Cinekid can stay up late this fall break. Under the header Night of the Lion, the largest media festival for children compiled a special programme for adults at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. During the evening of Monday 23 through Friday 27 October, five exceptional youth films are screened that film lovers should not miss.
The programme contains the following films:
Monday 23 October, 19:30
WALLAY (France, Burkina Faso, Qatar)
Director: Berni Goldblat
The wayward French teenager Ady goes his own way. His father is fed up with it and sends the boy off to his strict uncle Amadou in Burkina Faso. At first, Ady thinks he will spend an exotic holiday there, but to his alarm it turns out uncle Amadou has something else in store for him.
Swiss director Berni Goldblat, originally a documentary filmmaker, provided Wallay with a realistic style. He also worked with various amateur actors from Burkina Faso.
In 2017, Wallay was nominated for the Crystal Bear for Best Film in Generation Kplus, the youth competition at the Berlinale.
Tuesday 24 October, 19:30
HOBBYHORSE REVOLUTION (Finland, Sweden)
Director: Selma Vilhunen
Welcome to the amazing subculture of Finnish hobbyhorse enthusiasts. What used to be considered a toy for small children is now a serious hobby among thousands of Finnish teens. In this documentary, the viewer is introduced to the three devotees Aisku, Elsa and Alisa. The girls treat their handcrafted hobbyhorses as if they are real; they have a name and their own personalities and they are constantly cared for and ridden. Tension mounts when the big championship draws near.
In her documentary, Selma Vilhunen affectionately shows how this hobby helps the teenage girls to briefly forget their personal problems and gradually contributes to their self-assurance.
The film won the Grand Prix at the Tampere Film Festival.
Wednesday 25 October, 19:30
LITTLE WING (Finland, Denmark)
Director: Selma Vilhunen
Varpu’s father abandoned his family years ago and her overworked mother never has time for her. She even forgot her twelfth birthday. One day, Varpu has had enough; she gets into a stolen car and sets out on a search for her father. This is the beginning of an extraordinary adventure with a stormy, but also touching denouement.
Not only in Hobbyhorse Revolution, but also in coming-of-age story Little Wing, director Selma Vilhunen makes room for horse lovers. Little Wing won the Audience Award Best Narrative Feature at the RiverRun FF. Actress Linnea Skog (14) bagged two awards for her performances.
Thursday 26 October, 19:30
Director: Zhao Xiang
The Chinese country boy Stonehead, whose father works far away in the big city and is never home, is proclaimed best student of his class and receives a brand-new football. He takes it home, but his teacher summons him to bring the ball to school to share it with his schoolmates. Incensed, Stonehead decides to do something so nobody can play with the ball anymore, silently witnessing his best friend getting the blame for it.
Stonehead, the self-assured debut of director Zhao Xiang, soberly and realistically addresses the social consequences of the lack of employment in the Chinese country, which leaves many children to their own devices, without a father.
The film was nominated for the Crystal Bear for Best Film in the Berlinale’s Generation Kplus, the Golden Firebird Award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Asian New Talent Award at the Shanghai International Film Festival.
Friday 27 October, 19:30
LITTLE HARBOUR (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary)
Director: Iveta Grófová
Living in a flat in Bratislava with her young and unruly mother and her ailing grandmother, ten-year-old Jarka has to entertain and look after herself. When grandma dies and her mother leaves for Prague for a few days and leaves her alone, Jarka finds two babies at the train station who have been forgotten by their alcoholic mother. Teaming up with her equally lonely neighbourhood friend Kristián, she decides to care for the twins in a remote barn. In the process, the two children become the parents they themselves never had.
Directed by Iveta Grófová and based on a true story, this film is characterised by its dreamy, poetic style that is somewhat reminiscent of Andrea Arnold’s work. Grófová tells her story through the eyes of children, who do not yet live according to the insensitive, unimaginative logic of adults. In 2017, Little Harbour won a Crystal Bear for Best Film in Generation Kplus at the Berlinale.
All screenings of Night of the Lion are only provided with English subtitles and will take place at Ketelhuis and the Machinegebouw, which is part of the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. Each feature will be preceded by a short film.
The (online) ticket sales will commence on Thursday 5 October. For Night of the Lion programme, the Cineville pass is valid.
From Thursday 5 October, the complete programme of the Cinekid Festival will appear online and ticket sales will commence. The festival takes place from 21 through 27 October at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam.