Discussion: Films for Kids in Southeast Europe

59th THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL [1-11/11/2018] || 1-11/11/2018


Discussion: Films for Kids in Southeast Europe

On Saturday, November 10, 2018, at Warehouse C’, a discussion on films films for kids in Southeast Europe took place as part of the 59th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, in the presence of TIFF’s General Director Elise Jalladeau.

Mrs Jaladdeau thanked all participants and said she is hoping that the discussion will act as a starting point for a more inclusive and comprehensive approach to the subject.

Next to speak was Eleni Chandrinou, director of the study conducted by Thessaloniki International Film Festival over the last few months around the film for kids’ production in Southeast Europe, which gave the opportunity for this discussion. Mrs Chandrinou highlighted the importance of TIFF’s initiative, noting that it is time to give emphasis to young audiences, since they will become the film viewers of the future. “The facts we are about to show you are about ages 6-12. It is very important to classify each film based on the appropriate age group”, she said. Before presenting a series of very interesting statistics, she cited the countries involved in the study: Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Kossovo, Montenegro, FYROM, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.


Which are the main elements of a film for kids?


Which are the statistics as to the production of films for kids in the forementioned countries?


Which are the funding sources of kidsfilms?


Why dont young film directors and producers make a shift towards films for kids?


Which are the policies on the matter on national and European-wide level?


Consequently, the Olympia International Film Festival’s deputy artistic director Pantelis Panteloglou talked about its activities and initiatives. “It is our goal to create a young audience for the future and offer them quality films. The 21th Olympia International Film Festival will take place on December with two new events: the pitching forum, aiming to bring together all film professionals, with films for kids as a common denominator, and the creation of a grant amounting to 2,000 euros for a short film no more than 20 minutes long. Our goal is to show that films for kids must be dealt with as a distinctive creative genre with a potentially large and very collaborative audience. As part of our festival, apart of the pitching forum, presentations and lectures will take place in a bid to achieve the goal of creating a global network promoting the films for kids”, he mentioned.


Consequently, Mrs Sannette Naeyé, director of Cinekids Film Festival in the Netherlands for the last 20 years, stated that all film professionals must disengage the outdated view that films for kids are simple. Then she cited a number of very interesting data as to a film for kids’ building structure. "We have to consider the fact that kids spend an inconceivable amount of time, much more than they spend at school, on online platforms. The reasons for this are related to their need for fun, relief from stress and constant contact with what is happening. Producers must turn to co-productions, funding sources, reciprocal collaborations and specialized sections of film production”, she noted. 


Which is a film for kidssecret of success?


What are the specific traits of a script for a kidsfilm?


How are kids being categorized?


In the last part of this very interesting discussion, the Serbian producer Milan Stojanović, founder of the NGO “FilmKultura” aiming at studying ages 5-14, intervened saying: “The motive behind the creation of this NGO was the failure of the film Barbarians a few years ago, which was addressing a target audience of 17-19 year olds, but largely failed to attract their interest. We were so deeply troubled by this failure that we decided to get involved in a series of actions so as to convince younger audiences to turn to something different from blockbusters, animation and horror movies”, he said. In addition, Mr Stojanović talked about his latest attempt, the film How I Learned to Fly, based on the book of the same name by the author of children’s books Jasminka Petrović, which poses big challenges as to marketing and promotion, since it is a Serbian film by a Serbian film director based on a Serbian book, that will be shot exclusively in Croatia and will be Croatian-speaking. “In Serbia there is no official funding for films for kids in any of the two bodies for film funding, the Serbian film centre and the municipality of Belgrade. The only chance for a kids’ film to succeed is by making a career in international festivals, or having a special feature which appeals to the local audience. We all have to fight for adding a third parameter to those two, quality content”, he concluded.

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