Zlín Film Festival 51st International Film festival for Children and Youth Zlin, Czech Republic, 2011 report by Hauke Lange-Fuchs
Klára Holíková (CZ)
Ross Stevenson (Neuseeland)
Don Quijote Award:
Keeper’n til Liverpool
After the 5oth Jubilee Festival in 2o1o, with its overwhelming big programme, this year’s festival has been a little bit more „normal“, although it also comprised more than two hundred-and-forty films and attracting more than one hundred thousand visitors.
The FICC Jury was very friendly received by the Festival’s Director Petr Koliha and well assisted by the Jury’s Secretary Marie Siviková. The hotel in which the jury members were accomodated was excellent and near the cinemas. When necessary there were always transpoprt facilities supplied by Skoda’s friendly car service.
The jury’s programme consisted of seventeen films from twelve countries (one of them out of competition). The accompanying social network of receptions took place after the film screenings nearly every night and were hosted by the festival itself or one of the many sponsors.
The overwhelming influence of these sponsors – mainly Skoda cars, Bata shoes and Synot tip - was to be seen all over the city and also in the cinemas. All of the programmes started with advertising clips of these sponsors.
The closing award ceremony was not hosted by the festival but by the Czech Television (life transmission on Saturday evening). This followed their own rules by strengthening the show aspects and presenting the films in a way apparently suiting to the native TV audience, and supporting the sponsors: the awards were not given by the responsible juries, but by some of the sponsor’s CEOs or political representatives of the Czech Republic, the Zlin region and the city of Zlin. The awards were given out to the price winners or - mostly - to their arbitrary reprentatives. Only the Czech titles of the films were mentioned with no justification of the film’s value or merits.
Only the awards of the FICC jury and the Ecumenical jury were allowed to be given by the juries’ presidents, after the closing of the TV show, but without any justification.
The result: the festival risks becoming a place governed by a policy of product placement – disregarding the cultural aspect of film.
Never the less the children audience was pleased by seeing the films and applauded heavily. Maybe this was due to the fact that the festival’s director declared in his opening speach that he didn’t like to present „intellectual“ films. This anti-intellectual attitude of the festival’s policy maybe the explanation for the noticeable fact that only very few international film makers visited the festival.