Under the motto ‘Lost Jungle’, the Cinema in Sneakers festival asks children a crucial question: What can we achieve in this rapidly changing world? Can children take charge, and if yes, then how?
Cinema in Sneakers started off in 2013 with the outrageous enthusiasm that characterises the uncontrollable film buffs. The idea to create a film festival for kids was influenced by Janusz Korczak’s credo “There are no children as such – only people with different experiences, different drives and different reactions.” And these people have the right to watch a wide array of films, meeting different cultures and addressing varied problems, made in diverse styles, always with respect towards children.
Festival directors Agnieszka Drzewiecka-Protić & Anna Stadnik: “Everything started with ‘The Need’. Having worked in the film industry for over a decade, we noticed this big gap existing in the Polish market regarding cinematic productions for young audiences. Our generation luckily was offered films that helped us develop as human beings, with characters to identify with, mirroring our reality. We felt that the youth of today was being deprived of this privilege – and that gap keeps on growing.”
The festival believes in giving young people room to roam and participate, through children & youth juries – awarding “Sneakers” as a main prize – and recruiting teenagers to the Youth Competition Programming Group. Other festival sections go by names like Childhood Enchantments (films that amazed the festival’s special guests in their childhood days), Focus on Docs, Icons of Pop Culture (celebrating famous film characters and analysing why they became iconic), Digital Poland for Kids and… Cinema in Sneakers – Naturally!
Drzewiecka-Protić & Stadnik: “One of the festival’s goals is to be a forum, where experiences in regards to young people’s problems in the contemporary world can be exchanged. This highlights the importance of having access to cinematic titles targeting a given age group, as an invaluable part of a balanced and virtuous young person’s development.”
Cinema for young viewers is promoted during the Cinema in Sneakers Int’l Film Festival for Kids & Youth in Warsaw, Poland (23 May–5 June 2022).