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UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival

New Film Festival Will Showcase the Best Global Film and Video on Childhood
30 Apr 2019


(2 May 2019) Three anniversaries of global significance for children will align with important implications for the city of Florence in 2019:

  • 30th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
  • 30th anniversary of the opening of the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti.
  • 600th anniversary of the founding of Ospedale Degli Innocenti, UNICEF's host organization partner.

To commemorate these "triple anniversaries," the inaugural UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival will be held in Florence 25 - 27 October 2019. The festival will showcase the world’s best current film, video, multi-media, with emphasis on young artists and the Global South. 

Click Here to Access international Call for Entries

Why a Film Festival?

Children’s rights are timeless, but the circumstances of childhood have changed dramatically since the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was signed in 1989. Great strides have been made, but complex new threats have also emerged. Far fewer children succumb to illness and malnutrition than ever before; yet, violence, the rise of technology, displacement and climate change introduce complex new threats that were undreamed of three decades ago. The CRC remains a vital global reference point to which all nations turn.

As these changes occur, the role of media – in all its dynamic forms – as well as the deepening engagement of children and young people in media production and use, have impact on children’s lives in ways that are both profound and yet only dimly visible. The UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival will take stock of these dynamic forces shaping childhood, spark discussion on the state of children and promote deep reflection on the experiences of children in different contexts. The festival will be produced in collaboration with Cinema La Compagnia di Fondazione Sistema Toscana (Film Commission of Tuscany).

Criteria for selection

Films to be included in the festival will promote deep reflection on narratives of childhood and the experiences that shape them – as individuals, in the family, the community, in institutions and societies - reflecting realities in the Global South and North.

Emphasis will be placed on films and media that authentically represent the thoughts, voices and experiences of children themselves. While the UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival has no age limits for entry, in keeping with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, special priority will be given to films and media that have been written, directed or developed by and/or with children, young people and young adult artists.

Films to be included in the UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival must be explicitly centred on child or adolescent characters. Two categories for entry have been established:

  1. General Entry - filmmakers and producers of any age can submit entries between 20 and 120 minutes duration.
  2. Under 20 - filmmakers and producers who have not passed their 21st birthday may submit entries of any duration.

UNICEF Innocenti will work with young people, the global network of UNICEF offices in 190 countries, Fondazione Sistemi Toscana and other partners to select and curate the festival programme according to the above criteria.

World Children's Day 2019

In addition to the film festival, the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti is also organizing two other high profile events which will culminate in World Children’s Day, 20 November 2019, creating a rare opportunity to focus public attention on the nature of childhood itself – past, present and future – and its binding call to nurture, protect and empower.

  • The Leading Minds for Children conference, convening global thinkers and experts in Florence to consult on major issues affecting children.
  • A Compendium Publication of short essays by leading experts on the future of childhood.


To enter a film for consideration to the UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival vist our online submission entry portalEntries may also be submitted by downloading, filling in and returning the UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival Ssubmission Form (right). Completed entry submission forms should be sent to florence@unicef.org attention UIFF unit. The current deadline for entries is 15 July 2019.