International Children's Film Fest begins in Hyderabad
The 17th International Children's Film Festival opens in Hyderabad today, November 14, and will be on till November 20.
Some 150 films from 40 countries will be shown in the course of the week. Fifteen awards will be given in four competition categories: International (features 15 films), India (10 films), Shorts (24 films) and Little Directors (11 films). There are three new competitive sections: Competition Shorts, Competition India and Competition Little Directors.
The country in focus this time is China and six Chinese films will be shown.
The Lost Thing, the 2011 Oscar Award Winner will also be screened at the festival.
Among the films that will be screened in the Indian Competition section are Stanley Ka Dabba, I am Kalam, Chillar Party, Dekh Indian Circus (by Mangesh Hadawale which won the Audience Award at Busan, Korea recently) and Vihir. The Lotus Pond, made by filmmakers from Hyderabad, will have its world premiere.
Significantly, age-wise programming has been introduced for the first time. The age groups are 6 to 9, 10 to 12 and 13 to 16, ensuring that kids watch only what will be appropriate for, and enjoyed by, their age group. The lyrics for the signature tune of the festival have been written by Gulzar and the music is composed by Vishal Bharadwaj.
Here are 12 films to look out for
Director: Rajan Khosa/India
The film that will open the festival on November 14 is produced by the Children's Film Society of India.
In a town full of kites where children are obsessed with flying the paper and stick creations, there is a kite called Kali that rules the skies. No one knows who flies Kali. No one can defeat Kali.
An illiterate street urchin takes up the challenge of besting Kali. He has neither money nor education on his side, but he has a goal firmly in sight.
Image: A scene from Gattu
The Lotus Pond
Director: PG Vinda and Nitin Kumar Allagadda/India
The Lotus Pond made by Hyderabad filmmakers will have its world premiere at the festival.
It is the story of two boys who set out on a journey to the mythical Lotus Pond after they hear about it in school. This pond is said to be located at a height of 14,000 feet in the Himalayas.
The film looks at their journey through various villages and their interactions with people belonging to various communities. Do they reach the pond?
Image: A scene from The Lotus Pond
Niao Chao (Bird's Nest)
Director: Ning Jingwu/China
A young boy living in a village in south-western China wants to join his father who went to work in Beijing as a labourer on the famous Olympic stadium known as the Bird's Nest. Through his journey to Beijing, the film reveals the Miao people's natural and harmonious way of living, honest and simple interpersonal relationships, and their healthy attitude to life.
The film has travelled to several film festivals.
Image: A scene from Niao Chao
Lu Cao Di (Mongolian Ping Pong)
Director: Ning Hao/China
When young Bilike finds what he does not know is an ordinary ping-pong ball, he and his friends embark on a journey to find out what the mysterious object is. Bilike's old grandmother says the ball is a glowing pearl sent by the gods, but the boys are sceptical after it fails a test.
When a television show finally reveals that the object is the "national ball of China", the determined young boys set off to return the ping-pong ball to the Chinese capital, where an even bigger adventure and more amusing trouble awaits them.
The film has gone to many international film festivals.
Image: A scene from Lu Cao Di
Kidnappet (Lost in Africa)
Director: Vibeke Muasya/Denmark, Kenya
Simon, an adopted boy and soccer enthusiast, travels with his Danish mother to his country of origin, Kenya. Soon after arriving, Simon loses his beloved soccer ball. Attempting to find it, he gets lost in the biggest city-slum in Africa.
Vibeke Muasya is a writer, director, dancer and choreographer. She has written and directed several award winning documentaries and short films. This film has won many awards at various film festivals.
Image: A scene from Kidnappet
Director: Ellen Smit/Netherlands
Warre spends much time watching birds in the beautiful countryside. One day a little creature falls from the sky. It looks like a baby girl but has wings instead of arms. Warre takes the creature home and shows it to his wife Tine, who wants a baby. Tine decides to keep the creature and calls it Birdie. Tine does her very best to raise Birdie as a normal little girl. But Birdie is not a normal little girl and one day she flies away to the South. Tine is inconsolable and together with Warre she goes looking for Birdie.
The film has won many awards at various international film festivals.
Image: A scene from Lep!
Director: Mohammadali Talebi/Iran
Ali and Nargis bravely leave their childhood behind when their family falls into difficult times. Ali is charged with the responsibility of taking the sheep over the mountains to new pastures that will keep the flock alive.
Nargis must find a way to bring her mother back to her family which has been split by the fight between her father and uncle over the use of the meadow.
Image: A scene from Alafzar
Director: Christian Lo/Norway
Julie, Mette and Naisha are best girl friends, who have snowball fights with the boys, race down steep hills on a sledge and are looking forward to Christmas. One day Naisha suddenly disappears.
The refugee applications of Naisha and her mother have been rejected so if the police find them, they will be sent back home. But nobody knows where Naisha and her mother have gone. The only clue is a secret address written in invisible ink. Julie and Mette get on to the night train to the big city to find Naisha before the police do.
Image: A scene from Bestevenner
Vorstadtkrokodile 2 (The Crocodiles Strike Back)
Director: Christian Ditter/Germany
Summer vacation would be perfect for 'The Crocodiles', but for the strange incidents in the factory where Ollie and Maria's parents work. The parents may lose their jobs, even their home. That would spell the end of The Crocodiles.
If Ollie and Maria have to move, there would be no gang left for Hannes, Kai, Jorgo, Frank and Peter either! The Crocodiles must get to the bottom of the mysterious series of accidents at the factory. They put the pedal to the metal and race full speed ahead -- on bikes and souped-up wheelchairs--into their next adventure!
Image: A scene from Vorstadtkrokodile 2
Les Contes De La Nuit (Tales of the Night)
Director : Michel Ocelot/France
Every evening, a girl, a boy, and an old technician get together in a small movie theatre. Although the theatre no longer seems to be operating, it is full of wonders. The three friends invent, draw, dress up, and become characters in any story they feel like telling during one magical night when everything is possible.
There are witches and fairies, powerful kings and stable boys, werewolves and beautiful, cruel ladies, cathedrals and sequins, cities of gold and dark forests, harmonies of vast choirs and the spells of a single drum, devastating malice and triumphant innocence.
Image: A scene from Les Contes De La Nuit
Gadkiy Utyonok (The Ugly Duckling)
Director: Garri Bardin/Russian Federation
A rooster finds a strange egg just outside the coop fence. It hatches a fledgling that belongs to no known species of chicken, duck or goose in the coop. All the poultry in the yard think it is ugly. Rejected by its surrogate 'parents', the chick is ridiculed and pushed around by the other birds and 'siblings' despite saving the coop from a fox.
Utterly miserable, the little outcaste courageously decides to make it on his own in the dangerous world outside.
Image: A scene from Gadkiy Utyonok
Het Geheim (The Magicians)
Director: Joram L rsen|Netherlands
Eight-year-old Ben Stikker is fascinated by the magic show of master illusionist Hans Smid and is determined to discover the secret behind the 'disappearing trick'. His charming but clumsy father Koos takes magic lessons with him and in no time the Stikker & Son Magic Show is on.
During a performance, Ben's friend and assistant, Sylvie, vanishes in their magic trick. Everyone holds Koos responsible. Now not only does Ben have to find Sylvie, but he must also save his parents' marriage and keep his father out of the hands of the press and the police.
Image: A scene from Het Geheim