Global humanitarian organization UNICEF is given the spotlight this year at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
The festival is carrying a package of six films that reflect on children and factors impacting childhood. Alongside Nadine Labacki’s Oscar-nominated “Capernaum,” five of the six hail from IFFI host country India with the selection spaning works from the past seven years
They include Nagesh Kukunoor’s Hindi language “Dhanak” (aka “Rainbow”) from 2015; Akashadiyta Lama’s Nagamese film “Nani Teri Morni”; Amol Gole’s Marathi-language film “Sumi”; 2021 Bengali film “Dostojee” (aka “Two Friends”) by Prasun Chatterjee; and Swaroopraj Medara’s Hindi-language film “Udd Jaa Nanhe Dil.”
“NFDC’s collaboration with UNICEF at IFFI carries forward our legacy of highlighting relevant issues concerning civil society,” said Ravinder Bhakar, MD of the National Film Development Corporation and IFFI director. “Through the six films that are being screened, we bring audience attention to children’s rights and to issues faced by children around the world.”
The screening activity was complemented at the Film Bazaar market by a panel discussion involving industry stalwarts deliberating on the ways in which mainstream cinematic culture can be made more inclusive of children-centric films. “We need to engage with leading filmmakers on the role of creative cinema in promoting the rights of children, which this collaboration hopes to achieve,” said Bhakar.
“Capernaum” is the story of a 12-year-old boy whose life in the slums of Beirut is so complicated and miserable that he takes legal action against his parents. It is told largely in flashback with episodes including nefarious money-making schemes and attempts to forge documents that might allow access to education – or at least refugee status.”