By Utpal Borpujari
For the first time in the history, the International Children’s Film Festival India held every alternate year in Hyderabad will have a package of films highlighting children’s right to information.
The package, which comprises around eight films made by children filmmakers from Andhra Pradesh’s Medak district, is the result of a unique collaboration between the festival and UNICEF marking the 20th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
“Among the over 70 films to be screened at the festival will be a special package of films from UNICEF, and this partnership between the Children’s Film Society of India and UNICEF is going to a long-term one,” recently-appointed CFSI chairperson Nandita Das says.
The 16th edition of the festival, starting in Hyderabad on November 14, will also have several sessions devoted to discussions on cinema & entertainment vis-à-vis children.
“Children in India grow on entertainment dished out to them by various TV channels and mainstream cinema which is described as ‘family movies’, while their access to children’s cinema is not great. We plan to involve individuals, NGOs, educators, parents and all others interested in using the visual media for children’s entertainment in the truest sense,” says Das.
The festival will have a special workshop in partnership with UNICEF in which children would be trained in the basics of skills like animation, storytelling, acting and editing. “It is important that there is also a dialogue on issues like whether right to entertainment should be a fundamental right for children and why children’s cinema is invisible in India,” Das says.
UNICEF’s representative in India Karin Hulshof says the partnership is the result of the commitment of both UNICEF and CFSI towards providing edutainment to children.
The festival will have two competition sections – International and Asian – comprising 15 and 18 films respectively, which will vie for the top Golden Elephant Award.