Karolina Smigiel about young audience documentaries in Poland

“I dream about a funny documentary musical”

During the Millennium Docs against Gravity festival in Warsaw, a group of young filmmakers pitched eight new documentary ideas for young audiences. Their enthusiasm was contagious; only the delegation of Polish broadcasters reacted coolly… Since documentaries are by definition long and boring and not intended for children, right? Karolina Smigiel of the Andrzej Wajda Centre for Film Culture has a lot of resources to combat this kind of ignorance.

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Kwak Nohyun, Chairman of the BIKY Festival

“We respect the uniqueness of each and every child”

For me, the BIKY festival in Busan, South-Korea, opens the gateway to Asia, to Korean cuisine (which looks even more exotic in Busan than elsewhere in the country), to Korean hospitality, urbanisation, severe weather conditions and a smoke-free city. But does the festival also open the gateway to Asian cinema for children?

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Ludmila Cvikova about the CINEDU Festival

“Children’s films were simply another world”

The Slovak CINEDU festival for children & youth might be a relatively new event on the international calendar, but festival director Ludmila Cvikova is not a rookie. For 15 years, Cvikova has been programmer for the Int’l Film Festival Rotterdam, she has served as advisor to some of Europe’s leading festivals like Karlovy Vary and Locarno, and has been Head of Programming for the Doha Film Institute. Seven years ago, she jumped off the merry-go-round of big festivals and engaged in a small-scale event in a different segment of the film industry: young audience cinema. 

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MAKE SOME NoJSe: Connecting Nordic children’s film festivals

NOJSE is a story of cooperation, a story of sharing and exchange. In NOJSE five Nordic festivals have found each other, and with extra funding from Creative Europe came new opportunities, and an extended structure for cooperation. We spoke with representatives of three out of the five participating festivals: Daniel Lundquist (BUFF, Sweden), Mika Anttolainen (Oulu Festival, Finland) and Mariella Harpelunde Jensen (Buster, Denmark), the latter currently coordinating most of the NOJSE activities. What is NOJSE, how will it influence the Nordic festival landscape and how will results be visible on a European scale?

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Thomas Hailer (Nordic Film Days): “Bordeaux wines, Sicilian almonds and good films”

There is life before and after the Berlinale! Thomas Hailer might be known as the former face of the Berlinale’s “Kinderfilmfest” (since 2002), that he renamed Generation and to which he added a youth competition. Later he became curator of the festival’s international competition. Since 2020, he is the artistic director of the Nordic Film Days in Lübeck, a festival that has – by nature – a strong connection with quality films for children.

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Involving the local community in the Olympia Festival

The Olympia Film Festival for Children & Young People in Pyrgos, Greece is at a pivotal point in its development. With the building of a European Centre for Audio-Visual Creation, the festival aspires to a crucial place in the international chain of festivals. But this project only has a raison d’être if it is anchored in the local community, says Deputy artistic director Pantelis Panteloglou.

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Kids Kino Lab Travels to Czech Republic

When the circus comes to town

The Kids Kino Lab might look like a circus, setting up its tents in different European festival cities. But rather than circus artists, the participants live like monks, dedicating their days to  writing, evaluating, and discussing. We brought together the participating Czech teams, asking them for a look behind the scenes. What makes this Lab so relevant? How do they like this monastic life? And what role can events like the Zlin Film Festival play in giving visibility to their work?

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The LUCAS Festival

“We’re obsessed by trying out new stuff”

The LUCAS International Festival for Young Film Lovers in Frankfurt is different from most festivals you might know. In the way they organise things differently (like mixing children and adults in one jury), set different goals (in compiling their programme) and invest in participation. “Towards participation our approach is radical. It is not implemented in specific parts of the festival, it is implemented throughout the entire festival structure, spreading out like a mushroom field,” says festival co-worker Wilke Bitter.

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