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16th International Children Film Festival in Hyderabad

Nandita Das,Chairperson of the Fesiival and Nagesh Kukunoor is seen with other dignitaries on the occation of the release of the Elephant logo of 16th International Children Film Festival in city from Nov 14 - 20(Photo by: RSJ Thomas)

Hyderabad|India|November'2009: Inaugurating the 16th ICFF at the lalita kala thoranam the Union minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni said achieving a seamless cultural cohesion and fusion was the mission and goal of conducting the international children’s festivals .

The minister paid rich kudos to the CFSI chair person Nandita Das for her rich contributions in attracting cultural performers from all over the world. “This is not an regional festival to promote regional films but an international event to attract cultures and traditions from all over the globe .
Chief Minister K Rosaiah said Hyderabad has now become a hub of international conferences and events . “ The conduction of 16th ICFF is in the spirit of promoting amity and fusion of international cultures “ he said . He said the stellar event organized jointly by the Government of AP and the Children’s Film Society of India is truly national and global in spirit .

The chief minister also appealed to children’s film makers to produce films with more moral content and value based messages for character development of children .

Chief Minister K Rosaiah unfurled the golden balloon of Gajju and declared the 16th international children’s film festival open at Lalitha Kala Thoranam

Lamenting on the state of affairs the forty year old actress Ms. Nandita Das, chairperson, Children’s Film Society of India said though the festival aimed to set up a separate section for Indian cinema , they could not get more than 10 children’s films made in the country . All I say is that there is an urgent need to re-define the children’s film movement in the country, she says as the clock nears for the colorful inaugural of the festival at the open air auditorium of Lalita Kala Thoranam in the public gardens.

“The festival will screen as many as 70 films from various countries. The movies will be screened at eight venues including IMAX theatre but Lalita Kala Thoranam will be the main venue where the inaugural and concluding ceremonies will be held,” said Tourism and I&B Minister Geetha Reddy.

All films at the festival will be screened at three screens in Prasads multiplex and eight other theatres in the Twin Cities. They include 36 films in the non-competitive children’s world, 18 in the Asian Panorama and 15 in the International section. The UNICEF is also screening 25 films on the theme of child rights in the 16th ICCF.

Entry is free for children and their parents at all the screening centers and for the media and delegates at the Multiplex screens of Prasad’s IMAX. For benefit of the visually challenged we have organised special screenings for them. The School Education Department will bring children in great numbers to make the festival a great success, says the minister.

The week-long festival, to be jointly organised by Andhra Pradesh Government and Children’s Film Society of India (CSFI). The screening committee received more than 160 entries from Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, China, Sri Lanka and others, of which 60 were selected for screening in three categories - nternational, Asian Panorama and Children’s World. Cultural programmes by children will be a regular feature on all the days and will be organised at Lalitha Kala Thoranam, where the inaugural and closing functions will also be held.

Golden Elephant awards will be given away on the final day. Children who achieved distinction in various fields and acclaimed at State and national level would also be felicitated during the festival, which will also be attended by personalities from Hindi and Telugu film industries, says C Parthasarthy, I&PR Commissioner.

After a two year gap the friend of children ‘ Gajju’ has once again descended on Hyderabad which has become a permanent hub of ICFF( international children’s film festivals) since 1995.During his week long stay Gajju will enthrall the children with both films of information and messages on how to shape their careers and future .Gajju , the baby elephant has been the mascot of the children’s film bonanza spreading a seven day fun and frolic and merriment for children of all age groups .To herald his visit to the city, various locations in the historic city were decked with balloons and festoons of Gajju, the Gajaraj . Colorful decorations of traffic junctions and lighting of the festival venues greeted every visitor to Hyderabad.
Gajju , the fun-loving baby elephant and the ‘Chacha’ Nehru , first prime minister of the country Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru had several things in common . Both were lovers of children and were greatly admired by children .Both also imbibed the qualities of perseverance, patience and loyalty to their cause.That’s why the children’s film festival is synchronized with the birth anniversary of Chaha Nehru , November 14th.

As mark of respect and dedication to the cause of fun and entertainment of children all the awards and citations are titled as ‘golden elephant’ and ‘silver elephant’ and ‘ bronze elephant’ and are also replicas of ‘Gajju’.

The German film ‘ Crocodile', wins the golden elephant at ICFF
Focus on ethical issues of child exploitation
at the 16th ICFF
'Children’s film policy needed' – OPEN FORUM
Gajju, the ‘Golden elephant’ is the new mascotof Hyderabad
Telugu directors seek more funds and mini theatres for children's films screening
It was a day out for the challenged children of twin cities of Hyderabad

What children say about children's movement and Films

Reachout's News Bureau
 November' 2009

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