29 September 2023 was the last day of the 5th CINEDU, the only Slovak film festival of live-action, documentary and animated features for children & youth. The event takes place over two weeks in Nove Mesto nad Vahom, 100 kilometres North from Bratislava. The film programme is divided into two main categories: CINEDU Kids and CINEDU Teens. This year for the first time in both categories the young juries had to decide about the Best Film.
The festival introduced an Audience Award in both categories, with the following result: the CINEDU Kids Best Film Award went to DANCING QUEEN (Aurora Gossé, Norway), currently completing its very successful festival tour since its Berlinale premiere. THE SLEEPING BEAST (Jaak Kilmi, Estonia), winning the CINEDU Teens Award, was especially appreciated by the jury for its strong depiction of decision-making among friends and the importance given to telling the truth.
Among the more than 2,400 visitors were kids who couldn’t afford a ticket but made use of the CINEDU Inclusivity Fund, which was launched this year, and kids in Bratislava who could watch two titles in the ‘Echoes of CINEDU’ programme. An even bigger impact was made through the workshop ‘One Day in my Life’, aimed at Ukrainian children living in the town of Nove Mesto and led by Svitlana Pohasyi, director of the Kyiv Kids Movie Fest. The result was a short video shot together with Slovak children and screened at the Closing Ceremony.
This year’s most striking novelty was the introduction of a professional platform, aimed at stimulating scriptwriting for young audiences, and picking up on the once so strong Czechoslovak children’s film tradition. Therefore international guests were offering masterclasses on various aspects of filmmaking: former Kinderfilmfest director Renate Zylla spoke about the strongest titles in her long career, director and producer Petr Oukropec presented a case study on his successful film THE BLUE TIGER and writer and cartoonist John Chambers shared his view on writing scripts for young audiences.
All this made the 5th CINEDU edition a step forward towards the revival of young audience cinema in Slovakia, both for students in the entire country, as for young audiences in the Nove Mesto region.