We welcome the new head of the Cinekid for Professionals team; Nienke Poelsma, who replaces Fleur Winters. We congratulate Fleur on her new position as producer at Dutch production company Lemming Film. We wish her a lot of success in her new job - she will be much missed - but we have found a worthy replacement in Nienke who has a strong background in the festival and film world. Read our Q&As with Nienke and Fleur below.
Nienke, please introduce yourself, tell us something about your background
I joined Cinekid from International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) where I worked for CineMart, the long established co-production market of the IFFR. I co-ordinated both CineMart and the Rotterdam Lab (the workshop for emerging producers) and oversaw financing, the team and many other industry activities. Prior to IFFR I studied Film with minors in Film Studies and Film and TV Production. I’m a Member of the Board at Roffa Mon Amour, a silent rooftop cinema festival with a fine selection of outrageous and eccentric films, which takes place during the summer in Rotterdam. Over the past years I chaired several international project juries and worked as an Industry matchmaker for several international festivals.
What do you like about Cinekid?
I think Cinekid is a unique combination of festival and professional forum for quality children’s film and media. The organisation has great ambition and is very innovative at all levels. Cinekid contributes greatly to children’s appreciation of film and media at a very young age, which I think is wonderful. The professionals’ contribution is very much in evidence at the festival venue where they have the opportunity to meet their young audiences, which usually isn’t the case during other professional forums.
What are your expectations and goals as new head of CfP?
CfP has proven to be very effective, with a very successful co-production market, Screening Club, a conference and seminar programme and, since 2014, a screenwriters’ lab for children’s film.
The professional’s part has grown sufficiently over the last years and many international partner organizations have decided to come on board and support this programme, I see a lot of potential in increasing this international partner network.
With a strong conference programme I see another great opportunity to increase international involvement, and as the unique writers’ lab enters its second year I see a lot of potential for growth and to welcome more participants from different regions over the coming years.
I think once people have attended Cinekid they want to come back every year, so I definitely see the potential to further enrich the experience for key international players.
In short, I see a lot of potential in this strong and productive international event!
Fleur, can you tell us something about your new job?
Absolutely, I will be working as a producer at the Dutch production company Lemming Film, focussing on feature films as well as TV drama series. The focus is not only on youth films and series, although I’m already working on some great youth films that I look forward to presenting at Cinekid in the near future.
Lemming Film has produced numerous award winning feature films and TV series. Established in 1995 they have a proven track record in delivering quality film and television productions. They also have a daughter company Hamster Film in Germany. Recent children and family film productions include a.o.: A CHRISTMOOSE STORY (Official Selection Berlin Film Festival, Generation K-Plus 2014); TAKING CHANCES (Opening Film Cinekid 2011, Official Selection Berlin Film Festival, Generation K-plus); TONY 10 (TIFF Kids International Film Festival 2012, Taiwan International Film Festival 2012).
Apart from producing several feature film projects my main role is to further expand the TV series production. Lemming has already produced several successful national TV series. We achieved great success with our latest TV drama series HOLLAND’S HOPE which won the Golden Calf for best drama series last year and received acclaim both nationally and internationally. Worldwide rights are currently being handled by Endemic Shine International and several international adaptations are being discussed.
The daughter company Hamster Film is currently well on its way to financing a new international youth (10+) series HEIRS OF THE NIGHT with several leading broadcasters already on board (NDR Germany, NRK Norway, ZDF Enterprises, FFHSH - Filmfund Hamburg and Creative Europe). This was also pitched at Cinekid 2 years ago as a TV production.
I believe it to be a very interesting time to focus on TV series as the rapid growing market offers great challenges and potential for new international series, and I very much look forward to being at the forefront of this at Lemming!
What will you take away from your experience as head of CfP at Cinekid?
Many things! First of all a high appreciation of the Festival that is very dear to me. Cinekid is a beautiful festival and organization that is also a great advocate for quality children’s media. The Cinekid Foundation not only manages to produce a worldwide renowned festival, but also numerous workshops, tools and innovative products that evolve around quality children’s media. The internal motivation and drive to make sure we offer a platform to those projects, productions and professionals that are involved in quality children’s media is extremely strong and I admire this very much.
For me it was the first time to work within the field of children’s media and I learned a lot about this international industry. I was pleasantly surprised by the many great projects that I got to review for the co-production market and the Screening Club. Apart from that experience I also take away a large network of extremely skilled professionals working in this field from all over the world and I look forward seeing them again within my new role.
What advice would you pass on to Nienke Poelsma, who has taken over this task?
I don’t think she needs my advice. I’ve come to know Nienke as an extremely smart and skilled woman who will do a brilliant job. I’m sure that she, same as I did, will carefully listen to the industry needs, from producers to directors, journalists, distributors, sales agents, funding bodies, commissioning editors, etc. - all involved in this field. And with all this feedback create a program during the festival and beyond (like the Cinekid Script LAB) to support the industry and their productions to the fullest, to help quality children’s media production to reach its maximum potential and enable industry professionals to be inspired and meet potential new partners from all over the world.
AND last but definitely not least, to have FUN doing just that. Because in the end, it’s the people you work with, and the people you meet around the world within the children’s media industry, that make working as Head of Cinekid for Professionals a great job!