The Busan Int’l Kids FF was launched in 2005 with the aim of educating children to recognise the true value of film, and to communicate with the world through cinema. It is all about the voice of youth! As Asia’s biggest, and Korea’s longest-running, young audience festival, BIKY screens over 170 films and welcomes approximately 600 guests.
BIKY stands out by its division of programmes. Unlike other festivals, divided into feature and short sections, BIKY organises theme-specific sections consisting of “Finding Myself”, “Staying Together” “Embrace the Difference” and “Beyond the Boundary”. This autonomous selection helps the audience to understand ‘Film’ in a more macro context.
BIKY proudly considers the “Ready Action!” competition for young filmmakers (aged under 18) as an important part of the festival. Programmer Emily Jang: “Ready Action is not so much about paving the path for future professional filmmakers, it is about young people speaking up as members of today’s society.”
Through its supporting programme BIKY is dedicated to improving conditions for film education. In “Film & Fun” kindergarten children as well as elementary students enjoy active screenings in which they are encouraged to jump, shout and talk, “Cinema-Sports” is a global one-day-filmmaking-game, in “I am a voice actor” animated characters come to life and the advanced “Film Camp” provides young people with lessons about the filmmaking process by AFiS (Asian Film School).
Busan is designated by UNESCO as a ‘Creative City of Film’. Emily Jang: “This title required us to take up a leading role in film education. Since 2018 BIKY has been distributing films, supported by our Education Office. Media experts and teachers wrote about these films and their publications are now being used as training guides for teachers. In addition, BIKY serves as a networking hub for collecting educational content and innovative ideas from local communities and public organisations, culminating in our annual BIKY Forum during the festival.”
At the moment of publication, the 15th BIKY festival is still planned for July 2020, until further notice. To celebrate the 15th anniversary, BIKY is preparing for some changes, like strengthening the ‘Asian Panorama’ section and launching both new professional awards and the first International Open Forum (read about it here in this newsletter).
“A child is not a passive target for movies to watch, but a true protagonist who can change the world.” BIKY believes that sharing the festival’s philosophy through ECFA can lead to the emergence of a new tendency. Through cooperation with allies, sharing the same vision, BIKY hopes to create an environment where children can think out-of-the-box, speaking boldly and expressing themselves.