Children's film fete ends
By Gautaman Bhaskaran
HYDERABAD, NOV. 20.
The 11th International Children's Film Festival ended here this evening with all its major prizes going to an Iranian movie, “The Cart”.
Directed by Gholam Reza Ramezani, “The Cart” not only walked away with the top ‘award — The Golden Elephant and Rs. 1,00,000 — (awarded by the International Jury),but also with the International Critics’ Jury and the Children's Jury prizes.
The second feature of Ramezani, “The Cart” is, according to the children, a movie that is so similar to our own life in India. Ms. Amita Malik, the chairperson of the critics’ jury said: “The transition of the two boys in “The Cart” from adversaries to friends, and the father's ultimate realisation of what his son means to him add up to a powerful human document. The smooth flow of the story, the convincing performances especially of the two young boys and the hopeful note on which it ends make this film one of universal appeal to the young and old”.
“The Cart” is, in fact, a poignant tale of a vendor who has to imprison his little son in his little vehicle to keep him out of mischief. But by the end of the day, anger evaporates, and love engulfs the two in a beautiful bond. The work richly deserved the honour.
The Bronze Elephant Award and a cash prize of Rs. 25,000 were given away to Swetha, that vivacious little girl from Chennai’s Holy Angels School, who literally transformed herself into a tribal belle in Santosh Sivan’s “Malli”. This was the second time she was being adjudged the best child artist, the first was at the national level earlier this year, for the same film, of course.
“Malli” in Tamil also bagged the best live action feature award. it is a story set in a tribal village, where a local girl “befriends one from the city, one who cannot hear or speak.” Sivan has handled the theme with compassion, without slipping into a well of self-pity and a tone of sacrifice.
The international jury, headed by Ms. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna, adjudged Li Hong the best director. Her film in Chinese, “Tutor” (which incidentally was not screened for the Press and delegates because the print arrived late last evening), talks about a young teacher regaining his lost confidence when his life crosses that of a little boy, whose love for Nature keeps him away from his text-books.
Japan's “Innocent Angels”, directed by Toshio Goto, merited the Special Jury Prize. It is an unusual work that illustrates through stunning visuals and through two small boys depicts the conflict between nature and culture.
The Asian Panorama Jury, headed by Mr. C. Narayana Reddy, gave away its recognition to Iran's “The Little Man” by Ebrahim Forouzesh.