21-24 October 2021

UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival

Narratives of childhood from around the world

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The Festival

To take stock of the dynamic forces shaping childhood and promote deep reflection on the experiences of children in different contexts, we are proud to announce the second UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival (UIFF) will be held 21 – 24 October 2021.

Childhood is a universal theme that filmmakers return to, again and again, to connect audiences to memories of the forces that shape human lives in the earliest years. The aim of UIFF is to curate the best world cinema narratives of childhood, especially from younger artists, though submissions are accepted from filmmakers of any age.

UIFF will be presented in Florence, Italy through a mixture of live socially distanced screening programmes at Cinema La Compagnia and virtual screenings streamed on demand on MyMovies.it. Public dialogue between cinema artists, UNICEF experts and the public will be organized after all screening programmes. 

Call for Entries

Films to be selected for the festival will promote deep reflection on the experiences that shape childhood – within the individual, in the family, the community, in institutions and societies, of both the Global South and North. Emphasis will be placed on films that authentically represent the thoughts, voices and experiences of children themselves.

Submissions are now open via Film Freeway until 15 July 2021. The final selection will be announced in August. Films will be programmed in three categories:

  • Childhood in the pandemic
  • Under 18
  • Open category

For more details visit the UIFF submission portal


On each day of the festival we will organize an early evening programme consisting of a diverse selection of short fiction and non-fiction films, followed by a primetime programme of a short film and a major feature presentation. Between four to six carefully curated films on childhood from all corners of the world will be shown each day.

Films will be available online at MyMovies.it throughout the Festival and will have English and Italian subtitles. All live and online events will be free of cost.

Our programme promises to include a wonderful diversity of cinematic stories, both fiction and non-fiction, from across the globe. 

UNICEF's 75th Anniversary

2021 is the 75th anniversary of the founding of UNICEF, and UIFF will play a special role in celebrating this milestone. An online exhibit of iconic historical films of the past 75 years will be presented. Our grand prize award – UNICEF75 – will be given to the best film in the festival. Completing the anniversary celebrations, the UNICEF75 award will be presented by a UNICEF notable personality or Goodwill Ambassador.

The on demand historical film exhibit will feature celebrated films focusing on the deeper aspects of children’s development from each of the eight decades of UNICEF’s existence (1940’s through 2010’s). Well-known classics as well as unseen gems will be available to stream. 

2019 Edition

UNICEF Innocenti held its inaugural film festival in 2019. This celebration of global cinema on childhood uncovered a rich and diverse body of work with the potential to spark deep thinking about the realities children face around the world.


Official selection




Photo Gallery