This year the Juniorfest Industry Days focused on the (non)existing distribution of children’s films in a European context. Representatives of major European festivals (BUFF Malmö, Cinekid, Ale Kino!), filmmakers and sales agents representing major distribution companies (Sola Media) attended the event.
Dr. Noel Brown presented “Children´s film as a marketing concept”. The indication of children´s film could be problematic from different points of view. Most children´s films are defined as such, both clearly and obliquely, through promotional materials like posters and trailers, which could be problematic in terms of commercial strategies. Especially since the ‘family film entertainment’ label has been developed within the American film industry. On the other hand, children’s film festivals have a different mission. Most of the films presented at such events never get a theatrical release, resulting in the reason ratings are the biggest problem of almost every children´s film festival.
The discussion panel was shining different lights on the main topic of the conference: is there any chance to build out the united principle of children’s film distribution? Representatives from different segments of the film industry took part in the panel to share experiences. Language and piracy were defined as two of the main obstacles for the children’s film industry. Different options for English dubbing were discussed, as this solution is also depending on certain traditions that have been established in different countries and regions.
Can European children’s films be profitable outside their own domestic territory? Producers like Peter Badač (BFilm) mainly focus on the local (Czech and Slovak) market, which – according to him – is the only profitable one. However, with MAZEL AND THE SECRET OF THE FOREST he currently has a new Czech children’s film with international ambitions in pre-production, directed by Petr Oukropec.
On the panel were:
– Maren Maier (Germany) from Sola Media, a leading company in the sale of children´s and family films.
– Martin Palán (Czech Republic), director of major domestic film distribution company Bontonfilm.
– Peter Badač (Slovakia), founder of BFilm, one of the largest Slovak production companies.
– Erik Tijman (the Netherlands), head of the Film & TV Section at the Cinekid festival and Acquisitions Coordinator for the Wrap! distribution project.
– Pavel Bednařík (Czech Republic), President of the Association for Film/Audio-visual Education.
– Mateusz Możdżeń (Poland), Head of Distribution in the Education Department of the New Horizons Association.
Programme Director IFF Juniorfest