April 12, 2023, New Delhi: Children and youth are the future of any nation. If sensitized early, they can be the best change agents, be it in their family or the community they live. But unfortunately, teenagers are prone to harmful addictions, loneliness, insecurity, violence and aggression owing to unbridled exposure into a plethora of media. Hence, it has become very important to channel the energy and enthusiasm of children and youth into a positive direction by imbibing a conscious perspective and constructive value system in them.
The idea behind Smile International Film Festival for Children & Youth (SIFFCY) has been to nurture a special film platform devoted to a greater appreciation of meaningful cinemas made for children and youth which can bring change in the society by showcasing those films, supporting emerging filmmakers, recognizing the pioneers and leaders of the similar industry and by promoting the diverse perspectives of good cinema from across the globe.
The week-long SIFFCY enters its ninth edition this year, beginning 17th of April. This edition will screen 150 acclaimed and award-winning films sourced from over 50 countries, enthralling an audience of over 100,000 children and youth. Films and workshops on climate change, road safety and on children cinema will also be organized with the involvement of industry experts, opinion makers and professionals.
“I believe that good cinema is one of the most powerful media to depict reality and emulate values. A single good film has the power to stimulate discussion and contemplation in young minds about personal, emotional, societal and moral duties enabling them to become better and stronger individuals. Our aim is to catch their attention and make them consider worthy social concerns thereby influencing them to adopt the model of civic-driven change in the society. Our films are driven towards creating an impact on the society for a good cause,” says Mr. Santanu Mishra, Chairman of SIFFCY and Executive Trustee & Co-Founder of Smile Foundation.
This year the festival will host the prestigious European Children’s Film Association Award and also the acclaimed CIFEJ Award (only Indian organization to host the award). In addition, SIFFCY will host the much-admired Film Critics Circle of India Award as well.
A segment under the best of “Czech Animations” will be showcased this year in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in New Delhi. Further, the association will bring 10 curated and handpicked films made by young filmmakers of the Tomas Bata University in Zlin.
The collaborate with the Delegation of the European Union to India is bringing the best of European cinema made for children and youth for the Indian audience during SIFFCY 2023. Further association with SCHLINGEL International Film Festival, Germany will result in 10 recent handpicked German films captivating the young Indian enthusiasts.
“This edition of SIFFCY will have a dozen of unique workshops, panel discussions and master-classes by industry experts and mentors, in additoin to screening of internationally acclaimed films. The larger idea behind this festival is to encourage young minds to think critically and express creatively, especially through the medium of films. We have also been trying to provide an exclusive platform for young, aspiring and independent filmmakers to showcase their talents to the international audience,” says Mr. Jitendra Mishra, festival director of SIFFCY.
In one of the biggest cinematic experiences for children, youth and film-enthusiasts in India, Smile International Film Festival for Children & Youth (SIFFCY) will screen the handpicked films on a hybrid mode, through both physical and virtual platforms. Over 30,000 young visitors are scheduled to visit the festival venues in New Delhi alone where over 25 International filmmakers, experts, festival organizers, media professionals from over 20 different countries will be present physically and virtually. In addition, the festival will be held in 50 other locations spread across India. Acclaimed filmmaker from Japan Mr. Nijitaro will be hosting an animation workshops with underprivileged children to make a film during the ninth edition of SIFFCY.
Smile Foundation believes that every movie creator or storyteller has a unique way of working. However, one of the important qualities is to use entertainment as a medium to inculcate invaluable human emotions such as giving, empathy and a sense of responsibility.
With a strong belief in the power of responsible communication, especially that of good cinema, Smile Foundation has successfully worked on numerous short films, documentaries, TV series and campaigns besides a full-length feature film ‘I am Kalam’ in the recent past. I am Kalam alone travelled across the globe winning 30 awards, besides a national award in India.
Prominent directors, actors, writers, cinematographers and production wizards including Hansal Mehta, Jahnu Barua, Santosh Sivan, Nagesh Kukunoor, Resul Pookutty, Tigmanshu Dhulia, and Utpal Borpujari have been the pillars of strength since the inception of SIFFCY.
About Smile Foundation:
Smile Foundation is a national level development organization directly benefitting over 1.5 million children and their families every year, through more than 400 welfare projects on education, healthcare, livelihood and women empowerment, in over 2000 remote villages and slums across 25 states of India. Smile Foundation is also a widely respected brand known for its continuous innovations and strives to sensitize the privileged mass across the globe so that they come forward, take on the social problems of the world as personal challenges and fight them back. And in order to grab their attention, Smile Foundation has been developing films as a core area, which are creative, innovative and are a balance of the right content and the right quality.