The 29th edition of the Cinekid Festival gets under way
by Jesús Silva
- Included in the programme is Cinekid for Professionals, a five-day industry event aimed at international experts within the field of children’s media
Taking place every autumn in Amsterdam, the Cinekid Festival is one of the biggest events in the world focused on children’s media. It was started 29 years ago as a project promoted by De Meervaart, a theatre and conference centre in Amsterdam. Since then, it has undergone rapid expansion, and now thousands of children are welcomed every year in order to discover over 500 productions in myriad different ways (ranging from watching movies and TV series to getting the opportunity to take part in real production pitches). The international festival is celebrating its 29th edition this year, which will run from 15-23 October, offering activities at venues across the entire country.
The Cinekid Foundation, the promoter of the festival, has created a parallel programme aimed at European professionals in the industry, called Cinekid for Professionals. It is an essential event in itself, comprising a five-day programme that will bring together hundreds of experts from all over the world, providing them with the perfect place to network and discuss the children’s media industry. It will start on Tuesday 20 October, with the opening of its Screening Club (a screening facility that will enable professionals to watch over 300 recent children’s productions selected by Cinekid for Professionals 2015, focusing mainly on European titles).
On Wednesday 21 October, the Professional Conference will be held, revolving around the topic “The Future Is Now!”. It will include numerous conferences involving different experts, researchers and companies. According to the organisation, “The children’s media industry is changing rapidly. We can’t predict the future, but we can analyse and act on all developments, and take a critical look at the current trends. And most importantly, we can get to know the audience.”
During the rest of the week, guests will be welcome to attend several master classes and seminars (such as one on media literacy and a class on children’s animation). Another attractive activities for professionals will be those revolving around the Co-Production Market, one-to-one meetings with other professionals, pitching sessions (both with producers and with the target audiences) and the Financing LAB, which deals with the benefits of international co-production. Some further numbers on this edition: 619 screenings and activities, a MediaLab with 81 installations and 28 master classes, 26 television premières, 11 documentaries, 9 drama series and 29 film premières from 26 different countries.
Bringing the festival to a close on Friday 23 October, the Cinekid for Professionals Awards ceremony will present several prizes. As at previous editions, these will be awarded to those projects that somehow contribute to the Foundation’s mottos: “Promote the quality of visual culture for young children” and “Strengthen the position of youth towards the media through their active and creative participation”.