GUWAHATI, Jan 20 - In an effort to screen films for visually-impaired children, Jyoti Chitraban, the organiser of the first Guwahati International Children Film Festival (GICFF) today screened Halo, a film directed by Santosh Sivan at the Sri Sri Madhavadeva International Auditorium of the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra.
Jyoti Chitraban chairman Pabitra Margherita said that the film was screened with sound effects so that visually-impaired children could enjoy it. “This time, we made efforts to include visually-impaired children of the State in the festival. The inaugural session of the festival also started with a chorus performed by a group of visually-impaired children,” Margherita said.
Halo depicts the story of Sasha. The loneliness in a motherless Sasha’s life is filled by her puppy, Halo. When Halo gets lost, Sasha has only one thought in her mind – to find him at any cost. This seven-year-old girl’s search for her puppy in the byzantine streets of Mumbai turns into Alice’s ride down the rabbit hole as she encounters one idiosyncratic person after another.
With breathtaking visuals, Halo is cinematographer-director Santosh Sivan’s debut feature that was released in 1996. The film has won many national and international awards, including the Best Children’s Film at the 43rd National Film Awards in 1996.
On the second day of the GICFF today, the first Nagamese film Nani Teri Morni, directed by Akashsditya Lama was also screened.
The 41-minute-long film is set in a far-eastern corner of India, in Tsungiki village in Wokha district of Nagaland. It is based on Mhonbeni Ezung, a seven-year-old girl who was the youngest recipient of the national bravery award for children in 2015. Mhonbeni is the closest to her Nani or Astu, her maternal grandmother, and the bond between the child and the grandmother is stronger than ever. Mhonbeni visits her grandmother whenever she can and the elderly woman regales her grandchild with tales of valiant Naga warriors. The values that the grandmother inculcates in her grandchild is what helps little Mhonbeni in saving her grandmother from drowning, which also helps her get over her fear.
Director Akashaditya Lama is the first director-cum-producer from the Mumbai film industry who has shot an entire film based on the story of Mhonbeni Ezung in the hills of Nagaland.
Other films screened on the second day were Viacruxis by Ignasi Lopez Fabregas from Spain, I And Friday by Hossain Ameri from Iran, Human by Hasan Ince from Turkey, Edhel by Marco Renda from Italy, Chol Jai by Masuma Tani from Bangladesh, I Am Zero by Suraj Tiwari from India, Our Ethiopia by Getachew Yezengaw from Ethiopia, Stamp Album by Sivakumar Balathandayuthem from India, A Ferry Tale by Mehmet Tigh from Turkey, Stella 1 by Gaia Bonsignore and Roberto D’lppolito from Italy, The Social Paradox by Rudroneel Ahmed from Bangladesh, Berries Island by Khaled Mmansour from Egypt, Badaboo: the boat trip by Glenn D’Hondt and Karim Rhellam from Belgium, Qadam Kheyr by Masudfar Khondeh from Iran, Pettson And Findus by Ali Samadi Ahadi from Germany, Eibusu Yaohanbiyu by Maipaksana Haorongbam from Manipur, Detective Avery Ebson by Mike Farnon, Armada by Darren Burnett, Star Bard by Chloe Peters, Save and Restore by Thomas Hardy and Nine Coo Five by Anye Chen from the UK.