There is a key date when everything started: 21st July 1963. There is also a film that marked the starting point “The Adventures of Topo Gigio”, a popular and beloved rodent by children to whom this “1st Children’s Film and TV Festival” was devoted exclusively. The drawing artist Isaac del Rivero saw the realisation of his idea in five days of screenings and fifteen countries in competition, quite a few from Eastern Europe –the main producers of children’s films at the time-, which was quite exceptional under Franco’s regime. Alongside the films, the “International Conversations on Children’s Films” meant a substantial part of the festival right from this first edition with the presence of national and international critics, paedoagogists and experts in children’s issues. Only two awards were given: the Gran Premio Pelayo to the best short and to the best feature film.
Right from the first editions, the festival aims at showing an exhaustive overview of film productions for kids, most of which never made it to the mainstream circuit; at the same time, it promoted the exchange of conclusions on children’s films after the abovementioned conversations among experts, usually on matters such as the lack of commercial releases, which even led to the formal request by exhibitors that the State distributed this kind of productions, so as to ensure its protection.