Get ready for the 17th International Children's Film Festival of India (ICFFI), the biennial festival at its permanent venue in the twin cities

It is that time of the year when the city plays host to international filmmakers, jury and the best of world cinema for the young audience, come November 14. Make way for the 17th International Children's Film Festival of India (ICFFI), the biennial festival at its permanent venue in the twin cities.

Going international

The participation has doubled since the last edition. “We have 151 films from 37 countries participating this time. We have representation from Africa and South America for the first time. ICFFI is one of the largest film festivals in the world today,” says says Sushovan Banerjee, Chief Executive Officer, Children's Film Society of India and Director 17th International Children's Film Festival. Short films have entered into competition as also Indian films for children. “Little Directors”, a new competition section, will have films made by children.

“The Little Directors competition has been introduced to encourage children to make films. Young directors will be participating in the festival with their films. We have very good films in the Indian section too. “Dekh Indian Circus” won the audience award at Busan recently,” adds Mr.Banerjee. “Stanley ka Dabba”, “I Am Kalam” and “Chillar Party” are some of the Indian films to be screened during the festival. The opening film is “Gattu”. Produced by CFSI, dreams aren't impossible when the desire is strong, says this film starring Mohammad Samad and Naresh Kumar.

The country in focus is China. The special section features a retrospective of Chinese children's films in collaboration with Chinese Children's Film Association. Director Ning Jingwu's “Niao Chao” (Bird's Nest) in this section, is a story of a young boy living in a village in south-western China and his experience en route to Beijing where his father works as a laborer on the famous Olympic Stadium “Bird's Nest”.

The animation short films include the 2011 Oscar winner “The Lost Thing”. The festival also features works from renowned animators Garri Bardin (The Ugly Duckling) and Michel Ocelot (Tales of the Night). Children's World section brings the best of children's films from the last decade.

Inspiring features based on real life heroic tales from across the globe, new age toon reels and more, the film festival packs in a lot. It provides an opportunity to understand different cultures, contemplate over issues that are faced by children across the world and offer a better world view, as children see it.

In dialogue

Is “Family” film pushing out Children's film? How can children's cinema become a means to bridge differences? These and many posers will have filmmakers and children discuss dialogue and debate at the Open Forum. Workshops on animation, film-making, scriptwriting and more are also on the cards here.

As for the awards, the Golden Elephant trophy, plaque and cash prizes in various categories will be chosen by the juries that include children as well.

“The films will be screened at 13 theatres across the city apart from the screens at the main venue Shilparamam so that children don't miss out on the films. We have tied up with schools who will be coming to view the films by rotation,” says Mr. Banerjee. So get ready to watch a whole lot of films soon.