The sixth edition of the Smile International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFFCY), totally virtual given the circumstances, got off to a really delightful opening, with excited kids from all over world happily painting the screen in vibrant colors and impatiently texting, “Start the screenings, start the screenings, we want to watch the films.”
The jury members hailed from a variety of countries. Michael Harbauer, the festival director of the SCHLiNGEL International Film Festival and Giancarlo Zappoli the artistic director of the Castellinaria–Bellinzona Youth Film Festival praised the SIFFCY film selection. Jo-Anne Blouin, festival director of the Montréal International Children’s Film Festival expressed hope that the next edition of SIFFCY would have a Canada retrospective and also stated willingness to show Indian films at her Canadian festival.
The annual SIFFCY festival, a first of its kind platform in India for children and youth, initiated by the Smile Foundation to engage, entertain, educate and empower young minds by conducting film workshops and screening meaningful cinema, began its journey in 2015 with film stalwarts such as Nagesh Kukunoor, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Hansal Mehta, Santosh Sivan, Jahnu Barua, and Resul Pookutty on board as advisory members, and Saibal Chatterjee, Utpal Borpujari, and Ashok Rane in the managing committee. The first five editions were conducted at the Sirifort Auditorium complex in New Delhi. The next two editions were postponed indefinitely, and finally conducted online from April 24 to 30, 2022. The seventh edition is proposed to be held in early December of this very year.
This edition had 7 different jury panels.
One jury panel was composed of 25 school kids — Adriana María Garay Chávez (Cuba), Amine Haouari (Canada), Namrah Sheikh (UAE), Nikolas Kubik (Czech Republic), Jim Lerner (Germany), Farhan Ansari, Riddhima Sharma, Raanya Arora, Saakhi Dewan, Tamanna Pahuja, Preksha Godha, Shashwat Dubey, Nishika Singh, Kuhoo Sharma, Venu Sahu, Vibhuti Bhatnagar, Anubha Paresh, Darshit Jain, Yashica Gupta, Anish Nair, Jini Salina Khan, Dev Pratap Singh, Siddharth Bhunjia, Aditya Banerjee, and Anwesha Kapoor (India).
Three of the jury panels were set up by associate organisations, namely, the European Children’s Film Association (ECFA), the International Centre of Films for Children & Young People (CIFEJ), and the Film Critics Circle of India (FCCI).
|Award Winners | SIFFCY|
|Feature||Best Film||Fritzi-A Revolutionary Tale” by Ralf Kukula & Matthias Bruhn||Germany, Czech Republic, Belgium, & Luxembourg|
|Best Director||Prasun Chatterjee for Two Friends /Dostojee||India|
|Best Actor||Mayrin Buitimea for “Mezquites Heart” by Ana Laura Calderón||Mexico|
|Best Story||Fritzi-A Revolutionary Tale by Ralf Kukula, Matthias Bruhn||Germany, Czech Republic, Belgium, & Luxembourg|
|Short /Docu||Best Short /Docu||Free as a Bird by Annelies Kruk||Netherlands|
|ECFA Award||The Club of Ugly Children /De Club van Lelijke Kinderen by Jonathan Elbers||Netherlands|
|CIFEJ Award||Two Friends /Dostojee by Prasun Chatterjee||India|
|FCCI Award||The Blue Girl /Dokhtar-e-Abi By Keivan Majidi||Iran|
|Next-Gen Award||Ohh the crocodiles /Ah Les Crocodiles by Agathe Sénéchal, Elise Debruyne, Cérine Raouraoua, William Defrance, & Agatha Sip||France|
|Young Jury Award||Fly /Vuela by Carlos Gómez-Mira Sagrado||Spain|