The Smile International Film Festival for children & Youth is a special film platform initiated by Smile Foundation. The Festival & Forum is devoted to a greater appreciation of meaningful cinemas made for children and youth that 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 World Cinema. It caters to young people (aged 6 to 25 ) with just about every level of interest in film or television industry . Offline, Siffcy organizes a week – long annual Film Festival which takes place at the Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi, India during December every year. More than 30000 young audience participate in the week – long festival & it attracts filmmakers, artists & Industry professionals from across the globe.
This year SIFFCY in association with Picture Paathshala, a student driven organization that combines Media Skills Training – Content Production & Community Service as digital media literacy modules for K-12 schools across India, organized an online film festival for children during India’s Independence Weekend from the 14th to the 16th of August 2020.
As schools took to online learning, offices took to work from home the demand for digital platforms to continue working and surging ahead against all adversities led to a miracle. Multiple digital platforms including social media sites emerged as saviours & came alive with options to keep working, learning and connecting people from across the globe. So, how could the media industry be far behind? When this is an industry that believes “the Show must go on!”
The SIFFCY Team too decision to adopt the digital platform and organize an online Film Festival for children in collaboration with picture Paathshala on Facebook was an absolutely novel idea. The film festival was focused on movies by children and for children. Messages were shared across schools by Child for Child team, Education World and Picture Paathshala to participate in film making.
There was a palpable excitement amongst students across hundreds of schools, where children realized that they could showcase their creativity at a global level. Students were connected with mentors in Siffcy & in PPL. Eventually over 100 films were received by the team of SIFFCY. The movies made were across different themes, from lockdown diaries, to Covid etiquette (yes that is a subject), to cultural aspects in this country. Students took time off from their online classes, their online coaching, their online games and decided to make something unique with just their mobile phones. Some movies manifest so much effort that it is but obvious that during times of lockdown there has been an outpouring of creativity, especially amongst children.
The Online film festival was celebrated not only over the Independence day weekend, but also through the entire month of August. There were movie screenings over SIFFCY’s FB page followed by workshops on different thematic areas like making documentaries, making films and making animated movies.
While movies were screened by children from across the world, trainers too from different countries were invited to conduct the online workshops. Children who attended the workshops were asked to participate in a contest where they had to use their learnings and make a movie. This too resulted in over 50 submissions, clearly a manifestation of the level of engagement by children during the film festival.
Quick snippets from the film festival:
- There was over 80000 global audience for the film festival
- There were over 20000 engagements with the movies screened over FB
- Over 100 schools participated
- Over 3000 students registered via Child For Child team for viewing the films
- 15 children from around 10 schools and 30 students from Smile Foundation’s ME centers made movies during the lockdown and submitted to SIFFCY jury
To know more about Smile International Film Festival for Children and Youth visit https://siffcy.org/