“What does it mean to live in that absurd world of war every day“

Since 2014 war between pro-Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists rages in the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine. What that means for people living their everyday lives in the frontline zone, is shown in a documentary written and directed by Kiev-based Iryna Tsilyk. THE EARTH IS BLUE AS AN ORANGE has collected many festival awards, and was picked for the Documentary Selection 2020 of the European Film Academy.

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Why THE PACK is an important film for Czech audiences

How much does THE PACK represent the lives of Czech teenagers today? We collected opinions from a group of 14 year old students from the local Zlin Sports Academy and confronted producers Julietta Sichel and Jan Fronek (8Heads) with the result.

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Meet the mentors: Burny Bos

If Rock Demers is the godfather of Canadian children’s films, in my view, Burny Bos is the equivalent on the other side of the Atlantic. I wish I could have met Burny when he was at the age of Tom Sawyer – he must have been a naughty boy full of daring ideas that could mesmerise little girls! Burny and I grew up on different planets and who could foresee that we would even meet, collaborate and befriend for 20 plus years!! Burny was born in a place with windmills, cheese and lots of fairy tales. Me in communist China, a pigtailed young pioneer who was told to change the world!

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Reinhold Schöffel about 50 years BJF

“The modern media generation needs to re-discover film culture”

In 2020 the German youth film association BJF celebrates its 50th anniversary, which should have been a reason for year round festivities. But when I speak to BJF manager Reinhold Schöffel he is not absorbed by the past, but thinking about the future, more specifically about a film which was to become the showpiece of the anniversary celebration: the Canadian documentary YOUTH UNSTOPPABLE.

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Tom Van Gestel & Geert Torfs about SIR MOUSE

“What is funny for a child at what age?”

Several episodes of the animation series SIR MOUSE were presented as a compilation film to the youngest audience by Belgian distributor JEF. Besides its beautiful design, the series stands out for the frivolous way in which gender patterns are broken.

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Xie Deju about STARRY ROAD

“Always a torn shirt to fix”

Sports is often seen as a stepping stone towards social progress. For the brothers Hai and He the occasion is very concrete. It is the prospect of new shoes that spurs them to join the school’s rope skipping team. Not warmly welcomed by the seniors, they soon regret their decision. But when a young teacher arrives with new methods, progress is made immediately.

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Małgorzata Imielska about ALL FOR MY MOTHER

“A total reset by an injection of fresh air”

Few words have such strong emotional connotations as “mother”. For Olka in ALL FOR MY MOTHER by Małgorzata Imielska, the word means everything. It represents her ultimate desire that she has pursued all her life, in the orphanage, in the reformatory, even in her dreams. Locked inside the 17 year old body that she hates, Olka has but one single goal: she wants her mother back.

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Tomas Polensky about THE PACK

What goes on in the locker room, stays in the locker room

If there ever was a film that needed to have its moment de gloire in the Zlin Film Festival, it is definitely THE PACK. The story is set in Zlin and even the very first image of the opening scene looks very “Zlin-ish”. Coming from a country with a particular children’s film tradition, making a film for a young teenage audience was an achievement in itself for debuting Czech director Tomas Polensky.


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