Started 30 years ago, Cinekid began as a cultural initiative for theatre and as a conference centre in Amsterdam called De Meervaart. It was in the same year that Dutch cinema for young audiences made its mark internationally with titles such as The Assault, Abel and Flodder. The necessity for a greater focus on media for children in particular had been set into motion with the Berlin film festival starting a subdivision for children’s films and subsequently the first film festivals for young audiences emerged.
At De Meervaart, Cinekid had its own little corner for film and TV with one screen, a recorder and some cushions on the floor – in true cosy Dutch style! Cinekid soon grew rapidly and is now regarded as a global player in the children’s multimedia industry covering film, TV, apps, games and education.
SIZE AND REACH
In Amsterdam, one of every four children gets in touch with Cinekid each year. Nationwide Cinekid communicates with approximately 20% of all primary schools in 2014 and gives workshops on a daily basis across the Netherlands. The world of multi-media is consumed on a large-scale by the children of today. It is estimated that Dutch children spend 4 hours a day using various media, and this number is much higher in the United States. Developments in technology, design and interactive media are important to address and incorporate into the lives of children in a way that will benefit them.
Cinekid festival on tour has expanded into a promotion programme for the distribution of youth film in almost 40 cities throughout the Netherlands. In these cities, Cinekid started local film festivals for children together with art cinemas.
Although Cinekid conducts activities throughout the year, its primary event is the Cinekid Festival held every October in Amsterdam. The festival now attracts over 60,000 visitors and is recognised as one of the most successful cultural festivals in the Netherlands for children.
Halfway into Cinekid’s existence, new media became an important element. What started as Kids&Bits in De Balie, a cultural, art and debating centre in Amsterdam, grew into its present form – a 1,200 m2 MediaLab full of interactive installations and workshops. Although film still holds the prime position for young audiences, forms of multi-media such as digital games, digital storytelling, installations and virtual reality appeal to children, which resulted in the MediaLab becoming an instant success.
CINEKID FOR PROFESSIONALS
The Cinekid Foundation has created a programme intended especially for international and European professionals from the children’s media industry. Improvement in the quality of media is essential to allow the industry to develop. Seminars, an international conference, three co-production markets and network meetings are organised every year during the Cinekid Festival in Amsterdam. European and international buyers of film and television, festival programmers and sales agents visit the ScreeningClub to view over 250 new children’s productions and determine what will be broadcast in their countries the following year. Cinekid particularly puts Dutch productions in the forefront, and their quality is now internationally recognised.
The nationwide media education programme actively involves children into youth media, which systematically influences their intellectual, emotional and social development. The programme aims to reinforce he awareness of quality in relation to media. The education programme is innovative, makes use of interactive tools and distinguishes itself with a practical approach.
To offer equal opportunities to all children Cinekid relocated and re-planned the entire festival. The school programme of the festivals runs the whole month of October and can be visited not only in many cinemas in Amsterdam but at all of our nearly 40 Cinekid on Tour-locations throughout the Netherlands. Schools make eager use of the opportunity and registrations for the 2017 festival are heading up to over 8,900 school children that will be visiting the festival.
Next to the programme for schools, we have an extensive programme called ‘Cinekid Inclusive’ which focuses on ethnic minorities, the lowest income bracket and children with difficult home situations. In cooperation with asylum centres and weekend schools we offer them workshops where they make their own films that premiere at the festival, in their presence and their families.