Thursday, November 14, 2013

India marks Children's Day, Nehru birthday with film festival

18th International Children's Film Festival to be held in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD (AA) – A weeklong international children's film festival kicked off on Thursday in the southern city of Hyderabad as part of India's Children's Day on November 14, which coincides with the birthday of the country's first premier, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, known for his love of children.
"The aim is to promote the ethos of healthy and wholesome entertainment for children by bringing the best films from all diverse cultural backgrounds," Shravan Kumar, CEO of the Children's Film Society India (CFSI), said in a statement.
The CFSI, an autonomous body that operates under the federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, is devoted to nurturing a dynamic children's film culture in India.
The society was responsible for organizing the 18th International Children's Film Festival India (ICFFI).
The ICFFI, popularly known as "The Golden Elephant," was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh State Chief Minister N. Kumar Reddy at the prestigious Lalitha Kala Thoranam Theatre.
The ceremony was attended by Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari, noted Bollywood lyricist Gulzar and up-and-coming Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor.
The ICFFI, organized every two years on November 14, strives to bring the best and most imaginative of national and international children's cinema to young Indian audiences.
Some 200 films from 48 countries – sourced from the prestigious Cannes, Berlin and Toronto film festivals – will be screened in 12 cinema halls across the city.
An estimated 1.5 million children are expected to take part in the event.
Indian states typically send delegates to the festival to represent them.
-Child delegates-
Field Publicity Directorate chief S. K. Malviya said that 111 child representatives from India would participate in the festival, along with two child delegates from Chicago.
Sixty-five child delegates from Japan, Germany and Morocco are also expected to attend the festival, Malviya added.
The "Country Focus" of this year's festival will be on Czech films.
The festival will showcase 15 children's films, including live-action and animated features and shorts, in collaboration with the Zlin Film Festival, the world's oldest children's film festival.
The event will feature debates and conduct open forums on topics such as filmmaking, animation, scriptwriting and child rights.
"The aim is to promote the ethos of healthy and wholesome entertainment for children by bringing the best films from all diverse cultural backgrounds," said Festival Director and CEO Shravan Kumar.
There are only two Indian animated films out of the 12 competing in the festival's newly introduced "International Animation" category.
A total of 54 international and national films will compete in three other categories: "International Live Action," "Shorts" and "Little Directors."
The best film will bag the prestigious Golden Elephant trophy, along with Rs. 200000 in cash.

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