What's New - Festival Highs

The International Kids Film Festival applauds its winners

by Mignonne D’souza


At the 2nd International Kids Film Festival (IKFF), emerging from a diverse international program are four children’s films that leave a mark.

In a space where content is available to everyone at the click of a button, curating meaningful cinema for impressionable young minds is a challenge. Stepping up to this challenge is LXL Ideas, which conducted the 2nd edition of the unique IKFF from November 14th - 23rd, across 4000 schools in over 20 countries. 

The festival runs with a three-fold policy of Watch (the best of international children’s films), Learn (from filmmaking master classes) and Make (films to participate in the ‘World’s Largest Student Film-Making’ Competition). IKFF’s Jury of eight adults from India, France and the US, and 20 child jurors from India, Italy and the US adjudged a program of 93 films from 30 countries in 20 different languages.

Pushkar Sudhakar Shrotri’s Ubuntu (2017, India, 114 min, Marathi), the only Indian film to bag an award at IKFF, was awarded the Best Live Action Feature Film, with a cash reward of 3000 USD. The film is on a group of students who unite to save their school from shutting down. Its strong social comment has garnered attention and praise at a variety of film festivals.

A still from 'Ubuntu'

Susan Koenen’s Dutch short Ahmad's Hair (2016, Netherlands, 23 min, Dutch, Arabic) was awarded Best Documentary Short (1,500 USD). Her film follows a 12-year-old Syrian refugee, Ahmad, whose integration with Dutch society turns out to be part of a personal and heartwarming mission.

Winning a cash prize of 1,500 USD for Best Live Action Short Film is Mohammad Bakhshi’s Are You Volleyball?! (2017, Iran, 15 min, Arabic, English). When a group of Arab speaking asylum seekers arrive at an English speaking country border, a deaf-mute boy becomes a catalyst for better communication between the two conflicting groups.

The Academy Award nominee, Negative Space (2017, France, 6 min, English), by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, won Best Animation Short (1,500 USD) for its examination of a delicate and complicated father-son relationship, alongside the efficient art of packing bags.

Special Mention in the Animation Features category (1000 USD) went to Rémi Chayé’s Long Way North (2015, France, Denmark, 80 min, French). Set in 1882, Saint Petersburg, the film centres on Sasha, a young Russian aristocrat and follows her fascination with adventure. Despite not being in competition at the festival, ‘Long Way North’ left a mark on the jury members and was applauded for it.

Aside from these generous accolades, the festival runs a separate competition section for student filmmakers in three age groups: under 12 years, 13 - 17 years, and 18 - 21 years. The winners of each receive a cash award of 500 USD, along with the exposure that comes with travelling to IKFF's partner festivals.

IKFF partners with film festivals the world over, such as the Children's Film Festival Seattle, USA; Providence Children's Film Festival, USA; Boston International Kids Film Festival, USA; Lucas International Festival for Young Film Lovers, Germany; Rolan International Film Festival for Children and Youth, Armenia; Giffoni International Film Festival, Italy. Five children from the Giffoni visited the city during the festival's Mumbai edition, as a part of the Child Jury Exchange. 

To know more about LXL Idea’s initiatives for children, visit https://lxl.in