The Delhi-based cine lovers group Cine Darbaar, in collaboration with the American Center, will be presenting a documentary film festival on the theme of chasing one’s dreams. Titled Chasing Dreams, the three-day festival will start on Thursday and will screen five films and a special animation shorts package for children on pursuing their dream—and the American dream.
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The festival comprises two short documentaries for children, which will be screened on each of the three days from 10am onwards, along with the animation package. The two films are The First Kid to Learn English from Mexico (2008), about a nine-year-old American-Mexican boy and his struggle to assimilate the English language, and Notes on Liberty (2009), which documents the myriad emotions of a young boy’s visit to the Statue of Liberty in post-9/11 America.
On Thursday and Friday, the screenings will be followed by a short documentary-making workshop conducted by Avhiroop Mazzumdar, an independent documentary film-maker. “The workshop will involve...teaching children the basic grammar of documentary films. He (Mazzumdar) will also introduce them to the research work and scripting that precedes the shooting of the documentaries and the actual shooting process itself,” says Supriya Suri, artistic director, Cine Darbaar.
On the concluding day, the festival will also screen three contemporary feature-length documentaries portraying the themes of courage and hope. These are:
No Subtitles Necessary (2008), a widely acclaimed documentary on the lives of two visionary cinematographers, Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond, who emigrated to the US from Hungary. A perfect example of how the tyranny of war and destruction inspires an artiste to scale ever-greater heights, the film documents the lives of Kovacs and Zsigmond over half a century—how they emerged from the ravages of a war-torn Hungary, the unease that accompanies migration to another country, and the creation of iconic cinematic images through their work in Hollywood.
Which Way Home (2009) follows unaccompanied child migrants trying to cross over from Mexico to the US. Directed by Rebecca Cammissa, the film follows children from different backgrounds who share but one dream—making it big in the US and living the American dream.
Racing Dreams (2009) follows three children who dream of driving a Nascar (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) car in front of thousands of applauding fans. Nascar is the second most popular spectator sport in the US, and the protagonists are shown competing for top honours at the World Karting Association’s National Pavement Series tournament with their minds set on making it to the big stage—Nascar.
At the end of Which Way Home, there will be a panel discussion on US immigration policy to discuss some of the issues raised in the film.
Chasing Dreams will be held at the American Center, 24, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi, from 10am onwards, on 28-30 April. The documentary-making workshop will be held during the morning sessions (10am-noon) on 28-29 April. To register your school for the workshop and the screenings, call 23472290. The schedule on 30 April is: No Subtitles Necessary (noon), Which Way Home (4pm) and Racing Dreams (6.30pm).