The fourth edition of Smile International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFFCY) was held from 10-16th December 2018 at the Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi, India.
This unique celebration of good cinema has been growing with each passing year in terms of entries and presence of global fraternity from the space of cinema and films.
Industry leaders and prominent personalities from different countries and global fraternity attended SIFFCY 2018. The international guest list included Lawrence David Foldes (USA), Markéta Pášmová (Czech Republic), Michael Harbauer (Germany), Elham Shirvani (Iran), Jaroslava Hynštová (Czech Republic), Josep Arbiol (Spain), Marta Kraus (Poland), Hilde Steenssens (Belgium), Dragan Milinkovic Fimon (Serbia), Volodymyr Diaghilev (Ukraine), Monika Pindziak-Dutkiewicz (Poland), Jill Samuels (UK) and others.
SIFFCY Chairman Santanu Mishra (Co-founder, Smile Foundation) and Festival Director Jitendra Mishra opened the festival in the presence of eminent guests along with other dignitaries.
1. FILM SCREENING (FEATURE FILMS, SHORT FILMS and DOCUMENTARIES)
SIFFYC seeks to nurture sensitivity among children and youth through hand-picked films on topics like gender equality, environment, family values, friendship, aspirations, dream, self-confidence, and importance of education etc.
Feature films, short films, and documentaries from across the globe were screened at four auditoriums under six different categories.
(I) INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
These critically acclaimed films have already travelled to prestigious international film festivals and have bagged numerous nominations and awards. This section included nine feature films: Cross My Heart by Luc Picard, The Breadwinner by Nora Twomey, Supa Modo by Likarion Wainaina, The Falcons by Bragi Thor Hinriksson, Chuskit by Priya Ramasubban, Los Bando by Christian Lo, The Witch Hunters by Rasko Miljkovic, Home by Jong-woo KIM, Home Team by Carlos Morelli.
(II) THE YELLOW CARPET
This section is dedicated to Good Cinema from India. Skipping the traditional red carpet, the yellow carpet, highlighting the vibrant world of children and youth, showcases entries that call for a space of their own.
(III) 70MM SMILE
This category showcases exceptionally well-crafted cinema from across the world, bringing together an eclectic mix of cultures, beliefs, values, and behaviours. Passionate filmmakers created magic on the screen with spell bounding stories and enchanting characters, leaving their young audience asking for more.
(IV) NEXT GEN
This section is for films made by film/media students and provids a platform to young, aspiring filmmakers to showcase their work. All they need is an appreciative audience and a stage to present their fresh ideas.
(V) TAKE ONE
Children have a unique way of looking at the world and their perspective is not clouded by preconceived notions and conceptions. SIFFCY is not just about cultivating a culture of viewing good cinema among our children, but also about creating ability to appreciate the art of filmmaking and its larger purpose. This year the topic was Peace and Harmony.
(VI) COUNTRY FOCUS
SIFFCY hosts a special section to pay a tribute to extraordinary films of all time from a particular country. This year the focus was on the best of ‘German Cinema’ made for children and youth. We celebrated 'German Good Cinema' to promote the exchange of art, culture, tradition, and values through cinema. We are proud to have a collaboration with the leading film festival Schlingel International Film Festival, Germany to curate and host this section and the Festival Director Mr. Michael Harbauer was present during SIFFCY 18.
(2) WORKSHOPS, PANELS, MASTERCLASSES
Various capacity building workshops and interactive panels/master classes were hosted to engage, entertain, educate and empower young minds. Thousands of children, largely from the less-privileged communities of Smile Foundation centres took part in these events.
(3) AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Apart from 15 different awards in various categories, SIFFCY introduced the prestigious European Children’s Film Association Award (ECFA) and thus became the first country outside Europe to host the award.
(4) SPECIAL ACTIVITIES
SIFFCY hosted the 2nd Annual Board Meeting of the International Centre of films for children and young people for the year 2018 during the weeklong festival.
SIFFCY is privileged to have collaboration with the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Students Oscars) with the objective to empower children and youth in India. Special sessions were hosted by the SAA Executive member Lawrence David Foldes, US.
A special conclave on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was introduced during the festival. The conclave hosted a series of panel discussions with leaders from the CSR world and representatives from the development sector and global film fraternity. The topics of discussions were Tech4Good, Women Empowerment: Past, Present and Future, and Aligning CSR to achieve SDGs.