New York International Children’s Film Festival (NICFF) was founded in 1997 by Eric Beckman with his wife, Emily Shapiro, attempting to draw that audience with features that are creative and provocative but without nudity or graphic violence. The purpose of the film is to define a more compelling film for their special audience, children. Currently, this festival is the largest festival for children and teens in North America, with an audience of over 25,000 attending the most recent event. Since 2000, all screenings have sold out in advance. This program is an academy qualified festival (one of the twos holds this honor).
Each year the festival presents 100 animated, live action and experimental shorts and features from around the world plus gala premieres, retrospectives, filmmaker Q&As, workshops, audience voting, and the NYICFF Awards Ceremony. But the festival has become much more than just an annual event; NYICFF now offers year-round film programming, a touring festival, an online festival, and film production workshops for children ages 6-16.
The program emphasize the children’s vote in making decisions of its winner. In addition, the film festival also hosts camp in which children are immersed in filmmaking workshops and classes lead from professional filmmakers.