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Zlin 2001 by Justine Foster (English)

 

Films for Children and youth: FICC Jury at Zlín Film Festival 2001, Czech Republic

I've just returned from the 41st International Film Festival for Children and Youth in the Czech Republic. It is one of the longest running film festivals in Europe and is set in the proud town of Zlín, an industrial city which is apparently famous for it's Batá shoe production.

The festival was held from May 27th to June 2nd with a programme of over 250 films. I was part of the FICC jury with Ludmila Karasová and Peter Cargin (Chairman). We viewed sixteen international feature length movies, 8 for children, 8 for youth in 4 days a hefty but enjoyable schedule. The films varied tremendously in approach, technical standard and style. I found some of the films rather explicit for the young audience which they were aimed at whilst other films caried obvious moral messages. Most of the films however, were a joy to watch with informative cultural voices.

The Special Mention was awarded to Gul Bahar Singh for the movie "The Goal" for its unsentimental way in conveying the contemporary complex Indian society through the popular game of football.

The main FICC award, the Don Quijote Prize, was awarded to Nabil Ayouch for the movie "Ali Zoaua" for its realistic depiction of the bond between street children in Morrocco. The film was produced by three countries; France, Morrocco and Belgium, perhaps this is why the characters transcended nationality and successfully portrayed young gang behaviour. The film is suitable for adult audience and would make an interesting addition to a society programme.

There was a varied selection of animation screened. I was able to view only a few of these one of which, "Film With A Girl" by Daniel Šuljic showed a girls reaction to the things life throws at her. Its childlike sketches were fresh and expressive. The Golden Slipper Animation award was given to "Bully Dance" by Janet Perlman from Canada.

As a member of the festival jury we were very warmly welcomed, and the stay in the Czech Republic was made all the more enjoyable with the assistance of Kamile Zajícek or Mr Rabbit ! as he was nicknamed, our jury secretary and interpreter.

Justine Foster, member of the FICC Jury.

URL of the festival: www.ateliery.cz/festival