Special Unicef package at International Children Film Fest

NEW DELHI:To mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, Unicef, in a special package, has put together around 15 films made by children from India and overseas to be shown at the 16th International Children Film Festival (ICFF) in Hyderabad.

Unicef representative Karin Hulshof said that the films in the package had been made by child reporters on issues affecting them. She reflected that children were able to make better films when they were able to talk to other kids and adults candidly.

Children’s Film Society chairperson Nandita Das revealed that the festival will have 15 films in the international competition, 18 films including six from India in the Asian competition and 37 films in the non-competitive Children’s World, apart from the Unicef package and a German package.

Das said two of the subjects for the open forums would include discussions on introducing films in school curriculum, and what constituted a children’s film.
The festival is being held in collaboration with the Andhra Pradesh State Film, Theatre and Television Development Corporation.

Answering questions, Das said that there was need to provide alternatives by way of clean entertainment to children to wean them away from violent television programming or whatever they saw on the internet or in the cinema houses. Her emphasis was on quality films rather than quantity.

She said that the festival will have a five-day workshop for child reporters and an open forum on different subjects everyday.

A five-member international jury and five-member child jury will judge both sections.

Eminent poet and filmmaker Gulzar and filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj will be present at the inauguration at the open air Lalit Kala Thoranam.

60 overseas delegates will be attending the festival, that is held every second year and alternates with the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (being held in February 2010).

The festival will start from 14 November, celebrated as Children’s Day.

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