History of CIFEJ
CIFEJ is an NGO active as the only global network of audio-visual media professionals working for children and young people.
CIFEJ main goal has been to promote production of films and audio-visual media that are culturally diverse, artistic, educational, informative, and at the same time entertaining; especially designed for children and young people.
CIFEJ supports media educators by organizing film workshops for children and young people to give girls and boys equal opportunities to express themselves via camera, to learn film aesthetics, vocabulary, history, and production techniques.
Through production of such films and audio visual media as well as providing group education for this age group, CIFEJ encourages them to respect their own rights and those of others, to respect cultural diversity, to show tolerance for racial, linguistic, and religious differences; thus it develops understanding among nations.
CIFEJ was first established in Bruxelles in 1955 under the auspices of UNESCO; after 5 years of activity, it moved to Paris where the Head Office was active for 30 years.
In 1990, as a result of lack of budget, the Head Office was located in Montreal, Canada. In 2007, the CIFEJ Secretariat in Canada announced that it could not get any financial support from local sponsors or UNESCO; therefore, Canada would not be able to host CIFEJ anymore; thus, the GA 2007, held in Amsterdam, approved the Secretariat to move to South Africa.
But, as a result of existing administrative and financial problems, the 2009 GA approved unanimously the CIFEJ HQ to be transferred to Iran and Mohsen Chiniforoushan was elected as the Secretary General of CIFEJ.
The CIFEJ Headquarters has managed to do the following tasks as the administrative and coordinating body of our organization, after its establishment in 2010:
CIFEJ has published the CIFEJbrochure with upgraded contentand design and in 2 languages (Eng-Fr) for introducing CIFEJ;
New edition of the CIFEJ Info magazinehas been published with more enriched contentand beautiful design4 times a year;
A new and more practical web design to 95% dynamic has been created; enabling members to promote themselves through video clips, pictures, etc;
CIFEJ has been connected to Facebook to improve CIFEJvisibility with the assistance of the youngmembers of CIFEJ;
Animation workshops have been organized for children and young people in partnership with other cultural organizations. These workshops have been held in Baku-Azerbaijan, Hammamet-Tunisia,Dubai-United Arab Emirates, Siping-China, Kharkov-Ukraine , Esfahan-Iran and Bhubaneswar – India(up to January 2015), through which learners not only acquired knowledge in regard to expressing themselves by the art of animation, but also, have been acquainted with values, skills, and attitudes for dialogue and cooperation in peace;
It is planned the films created by this age group to be kept in the CIFEJ archive (library) as these films reflect, in fact, the points of view of children with different cultures, traditions, languages, religious backgrounds, level of privilege or disadvantage, so, it would be a rich source for cross-cultural understanding.
CIFEJ Prize has been awarded at international events in Asian, European, and North American countries; and to issue the report to raise public interest on the following events; thus getting worldwide attention on all major festivals for children, promoting their work as well as celebrating quality cinema for youth; to better position CIFEJ and to better define our added value. Since 1981, more than 130 films have been selected by about 300 CIFEJ Jury members in more than 100 various international film festivals in about 25 countries all over the world. All prestigious film festivals expecting CIFEJ to donate its prize to the best film for or about children in their festivals can send their request to the CIFEJ Headquarters-Tehran.
During the Montreal General Assembly in 2000, CIFEJ Lifetime Achievement Award was created to honor the exceptional contribution of an individual or organizational member in the domain of creation and promotion of audio-visual media for children and young people. This prize is being awarded during the CIFEJ General Assemblies. It has been gifted to 7 people from different countries since 2000 to 2014.
In 2013 and 2014, CIFEJ participated in some conferences and seminars such as:
- “Global Village, Children, Television and Cinema” which was the first international CIFEJ conference in Kharkov, Ukraine; Sep. 2013
- “Our Children First” which was an industry forum at Ajyal Youth Film Festival in Doha, Qatar; Nov. 2013
- International conference of “Films for Children Is an Important Tool for Children’s Education” which was organized by the Little Stars School, Romanian Cultural Institute and City Hall of Bucharest District 6 in Bucharest, Romania; March 2014
- International Forum entitled “The Development of Children’s Films” which was hosted by CIFEJ, China Children’s Film Association, China National Film Museum and China Film Culture Institute of Beijing Film Academy. It was supervised by Film Bureau of State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. R.P.China together with Elementary Education Department one of Ministry of Education, R.P. China; May 2014