Cinekid began in 1986 as a new initiative at the De Meervaart theatre in Amsterdam's Osdorp: the same year that Dutch film had generated much attention with films such as Abel, Flodder and The Assault. Ten years earlier, the Berlin International Film Festival had begun with a division for children's films, and the first youth film festivals began to emerge.
Aside from film screenings at De Meervaart, Cinekid also had a television corner set up with a single screen, a video recorder and a few cushions on the ground. This modest set-up was the seed of the current Cinekid Festival, now considered a global player, reaching around 65,000 children and professionals every year.
Even in the first years of Cinekid's existence, various local festivals were set up in collaboration with a number of Dutch film theatres, since Cinekid was something to be enjoyed by all Dutch children. Today, under the name of ‘Cinekid on Tour’, almost 40 film theatres participate in this, and these so-called satellite festivals are offering increasingly larger programmes.
Toward the end of the 1990s, new media became an important part of the festival. Everything in the field of computers and technological developments found a place with Kids&Bits at De Balie. Although film remained an attractive component for the young public, the multimedia aspect of this new programme – and the fact that a peek behind the scenes in the creative process was offered – appealed to all children. In the following years, the popular programme rapidly evolved to become the current MediaLab: 1200 square metres containing the largest digital playground in the world, filled with interactive art installations, workshops, apps and games.
Cinekid for Professionals
To encourage the production of youth media, Cinekid created an extensive programme for both domestic and international professionals in 2001, which soon acquired its own place in the festival. Cinekid for Professionals (CfP) initially organised seminars, an international conference, co-production markets and network meetings. Later the ScreeningClub followed; a ‘video library’ with hundreds of titles that draws television buyers and distributors from all over the world. Today CfP attracts more than 500 media professionals from 40 different countries and, aside from in-depth conferences and network opportunities, offers more than 3000 screenings. The conference is viewed as the leading platform for the international youth media industry.
Cinekid has more than 30 years of experience in getting children actively involved in the creation and consumption of high-quality media. Cinekid’s educational activities are aimed at every child and every adult, and every professional with an interest in children’s media.
Remco Pijpers (Kennisnet/Mijn Kind Online)
...Every student and teacher should go to the Cinekid MediaLab every year to experience the richness of the new content. That's what the classroom of the future looks like.