The Nelson Mandela Children’s Film Festival began as a means to continue the Father of our Nation, uTata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s passion for supporting and nurturing the youth as leaders of tomorrow. This year the Nelson Mandela Children’s Film Festival, in collaboration with Brand South Africa and it’s Pay Your Part initiative celebrates it’s 5th Anniversary. uTata stated, ‘our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth who care for and protect our people’ (3 June 1995).
Play Your Part Ambassador and Festival Co-Founder, Firdoze Bulbulia, states, ‘we are delighted to be celebrating and commemorating Mandela’s legacy and to continue to use his work to inspire the next generation. We believe that film, animation and gaming are innovative and unique mediums that can open new windows, shedding light on different cultures and traditions. The festival therefore acts as a platform for empowering young South Africans to participate in the global dialogue on film and media’.
The role of the creative industries, particularly the film industry has been vital in positively positioning South Africa to domestic and international audiences.The Nelson Mandela Children’s Film Festival in association with the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) (https://www.durbanfilmfest.com) will be screening 10 children’s productions from partners globally: Egypt, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, and Tunisia.
In keeping with Tata Madiba’s Legacy, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Film Festival want to recognise the “Champions of Children”- the individuals who work tirelessly to guide and empower the children of South Africa. Elizabeth Castle and Benjy Francis are stalwarts in the children’s sector in South Africa and have been working with the Children and Broadcasting Foundation for Africa (CBFA) since its inception in 1995.
Together they have been involved in the process of drawing-up The South African Children’s Charter, which ultimately became part of The Bill of Rights and The South African Constitution; The World Summits on Media for Children since 1996 and the Africa Charter on Children’s Broadcasting.
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Film Festival took this moment to recognise their efforts in creating a better place for ALL children. On 27 July 2022, the NMCFF presented two Lifetime Achievement Awards to Elizabeth Castle and Benjy Francis.