july 2022

Smile Foundation

smilescapes

IN FOCUS 1

Coming of Age: 8 years of celebrating Good Cinema

Smile Foundation’s SIFFCY or Smile International Film Fest for Children and Youth programme aims to entertain, engage, educate, and empower young people. Smile Foundation truly believes that cinema is more than just entertainment; it is one of the most effective tools for depicting reality and emulating morals. Films become an exciting and engaging medium for young people to examine important personal, social and global concerns.

The 8th edition of SIFFCY 2022 was virtually held between 24th and 30th April 2022. This year’s focus was on helping children and youth who had been isolated due to the pandemic for months with little to no social interaction. Disruptions in daily routines, schooling, recreation, and unfortunately for many, losing a loved one, have all taken a toll on children’s mental health, leaving them scared, frustrated and anxious about their future.

This year SIFFCY featured over 100 films from 50+ countries that were showcased during this one week. These films aimed to provide an escape to children whilst also educating, empowering and engaging–g them. They helped address issues such as loneliness and depression that plague many, especially during such difficult times. ‘Good cinema’ is vital in helping children and adults alike in coping and overcoming challenges and eventually returning to the new normal.

These films play a huge role in the character development of children. The auditory or visual information that children and adolescents encounter can have an everlasting impact on them. Children look up to the characters depicted in cinema as role models and sources of inspiration. Consequently, character depiction is critical; it influences and aids in personality development.

 

Good films also foster a sense of empathy and generosity in children. Children and youth could be the finest change agents in their families, communities, and even the country if they are exposed to good cinema early on.

While prominent filmmakers aren’t known for making films that target a younger audience, several small creators are producing quality films for children and adolescents. It’s critical to emphasize high-quality films with a message and SIFFCY aims to provide a stage for the same. We want to encourage filmmakers to produce more of these films and make them accessible to a wider audience the world.

The 8th edition of SIFFCY featured films from Germany, Latin America, Iran and the Czech Republic. Through online platforms, films from various genres and categories were played including new award-winning films and renowned classics. Oscar award-winning films and films screened at leading festivals like Cannes, TIFF and Berlin were also a part of SIFFCY 2022. With an international jury from 15 nations, the film festival provided a worldwide vision. The selection of films showcased included feature films, short films, documentaries, and experimental films created by adolescents. Several workshops and discussion sessions for children and young adults were also held during the festival.

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