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 offering non-formal educational paths through the language of cinema and illustration.
This project includes the screening of a selection of a hundred animated short films from all over the world, educational workshops around animation and illustration, and meetings with international directors and animators.
The initiative aims to challenge the children’s and young people’s craving for cultural innovation during this sensitive life stages and to support them in new an essential path, capable of developing creativity and discovering of new imaginaries, 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.
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 “.
Screenings and activities take place during the days of the La Guarimba festival: 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.
The project plans to make children protagonists of the festival through their voluntary participation to the Young Jury, who will nominate the winning short film of La Grotta dei Piccoli stimulating an active participation and a constant involvment.
Since 2017, the competition takes place within the festival in collaboration with UNICEF Italy, which acknowledges its relevance at national level for socio-cultural growth of young people.
In 2021 and 2022, the project received the Award of Representation of the Chamber of Deputies.