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Cinekid: Welcome to the jungle

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Cinekid: Welcome to the Jungle

This year's Cinekid is inviting its professional delegates to venture on a safari deep into the tangled world of media.

In order to make sense of what is going on out in the wild and to forge a clear path for industry personnel, 45 leading experts from the world of children's media will be in Amsterdam during Cinekid, sharing their experience and know-how with 500 international guests during the festival's Industry Forum.

New research on the circulation and presentation of children's films in the Netherlands has been commissioned by the Film Fund for the event (to be presented by Dutch academic Perer Bosma), and artists, producers and trend forecasters will discuss both their latest projects and how they see children's media evolving. "15 tables, 15 themes, 5 x 40-minute rounds," is what professionals are promised from an event which looks to probe deeply into multiple areas regarding production and distribution.

It's a measure of Cinekid's increasing influence that other festivals look so closely at its yearly offer. A program me of Cinekid projects will travel to the New York Children's Film Festival early 2019. First, though, representatives from New York will be at Cinekid (running 20-26 October) with the support of Eye International's Foreign Visitors programme, to research just how Cinekid combines its industry and festival events. They'll be joined here by delegates from China, Canada, Brazil and many other countries.

As Cinekid MD Floor van Spaen donck notes, the NY event is especially interested in the crossover between Dutch children's film/ animation and children's books, and their subsequent adaption for screen. "They are also interested in ‘best of the fest' formats, and screening animation and Dutch films for kids," Van Spaendonck says of the New York Festival.

This isn't Cinekid's only inter natio nal venture. Together with the Dutch embassies in Beijing, Istanbul and Washington it is arranging a range of film events, workshops and screenings "to boost children's film culture." These include workshops and screenings. All this underlines the Film Fund's strong commitment to supporting the development, production and distribution of children's and youth film and how it is delighted with increasing internatio nal interest in Dutch children's films, especially in the field of co-production.

Together with leading doc fest IDFA and with the support of Dutch broadcaster NPO, Cinekid continues to run the Kids & Docs workshop which gives filmmakers the chance to develop documentaries aimed at kids. Six projects are nurtured through the scheme every year - and then launched at IDFA or Cinekid and on Dutch broadcaster Zapp. "These are documentaries about children, for children," Van Spaendonck states.

Kids & Docs is a successful programme with spin-offs in Belgium and within the new DOK Junior scheme that supports documentaries targeted specifically at children in the 9-12 year old bracket. Backed by the Film Fund, this programme aims to develop two feature docs.

Cinekid has also long had its own Junior Co-production Market, at which new film and TV projects aimed at young audiences are presented to financiers, broadcasters and producers. 20 projects from across Europe have been chosen for this event (running Oct 25-26). This year, the festival programme is bringing its film and TV sections more closely together. This reflects the changing nature of the marketplace and the fact that so much distinctive work is now done for the small screen. There is a new award in 2018 for Best Dutch Series.

One subject which Dutch exhibitors have raised (to be discussed at the Forum) is the threat to diversity within the distribution of international children's films in the Netherlands. This, van Spaen donck notes, is a topic much discussed at Cinekid. That said, with its yearround initiatives and screening events, the fest is confident of ensuring that a dynamic range of movies from as many countries as possible will still be available to screen to young Dutch audiences.

SEE NL Magazine #32 September 2018 / Venice, TIFF & NFF Issue
SEE NL is published four times per year by EYE International and The Netherlands Film Fund and is distributed to international film professionals.

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