Under the banner of a "Future in frames", the 14th edition of the International Children's Film Festival Bangladesh (ICFFB) kicked off in the capital on Saturday by Children's Film Society (CFS) Bangladesh.
Marking the occasion, a special inauguration ceremony was arranged by CFS at the Sufia Kamal National Public Library on Saturday afternoon which was joined by Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud as chief guest.
The inaugural ceremony of the seven-day international festival was also joined by KM Khalid, State Minister for Cultural Affairs, as special guest.
Festival Director of the 14th International Children's Film Festival Fariha Jannat Mim and CFS programme editor Rayeed Morshed were also present at the inauguration ceremony.
Praising the initiative of organizing the global festival dedicatedly commissioned for children, amid the ongoing pandemic - Dr Hasan Mahmud said that the festival will be remembered as the breeding ground for new and talented filmmakers of the future.
"Alongside education, co-curricular activities are the integral elements that can prepare our children for a better future - and unique festivals like this can tremendously accelerate that combined growth of our children, as film is the best way to showcase the social messages. I am sure that many acclaimed and talented filmmakers will come out through this initiative and uphold the image of our country to the rest of the world," Dr Hasan said at the event.
Reminiscing a particular incident from his childhood, Dr Hasan shared: "One of my closest friends back in my school days cheered me up to participate in a debate programme, which I eventually won and I never lost my spirit and confidence since that incident. This entire festival is being organized by children and youths of our nation, and taking up responsibilities with such confidence is highly commendable."
Echoing similar sentiment, State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid said, "The fact that an international festival like this is being arranged enitirely by these young, talented children and youths of our nation, is utterly surprising to me. I am wondering with joy and honour to be associated with this magnificent initiative."
He also addressed his experience of being recently vaccinated under the Covid-19 vaccination programme of the government, and said that the citizens including the children and their guardians can take up the vaccine without any fear or hesitation and ignore the propagandas.
Festival Director Fariha Jannat Mim said that the festival is being directed following the health guidelines under the directive of the Ministry of Health. She also addressed that there will be no ticketing price for the film shows, however, the audiences must come with being masked up, which will be considered as the ticket.
The festival then officially began with the screening of the Polish feature film 'Tipple Trouble', directed by Marta Karwowska.
According to the organizers, the 14th ICFFB is set to feature 179 films representing 37 countries, nominated from a total submission of 1,116 films from 81 countries. Films participated from countries namely Bangladesh, India, France, Japan, Italy, Iran, Australia, China and others.
The 14th International Children's Film Festival will host film screenings at 3 venues in the capital - Shawkat Osman Hall at the Central Public Library, Sufia Kamal Auditorium at the Bangladesh National Museum and National Art Gallery at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
The films will be screened and several awards will be given under the categories namely Child Filmmakers' Section (Bangladesh and International), Young Bangladeshi Filmmakers' Section, Social Film Section on 'New Normal', International Competition of Films Made For Children and a special Film Competition Section, marking the golden jubilee of Bangladesh's independence,
Besides, the festival will feature four workshops and interactive sessions. Noted director Amitabh Reza Chowdhury and cinematographer Tahsin Rahman will conduct a workshop on Direction and Cinematography, film critic and Dhaka Tribune Showtime editor Sadia Khalid will conduct a session on Scriptwriting, acclaimed filmmaker Abu Shahed Imon will conduct a workshop on Festival Circuit and Ranjan Rabbani will conduct a session on Production Design.
Popular singer-songwriter-music director Shayan Chowdhury Arnob, Sunidhi Nayak, Colonel Sajjad Ali Zahir, first Bangladeshi woman conqueror of Mount Everest Nishat Majumdar and more will participate in several interactive sessions at the seven-day festival as special guests.
The 14th International Children's Film Festival will end on February 5 with the closing and award giving ceremony at the National Theatre Hall at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.