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Children First!

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Fifty years ago, a boat left New York with a cargo of powdered milk for the hungry children of post-war Europe. It was the first undertaking of the UN's International Children's Emergency Fund. Initially ceonceived as a short-term measure, UNICEF went on to become a leading world advocate for children's welfare and is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year. Children First! showcases award-winning NFB shorts dealing with children's rights and the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child. Diane Chartrand's The Orange is a touching tale of how children help a hungry classmate. Janet Perlman's Dinner for Two is a light-hearted lesson in conflict resolution, and Eugene Fedorenko's Oscar-winning Every Child is an engaging reflection on every child's right to a name and nationality. Rounding out the selection are Michèle Cournoyer's An Artist a beautifully rendered story of a parent's awakening to his young daughter's potential abilities, and Martine Chartrand's TV Tango, a comic critique of mass media and its impact on children. Francine Desbiens's To See the World is a fitting tale of a boy who witnesses the suffering of the world's children through a train window, and envisions solutions which ensure happy, healthy children everywhere. Finally, a child's right to a future in which dreams may be fulfilled is examined in Why? by Brestislav Pojar.

1996, 56 min 27 s