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Zlin Film Festival for Children and Youth awards

Festival Conclusion

The cusp of May and June saw the International Film Festival for Children and Youth was held in Zlín for the 45th time. This year’s jubilee anniversary event saw 418 films entered and the fall of the record for the number of participating countries, which were 43 in total. 31 delegations drawn from 16 countries in the world came to Zlín to show and represent their films. 34 supporting events in Zlín and its satellite towns in the Zlín Region were arranged by the organisers to accompany the 7 days of the Film Festival as well as 11 professional events targeted on both experts in their field and laymen.

The following distinguished guests were welcomed to Zlín: From abroad came - Michael York accompanied by his wife Pat York, Jürgen Heinrich, Ellen M. Harrington, Alexander Mitta, Bolhem Bouchiba, Lenart Ström, and Maryanne Redpath; while the Czech Republic was represented by Václav Vorlíček, Karel Smyczek, Juraj Herz, Jiří Krejčík, Zdeněk Zelenka, Věra Šimková-Plívová, Miroslav Ondříček, His Grace the Archibishop of Olomouc Jan Graubner, Jiřina Bohdalová, Barbora Seidlová, Vojta Kotek, Martha Issová, Tomáš Hanák or Jan Přeučil for instance.


Total audience figures for films shown in Zlín and other satellite towns: 31,039
Total audience figures for films shown in Zlín: 28,791
Average daily attendance figures for films shown in Zlín: 4,798
Total audience figures for films shown in satellite towns: 2,248

Visitor figures for a selection of supporting events:
The “At the Devil Reading-room” Event: 500
The Microsoft Internet School: 590
The “Joy of Creating” Exhibition: 300
Czech TV’s “Bedtime Story” Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary Event: 1,000
The Kryštof Music Concert: 2,500
The “Train Full of Smiles” Event: 400
The “We Love Animals” Event: 700
The Superstar 2004 Concert: 1,200
Total: 7,190

Number of accredited visitors: 1,598

Brief Characteristics of the Winning Films

The Colour of Milk
The Norwegian director Torun Lian, made this film based on the book she wrote of the same name. It is about a twelve-year old girl - Selma and her friends, who come to the decisive decision that they are never going to have an interest in boys. One day however, on a family-run farmstead, they meet a mysterious Swedish student, which changes everything ... This tale about the eternal floundering about of growing up has been given its special air by the director’s rendered use of a whole range of documentary approaches, which impart the hallmark of authenticity to this film. The Colour of Milk is a film about children – and for children, but it should also speak to the hearts of adults.

Fourteen Sucks
This film by a quartet of young Swedish directors - Filippa Freijd, Martin Jerna, Emil Larsson, and Henrik Norrthon, maps the impatience of a fourteen-year old girl, who yearns for a premature and untimely passage into the adult world. Her peers seem uninteresting to her, and so she seeks a way out through hanging out with the friends of her older brother. The film’s interesting sociological point-of-view is a benefit not only to the younger viewer, but also to their parents.

Over the past twenty years or so, Iran has gained its own distinctive position in world cinematography. Above all, films made for children have recorded a whole range of successes at prestigious film festivals. In addition, the director Gholam Reza Ramezani, ranks as one of the most experienced creative talents in this field, who knows how to engross one through his distinctive films – for the Central European viewer, touched with an exotic signature. In a very simple manner, but with a significant degree of tension, he recounts a tale of the relationships within a traditional Iranian family. This holds true for the film Hayat, in which a young girl grows mature after the sickening of her father and the cares of looking after her younger siblings.

Mean Creek
This film tells the tale of a group of problem children from a small town in Oregon – who, in the course of their adventurous expedition white-water rafting, unexpectedly undergo a real lesson and have to bear the responsibility for their actions. This American film about friendship, tolerance and forgiveness was written and shot by Jacob Aaron Estes in 2004. The young actors put on a very authentic performance – which allows viewers to identify with their experiences (good or bad).

Handkerchiefs for Sale
Paavo is forced to sell handkerchiefs in the street in order to make money for his embittered and worn-out father. At home, Paavo tries to escape from his cruel realty through drawing pictures about better times and future plans. One day, three women with cold-stuffed noses give Paavo coloured pastels instead of money... and his father goes mad from this.

The film Pelicanman tells the story of a ten-year old boy – Emil, and a pelican which can transform itself into an adult human. These two abandoned heroes become friends. The film was made based on the motif of a fairy-tale “Human Clothes” by the well-loved Finnish writer Leeny Krohn – who, with great delight, combines philosophical topics with loving humour and sweet, gentle fantasy. The director Liisa Helminen, here recounts the tale about the clash between nature and civilisation, and also about the disillusionments and rejoicing of life. Talking about her work she adds:”Directing children is highly demanding. The core thing is to choose the cast well, since they are always going to be amateurs. Child heroes and heroines can create fabulous situations. And then it is only up to me to manage to capture such situations.”

The director Svetozar Ristovski in this, his debut production takes us to Macedonia – where in the post-war communist era, we follow the fate of a small boy, Mark. His life decidedly isn’t a happy one. His father drinks, his mother has long-since lost contact with reality and his sister is egoistically single-mindedly concentrated on her own fortune. Mark’s literary attempts mean – for him, the only possible way in which to escape from the bleak material and spiritual poverty of this Macedonian reality.

Kuktau (NSky Mountain)
Little Bulat is an orphan. Thanks to his disability, he has to leave for America for an operation which could help him to regain his health. His family are waiting for him, the boy however give precedence to his own dreams above that of the “American Dream“. One in which his mother, who he has never seen, appears. He is certain that she exists and that she is waiting for him in legendary”Kuktau“. He dreams of the love of one’s nearest and dearest, of someone he has never known.
The tale also has a second hero: Karim. His life after an unfortunate misfortune and six years spent in prison has collapsed completely. Formerly, he lived happily with his wife and son. Now, all that has been left to him is loneliness and memories and Karim is learning to live again. The stories of Bulat and Karim intermingle in the end. This film is the feature-film debut of Ildar Yagafarov. This is the first-ever film to be made in the Tartar language.

Two Syllables Behind
This film story about a student, Zuzana is a mosaic of real and dream-like situations in which this young heroine gets entangled in her efforts to manage to accomplish as much as possible in life in as short a time as possible. She wants to study, to experience and taste the fruits of a great love, earn piles of money … However; she doesn’t manage to keep control of her life. She doesn’t do well at school, her relationships with her friends and lovers are shipwrecked, she loses contact with her family ... Zuzana becomes aware that she is slowly beginning to forget what it is like to live a normal life. This is a new Slovakian film with a sound-score and music by Jan P. Muchov and the atmospheric mood of dynamically changing Bratislava.

The General and the Kite
Once upon a time there was a General, who thought that he was a tough guy. Only, the only source of his power was the beauty of his uniform.

Music shop
This sad tale about two crickets who decide to open a music shop. Their first customers are a mother-fly and her two wonderful gifted children. That these two cannot manage to squeeze out a single sweet note from the instruments is the fault of the music shop’s owners according to their adoring mother-fly.

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