The recently concluded International Children's Short Film Festival was a place for the young and the old alike to catch the best short films from across the globe.

Whom are you kidding, when you say “I don't watch children's films”? All of us love to watch them for many reasons: simplicity, colour, story or just because they remind us of days when ‘innocent' was an adjective used to describe us.

Twenty seven such ‘children's' films were screened at the recently hosted International Children's Short Film Festival 2010 (ICSFF), a joint initiative of Don Bosco Institute of Communication and Arts (DBICA) and the Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Tamil Nadu. They were categorised so either because of the content or the relevance of the message they conveyed.

Filmography

Out of the 60 entries received, 27 were shortlisted to be screened. This included 12 foreign films: “Pigeon: Impossible” (USA), “The Mobile Phone & the Master of the River” (Japan), “Circus” (Netherlands), “Girl Living on a Boat” (Hong Kong), “A Dream of Tomorrow” (Egypt), “The Song from the Clouds” (Slovenia), “The Photographia” (Greece), “My Dear Kilograms” (Serbia), “Ana and her Brothers” (Croatia), “There Must be a Way” (Turkey), “Inflatable Granma” (Spain) and “Online all the Time” (Ireland). The desi ones included “Kho Na Jayein Hum”, “Block”, “Pirarku Uthavuthal”, “Jhat Pat Ghich Pich”, “Chamki”, “Caca Cola”, “Magical Umbrealla”, “Bee in a Bonnet”, “Thannambikai”, “Topi”, “Valerpu”, “Fuel” and “Puthadai”.

The best of the lot was easily, “Pigeon: Impossible”, a six-minute animated short film packed with action, comedy, thriller elements but no dialogues. Absolutely none! The characters' expressions — a CIA agent and a pigeon — and the music did well to substitute the spoken word, making it a truly global film. The audience was taken in by the film, reacting to every frame as warranted by the situation.

Even the adults in the crowd couldn't help cheer for the CIA agent's quick-thinking that saves ultimately him and the world.

Spreading the message

Most Indian films and a few foreign ones were keen on teaching children the virtues of friendship, relationships, and humanitarianism, and warned them against evils like child labour, stealing, lying and the like. The Indian animation films were quite a revelation and the ones like “Chamki” were extremely crisp with a duration of 2.20 min and was bang on target with the message. A few others, though with a good message, were bordering on boredom because of the execution.

Held at the Don Bosco School auditorium, the third edition of this event was preceded by the usual felicitations of the chief guests who included Mr. Elangovan, Deputy Director, Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Tamil Nadu; Fr. Joe Andrew, founder, DBICA; music director Guru Kalyan; director Santhanam and actor Sivan.

It was followed by prize distribution for poetry and painting competitions organised as a part of ICSFF 2010, in 52 corporation schools and 48 aided and private schools.

ICSFF 2010 was organised in collaboration with Don Bosco Anbu Illam; Don Bosco, Egmore; Geothe Institut, Chennai; Eurovision TV, Switzerland; and KRO Kinder TIJD, Netherlands.

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