In the world of sheela ki jawani and romantic movies coming in on almost a weekly basis, we need to start thinking about the children now and content that is suitable for them. Cinema for children is not a new concept, movies created for children with the sole objective of improving their thinking and showing them what is relevant and inspirational to them is a common phenomenon worldwide however Pakistan is still fairly new to the concept. There are only a handful of people/organizations who are making an effort in creating content for children. In these days when we have seen even cartoons depicting vulgarity, curated content for children has become all the more important. The Little Art, based in Lahore had taken a step to make sure that we don’t get left behind in this. In an event that spans over three cities (Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad) and on an average of 25,000+ students (based on last year’s turnout), this organization is making an impact. Every year a festival is created which goes by the name of International Children’s Film Festival which is directed by the The Little Art team and this time we had the opportunity to visit one of their screenings in the Karachi chapter.
A bit about International Children’s Film Festival
“There is limited content for children”, as discussed with Awais Shafiq who is one of the team members from Little Art, he further added that “Visuals are important for children”, and that is quite true, because the lessons we learn from visuals tend to become a strong part of our everyday lives.
The content in this festival comprises of roughly 45 films from 20 countries which is exclusively made available for this festival. What’s more exciting is that there have been 22 film submissions from local schools by children who are under the age of 18 years. Out of these, 10 films are made a part of the content that runs during the festival.
A Teacher’s Perspective
We went there on 22nd October when the students from Dawood Public School where being shown short films at
Cinepax Ocean Mall. There, we had a talk with Azam Saeed – a history teacher for this school who had a lot to say about the International Children’s Film Festival. In our discussion, he mentioned how important Cinema is in creating a good learning environment for children. The younger ones need to see things that enhance their mindset – according to Azam, and these films at the festival cover a wide variety of social issues and provide lessons in mannerism that are essential for a positive upbringing.
A Parent’s Perspective
On the other hand, there were also some parents at the screening as well. Having a discussion with Hashaam, who was accompanying his little boy to this festival revealed a couple of important factors. According to him, this is better than regular field trips that children are usually taken to. Its a good way to expose them to a different chapter which enriches their mind.
All-in-all, this is one of those events which definitely create a positive impact in many lives. In Karachi the festival was to be run from 17th – 22nd October, however due to the overwhelming response, they had to increase it till 26th October. In Lahore, it will be live from 21st – 26th November and in Islamabad it will be live from 5th – 8th December. If you get a chance to become a part of this somehow, we would highly recommend it.
For updates about the event, visit The Little Art’ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thelittleart/