Impressions from the „Audiovisual cultural offer for children and youth: festivals and festival program „panel discussion

Within the Kiki Film Festival a panel discussion „Audiovisual cultural offer for children and youth: festivals and festival program“was held yesterday in Zabok. Guests and panelists were International Short Film Festival for Children and Youth from Berlin (which offers Kuki category for children and Teen Screen for youth), Animateka from Ljubljana, Tampere Film Festival from Finland and Croatian representatives, Laughter Film Festival (FIFES), Children Film Festival, Youth Film Festival and Four River Film Festival.

Panel started with the presentation of Kuki FF „Beginning and development of program for children and youth within Interfilm Berlin Short Film Festival“ which was followed by short presentations of each of the guests festivals. Goal of the panel was to exchange experiences in programming of festivals. During the Berlin presentation, a discussion started about expectations of adult selectors and the way children are perceived while watching the movies. At the Berlin Kuki, children that attend workshops throughout the year are presented with certain number of films which they then select to screen at Kuki. There was a discussion about using subtitles and synchronization at German festivals, because as we know, all German TV program is synchronized so children and youth don’t develop the habit of watching films with subtitles as is the case in our country.

The issue of sponsoring was brought up which raised the question not only about monetary side of sponsoring, but also the ethical side, or how far are festivals willing to go in order to attract sponsors. On the other side, some festivals have a regular practice of charging for the screenings which made some distributors expect the same practice at the Croatian children festivals, such as Kiki Film Festival, which is against the norms of the Festival.

Connected to the programming of the festivals, there were talks about length of screenings for different age groups and the ways of attracting the audiences. One of the good examples is from Slovenia where selectors from Animateka make a DVD each year, co-financed by the local children magazine publisher which was the given with the magazine and in that way distributed directly to the targeted audience – children and parents reading the children magazines. DVD had instructions for parents what to focus on while talking to children about watched movie. Unfortunately because of the lack of funds, DVDs are no longer made. Television is highly included in programming of Tampere Film Festival and their workers suggest movies which are then showed at the festival and which directly eases the work of selectors.

Great news for Germany is that in 2016 film art will be a subject in high schools, while in Finland and Croatia, main focus is put on music and art in general. Same as here, they are forming children and youth judging panels, different workshops, screenings for schools, discussions about movies after the screenings and other activities with the main goal of educating children and get them to think about movies.