Asian children's content festival kicks off

The festival will feature notable speakers like Ireland's children's laureate PJ Lynch (left) and English film-maker Leslee Udwin (right).
The festival will feature notable speakers like Ireland's children's laureate PJ Lynch (left) and English film-maker Leslee Udwin (right).PHOTO: FACEBOOK/PJ LYNCH ILLUSTRATOR, FACEBOOK/LESLEE UDWIN

SINGAPORE - The Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) kicked off its eigth edition today (May 16) at the Central Public Library.

Organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore, the five-day festival offers a slew of free and ticketed events including conferences, panel discussions, workshops and master classes.

It will feature 157 speakers from 18 countries, with notable speakers including Ireland's children's laureate PJ Lynch and English film-maker Leslee Udwin, whose films include Peaboy award-winning documentary India's Daughter (2015) and East Is East(1999), which won Best Film at the British Academy Film Awards.

The festival was opened by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.

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Keeping with the festival's goal to promote exceptional children's content, the winner of the biennial Scholastic Picture Book Award was also announced at the ceremony. The award, which acknowledges outstanding, unpublished picture books that incorporate distinctly Asian themes, was given to The Little Durian Tree.

The book was the brainchild of a five-man team comprising students from Singapore Polytechnic and is about a lovable durian tree's quest for friendship despite his thorny exterior. The book was chosen from 137 entries across Asia.

As this year's country of focus is Indonesia, the festival will feature 19 sessions and performances on Indonesian literature and culture. In particular, visitors can expect talks on Indonesian fiction and storytelling sessions depicting traditional Indonesian folktales.

Other highlights include a Writers And Illustrators Conference, a Cross-Platform Summit and a Teachers Congress And Parents Forum, which will furnish parents and teachers with tips on improving children's literacy skills.

Mr Kenneth Quek, festival director of the AFCC, reinforced the festival's aim to expose delegates to "cross cultural and literary exchange and networking opportunities".

"Every year, we go all out to put together a vigorous programme that will inspire Singaporean and international delegates in the industry of children's literature," he added.

For more information, visit https://afcc.com.sg/