Finding Felix Project
- The Finding Felix Project
- Berlin, Germany
- The Finding Felix Project is a work for screen and publication from Katy Kavanaugh, a curator and filmmaker (www.catapultproductions.net). A fellowship from Stanford University and The Freie Universität- Berlin allowed her to return to the Berlin Film Festival's 35 year-old Generation (formerly Kinderfilmfest) to collect evidence of the directive impact that international films seen in childhood can have toward shaping the breadth of a person's view of the world and the decisions they make. This investigation focuses on one eleven year-old film festival-goer whom Kavanaugh met while serving on the Kinderfilmfest's international jury in 2001. Ten years later, Kavanaugh wants to know how a childhood full of international films influenced Felix's life so far. Meanwhile, with help from Media Consultant Tina Toepfel and Gintare Malinauskaite, PhD History at Humboldt Universität, Felix has been found and is now in post-production. To help meet its completion goal, please consider contributing via our fiscal sponsor, Cinefemme.net.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Concurrent with the last post highlighting Renate Zylla's view of strong European countries, I've learned that important film festivals, namely Amsterdam's Cinekid and The Olympia Festival in Greece are at dire risk of losing their national funding. Like Cinekid, The Olympia Festival is unique in its concept and extends the rich cultural experience of the international film program through other festival facets that provide a place for young people to meet, collaborate and see each other's audiovisual work through new technologies.
Olyfest's Camera Zizanio has collaborated to bring Screen 360’s annual Bay Area Progeny program as the sole American youth voice to Greece since 2003, initially as a measure against communication collapse resulting from the bitter news of the Iraq War.
Camera Zizanio annually hosts dozens of young film/videomakers and their short works for days of art and communication exchange.
With this worldwide economic crisis demanding budget slashing, we ask for the wisdom of public ministries to stay focused on the future, its nation’s developing citizens. Disabling these established links in the media industry that deliver unprecedented impact to its audiences, education systems and across borders, would be short sighted.
Both Cinekid and "The Olyfest" provide important models and invaluable exchange points for the developing field in the United States. Cinekid is needed to extend the unique Dutch perspective and Olyfest is needed to extend the unique Greek perspective.
Olyfest hosted me in 2003 to launch Bay Area Progeny and then again in 2006 as a member of the international jury. From the warm hospitality of the robust Greek families I met there and the Olympia Festival production family, I gathered invaluable insights to family dynamics and raising children. Set in Pyrgos, capitol of Ilia Prefecture to the west of the Peloponnes mountain range and next door to ancient Olympia, Olyfest offers a particularly rich model for bringing international film to where it can make the strongest impact--in places far away from major metropolitan areas. Director Dimitris Spyrou's model inspired Screen 360's work in Vale, Oregon in the high desert of rural Eastern Oregon.
As we’ve learned through our FINDING FELIX research, cinematic memories - especially those affixed with discussion in the film festival model - live long and continue to contribute to the lives built upon them. For those living in rural areas or far away from cities, those memories can potentially direct a life to venture out beyond or can simply enrich satisfied lives outside of the city.
Renate Zylla on Europe's leading countries in the treatment of films and media for young audiences: Denmark, Germany, Holland
Renate Zylla's name is the most known around the world in the realm of international film festivals for young audiences. After 25 years as a revered festival director, 18 spent steering the Berlin Film Festival's Kinderfilmfest, she continues to influence the field promoting valuable quality films as a European festival agent. In short, Renate Zylla is the person who knows the pulse of this branch of the film industry.
I asked her directly, "Which country is doing it best?" Denmark, Germany, and The Netherlands, she responded, each for support of production, education and promotion. Ms. Zylla points out Cinekid as an innovative and unique force in The Netherlands.
Concurrent with this post, I've learned that Cinekid, under the tireless visionary direction of Sannette Naeyé, is at risk of losing its national funding. With this worldwide economic crisis demanding budget slashing, we ask for the wisdom of public ministries to stay focused on the future, its nation’s developing citizens. Disabling such an established media industry link as Cinekid - an institution that delivers unprecedented impact to its audiences, education systems and across borders--would be short-sighted.
As we’ve learned through our FINDING FELIX research, cinematic memories - especially those affixed with discussion in the film festival model - live long and continue to contribute to the lives built upon them. We can see evidence of the this best in established children's film festivals, especially in the 25 year-old Cinekid.
Monday, May 30, 2011
In veteran festival director Renate Zylla's experienced opinion, The Netherlands, Scandinavian countries and Germany are the most productive European countries in the realm of media content for children. In the German state of Thuringen special funds are earmarked for children's media: education and development of makers. I attended the beginning of the Goldener Spatz festival in Gera and while I was in Amsterdam, the second half of the festival in Erfurt which brings together the makers for TV and Cinema. There in Erfurt, like at the BUFF film festival in Mälmo, Sweden, anotherl Kids Regio pitch session presents possibilty for new works to find funding.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The film WRONY Crows was directed and photographed by the same team of Dorota Kedzierzawska and cinematographer Arthur Reinhart, whose film JUTRO BEDZIE LEPIEJ Tomorrow Will Be Better won the International Jury's prize in this year's Generation section.
Friday, April 8, 2011
4th Graders at Berlin's JFK Schule respond to THE STRONGEST MAN IN HOLLAND, 2 weeks after seeing it at the Berlinale
In addition to the questions covered in this clip, the class talked about their handling of the three languages involved: the films original Dutch dialogue, English subtitles and simultaneous translation (Einsprache) in German. Some said that they switched back and forth, a few picked up a couple Dutch words, another said the she listened to the German because the subtitles were too fast, and one replied simply, "I'm staring at the screen so I might as well read the subtitles." In general, though it might be a bit disturbing for some, most children find that once engrossed in the film, the multiple language treatment seems "as if it was only one language."
The Strongest Man in Holland, www.nlfilm.tv
Special thanks to Syd Atlas!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
She begins her story by informing us that she was "flüchtlings kind" or refugee child at the time of her memory. It was around 1948 in post-war Germany and the feeling of joy, she explained, "just didn't happen often in this place" but it did on Sundays when she and her sister could go to the cinema. She said that in those days, despite the work and hardship, she had always imagined herself as a princess, like the girl in the Russian Märchenfilm (fairytale) of her memory.
Fellow filmmaker, Elise Fried originally met Bruni at a performance from the beloved Berlin choreographer Sasha Walz and company and thanks to Bruni's tickets, we could see the concert. In her interview, Bruni stated that she had studied with modern dance pioneer Mary Wigman in London before she married her prince and returned to Berlin to teach nursery school.
As a director and a father, Uwe is surprised there are few films for, say, five year-olds that simply delight and amaze without such scary parts that leave little ones frightened. That sounds like a challenge.
Despite that, between the two, Syd and Uwe, program a rich screen exposure for their boys including those American musicals, classics like "The Crimson Pirate" (1952, R. Siodmak, US) and even starting the James Bond series with Henry.
Friday, March 25, 2011
On 15 February, Kurzfilm I, the program of short films for the youngest filmgoers, ages 4 and up, brings in masses of school children to fill the 1000 - seat theater. Festival Director Maryanne Redpath says, "It's always on the first Tuesday and it's always an extraordinary scene." That it was, with school groups coming early and planting themselves on the lobby floor for snacktime, some nearly forty-five minutes before showtime. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to find out just how many first memories of international films were being made on this day. That is indeed extraordinary. Studies in cognitive development state that the recognition of the first event in conversation will help secure the memory. We hope to have helped in that regard today, despite the stumbles in the interviewer's elementary German.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
The two lead performers from Opening Night film from Norway, "Jørgen + Anne = Sant" on the redcarpet, rote Teppich.
Filmgoers waiting to enter the 1025-seat capacity theater. Posters of each Generation film, feature and short, line the balustrade.
Photos: Gintare Malinauskaite
Opening night of the Berlinale Generation section brought out the youngest journalists, the youngest performers and the youngest audience members along with adult counterparts to each. The Opening Night film was the Norwegian film "Jørgen + Anne = Sant" a funny, sensitively and authentically told story of fifth-grade love.
Photos: Gintare Malinauskaite
Friday, February 4, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Gregor Hochmuth, Film Memory: BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (EISENSTEIN, Russia, 1925) and NOSFERATU (F.W. Murnau, Germany, 1922) at the Arsenal Kino
Watch for more clips of Gregor speaking about his experience on the Kinderjury and Jungjournalisten team. Watch the Berlinale Generation section through the young journalists webiste, originally built by Gregor: www.jungejournalisten.berlinale.de
Monday, January 31, 2011
Sandra Andrews-Strasko, Film Memory: MY LIFE AS A DOG/ Brigitta Andrews, Film Memory: A SUMMER PLACE
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
On a cold, foggy day we took to the streets looking for Felix and hoping to collect a few stories. We were met by curious visitors at Potsdamer Platz and, to be sure, they went away thinking of their childhoods. We did find a Felix, and though he was not "our" Felix, we hope he contacts us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Christoph, student at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design in Potsdam (d. school Deutschland) could be Felix....but he's not...so we're still looking. Meanwhile, we continue to hear rich stories of early film memories....keep watching the posts and keep your eyes open for someone who looks like Christoph.
Only three weeks until the Berlinale, February 10-20. We'll be taking interviews at the Berlinale's 31 year-old children and youth section, Generation, at their new location at Der Haus der Kulturen der Welt, which brings the section's two parts, KPlus and 14Plus together again under one roof. Take a look at the press release for a list films in the upcoming program: http://www.berlinale.de/en/presse/pressemitteilungen/generation/kff-presse-detail_8212.html. Explore the rest of the Berlinale site www.berlinale.de for it's many offerings like the Talent Campus (Katy Kavanaugh, participant in 2003, 2004), The European Film Market and the World Cinema Fund.