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International Film Festival For Children And Youth Zlin








ZLÍN FILM FESTIVAL - The International Film Festival for Children and Youth is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. 

55th International Film Festival for Children and Youth will take place from May 29 to June 4, 2015 in Zlín, Czech republic.



The programme of the festival will include:

a. International Competition of Feature Films for Children

b. International Competition of Feature Films for Youth

c. International Competition of Animated Films for Children

d. International Competition of European First Films

e. Zlín Dog - International Competition of Student Films

f. Informative Sections

- Days of German Cinema

- New Czech Films 

- Panorama

- Documentary Films

- Night Horizons

•   One Thousand and One Nights   

•   Young Stars

g. Rainbow Marble - (guided by own regulations)

h. Supporting programme, charity events, industry seminars


Growing Up Is A Bitch: Films At Zlin FF


 I KILLED MY MOTHER (Xavier Dolan, Canada)

For young people today, growing up is more complicated than ever before. Not only is more expected of them, but today's youth is barraged with media images and information that they must learn how to assimilate. Innocence does not  last very long, and for those making the uneasy transition from childhood to young adulthood, the road is a dramatic one.

This has been portrayed in many different colors in several of the films I have seen at this year's Zlin Film Festival, an event devoted to films produced for the children's and youth market. While films for the very young cater to a sense of innocence and fantasy, the films for the older audience (teenagers and young adults) are quite harsh and even brutal. For example, in the Belgian film REGATA (The Boat Race), the action centers on a moody 16 year old who is being pushed from all sides. He is being pushed by the couch of his rowing club at the same time that he is being slammed (literally) by his drunken father. The boy is keeping a terrible secret: his drunken and embittered father takes out his anger on the boy, who must miss major rowing events and is harshly criticized for being lazy and stupid. The young Belgian actor Joffrey Verbruggen brings an alarming intensity to his role as the young man who both protects and fights against his abusive father, switching roles to be both the man's nemesis and his defender.


The complications between children and parents are also at the heart of two other excellent films viewed last evening. In the Romanian drama IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE, the setting is a juvenile prison for violent offenders. One prisoner, a bear of a boy named Silviu, is only two weeks from release when he discovers that his wayward mother plans to take his younger brother, whom Silviu has all but raised, to Italy. Faced with nowhere to call home after his release, the young man cracks and takes a young woman hostage who has come to the prison to assist with his transition to civilian life. Debut director Florin Serban brings a highly authentic intensity to the drama, based on actual dramatic workshops he conducted in similar prisons to learn the behavior and the dialogue that is so right for the story. He has even cast non-professional former prisoners that give the atmosphere an authentic menace. But the stage really belongs to the lead George Pistereanu who brings an animal intensity and an unexpected innocence to his role as the young man who must strike out with violence in order to achieve intimacy.

In the darkly comic French Canadian film I KILLED MY MOTHER, the matricide is only imagined, but it is harrowing in its own right. Director Xavier Dolan, who also wrote the screenplay, plays a younger version of himself.....a teenager who is enraged with every action and word that comes out of the mouth of his hopelessly bourgeois mother. At first playing the tensions for comedy before becoming an intense battle of wills, the young man and his mother painfully joust with one another, hurling insults and grievances that are wounding and upsetting. Adding another dimension to the story is the young man's growing awareness of his gay identity, which only fuels his isolation and anger even more. Dolan gives a devastating performance as the young man who cannot wait to come of age and be free  of his mother, while veteran actress Anne Dorval plays the matriarch with a mix of annoying tics and clueless behavior. For me, the film's potent message is that one can only begin to love others when one is ready to love one's self.

Growing up, to borrow a term, is a bitch......

Sandy Mandelberger,  Festival Dailies Editor


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About International Film Festival For Children And Youth Zlin

Fojtova Katerina
(Filmfest s. r. o.)

ZLÍN FILM FESTIVAL 2014 - 54th International Film Festival for Children and Youth takes place from May 30 to June 4, 2014.


FILMFEST, s.r.o.
Filmova 174
761 79 Zlin, Czech Republic


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