How do you personally account for the high quantity of debut films featured in the programme?
I think it’s a coincidence. We look for films that are associated thematically or formally with the experiential worlds of children or adolescents and ¬– most of the time – are experienced from the perspective of their young protagonists. Films with a nostalgic or glorifying tenor are generally not of interest for the programme. It does happen occasionally that relatively young first-time filmmakers still possess a special connection to their own childhood or adolescence that is reflected in the films – a fresh perspective, which is the result of the development of an individual visual and formal language. Generation also features a great number of experienced filmmakers, who are able to find a very unforced sort of approach to their protagonists and manage to create a protective space while filming, which allows the protagonists to be themselves. I find it really remarkable this year how natural the young actors are in front of the camera, regardless of whether it is a debut film or fictional or documentary material.
In Piata loď (Little Harbour, D: Iveta Grófová, Kplus), a Slovak-Czech co-production, two neighbourhood kids, still very little themselves at the ages of eight and ten, take two abandoned infants into their care. They look after the twins and give them tons of affection, taking on a huge amount of responsibility and in the process escaping from their own dysfunctional family relationships. Especially regarding the film’s surreal ending, where an imagined ship arrives to rescue the two children from their overwhelming fates, I think it’s incredibly impressive how natural the interaction between the characters appears.