The second edition of the Smile International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFFCY) began in New Delhi with Bollywood actors Manoj Bajpayee and Saiyami Kher gracing the event.
“Heidi”, a Swiss family film directed by Alain Gsponer, which is based on the novel of the same name by Johanna Spyri, was the opening movie of the festival.
This year films like “Dhanak” by Nagesh Kukunoor, “Budhia Singh- Born to Run” by Soumendra Pathi, “Gauru - Journey of Courage” by Ramkishan Choyal and “Ottaal, The Trap” by Jayaraaj have been selected to be screened at the festival which will run till December 11.
Manoj, whose film “Budhia” will be screened at the festival, said he is honoured to be a part of such a “unique” initiative.
“I have worked with children. I have worked for many years in theatre, during which I tried to rehabilitate many street children and we succeeded. That itself is an example that creative medium can have a long lasting and powerful impression on a very young mind,” the actor said.
Saiyami said that cinema has been very influential in her growing up years.
“When I was a kid in school, I watched “Iqbal’ and then I watched ‘Rang De Basanti’ in college. These films had a great impact on me. Film festivals will be very helpful as the selected films are going to leave a long-lasting impression on kids.”
In the feature films category, nine films have been shortlisted, which includes: “At Eye Level”, “April and the Extraordinary World”, “Chidiya”, “Fanny’s Joy”, “Hang in there Kids!”, “Heidi”, “The World of Us”, “Mr. Frog” and “The Pitch.”
The non-feature category consists of nine films including “The Best Sound in the World”, “Chika the Dog from the Ghetto,” “Famous in Ahmedabad”, “Jonas and the Sea”, “King’s Day”, “Sing”, “The Supermarket”, “Traces of my Brother” and “We make Images.”
“Smile Foundation believes in doing things different. Cinema is the most powerful medium to sensitise the masses. We produced ‘I am Kalam’ and after that we came to know that films are the most important tool to sensitise the children and the youth,” Jitendra Mishra, Festival Director, said.