Indianexpress (26 November 2015)
Over 50 independent feature films, shorts and documentaries will be screened during a week-long festival here in December that aims to showcase diverse perspectives of world cinema to the country’s children and youth.
Noted film personalities like Nagesh Kukunoor, Hansal Mehta, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Santosh Sivan, Jahnu Barua and Resul Pookutty have come on board as the advisory members of the Smile International Film Festival for Children & Youth (SIFFCY) which will cater to young people (6 to 25 years).
National award winning film critics Saibal Chatterjee and Utpal Borpujari are also part of the core team of the first edition of the festival to be held from December 21-27 at the Siri Fort auditorium.
“We have already received more than 2000 film entries from over 100 countries for SIFFCY,” says festival director Jitendra Mishra.
“During SIFFCY we will screen only inspirational films made for children and youth, with a message which could be about education, environment, cleanliness, world peace, girl child or any other social issues,” he says.
The movies will be programmed in four different categories – feature, short, documentary and students’ films which will include both live action and animation films.
“We are trying to include maximum international films so that our kids will also have exposure to the art, culture and lifestyle of different other countries through these films,” says Jitendra.
According to Santanu Mishra, co-founder and executive trustee of Smile Foundation and chairman of the festival, the aim of SIFFCY is to sensitise children and youth through meaningful cinema and create a lasting impact in their minds.
The idea behind SIFFCY is to provide a special platform devoted to a greater appreciation of world cinema which can bring change in the society by showcasing films with substance, supporting emerging filmmakers, recognising the pioneers and leaders of the film industry, and by promoting diverse perspectives of world cinema, the organisers say.
The Smile Foundation-produced feature film “I Am Kalam” won more than 30 international awards including a national award.
From Delhi, SIFCCY will travel across India. The films will be screened for children at around 3000 schools in more than 400 districts.