Young Programmers for Young Audiences! European Film Festival Network
European film festivals recognise the importance of cultivating loyal audiences, which is why we are increasingly developing programmes for young audiences. To reverse the established practice of programming for young audiences exclusively by adults, we have created a new network of European film festivals consisting of the Kino Otok – Isola Cinema International Film Festival, the Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival, the Vilnius International Short Film Festival, Piccolo Grande Cinema and the Motovun Film Festival. We have made it our mission to actively involve young programmers in the creation of all five established international film festivals and have named the network Young Programmers for Young Audiences! or Young4Film for short.
Our aim is to thus develop our audiences and promote European – especially non-national – films amongst the target groups of primary, secondary and university students. We entrust young programmers with the responsibility of becoming part of the festival teams, while their film programmes and promotional material will be shared with young audiences at all the festivals within the network. The selected films will be accompanied by original digital educational materials, which will be made available to other film curators, film educators and teachers, ensuring that their reach extends beyond the Young4Film network and wider partnership. In addition to the five European film festivals, three cultural organisations working in the field of film education are also involved in the network’s activities: A Bao A Qu (Barcelona, Spain), Meno Avilys (Vilnius, Lithuania) and Kijufi (Berlin, Germany).
Our collaborative approach to engaging young programmers is based on the original Moving Cinema methodology, which has been developed since 2014 by the team of the Catalan organisation A Bao A Qu in collaboration with several international partners, with the aim of developing active young film audiences. It is precisely this past collaboration that has given us a shared understanding of the importance of developing young audiences and we will further build on our efforts in this area by taking into account the issues of sustainability, environmental awareness, balanced gender representation, inclusion, diversity and representativity. We are confident that with our expertise and enthusiasm, we will continue to pave the way in the innovative development of young audiences and become a trusted authority in this field, inspiring many other film festivals through our work to involve young people in programming.
Young4Film Festival Network in 2023
You are cordially invited to visit the festivals in our festival network this year and see first-hand or online how we involve young programmers in the creation of our programmes and ensure high quality, diverse and fresh film selection for young audiences. And don’t forget to tap us on the shoulder, if you see us around – it will be our pleasure to chat with you and discuss our project. See you!
Vilnius International Short Film Festival, Vilnius, Lithuania, 18-24 January 2023
Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival, Belgrade, Serbia, 10-17 May 2023
Kino Otok – Isola Cinema International Film Festival, Izola, Slovenia, 7-11 June 2023
Cinehill Motovun Film Festival, Motovun, Croatia, 22-24 July 2023, and Petehovac, Gorski kotar, Croatia, 26-29 July 2023
Piccolo Grande Cinema, Milan, Italy, November 2023
A Professional Seminar Young Film Programmers for Young Audiences!
On 13 and 14 March, Kinodvor hosted a professional seminar on the inclusion of young people in film programming entitled Young Film Selectors for Young Audiences!, as part of the kick-off meeting of the project Young Programmers for Young Audiences! European Film Festival Network. More than 70 film educators, film festival and cinema programmers, youth and cultural workers, policymakers in the fields of culture and education and film education teachers in primary and secondary schools attended the seminar. Over the course of two days, they listened to contributions by national and international experts and had the opportunity to hear the valuable reflections of young programmers, who confidently shared their experience and perspective on the subject.
Young people were unanimous: “Give us responsibility. We will not let you down!” Film festivals, cinemas and other film screeners are increasingly focusing on developing diverse programmes for young audiences, in most cases with adult professionals responsible for designing the content. As a fresh alternative to this established practice, this year’s professional seminar was dedicated to exploring the active involvement of primary and secondary school students in the creation of film events for their peers and beyond.
“Young people will enrich every festival with their unique view of the world” – Rimantė Daugėlaitė representative of the Vilnius International Short Film Festival
The professional seminar programme involved experts from five international festivals of the Young4Film network and two cultural organisations working in the field of film education: A Bao A Qu (Barcelona, Spain) and Meno Aviliys (Vilnius, Lithuania). The experience of implementing participatory activities for young audiences was also presented by the staff of Kinodvor’s Kinotrip film programme, which is based on the principle of by the youth for the youth.
“While mentors are the ones who provide the initial motivation, it is our responsibility to approach the task with initiative, respect and responsibility. Give us responsibility. We will not let you down!” concluded the young programmers, highly recommending their experience of co-creating film programmes to all young people, even those with no film background.
The European project Young Programmers for Young Audiences! European Film Festival Network is coordinated by Kino Otok – Isola Cinema International Film Festival with the support of Creative Europe MEDIA and the Ministry of Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia.