively. Among the other well-crafted live-action and animated films that were screened are Captain Fish, Bird Doggin’!, Cartoon Away, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore, and Bobby.
Bobby, in particular, garnered praise for its storytelling and direction. The film tells the story of a child, whose father refuses to let him adopt a stray dog. It depicts how the child secretly continues to care for the dog until it falls prey to a tragic accident, causing his father to have a change of heart.
Saira, who attended the festival with her children, acknowledged the efforts of the organisers and appreciated the selection of films. “I think the festival is a great initiative and we should have more of these events. The film section was also great but the film Bobby was a little too dark. Then again, that’s the reality of life,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2014.