The Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), held in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, has revealed the films that have been nominated to receive the Child Protection Award. Thirteen films from 17 countries have been nominated in the ADFF’s eighth session, and vary between long narratives to short documentaries.

Lieutenant Colonel Faisal Mohammed Ali Al Shimmari, Deputy Chairman of the Cinematic Awards Committee of the Ministry of Interior said, “The Child Protection Award has become part of the awards approved for ADFF and has been allocated to recognize the best film and the best screenplay regarding child protection and safety in order to promote an increased awareness around the situation of children who are victims of violence, abuse, or neglect. The awards cover 14 dimensions of child protection.”

He explained that the award is an implementation of the directives of the police leadership and in pursuance of the vision of the MoI to launch programs and initiatives that raise awareness while simultaneously building a culture of community and cinematography around local and international issues of child protection. Lieutenant Colonel Al Shimmari said, “The award serves to recognize the filmmakers’ contribution and their valuable role in the film industry to efficiently and emotionally communicate with different societal segments. The film industry has impacted the efforts geared towards enhancing and delivering social awareness messages to all community members.”

Furthermore, Lieutenant Colonel Al Shimmari stressed that the Child Protection Award aims to shed light on films that raise awareness about the issues of child protection and safety, and to promote effective preventative measures in protecting them against abuse and neglect on a local and international level.

“The total value of the award in both categories is $100,000, and the winning films will be chosen by an expert judging panel chosen from the other the participating films, categories, and competitions of the ADFF,” said Lieutenant Colonel Al Shimmari.

It is worth mentioning that the award was launched for the first time as part of the seventh session of the ADFF in 2013. The Child Protection Award for the Best Film was awarded to “These Birds Walk” by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq; and the Child Protection Award for the Best Scenario was awarded to “Like Father, Like Son” by Hirokazu Kore-eda.

During its first session last year, the award received many accolades from filmmakers, officials, celebrities, and the public; and was mentioned in the Federal National Council (FNC) hearing last May. The award was commended for symbolizing the MoI’s approach in addressing societal issues and contributing to the building of a culture of consciousness and social security.

The ADFF kicked off in 2007 and has helped build a vibrant film culture throughout the region, and has become an icon in the main agenda of cultural events in Abu Dhabi. The 10-day festival features various programs for Arab and international cinematography in addition to the movie premieres and other activities.

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