In the run-up to the Kazan Muslim Film Festival 2017, press screenings of the competition and parallel programmes’ films has started in Kazan.
“The films selected for press screenings may give an overview of the whole festival in terms of the quality of the films selected for both competition and parallel programs”, notes the director of Tatarkino, the executive director of the Kazan Muslim Film Festival 2017, Milyausha Aituganova.
Press Screenings session was opened by ‘Kingdom of Clay Subjects’ full length feature film from Bangladesh. The 2017 edition of the festival has received numerous entries from Bangladesh. However, only this film by a young director Bijon has entered the competition programme of the festival. He is a graduate of the School of Theatre, Film and Television, the University of California (Los-Angeles, the USA), who has already won the best feature film award in the seventh edition of Chicago South Asian Film Festival 2016.
The film revolves around the story of an 11-year-old boy, who is seeking to find his identity and place in his world. With symbols and metaphors used, the film reflects social issues of children growing up in poverty in a tale narrated with humour and visual fair.
“The director cutting lets him speak with its audience in a simple and clear language”, stressed a member of selection board of the festival, Adilya Khaybullina. “At the same time, this language is sinewy. It seems that the lead actor was selected according to Hollywood best practices: his face is such expressive. However, what is more important is the amount of work done by the director, as, in fact, we understand this film mainly through this child via outstanding close ups and a rare use of text”.
The journalists attended the screening were inspired by both the bright image of the leading character and a colourful background of the film: Bangladeshi nature and culture. The name of the film has also aroused the curiosity of journalists: Adilya Khaybullina presented them her own interpretation of the ‘Clay Kingdom’ metaphor. She suggested that this kingdom is an image of the world with a certain behaviour rules inside, while the natural fragility of clay may be perceived as a symbol of the conventionality of the boundaries set up by these rules. “The strength of this film resides in its liveliness and freshness”, mentioned Adilya. “The majority of film festivals are focused on this type of films, as there is a certain level of tiredness in the field with classic interpretations and images. In this context, I think, we are on this trend with our festival’s special attention to Asian and African cinema”.