First-ever KidsFfest to unveil 25 top-rated films from 18 countries
JAKARTA, 16 July 2009 — An international children film festival, KidsFfest, highlighting award-winning movies on unexpected friendships, family ties and dreams of going to school among others, will be held for the first time from 17 to 26 July as part of Indonesia’s Children Day celebrations.
Organized by Kalyana Shira Foundation, 25 films will be screened at cinemas located in Blitz Grand Indonesia dan Pondok Indah 21 (PIM 1). In collaboration with cultural institutions and embassies from Iran, Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, France, Australia, Finland, Italy, Denmark, and the United States, the festival presents these outstanding films that rarely grace the silver screen here to delight children and their families.
The festival is also endorsed by the UN agency for children, UNICEF, as well as other sponsors and the media. The Three Robbers, a German award-winning animated film, will open the festival. For the closing, Meraih Mimpi, a unique 3-D animation from Indonesia, will premiere.
“This festival was born out of our frustration for the lack of quality children’s films here. Local films were scarce and Hollywood animated blockbusters dominated the cinemas,” said Nia Dinata, one of Indonesia’s best known film director and founder of KidsFfest.
“Although many of the U.S. productions are great, we miss out on fantastic animations or films from other countries. Through KidsFfest, Indonesian children can learn a lot, widen their horizons by watching thought-provoking and highly enjoyable films. Children have a right to dream, enrich their imagination and be creative,” she added.
“Films have a magical appeal that generates excitement, awareness and understanding about many things, including children’s issues,” said Angela Kearney, UNICEF Country Representative in Indonesia.
“UNICEF and Kalyana Shira are engaging this powerful creativity to spotlight the CRC@20; that 20 years ago, the world united to say that children too have rights which must be protected and fulfilled as acknowledged by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. ” The CRC is commemorated on 20 November on Universal Children Day but Indonesia holds its own national celebrations earlier in the year
Earlier, KidsFfest held several pre-events such as subtitling and short film workshops, as well as a short film competition in April and May. The winning film will be screened during the festival prior to the main films.
Children will also take part in judging six films: Geng: The Adventure Begins (Malaysia), The Happiness of Kati (Thailand), The Letter for the King (Holland), Mia & The Migoo (France), Niko & The Way to the Stars (Finland) and Teo’s Voyage (Mexico). The jury is composed of Sabila Duhita and Maura Mayong Suryolaksono (Jakarta), Afri Rizky (Aceh), Agatha Amadea (Sidoarjo), Pratama Rachmat Wijaya (Surakarta), Daniel Kawalo (Ambarawa), and Thariq Ramadhan (Padang). They were selected through children forums and based on their achievements in films. Cinema goers can also vote for the best film for the Audience Award after viewing the films.
“UNICEF believes in the importance of a child’s right to voice their opinions, hopes and dreams. This can be nurtured through the UNICEF-supported short film workshop and kids’ jury, where they develop their arguments on what makes a great film,” said Ms. Kearney.
Special screenings will be held in Erasmus Huis, Salihara, and Pademangan, North Jakarta. The festival is made possible by the support of BRI as main sponsor; Manulife, Lifebuoy and Paddle Pop as supporting sponsors; FedEx and Burger King as the strategic partners. A part of ticket sales will be donated to UNICEF.