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.