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INDIA: Film students showcase talents at festival

Don Bosco Global Youth Film Festival hosts awards ceremony


(MissionNewswire) The Don Bosco Global Youth Film Festival, the world’s first global Salesian film festival, was held at Salesian headquarters of the Province of Chennai by the Don Bosco Institute of Communication Arts and Don Bosco Arts and Science College on Dec. 11. The festival, originally scheduled for mid-November was rescheduled due to heavy rains in Chennai, India.

Veteran film editor and National Film Award winner, B. Lenin, presided over the inaugural ceremony as the chief guest, and Father Amirthraj Arokiam, writer, editor and publisher, attended as a guest of honor. Fr. Arokiam addressed the gathering and declared the award winners. “Gama” by Bagu Bagu took first prize in the jury choice category, and Thamizhvanan’s music video “Take it easy” won second prize. During the festival award-winning films and selected nominations were screened.

Lenin expressed his profound happiness to have been part of the jury selection and noted his close affinity with Don Bosco Institute of Communication Arts since the early 1990s. He highlighted the mentoring role that the school has played for scores of successful media professionals in the industry today. His inspiring words instilled hope for the young students.

“The film festival provides an opportunity for young art students to showcase their talents and be recognized for their hard work,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian schools provide youth the skills they need for employment in their field of choice. They prepare them to be ready to enter the workforce and find long-term stability and self-sufficiency.”

Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.

India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.



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