Finding Felix Project

My photo
Berlin, Germany
The Finding Felix Project is a work for screen and publication from Katy Kavanaugh, a curator and filmmaker (katykavanaugh.weebly.com). 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.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Children's Filmfest at the Mill Valley Film Festival is 20 year old.


The Children's Filmfest at the Mill Valley Film Festival is 20 years-old this year.

With ground work done in 1993 with my first program, Films for People 4 and UP, the festival allowed me to return from my year at the Chicago Children's International Film Festival to establish the Children's Filmfest in 1995.


I wrote the following in an application for a role as a Learning Designer with a firm I've admired since learning so much about it in graduate school. This paragraph is a "Little darling" that I had to do away with from that text, but couldn't part with it because its history is so dear to me and my development as researcher, filmmaker, designer - contributor.



The Academy Award Winning film, “The Fantastic Voyage” (US1966) curated for the newly established Children’s Filmfest at the Mill Valley Filmfest did as I had designed it to do: it generated wonder about the human body. This was  evident  in vibrant conversation between the young audience, the director, Richard Fleischer, and his medical consultant. “Is it really that loud in the heart?” a seven year-old boy asked.  Fleischer responded that he had used actual recordings of the heartbeat and put himself inside the sound in a sound booth so he could understand what it would be like inside a heart. He imparted his creative combination of Science and Art. I didn’t follow up on this boy -I wouldn't doubt it if he went into Medicine-but I did keep contact with one very impressive child who I met while serving on an award jury in 2001. Felix had spent his childhood seeing films and participating in conversations with directors at the Berlin Film Festival’s children and youth section, more than ten years later I sought evidence of its impact.  That story is here, "Finding Felix."

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