The Kinderfilmfest programme for the Berlinale 2003, according to its new director Thomas Hailer, promises to be both diversified and extraordinary. Beginning this year, the films are again to be selected by a committee whose members include Thomas Hailer, assistant director Maryanne Redpath, actress Beate Jensen and script consultant Beate Völcker. With over 200 full-length feature and short films, a powerful range of international works is up for selection for the 26th Kinderfilmfest (Feb. 7 –16, 2003). And as the year draws to an end, seven titles for the programme are certain.
Hailer says, "it is striking how films from all round the globe are focusing ever more intently on children’s real lives. The trend for fantastic stories is unbroken, but they are increasingly related to true-to-life situations.” In a time of great upheaval and general insecurity, some questions seem to be more urgent than others: Where do I belong? And what can I still believe in?
In the Canadian film SAINT MONICA by Terrance Odette, a girl finds surprising answers. Driven by her desire to become an angel, she discovers a totally unknown world only a few blocks away. She achieves her goal after much effort and in a way she would never have imagined possible.
With hilarious humor and ease, Japanese director Yuji Nakae depicts a chaotic but functioning family in HOTEL HIBISCUS. At the heart of the film is nine-year-old Mieko, who masters her rather difficult life boldly and fearlessly.
In overpowering images, DONG SUNG (The Little Monk) by South Korean director Joo Kyung-Jung portrays how a nine-year-old Buddhist monk seeks warmth and security. He judges the rigid routine of monastery life by deeply human standards. And so the boy comes into conflict with his surroundings and has to make an important decision all on his own.
Arto Koskinen’s KAHLEKUNINGAS (The Handcuff King), a Finnish film, takes the audience back into the Seventies. Two boys strike up a friendship that defies all barriers and which is tested many times over, right up until the end. With the power of their imaginations and enormous strength of will, they succeed in living out their dreams, overcoming all barriers and doubts.
ELINA - SOM JAG INTE FANNS (Elina) is Finnish director Klaus Härö’s first full-length feature. At the Kinderfilmfest 2000 his short film NATTFLYKT was awarded a Special Mention by the children’s jury. This Swedish-Finnish co-production captivates the audience with its terrific imagery and the actors’ outstanding performances.
MISS ENTEBBE examines the ever escalating conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Set against the Entebbe airplane hijacking in 1976, a group of children becomes involved in a dangerous adventure that quickly develops a life of its own and suddenly becomes deadly serious. With guts and breathtaking suspense, ignoring all taboos, the young Israeli director Omri Levy explores possibilities for ending the vicious spiral of violence.
The German entry DER ZEHNTE SOMMER (The Tenth Summer) will have its world premiere at the Kinderfilmfest. Tenderly and with a great love for detail, director Jörg Grünler tells the story of Kalli, who in the claustrophobic atmosphere of a small town in the Fifties burdens himself with more secrets than a child can possibly bear.
The complete Kinderfilmfest programme will be announced in January.
December 18, 2002