Mumbai, Nov 15 (IANS) As many as 87 countries with over 1,100 entries will mark their presence at the first ‘KidzCINEMA2020’ – an online international children’s film festival – opening next Friday, a top official said here on Sunday.
“The festival coincides with the Universal Children’s Day (November 20) celebrated globally. However, in view of the pandemic, it will be in an online format in collaboration with UNESCO India and Whistling Woods International,” Festival Director Praveen Nagda told IANS.
On the idea behind the festival, Nagda said that during the coronavirus pandemic, children have been the worst-hit worldwide and this effort is intended to “bring back joy and happiness in their lives” through KidzCINEMA2020, with the theme of ‘Togetherness in Distancing Times’.
UNESCO Director at New Delhi, Eric Falt, said that for the global body, cinema is a key element within the diversity of cultural expressions, which can allow kids to reflect and learn about the world, values of peace and sustainable development and thus become empowered global citizens to transform their societies.
WWI President Meghna Ghai-Puri said that despite all the pandemic challenges, children from all countries “displayed tremendous spirit, courage and determination” though they were also the most impacted.
“Through KidzCINEMA2020, we plan to showcase how films can be used as a powerful medium to influence and bring people together, promote international togetherness and highlight the cause of children’s welfare,” said Ghai-Puri.
There are 3 main categories in the competition section – Live-Action, Animation and Kids-Made film — and 2 in the non-competitive Panorama section – Children’s Film and Country in Focus.
Nagda revealed that besides entries from the UK, the US, Brazil, Italy, France, Russia, Turkey, Argentina, Poland, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Norway, Serbia, Cyprus, and Costa Rica etc, “the unique feature is more than 150 entries by children in the Kids- Made Film category”.
The festival’s Artistic Director Manasvini Singh said the event would have eminent juries hailing from well-established and globally recognised children’s film festivals, prominent personalities from Bollywood and other celebs.
The other highlights at KidzCINEMA2020 include a live Master Class by director Amol Gupte, live workshops by Gulshan Walia (theatre), Varun Gautam (Scriptwriting), Ashok Kaul (filmmaking), Suvahhdan Angre (Acting), an inaugural-day performance choreographed by Swarupraj Medara, besides children’s interactions with directors and actors etc.