Lucknow, April 10: The 4th International Children’s Film Festival (ICFF) for World Unity and World Peace began at World Unity Convention Centre (WUCC) auditorium on Tuesday, April 10, 2012. This 9-day festival will continue till Wednesday, April 18.
CMS has been organising the International Children’s Film Festival consecutively for the last three years with the sole objective of bringing about world unity and peace. On the first day of screening, a large number of children from various city schools started arriving at WUCC venue.
In this journey of celebration of childhood and youth, the 4th ICFF was inaugurated by newly-elected Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Mr Akhilesh Yadav. He was welcomed by a resounding cheer from the audience as he entered the auditorium.
Mr Yadav, an environmental engineer from the University of Sydney, Australia is a well-educated and extremely popular youth icon. He succeeded in instilling much-needed hope in young voters-specially first-timers, emerging victorious and determined to make UP the best, through effective, accountable, and approachable governance. While addressing the young audience of children, the chief minister said: It is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children but at the same time, we also get to learn a lot from the little kids and this exchange of information and knowledge between the two continues forever.
He added: ‘I am very impressed with the City Montessori School organizing the festival of educational films aimed at the character building of students which would provide opportunities to learn not only to children but to the grown-ups as well. I congratulate Dr Jagdish Gandhi and Mrs Bharti Gandhi’. He also said that children's films were a strong medium of imparting value based education. He expressed his belief that educational films based on culture and values being shown at the festival would provide right direction to the future generation.
Special guest on the day was child actor Darsheel Safary. Darsheel, now a class ten student, played the much-liked Ishaan Awasthi in the Indian film ‘Taare Zameen Par’. In this journey of celebration of childhood and youth, Darsheel was with us last year too during the 3rd ICFF. After a sterling performance in ‘Taare Zameen Par’, he moved on to give another touching performance in ‘Bumm Bumm Bole’, a film about insurgency in Assam . He bagged himself a super-hero avatar in Walt Disney’s Hindi co-production ‘Zokkomon’. Darsheel, who is a student of Green Lawns High School in Mumbai, has carved a niche for himself in the Indian film industry.
Founder-Manager of City Montessori School (CMS) Dr Jagdish Gandhi welcomed and introduced the Chief Guest Mr Akhilesh Yadav and the Special Guest Darsheel Safary.
Dr Jagdish Gandhi, Founder-Director-CMS Dr Bharti Gandhi and Festival Director Mr Varghese Kurian then escorted the chief guest and special guest to the stage for lighting the lamp. All the Principals of CMS campuses and the guest schools too joined in.
This was indeed a memorable moment for everybody at the 4th ICFF. Everybody on the stage also gathered near the steps for a group photograph with the chief guest and the special guest.
This was followed by a World Peace Prayer Ceremony by students of CMS Rajajipuram Campus I to make children believe in the concept of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’ (Earth is but one country and manking its citizens). The chief guest then declared the 4th ICFF open.
Through this international bonanza of films, children will watch and enjoy large selection of international movies. Eminent foreign and Indian jury members of this festival will diligently work to select the best children’s feature film, short film and animation film. Three child jury members will also do their bit to select the best films.
On day one, around 10,000 students attended the screening of films. During the course of the festival, 168 films from 36 countries will be shown to children. After the address of the chief minister and colourful educational cultural items, the children's film 'Stanley ka dabba', directed by Amol Gupte was screened. The story is of a child who fights adverse situations and attains a respectable position and wins the hearts of all with his innocence. In the second show during afternoon, five short films from France and India were shown to students.
Director of film festival, Mr Varghese Kurian said that children's films are being screened at seven mini auditoriums in WUCC, CMS Kanpur Road campus starting from morning show at 9.00 am and noon show at 12.00. He said that all these films were being shown free of charge. He also mentioned that 177 schools of Lucknow would be attending this film festival and also that buses were being sent to schools by CMS to encourage them to come and watch these films. He said that till April 18, 75,000 children from other schools, not counting those from CMS would have watched these films. He also mentioned that films were being screened that were produced in countries including: USA, Argentina, Italy, Greece, Germany, Bangladesh, Serbia, Taiwan, France, Turkey, Portugal, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Spain, Belgium, UK, Israel, Pakistan, Iran, Croatia, Estonia, Russia, Japan, Canada, China, Poland, UAE, Czech Republic, Nepal, Iceland, Hong Kong, Mexico, Ireland, Belarus, Hungary and India.
In the afternoon session of this International Children's Film Festival, jury members from India and abroad shared their views with mediapersons at a press conference held at CMS Kanpur Road auditorium. Renowned film personalities including Venniraadai Nirmala, Florian Steinbiss from Germany, Ms Parvati Menon (professional filmmaker), Mr Rashid Irani (freelance film critic) and Mrs Malti Sahai met press reporters and spoke about their ideas on various subjects including the relationship between films and education, value of educational films, the impact of popular cinema on young minds and so on.
On this occasion, Dr Jagdish Gandhi, briefed the media during the press conference about the aims and objectives of International Children's Film Festival. He said that this International Children's Film Festival is not meant for entertainment only, but rather it was an integral part of education. Children's film festival aims to impart better concepts to children besides giving a healthy entertainment to them so that their moral and social values strengthen and they could built a clean and happy world.