IKFF, conceived by LXL Ideas, is the world’s largest children’s film festival that aims to bring inspiring, meaningful and globally diverse cinema to children in the remotest parts of the world! Started in 2017 in partnership with schools in India, IKFF team curates films which then gets screened in school premises (ideally a theatre/amphitheatre).
IKFF, like every year, will be bringing some amazing films for kids, but digitally! This year the program will see more films, close to 150, including 15 features. “We have films from all continents: 40 Countries in 30 languages. We also have a lot of interaction on the app like In Conversation, filmmaking workshops and discussion panels on subjects like environment, body image, gender, mental health,” said IKFF director Syed Sultan Ahmed.
The programme is the best way to democratise cinema in a country as vast as a continent but with limited access to international children films. From a one day festival, it grew to four days last year and also travelled to countries outside of India. In 2019, IKFF travelled to 9,000 schools and reached two million children across the world, from India to Mexico, from Singapore to Qatar, from France to UAE! “Our objective is to bring the magic of cinema to as many children as possible across the world!” added Ahmed.
The festival being online this year will also allow families to watch the films together. It’s usually a four-day festival, but this year since children are at home and are already getting a lot of screen time, IKFF decided to slow down the pace of the film screenings. Hence they will be running the festival for a month this year. Due to the online nature of the festival, IKFF could involve a lot more interesting guests from all over the world on their panels and masterclasses.
According to Ahmed, in India, animation isn’t always appreciated to its fair value with limited use of techniques (mainly 3D and a bit of 2D). IKFF brings to the audience all kinds of stories in different styles of animation. Animation is not only for children and films like Sad Beauty from Netherlands or Wade from our very own country will make one realise the true power of animation, expressed Ahmed. It is a medium that always allows you to express fully, with no limit to one’s imagination. “Young kids respond very well to animation, the shapes, colours and characters comfort them. It is a medium that always allows you to express fully, with no limit to one’s imagination. It is also a timeless medium which never really grows old,” he concluded.
IKFF always had the will to introduce Indian children to cultures from all around and this year more than ever the programme team has achieved to get films from all continents. Teachers can use the film to teach a culture or a language. They can also watch films with their students to discuss life skills, society, growing-up, basically issues that matter and more.
“It was a proud privilege for hosting such a special event especially on the occasion of Children’s Day. Initially, we kept our fingers crossed as to wondering what would be the reaction from students. But all apprehensions went away with the very first screening. Everybody, from six to 15 years of age, was beaming with happiness and discussing the film they liked. Even the faculty was showering their appreciation for the movies giving such wonderful messages,” mentioned DPS Modern Indian School Beena Viswamohan Koilath.
The programme has partnerships with the French Embassy in India and the Australian Consulate General in Mumbai, festivals like Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, CFFS in USA, Giffoni in Italy and Annecy Animation Festival in France. IKFF is also having the Annecy Film Festival and Toon Club as partners this year.