From Viewers to Participants
The credits rolled, the lights were on, but the audience remained seated. A hot discussion ensued. Children raised their hands eagerly, throwing questions at the guest on the stage… The Taiwan International Children’s Film Festival (TICFF) experience is more than just watching films, as film directors and other professionals are brought into the theatre to interact with the audience.
TICFF was initiated by Public Television Service (PTS Taiwan) in 2004. Held biennially, it is the first film & TV festival in Asia dedicated entirely to children aged 12 and under, showcasing quality children’s programming around the world.
In 2012, TICFF started presenting films by themes rather than by region: gender, self-identity, life & death, and social issues like refugees and children’s safety regularly came up during in-depth discussions after screenings. TICFF project manager Lesley Yang: “The idea is to encourage the audience to go beyond simple viewers and become participants.” This idea became a feature of the festival ever since.
With the 8th edition scheduled in early April 2018, TICFF is now open for submissions, offering cash prizes close to USD25,000 in total (In 2016 over 1,000 entries from 101 countries were submitted for competition). To catch up with the trend of online streaming, TICFF this year is adding ‘web program episodes’ to its competition categories.
More development is on the way. Even though the event lasts for eight days and attracts an audience close to 15,000, many are still unable to attend. In addition to screening tours after the festival an off-year project is underway, hoping to meet the needs of the festival’s growing popularity.
More info: www.ticff.org.tw/index_english.html