Ahsan Lenin: World-Film Matured in Iranian Films
Ahsan Lenin

The 30th International Film Festival for Children and Youth opened in Isfahan on June 30, 2017. The international event brings audiences a packed seven days of films for children. More than 50 films and guests from 44 countries are accepted to the festival with additional workshops taking place in Isfahan. Instructors from Sweden, Nigeria and Iran will cover various courses.

Kamrul Ahsan Lenin's debut film “Ghraan” (“The Smell”) has won the Best Short Film Award at the 6th Dadasaheb Phalke Film Festival 2016. 

His carrier as cinematographer started from 2003. Through this journey he came to sense a feeling to pursue his own way of story telling.

 

Ahsan Lenin, director of “the Smell”, in an interview with the 30th International Film Festival for Children and Youth said that he believed that the journey of world-film which was influenced by cinema verité got matured in Iranian films.

I like to ask you about your work. Can you elaborate on your work and focus on children in your work of art?

Firstly, I was moved by a complex point about the relationship between a father and a son in Masudul Haque’s short story ‘Boys have the Kebab, Dads have the smell’. Even in my personal life, I started feeling more of my father after I lost him, I got a chance to see our relationship from different angles. This story seemed to be another version of my childhood in 1980s.

So, ‘Ghraan’ (The Smell) is a story as well as an essence of personal reality portrayed through images. Like when I consider of ‘Ghraan’ (The Smell) as an image, the story seems to be the foreground of that image and my childhood seems to me as the background. I sometimes wonder that whether portraying or recreating my childhood image was more important than the creating of this story ‘Ghraan’!

The prime focus about children in my work is actually the family bondage and the childhood friendship through which a child grows up. It was so organic and spontaneous. But, I think this is missing now in Bangladesh, specially in the cities or urban areas.

At the same time I also think- I miss that childhood environment for two reasons. One could be I am no more a child, I am an adult and I see things from an adult’s perspective. Secondly, it is a reality of time. Society has changed a lot. Society is more careless now, so, we feel anxious to allow our children a spontaneous childhood, joyful childhood. But I feel sad for this. Like we see in the film ‘Ghraan’ that little Ahkam and his friends are so joyful in their roaming around with rental cycles, playing football, managing money for kebabs. But now, I cannot allow my own son to exercise that because I am concerned about his safety, security and mostly his engagement of routines from my intension on him to grow smarter, to get to the top.

How come you chose the 30th International Film Festival for Children and Youth to screen your film?  Do you believe having a separate festival for children and youth can improve and promote children cinema?

Contemporary Iranian film offered a new film language to the world. It seems to me that the journey of world-film which was influenced by cinema verité got matured in Iranian films. I feel similar kind of emotions and obstacles in our society like what I see in Iranian movies. But we fail to portray things in that way in our cinemas. The simplicity of the storytelling is the main strength of Iranian movies. I am motivated by few great Iranian filmmakers who made film with simple story that feels like real-life experience to me.

I wish to share my film to the audience of Iran who, I suppose, have the same type of feelings or emotions that I observed in my country, Bangladesh. Like almost similar type of affection, friendship, poverty, obstacles and so many things. That is why I choose to participate at the 30th International Film Festival for Children and Youth to screen my work.

 

I believe a separate festival for children and youth can improve and promote children cinema. Because this kind of festivals invites films that concern children and the environment of such festivals engage children with more understanding of the cinema culture as well. Like in my country, Bangladesh, we also have international children’s film festival and I see the children enjoying cinemas and taking part as volunteers, juries and also filmmakers and critics which is really necessary to improve and promote the children cinema. Especially in a world now; where war, technological, economic and political environmental challenges that we are passing through, children are in more critical situations. This is why we need to put more focus to observe this kind of separate film festival for children and youth.

I like to hear your thoughts and opinions on Iranian cinema. How do you evaluate children film industry in the world?

As I said to the earlier question that contemporary Iranian films offer a new film language to the world. It seems to me that the journey of world-film which was influenced by cinema verité got matured in Iranian films. The simplicity of the storytelling is the main strength of Iranian movies. I am motivated by few great Iranian filmmakers who made film with simple story that feels like real-life experience to me. Like Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry, Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s Gabbeh and so many other.

ID: 157  |  Published in: Friday, 30 June 2017 08:13