Hyderabad: The 17th edition of the biennial International Children's Film Festival of India (ICFFI) will open up at 'Shilparamam' here from November 14 to 20.

The week-long festival popularly known as 'The Golden Elephant' being organised under the aegis of Children's Film Society of India (CFSI) and Andhra Pradesh government, will showcase 152 films this year as compared to 70 in the previous edition, CFSI chairperson and actor Nandita Das told reporters on Saturday.

"We have raised the bar very high this time with the best of the best children's films. The eminent jurors and film makers will interact with children and I am sure the whole experience of participating in the festival, will be a memorable one," Das remarked.

Over 1.5 lakh children will watch films in 13 screens to be installed across Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Information and Public Relations Minister D K Aruna said, adding efforts were underway to make Hyderabad the permanent venue for holding the biennial event.

The 17th edition of the children's film fest will have four competition sections where International and Indian films will compete for the prestigious Golden Elephant awards: Competition International (15 features), India Competition (10 features), Short Competition (24 shorts), Little Directors (11 shorts made by children).

"Besides, competition films, the festival will also present 86 acclaimed and award winning films from the last decade in children's world," Das said, adding China section will showcase six films.

ICFFI has also collaborated with FICCI with the objective of bringing together national and international stakeholders on a single platform to share their experience for mutual benefits and to discuss the ways and means to promote kids' content as a profitable business venture in India, she added.

Nandita Das said film 'Gattu', produced by Children's Film Society of India (CFSI) and directed by Rajan Khosa will be screened as the opening film on the inauguration of the 17th International Children's Film Festival of India.

The Indian competition section will have 10 children's films, including four from Andhra Pradesh and the world premier of 'The Lotus Pond', she said.

Besides screenings, the festival will also organize workshops for children on film-making, script writing, animation and puppet making, besides open forums to discuss various issues concerning children's cinema, Das said.

These films and workshops would provide a different and amazing experience to about 600 children expected to participate among the 800 delegates during the festival, she added.

The main festival center would be at Shilparamam, a permanent crafts village, set up here amid serene surroundings.

The extravaganza will also have representation from Africa and South America for the first time.

'Stanley Ka Dabba', 'I am Kalam', 'Chillar Party', 'Dekh Indian Circus' (a film by Mangesh Hadawale, which won the audience award at Busan, Korea last week) and Vihir (Umesh Kulkarni's film that went to Berlin as well) are some of the Indian entries for the festival.

Portuguese film to flag off IFFI

Portuguese film 'The Consul of Bordeaux' will flag off this year's edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), the organisers said on Saturday.

IFFI Director Shankar Mohan said that the film was selected as it goes well with the theme of the festival 'the whole world is one family'.

The 90-minute film is directed by Manuel Gonzales and the preview committee which went through 500 films decided on this film because of its story, he said. The film is based on the life of Portuguese consul general Aristides de Sousa Mendes in Bordeaux, France, who helped thousands of Jewish refugees to extricate themselves from France, after Hitler's armed forces invaded Belgium and the Netherlands in May 1940.

The ten-day long festival is expected to have more than 8,000 delegates participating in it, Mohan said.

The festival which was earlier a property of Directorate of Film Festival (DFF) has now been de-linked from it by forming special purpose vehicle - IFFI Directorate under the Union Information and Broadcasting ministry and functions as an independent entity, he said.

(Agencies)