La Grotta Dei Piccoli – Children’s Animation Film Festival

La Grotta Dei Piccoli is born as part of the 2016 edition of La Guarimba International Film Festival, as an entirely child friendly zone with the intent of showing otherwise unknown films to new generations.

It’s a safe, friendly space that is entertaining and innovative.

Since 2017, the competition takes place within the festival in collaboration with UNICEF Italy, including 40 competing international short films.

In 2018 the synergy between Unicef Italia and La Guarimba was confirmed, and the selection was extended to 60 competing international short films.

Since 2020, we select 100 films.

In addition to the screenings, during the days of the festival we offer illustration, animation and happiness workshops.

We understand children’s and young people’s hunger for cultural innovation during these sensitive life stages and we want to accompany them in this new and necessary path, capable of developing creativity and discovering new fantasies, with a fundamental educational tool of social development.

To this day we suffer from the social divide that exists between the different Italian regions, and our goal is to give cultural dignity to the territory, where there is no healthy entertainment for children, cultural houses or libraries, places that have always been a symbol of social gathering and knowledge, so it is even more important for us to make culture accessible, paying particular attention to those who need it most.

Thus, the desire to be part of the solution was born, offering an alternative to the usual channels of consumption of audio-visual content.

The selected works have the objective of respecting the children and challenging them with sensitive themes and new narrative techniques, necessary for the development of creativity and critical sense, by still leaving them free to play and imagine “.


At the entrance to Parco Della Grotta, parents will find qualified staff to entrust their children to. They will enjoy the cinema in complete safety, in a small festival designed just for them.

The shorts are screened in parallel with the official festival competition, in a space adjacent to the main screen.

We have created an area that is attentive to children’s freedom of movement, without neglecting the safety of the space.

Giant poufs offer the chance to enjoy cinema in an informal and playful environment, while the screen, speakers and professional projector offer both visual and auditory quality and safety.

Throughout the screening time, experienced staff will watch over the children, leaving them free but never alone.


A fundamental part of the project is represented by the workshops which, starting from a non-formal educational path have the objective of showing the beauty of art to both adults and children. All is found within an open and collaborative context where we attempt to transmit values of participatory democracy, integration and accessibility.


Every year, La Guarimba goes around the world with screenings, exhibitions, murals, workshops, socio-cultural and political conferences. One of the projects on tour is La Grotta dei Piccoli, below you can find past dates.

La Guarimba En Málaga – Málaga, Spain 24 NOVEMBER / 03 DECEMBER 2016

Animated Outskirts – Bari (Ba), Italy 13/15 OCTOBER 2017

Certamen Internacional de Cortos Ciudad de Soria – Soria, Spain – 12/26 NOVEMBER 2017

If you want to organize an event in your school, institute, festival or private event, write to us at


Animation shorts made by middle school students of the Comprehensive School “Campora S. Giovanni – Aiello Calabro”

In 2019 and 2020, La Grotta dei Piccoli won the “Cinema and Images For School” funding. The project took place in the territory of Amantea, both in presence and online.
We organized animation workshops and projections in the middle schools of Campora S. Giovanni, Aiello and Cleto, in Calabria, in which the children learned and put into practice the processes of making an animation film: ideation and writing of the story, creation of the characters (drawn and with plasticine), shooting, editing and audio making, allowing children to live a unique educational experience and to see their short films screened.

In 2022, La Guarimba won the Cinema and Images For School “Projects of territorial relevance” funding, which with it will bring film workshops and environmental themed screenings in 13 secondary schools in Calabria.


Director of La Grotta dei Piccoli

Valeria (Italy, 1991) is an Italian/Sri Lankan illustrator working in Animation. After her first degree in Media Arts focusing on filmmaking and cinematography, she specialised in Character Animation at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts ( London), joining her passions for the world of cinema and illustration. She collaborates with various names of the editorial world as well as creating concepts and characters for animation. She currently lives in Ireland working within the design team of an award winning animation studio for an upcoming feature film.

Curator of the workshops

Gabriele (Italy, 1992), graduated in Education Sciences, with experience in cultural teaching for children and teenagers. He gained professional experience in projects of psychology of art and development of cultural spaces. He is the project assistant for the company Ad Meliora and the coordinator of cultural mediation activities at the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome.

Brand Image & Graphic Design

Mikel (Spain, 1985) is an illustrator and comic artist. With a degree in Fine Arts, Mikel collaborates with different Spanish agencies and magazines. He also works in Connecting Brains, a company focused in graphic recording and visual thinking. Since 2013, Mikel is in charge of La Guarimba International Film Festival’s visual identity, making drawings and illustrations for its web and social media as well as for posters, catalogues and flyers.