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UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival returns for its second edition in 2021

UIFF to introduce the 'Iris' award for best films in three new categories
19 Mar 2021

(19 March 2021) We are pleased to announce that the 2nd edition of the UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival (UIFF) will be held in Florence 21 – 24 October 2021, with a mixture of live and virtual screening programmes. Convening in the shadow of a pandemic, once again UIFF aims to take stock of the forces shaping children's lives to promote reflection on the experiences of childhood in diverse contexts.

In 2021 UIFF screenings will be programmed in three categories:

  • under 18 filmmakers,
  • re-emerging from the pandemic
  • open category.

Younger filmmakers are strongly encouraged but artists of any age are more than welcome to submit entries. 

In 2021 UNICEF is celebrating its 75th anniversary and the second UIFF is dedicated to this important milestone with special awards, guest appearances by celebrity Goodwill Ambassadors and the festival grand prize award presented by a global UNICEF dignitary.

In 2021 we will introduce the UIFF ‘Iris’ prize to be awarded by an international professional jury to the best films in our three categories. All interested filmmakers can learn about our festival rules and submit film entries on our Film Freeway page:

UIFF 2021 submission portal

In recognition of the power of film to spark dialogue and new thinking about children, UNICEF Innocenti inaugurated the UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival (UIFF) in 2019 on the theme “Growing up. Stories from around the world.” Through the celebration of global cinema on childhood we discovered a rich and diverse body of work with the potential to spark deep thinking about the issues children face around the world.

Childhood is a universal theme that filmmakers return to, again and again, to connect audiences to memories of the forces that shape our lives in the earliest years. UIFF is dedicated to showcasing the best cinema narratives of childhood from all parts of the world. In 2019 UIFF screened a final selection of 32 fiction and non-fiction films produced in 28 countries. The average age of finalist filmmakers was 29. 

Filmmakers from Kazakhstan and South Africa during post screening Q & A session on the second day of UIFF 2019 in Florence, Italy.


One of the distinctive features of UIFF is post screening dialogue on important issues facing children emerging from the films. After each screening session we will organize online or live in Florence discussion featuring artists, UNICEF experts and the public.

UIFF is produced by UNICEF Innocenti in cooperation with Cinema La Compagnia and Fondazione Sistema Toscana in Florence, Italy. The second edition of UIFF will be presented through a combination of virtual and live screenings in Florence, 21-24 October 2021.

For more information send messages via our staff pages to Dale Rutstein or Patrizia Faustini.