Frogs and toads aren't creepy, dirty creatures. They're beautiful. Don't agree? You would if you saw it from a child's point of view. Directed by Simone van Dusseldorf from Holland, “Frogs and Toads” is a wonderful tale about six-year-old Max's quest to find frogspawn, which leads to a journey that will tug at your heart strings. Jannus, Max's elder brother, is desperate to get frogspawn, but an operation to get his tonsils out prevents him from doing so. He decides to entrust this mission to his younger brother Max, with the threat that if he fails to find frogspawn, Jannus will never be able to talk again.

So Max runs away from home to find frog eggs, but not without facing a lot of problems — he misses the bus to go to the countryside. Just when little Max feels dejected and your heart reaches out to him, six-year-old Jesse stops him on the road and offers to be friends with him.

After much coaxing, fighting and a hilarious exchange of pacts and promises, Max and Jesse develop a most endearing friendship.

Wonders of childhood

Together they search for frogspawn, but not before exploring forests, grasshoppers, rabbits, frogs and cows. Dusseldorf brilliantly portrays the nuances of childhood through song and dance and laugh-out-loud interactions of innocent fears and wonder between Max and Jesse. The movie will make you yearn for your childhood days and the feeling of nostalgia overwhelms you.

“Frogs and Toads” will be one of the 50-odd films from 20 countries that will be shown at The Bangalore International Children's Film Festival to be held at the Ryan International School from June 22 to June 24.

Utkarsh Marwah, Director of the festival, rues that Bollywood inspires today's children, “Children today think about Bollywood, song, dance and larger-than-life imagery and the habit of reading is completely lost.” He hopes, however, that this film festival will expose children to more intellectually stimulating topics and ideas.

Learn about others

“The objective of this film festival is to make children well-versed in all subjects and learn about other countries and cultures.”

One of the high points of the Festival will be a film directed, written, edited and filmed by the children of Ryan International School titled “Green Dog”.

The directors Vindhya V. and Ayman are excited about the exclusive premiere of their film at the Fame Lido, “We are very happy. Not many get an opportunity to direct films.” Vindhya believes that “Green Dog” will send out a strong message to the people of Bangalore, “Our movie will inspire everyone to save the environment.”

Ayman insists that children should be exposed to cinemas from different countries, “Instead of watching boring Bollywood movies, children should watch more world movies.”

The films will be screened at the school from 9.30 a.m., and entry is free. Entry is open to those aged 16 and above.

You can watch all the films at Fame Cinemas, Forum Value Mall (Whitefield) from 10 a.m. on the same days. Tickets here are priced at Rs. 80 per head. Call 0-98112-29901.