Zlin Film Festival and Smile International Film Festival came together this summer. Together they brought for the children of India a little over 100 minutes of fun and entertainment from 27 May to 1 June. And all this happened in the safety of their homes during the second wave of the pandemic. SIFFCY had organised a virtual film festival last year too.
We showed the children 10 animated, non-verbal, and super entertaining movies. We believe that cinema is a powerful medium and it helps to instill values such as empathy and compassion amongst children. In addition, such value-based movies contribute towards their mental well-being and also teach them to be more responsible.
About Zlin Film Festival
The Zlín International Film Festival for Children and Youth is the oldest and largest film festival of its kind. It was founded in 1961 and is held in Czech Republic’s town of Zlín, home of Tomas Bata, founder of the Bata shoe empire. The festival’s mission is to present international films produced for children and teenagers, to make them accessible to young audiences, and offer a high-quality alternative to commonly available audiovisual content.
An important aspect of the festival is to educate young audiences through the medium of film. Moreover, it seeks to expand their awareness of the outside world and develop their aesthetic, social, and moral senses.
Hundreds of schools received the invitation to join the film festival. Seven among these exclusively partnered with Smile Foundation to take this festival to all their students. These were Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Mohali; DAV Police Public School, Panchkula; Army Public School, Secunderabad; Bharti Public School, New Delhi; DAV School, Chattisgarh; Allons Public School, Chattisgarh; Delhi Public School, Durg. Two private school associations also partnered with us, namely All India Private School Association and All Kerala Private School Association.
Over 20,000 children from our Child for Child campaign partner schools watched the films online. Many students from Mission Education (ME) centres also participated with enthusiasm. The movies could be viewed at any time of the day till 1 June. This ensured that the children from Smile Foundation’s ME centres could watch the films on their parent’s mobile phones after they got back from work.
Getting the children involved
Some of the most loved movies were About a Tree, Cloudy, Little Rainworm, and Wildlife Crossing. Most importantly, we did not want this to become a passive activity. For this, the Child for Child team put together a competition for all the participating students. The competition required students to send in a review or an analysis of their favourite movie(s). The response was overwhelming and we received some amazing reviews from over 100 children. Further, some of them even shared video feedbacks and photos of themselves enjoying the movies.
Tokens of appreciation for everyone
Students who participated in the competition received free online passes to attend Anim!Arte – International Student Animation Festival of Brazil. All schools and students who registered for the film festival received certificates of participation.
Children from Niveda Foundation too watched the movies screened during the fesival. After that, they also sent in their wonderful reviews about the movies they liked.
Some of the best reviews from children
I totally enjoyed this movie. This is because the lives of both chicken and the dog and their everyday struggles were depicted in a funny, enjoyable and interesting way. And the story was easy, neat and understandable for every kid. I loved the animation used in the film. The other movies I really liked were “Wildlife Crossing”, “Zizalaci Hrisci” and “About a tree”.
I’m studying in class 5 at Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 1, Air Force Academy.
I felt very happy watching the movies through Smile-Zlin Film Festival. This pandemic has been very scary. Me and my friends are locked down in our homes and restricted from going outside. As soon as our honorable Principal Madam sent the link, I registered myself and watched the movies.
I liked all the movies as they instilled good moral values. I especially liked the movie “Little Rainworms”. In this story the little rain worms and black bird deal with an illegal dump. They have fun using a meat grinder to turn all of the junk into attractions with colourful swings and slides. They mark their newly built playground and then the worms and blackbird are the first to play on it. I liked this story because I too like to play with clay. The moral of the story is that we can create new innovative things using junk.
This again reminds me about our Principal madam, HM madam and my class teacher who teach us not to waste anything. We can always make BEST OUT OF WASTE and learn to recycle the waste material.
Thank you, Smile Foundation, for the movies. They are innovative and creative. I got great knowledge and had fun watching them all!
I enjoyed the film festival very much. It was very entertaining and meaningful. I liked the idea of making a film with the help of paper and clay. I appreciate it and would love to see more movies like this in future.
We would like to thank the Embassy of Czech Republic, SIFFCY, our partner schools, all the participating institutions, and team members from Child For Child and Mission Education programmes who worked with us to make this one-of-a-kind online film festival for children a huge success!