Tel Aviv International Children’s Film Festival 2012
Written by: Gili Karev
For the past eight years the Tel Aviv Cinematheque has been the host of the International Children’s Film Festival, an event dedicated to promoting quality cinema for both children and adults alike. The movies screened are produced by and for Israeli and international children, and deal with prominent issues of childhood that are often overlooked by adult filmmakers such as fear, love, dreams, and disappointments. The Festival Director is Michal Matus, Cinematheque chairwoman is Gila Almagor and Cinemateque Manager Alon Garbuz.
The festival, July 22nd to the 27th, will include thirty films from around the world, designed for children between the ages of 3 – 13. The repertoire includes many premier screenings as well as multiple award-winning films. Each film discusses a different aspect of childhood, young adulthood and the dynamic between children and the world around them. As part of the competition for Best Film, a young jury trained by one of the festival’s professional and highly revered workshops will be determining the first prize. The workshop is led by Mrs. Tova Ben Ari, national administrator of the Ministry of Education’s students’ rights. A professional judges committee will choose the best foreign film.
The festival will open with the Belgian film Nicostratos, le Pelican (2011), directed by Olivier Horlait and starring Serbian filmmaker, actor and musician Emir Kusturica. Shot on an isolated Greek island in a small village, the story discusses 14-year old Yannis’s relationship with his father (Kusturica) shortly after the death of his mother. One day, Yannis rescues a young pelican and decides to raise the bird in secret. Soon, however, Nicostratos the Pelican becomes a local celebrity and two develop a heartwarming bond.
Each year the festival focuses on a specific international children’s film industry. This year’s focus will be on Holland, one of the word’s leading producers of children’s films. Within this framework, the festival will screen four Dutch films: Alfi the Werewolf (2011), The Boy and the Chick (2012), Tony and the Queen (2012), and Winky’s Horse (2005).
Also, for the first time in Tel Aviv the festival will be hosting Berlin’s prestigious KUKI project, a collection of short films from India, Somalia, Ethiopia and Uganda that displays the daily life of children in those areas.
One of the most important aspects of the Children’s Film Festival is the children’s own, personal contribution to the art of filmmaking. The Festival will be screening various documentaries and films created by children throughout the country. As the writers and protagonists of their work, the films deal with the everyday joys and adversities of life from a younger perspective. Agenda – Israel’s Center of Strategic Communications – has also helped create a project that exposes young Jewish and Arab teenagers to each other’s worlds, opinions and daily life as documented using the new media method of constant, on-demand video access.
Eight films will be participating in the international competition:
Nicostratos, le Pelican (2011), Belgium.
Kauwboy (2012), Holland.
Arcadia (2012), USA.
Among Wolves (2010), Spain.
The Button War (2011), France.
Ricky Rapper & Cool Wendy (2011), Finland
Ice Dragon (2011), Sweden
Gattu (2011), India.
Israeli films screened at the Festival will include Under the Domim Tree – Gila Almagor, Noodle – Ayelet Menahemi, Genesis Land – Moshe Alpert, Eli and Ben – Uri Rabid, They Catch Children Too – Hedva Galili-Smolinsky, and Little Heroes – Itai Lev.
For tickets and information about screening times, call the 24-hour Cinametheque call center at 03-515-7929 or visit www.kidsfestival.cinema.co.il