Marginalised children to have their say at UNICEF's Film fest

UNICEF has partnered with Children's Film Society of India to screen documentary and fiction films which includes 15 short films (duration ranging from 2 minutes to 9 minutes) made by 21 children from rural areas of Medak district of Andhra Pradesh.

"UNICEF embarked upon a initiative to train marginalised children of rural areas to build their capacities in telling stories through video. These short films to be screened under the non-competitive category highlight various issues in their (children's) villages," UNICEF Representative for Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka Michel Saint-Lot told reporters here.

UNICEF partnered with the University of Hyderabad and Medak District Administration to start CAMP (Children As Media Producers) and trained these children in TV production for four months, as part of the 'Child Reporters Initiative.'

"We wanted the children to tell their own stories. They are budding television reporters of tomorrow. We want these children to be seen as producers and not merely as consumers of information," Michel Saint-Lot added.

Medak District Collector L Shashidhar said the 'Child TV Reporters' is a pilot initiative as part of the larger Child Reporter's initiative of UNICEF.

"The Child Reporters project has about 5,000 children in over a thousand villages in eight states, trained as Child Reporters who are actively producing wall newspapers and have helped raise many issues at the grass-root level which have also been solved by village and district authorities," Michel Saint-Lot said.

University of Hyderabad's (Department of Communication) Dean Vinod Pavarala said, "We have made children to get access to media technologies. It's (Child Reporters Initiative) for using communication for social change."

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