Director Sannette Naeyé announces departure from Cinekid as of 2017

After a twenty-year stint, managing director Sannette Naeyé has decided to bid farewell to Cinekid. From 1 February 2017, she will retire from office, following the 30th anniversary edition of the Cinekid Festival that annually takes place in the fall break. Naeyé: ‘I won’t leave Cinekid behind all alone, but safely in the many hands that jointly turned Cinekid into the largest youth festival of its kind in the world.’ 

Sannette Naeyé (1952) has an impressive record of service as the general and artistic director, as well as a compiler of the festival’s film programme. She is responsible for the Cinekid we know today: a powerful institution that is a fixture in the (inter)national cultural and educational landscape. More than 80,000 children and their escorts are annually exposed to quality media at the Cinekid Festival and at the Cinekid on Location satellite festivals in around 35 cities across the Netherlands, during educational programmes for classes, via the Cinekid AppLab and through many other projects of the Cinekid Foundation. 

Naeyé is known for her social vision. In the 1990s, she quickly realised how crucial new media would become for a child’s development. She initiated a new media department and set up the MediaLab, which expanded into the largest digital playground of Europe, with 1,200 m2 and over fifty interactive installations, workshops and games.

Under Naeyé’s management, Cinekid grew into more than just a festival for kids. With her team, she launched Cinekid for Professionals: an industry event taking place during the Cinekid Festival to further the production and distribution of quality media for children. With a wide-ranging international programme including a co-production market, a screenplay lab for developing youth film scenarios and the educational distribution project Wrap!, Cinekid for Professionals has now become an influential platform with a unique position in Europe, while the Netherlands has gained numerous youth productions.

One of the accolades Naeyé received for her merits was the Lifetime Achievement Award from CIFEJ, the Global Youth Film Organisation, in 2011.

Naeyé has indicated she wants to focus on new projects after her exit. The board of Cinekid fully understands her decision to leave the festival after twenty years. ‘It’s hard to imagine Cinekid without Sannette yet. Cinekid would never have been on the map as it is now without Sannette’s constructive qualities. We are most grateful to her for her unbridled passion, dedication and commitment’, says board member Martien Kuitenbrouwer.

In the coming months, the board of Cinekid will look for a successor, intending to present a new general director early next year. 

On behalf of the board of Cinekid, Martien Kuitenbrouwer