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Diverse group of films on childhood selected for the UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival

Entries from 32 countries to be showcased at inaugural film festival in Florence
05 Sep 2019
A still image from Iranian director Abbas Amini's film "Hendi and Hormoz" which has been selected as the featured presentation at the UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival 2019 


(5 September 2019)  A selection panel has completed work on the programme of films that will be showcased at the first UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival (UIFF) to be held 25 - 27 October in Florence, Italy. Some 1,174 entries were formally received from more than 100 countries and territories. 

UIFF is one of several special events being organized by UNICEF to commemorate three important anniversaries for children falling in 2019:

  • The 30th anniversary of the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
  • The 600th anniversary of the founding of Ospedale Degli Innocenti, UNICEF's host institution in Florence, and, 
  • The 30th anniversary of the establishment of UNICEF's global research centre in Florence, known today as the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti.

The theme of the festival is "Growing up. Narratives from all over the world." A special effort has been made to curate examples of cinema that illuminate the major challenges and opportunities facing children in a fast changing world. The final programme will consist of films from 32 countries. UIFF will also be recognized as one of the main global activities of UNICEF in celebration of World Children's Day 2019.

UIFF is being organized by UNICEF Innocenti in collaboration with Fondazione Sistema Toscana, Cinema La Compagnia, the Tuscan Region and the Municipality of Florence. All films will be shown at Cinema La Compagnia free of charge.

The UIFF programme has works by filmmakers who have won critical acclaim in international film circles. It will also showcase a number of wonderful new creative works by younger filmmakers who are not yet well known.

Still image from French director Amelia Nanni's film "Les Enfants Du Rivage" which has been selected as a feature presentation at the UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival

"In planning this festival, we were motivated by the awareness that there are many global cinema traditions that have produced compelling bodies of work depicting childhood," said Dale Rutstein, Communication Chief at UNICEF Innocenti. "Childhood is a universal human theme that filmmakers everywhere return to, again and again, to connect audiences to memories of the forces that shape our lives in the earliest years."

"By creating a special event to highlight the most compelling narratives of childhood on film we have an opportunity to create a unique opportunity to appreciate the power of cinema to reconnect us to the reality of childhood. We hope it will become a new tool for making the needs of children more urgent and more indelible."

In addition to the films selected for live screening, UIFF will also showcase distinguished films in the following categories on its new website:

  • Digital Showcase - all types of films which merit special attention for the quality of the childhood narratives they portray.
  • Creative Voices - short animated or multi-media productions that made use of innovative storytelling techniques.
  • Young Voices - films of all types that deserve merit for the way they amplify the voices of young people, or have special relevance for young audiences.

The festival website - currently under construction - is www.uiff.org