UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival ’21: World Narratives of Childhood

A scene in a film from the section Children in a Dangerous World scheduled on Friday, October 22 from 8:30 to 11 pm

With the reopening of many theaters across Italy, Cinema La Compagnia (Via Camillo Cavour, 50/R) will host the UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival. For the second edition of this series of premieres, with the last one taking place in 2019, UNICEF Italy aims to tell the stories of children around the world on the big screen to an international audience.

An inaugural virtual room is accessible on October 21, with screenings lasting from Friday, October 22 to Sunday, October 24.  On each day after all of the movies have concluded, public conversations will be held between the creators and UNICEF experts in order to dive deeper into the process of their creations.  Created by filmmakers whose average age is under 30, all of the entries in this event, submitted by 28 countries, will be subtitled in both English and Italian.  

The United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, is a humanitarian organization dedicated to providing aid to children. With this iteration, UNICEF shows the many struggles that kids underwent amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and global conflicts. The movies can be viewed for free, either on-site at Cinema La Compagnia or online on their mymovies.it page.

The audience will experience an abundance of variety, stories both fiction and nonfiction, as well as animated and live-action flicks, with runtime ranging from short to feature length. UNICEF is working to open a dialogue between artists, advocates and casual viewers to help spread the word of the troubles faced by children around the world. They wish to invoke a sense of empathy in the viewer so that they feel more impassioned to speak about it and possibly take action. Themes tackled during the festival include poverty, discrimination, gender identity, violence, armed conflict and many other challenges seen throughout the globe. 

Among the many debuts, some prominent titles include “A Scarecrow” (Nepal) by Rajesh Prasad Khatri, which shows the struggle of a child being taken out of school in order to help sustain her family’s business of making scarecrows; “The Name of the Son” (Argentina) by Martina Matzkin, which follows the life of a transsexual boy as he tries to win acceptance from his family regarding his new identity; “Being Someone Else” (United Kingdom) by Øyvind Aamli, focusing on an autistic teen being kicked out of school who copes by pretending to be a fictional character; and “The Game” (Kenya) by Children’s Collective, a movie made by a group of young filmmakers about their passion for football in a story about poverty and overcoming external limitations.  (nelson matos)

The event is titled the Unicef Innocenti Film Festival because of the institution, “L’Istituto degli Innocenti,” has been dedicated to providing a home for the young and homeless since the 15th century. Both located in piazza Santissima Annunziata, L’Istituto degli Innocenti and UNICEF often work together on projects for children.

For more information on the UNICEF film festival, including details on premiere times and the background process of each movie’s creation, visit the main page and the online program.

To reserve a ticket for your spot in Cinema La Compagnia, check the reservation page on their website.