More than 80 films will be showcased in this year's festival that includes 30 feature films, 30 Shorts and documentaries and 20 students’ films. The week-long festival will open with award winning Russian film ‘Celestial Camel’, directed by Yury Feting. ‘My friend Raffi’, ‘Fiddlestick’, ‘Lola on the pea’ from Germany, ‘A Christmoose story’, ‘Pim & Pom’ from Netherlands and ‘Birds of passage’ from France/Belgium are some of the celebrated films that will be screened during the festival. 5 special films from ‘Children’s Film Society India’ will be showcased in a special section of the festival this year. The festival will also include workshops on children related Film Making, Photography, Sand animation, storytelling and other activities.
Noted film makers such as Nagesh Kukunoor, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Hansal Mehta, Santosh Sivan, Jahnu Barua, and Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty have come on board as advisory members of the festival, along with National award winning film critics Saibal Chatterjee, Utpal Borpujari and film producer Sushil Kumar Agrawal. Targeting the country’s children and youth, the week-long festival in Delhi will only be the beginning, after which SIFCCY will travel across India aiming to reach out to more than one million children and youth and advocating the concept of good cinema. According to director-actor Tigmanshu Dhulia, who was present at the announcement of the final list of films for the festival, said, "These days people are watching films on the Internet and on TV by themselves.
Film festivals are a great way to interact with peers, students and filmmakers to get together and discuss cinema and issues connected to our society. I appreciate that Smile Foundation is taking this initiative to promote good cinema among children. It will go a long way in encouraging youngsters to make good cinema in future."
Echoing his thoughts, director Nagesh Kukunoor, who was also present, concurred, "There is a dearth of good cinema for youngsters in our country. A film festival like this helps expose children to global filmmaking and differentiate good cinema from mediocre."
Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Vikram Singh Verma, Chief Operating Officer, Smile Foundation said, “we aim to sensitize children and youth through meaningful cinema and create a lasting impact in their minds through SIFFCY. On one hand we work with underprivileged children and their families and on the other hand under the concept of ‘civic driven change’ we try sensitizing privileged masses particularly children and youth”.
Since films play a very important role towards sensitization, Smile Foundation has been making films, which are creative, innovative and a balance of the right content and the right quality, foraying into producing films of all kinds and has been hugely successful, winning several awards for its endeavours in all the categories. The feature film ‘I AM KALAM’, produced by Smile Foundation, received more than 30 international awards and a national award.
“We are offering a unique platform to children and youth, where they can watch and enjoy, or create their own work and take things a stage further and find out more about a career in the industry. The idea behind this initiative is to design a rich mix of film and programmes to build and support the growing interest in meaningful filmmaking” - said Mr. Jitendra Mishra, Festival Director – SIFFCY.
SIFFCY is a reflection of Smile Foundation’s efforts to use films as a medium for sensitizing masses, especially children and youth, and engaging them proactively in the process of bringing social change.