Insights > Producing For Children
01 Nov 2004

Producing For Children

The Swedish movie “IMMEDIATE BORDING” by the female film director Ella Lemhagen flew from Asia to Europe. After the great success encountered at the ASEM film festival in Hanoi, the film opened the 18th edition of the CINEKID Film festival in Amsterdam (17 -24 October 2004)

Lembagen's movie was one among 15 new children film production to compete for the different festival prizes each of which is accompanied by an award of €15.000 "IMMEDIATE BORDING" story goes about two kids (Julia and Martin). Both are tired of constantly travelling between their divorced parents. Meeting in an airport, they decide to trade places for a journey that will forever change their lives. “IMMEDIATE BOARDING” is a sweet new version of the often-used theme of twins in the children film production (see the trailer).

The CINEKID competition also included two Asian recent productions “MAGNIFICO” of Philipinno filmmaker Maryo J. De los Reyes whose film was also presented last month at the ASEM film festival in Hanoi (Read more). And "HOMERUN" a Singaporean production directed by Jack Neo (Read more).

Winning awarded for this 18th edition was the Swedish director Lena Koppel's “BOMBAY DREAMS” produced by S/S Fladen (read more). The film was awarded the €15,000 Audience Prize. The film follows Ebba, an adopted sixteen years old Indian girl living in Sweden. Ebba decides to go to India to find her biological parents. But she keeps her project secret and does not want her Swedish mother to know about it. The Swedish film was awarded together with another Spanish film "PLANTA 4A" (4th Floor) by Antonio Mercero (2003).The cash award from CINEKID comes also with a guaranteed distribution in the Netherlands.

Children films - Cross media projects at Cinekid (17/10/04 - 24/10/04)

Do you speak film?

How do little children understand film made for them by adults? Cinema uses its own language which is made of codes that have been defined throughout the more than hundred years old film history... The meanings of a close-up or a flash back for example are not obvious. Kids need to watch different film genre and to play with film tools to catch the relation between a film shot and a concept. The CINEKID event organized by Sannette Naeyé offered both films to watch and many occasion to learn filmmaking and film production with various tools. These festival sidebars aimed in developing a critical sensitivity about film and TV programmes over the country. The event was organised in Amsterdam and in some 30 other satellite festivals held in different cities for CINEKID on Location. More than 30.000 kids came to the festival. During the event, children have been actively involved in the media at almost every level.

Who are behind the children film production?

The competitive festival came together with professional meetings and seminaries. Seminaries were opened to TV producers, filmmakers, student from film schools and media researchers. Scripting for Children, New Digital Narratives, and the role of the younger public in media production have been at the centre of the discussion. The participants also came to present and elaborate new kids production content. An international co-production market for children's films was open to buyers and financers from 22 countries. Here, professionals viewed the latest offerings and discussed the possibility of co-producing eight different projects.

The seminary allowed watching some of the latest forms of film cooperation using cross media technologies.

Programmes shown included “In house” productions, where the concept, the tools and all the production stage are developed by the broadcaster. Such was the case for the amazing BAMZOOKi launched on BBC1 and the CBBC Channel last March. BAMZOOKI is a television game show, where contestants make and race 3D computer generated creatures.  The broadcaster enabled children to download a cutting-edge, tree dimension building software – the ‘Zook-kit', to create the “Zooks”. These creatures are then running, jumping, crawling “In a real life competition” show between two teams (Read more).

Broadcasters are now also using the internet to encourage kids creativity using the film language. The Dutch television programme "Het Klokhuis" combines documentaries with funny or critical drama for kids aged 8 to 12 year old. Their “Klokhuis” website (2001) already helped many to develop their own documentaries. The current "Sketch Studio" will allow them to create their own drama online. (More about the Sketch Studio in Dutch).

Between TV producer, filmmakers and software developers the ties are narrower than ever. Different kinds of production are coming together with new tools many of them being available on the net.


At the Asian and European cooperation level in the field of Children film production, the PRIX JEUNESSE, AIBD and ASEF have supported an International Workshop on Children's TV Programmes. Here's the list of participants.

by Gyora Gal Glupczynski