Faces red with excitement, hundreds of giggling children jostled their way through the corridors of Cinepax Cinema at Fortress Stadium to attend the screenings on the first day of the Sixth Lahore International Children’s Film Festival on Monday.
The festival is organised by The Little Art. This year, 169 films will be screened at Faiz Ghar and Cinepax Cinema.
Event director Shoaib Iqbal said the main question was whether people still supported such festivals.
“The bigger question is whether we value the arts… we need to inculcate an attitude supportive of such cultural events.”
Iqbal appreciated the turnout on the first day of the festival. “It was heartening to see our young audience happy and excited throughout the screenings.”
Bobby, a Tunisian film, narrating the friendship between a boy and his dog, had the young audience ooh-and-aahing throughout its duration.
Exiting the venue, laughing and joking with his friends, 10-year-old Faraz said he had loved the experience.
“It was so much fun. I hadn’t seen these films before,” he said.
The Cinepax Cinema can seat around 150 while Faiz Ghar can accommodate 70 people per screening.
Last year, the festival was held at Alhamra Arts Complex on The Mall. The quality of experience is better at Cinepax Cinema, Iqbal said. “But Alhamra offered greater outreach as it was located smack in the heart of the city.”
He said he hoped they could recreate similar experiences for children from all backgrounds at public fora in the future.
Films at the morning show will be screened from 9am to 1pm at Cinepax Cinema. A ticket costs Rs250, but schools buying tickets for more than 50 children get Rs100 discount. The evening show starts at 6pm and ends at 8:45pm.
A ticket costs Rs400. Films will be screened in three halls of Cinepax Cinema during the day and in two halls in the evening. Faiz Ghar will screen shows in the evening from 6pm to 9:15pm and entry will be free.
Several students of Salamat School System, the Army Public School, Lahore Grammar School and the Scarsdale International School attended the morning screenings of the festival at Cinepax Cinema.
TLA’s project coordinator, Awais Shafiq, said several schools were registering for the screenings. The list of schools registering for the festival will be updated daily, Shafiq said.
“We are looking at greater participation from various schools in the coming days,” he said.
Films made by children, for a young audience, will be screened at Cinepax Cinema, while films featuring children as protagonists will be screened at Faiz Ghar.
The festival will close on November 15.
Published in The Express Tribune