Cinekid for Professionals 2019: Let’s broaden our horizon

Read Nienke Poelsma's blog about her take on this year's theme and the professionals programme.

How do we operate in the world as individuals while remaining integral cogs within society through our use of media? Hello World invites Cinekid for Professionals guests to reflect on this question, while imagining the wider effects that AV and media have on our world’s future development? Can we gain a greater sense of understanding of the world through internet use, and how can we reflect on this collectively as we embrace the vast array of media available to us? Hello World is about broadening horizons and appreciating media as an evolving idea. Express yourself is about the communication through images and words between global societies that may differ fundamentally on many levels, but which are very much part of the wider world we all share.

Welcome to the 2019 Cinekid for Professionals programme, which I hope will again offer you fresh insights, new tools, an expanded network and renewed inspiration for your work within children’s media. We are grateful that many of the key players within the children’s media industry will, during our full Industry Forum, enlighten us with their experience and know-how in adapting to this ever-changing industry.

We are delighted that leading international professionals see Cinekid as an essential platform for sound and profitable business. Some of the top production companies are presenting new projects in our Junior Co-production Market, the heart of our industry event. Especially in non-verbal times it’s very important these personal meetings are kept alive, nothing can replace that personal pitch and longstanding collaborations will always originate from there. Over the years more than 350 projects have been selected for the Junior Co-production Market (JCM), of which 50% have been realised, many very successfully.

Platforms like Cinekid play a vital role in stimulating independent productions for a children’s audience, which is crucial at a time when choice is really limited due to big brand monopoly. Independent children’s productions offer diversity in the form of new perspectives and new outlooks, but they don’t get anything like the attention and audience numbers they deserve.

Youth productions have enormous social value. Stories told through film and television are an in valuable part of our culture; they offer children an alternative view on the world around them and encourage reflection, self-development and discussion. It is vital therefore to offer them the most diverse, visually compelling and challenging stories and, just as importantly, teach them how to appreciate these.

Great programming expands the worldview minds of kids and fills their imagination, urging curiosity about other people’s stories and other people’s lives. And it paves the way for their appreciation and embrace of other art forms in the future. All that in turn creates a loyal, culture-loving audience, which is important to ensure that there is ongoing demand for superb independent content made with a seriously independent aesthetic. We mustn’t forget that the young, smart and clued-in viewers of today are the well-informed and sophisticated adult audiences of tomorrow.

I invite you to plunge headfirst into the 33rd Cinekid Festival. Attend as many screenings as you can and you must pay a visit to the biggest interactive playground in the world, the MediaLab - just lose yourself in it for a couple of hours!

Meet and quiz the fantastic professionals within the field and strive for collaborations that make a difference. Let’s all shout about children’s productions and their importance, and get inspired to create more and more great stuff for the audience that is the future. Get to know them and their world and their language. Don’t shy away from subjects, as difficult or as controversial as they may seem. Show kids the world in all its brilliance, beauty and variety, with honesty and integrity. And let’s all have a whole lot of fun in the process.

- Nienke Poelsma, Head of Cinekid for Professionals