Luxembourg City Film Festival – Young Audiences

5. bis 15. März

Zu weit weg © Weydemann Bros. GmbH, Monika Plura

From 5th to 15th March, Luxembourg City Film Festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary edition. This film event, a landmark in Luxembourg’s cultural space that can now be experienced ALL DAY LONG, unveils the entirety of its YOUNG AUDIENCES programme.

In the span of a decade, Luxembourg City Film Festival has strived to make a world swamped by images (cinema, television, internet, social media, etc.) and by new forms of narratives more accessible to children, as they are often not equipped to interpret them. This aim to contribute to media literacy will carry on in 2020 through exclusive cinematographic works supported by meetings and debates with industry professionals, and will be completed by fun and collaborative workshops.

A unique festival experience for Young Audiences

For 3 years and up:
A pioneer when it comes to the MY FIRST MOVIES screenings, the Festival offers several animated short film programmes for small ones starting at the age of three: EASYGOING TEDDY and UN PETIT AIR DE FAMILLE, combining travels and family adventures. 4-year-olds will get to watch films demystifying the wolf’s legendary and supposedly scary figure in a rather environmental approach in the programme WONDERFUL WACKY WOLVES (LOUPS TENDRES ET LOUFOQUES). The programme will be presented by the Cinema Owl, a character imagined by the director Arnaud Demuynck. In ZIBILLA OU LA VIE ZÉBRÉE, a diverse group of animals experience solidarity and fraternity.

For 5 years and up:
The animal experience carries on in Anne-Lise Koehler’s and Éric Serre’s animated film BONJOUR LE MONDE ! made entirely out of paper sculptures whose protagonists will introduce children to the diversity of the animal kingdom. Returning with a programme dedicated to film tricks, special effects and magic, the iconic CRAZY CINÉMATOGRAPHE FOR KIDS offers a dive into the world of silent cinema. Environmental issues are at the forefront of the German animated short LATTE AND THE MAGICAL WATERSTONE (LATTE IGEL UND DER MAGISCHE WASSERSTEIN) by Regina Welker and Nina Wels as well. In it, Latte, a small hedgehog, wants to save the forest and its inhabitants from the drought. The same goes for PIG: THE DAM KEEPER POEMS, an ecological and poetic tale directed by Erick Oh, which received a Cristal at Annecy Animation Film Festival and relates the story of a young piglet whose mission is to protect his village from a threatening black cloud. Children also will get to discover the universe’s many mysteries in THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF ROSA & DARA, a collection of three short films presented by the two titular young girls. Czech director Martin Duda will be attending the screening of his short ROSA & DARA AND THEIR GREAT HOLIDAY ADVENTURE.

For 7 years and up:
Belgian director Frederike Migom (attending the screening) tackles the question of undocumented migrants in a humorous way adapted to children in BINTI. Mischa Kamp (attending the screening) movingly portrays Alzheimer’s from a young girl’s perspective in ROMY’S SALON while Edmunds Jansons’s feature film JACOB, MIMMI AND THE TALKING DOGS handles the phenomenon of gentrification. Marcus H. Rosenmüller’s fantasy film DOUBLE TROUBLE AND THE MAGICAL MIRROR (UNHEIMLICH PERFEKTE FREUNDE) uses humour and magic to address children’s pressure to live up to their parents’ expectations. Finally, the live film concert for children CURIEUSE NATURE / DROLEG NATUR (presented in collaboration with ROTONDES) will be organised around three short films – including Émilie (2013) from Luxembourgish director Olivier Pesch – where nature proves to be more than astounding thanks to Florence Kraus’s and Grégoire Terrier’s musical interpretations.

For 12 years and up:
Cowboy and Indian are back in THE COUNTY FAIR AND OTHER SHORTS (LA FOIRE AGRICOLE ET AUTRES COURTS). For all animation aficionados, director Olivier Pesch compiled an exclusive and unique selection of animated shorts which were all awarded at big festivals in this carte blanche of his. Animation will be centre stage this year, with a small retrospective dedicated to famous French director Jean-François Laguionie (in collaboration with Institut français du Luxembourg). Coproduced by Mélusine Productions in Luxembourg, Laguionie’s latest film LE VOYAGE DU PRINCE is a philosophical tale in the same spirit as A Monkey’s Tale which has been released 20 years ago. The Festival will also screen some of the director’s previous work: BLACK MÓR’S ISLAND (L’ÎLE DE BLACK MÓR) and LES MONDES IMAGINAIRES DE JEAN-FRANCOIS LAGUIONIE. Two masterclasses will complete this rich programme: One lead by Jean-François Laguionie himself and the other by his co-writer, Anik Le Ray.

Immigration is at the heart of the next three films: The first being Sarah Winkenstette’s TOO FAR AWAY (ZU WEIT WEG) which tells the story of a young German boy whose family is forced to move houses and who finds himself having many things in common with his football teammate of Syrian origin. Following suit is DIE MISSION DER LIFELINE, a documentary by Markus Weinberg and Luise Baumgarten (both attending the screening), following the journey of the crew of the “Lifeline” who made it their mission to save migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. Finally, Sebastian Schipper’s road movie ROADS illustrates the budding friendship of a British teenager and a young Congolese as they try to get from Morocco to Calais.

The next three films are portrayals of young women, each from a different cultural background, as they experience various levels of hardships on their way to emancipation. First, the Canadian comedy directed by Sophie Lorain, SLUT IN A GOOD WAY (CHARLOTTE A DU FUN), frankly and humorously tackles the subject of “slut shaming” which also recently made headlines in Luxembourg. The next two protagonists unfortunately grapple with a more tragic destiny. A REGULAR WOMAN (NUR EINE FRAU) by Sherry Hormann is based on the true story of Hatun Aynur Sürücü who was horribly punished by her family for blossoming in her new-found independence after having fled from a violent husband. Meanwhile, RUST (FERRUGEM) by Brazilian director Aly Muritiba deals with Tati’s budding romance and the dramatic consequences when one of her intimate videos lands on social media.

Finally, the Festival is delighted to premiere Luxembourgish director Eric Schockmel’s HUGO – INVENTING THE FUTURE which introduces viewers to the father of modern science fiction, Luxembourgish author Hugo Gernsback.

A professional scene in service of Young Audiences workshops and activities

Not only are film education and media literacy skills promoted through the films of this Festival strand, but they are also at the heart of workshops and participatory projects. The Luxembourgish audiovisual and animation field are thus actively involved in educational and interactive approaches surrounding the numerous workshops.

The KIDS JURY will pick the KIDS JURY AWARD from the ‘5-8 years’ strand; a SCHOOL JURY made up of film-loving pupils, aged 12 to 15 years old, will select the SCHOOL JURY AWARD; the YOUTH JURY – comprised of a panel of secondary school students – will watch and scrutinise a selection of films across the Festival programme, selecting the winner of the YOUTH JURY AWARD – BY KINEPOLIS. Otherwise, any children attending public screenings will be able to vote for the KIDS’ FESTIVAL FAVOURITE from the ‘5-12 years’ strand. The YOUNG CRITICS and VIDEO REPORTERS will follow all Festival activity, learning from professionals as they go.

Events and workshops

Luxembourg City Film Festival will keep on promoting national works thanks to the workshop “OOOPS! THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES… ” – DEVELOPING AN ANIMATED FILM, organised by Fabrique d’Images, a Luxembourgish production company and animation studio. Luxembourgish artist, writer, sculptor and performer Sophie Jung’s work will act as a starting point to two creative workshops at Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain. The MOTION LAPSE workshop organised by MUDAM will enable children to create their own characters and to move them through space. Luxembourgish Studio 352 offers participants the opportunity to discover the ins and outs of the work of an animated film set designer thanks to THE BACKGROUNDS OF “WOLFWALKERS”, a production still in the works by the Academy Award-winning Irish director Tomm Moore. In the CUTOUT ANIMATION workshop, director Olivier Pesch will introduce secret stop motion techniques to pupils aged 8 and above. The ART FREAK AKADEMIE organised by MUDAM will showcase the many links between art and cinema. Besides the two workshops aimed at children and focusing on her work, Sophie Jung will lead a screenwriting workshop for teenagers aged over 16 at Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain. The latter also will organise a masterclass and a 3D animation workshop with British artist Ben Wheele prior to the Festival.
The FILM CRITICISM AND ANALYSIS WORKSHOPS are returning in 2020 and will be led by film critic BOYD VAN HOEIJ (The Hollywood Reporter). The Centre national de l’audiovisuel (CNA) and the Festival will collaborate once again with the Service National de la Jeunesse for the annual CRÊME FRAÎCHE NIGHT, a screenwriting and short film contest.

The following two informative events are not to be missed: PICNIC WITH PROS, organised by the BTS Cinéma et Audiovisuel in collaboration with CNA and Film Fund Luxembourg, covering the various opportunities and professions in the audiovisual and cinematic fields, as well as the ANIMATION MEETUP, organised in collaboration with Fédération des métiers de l’animation et de l’image virtuelle (FMAIV), discussing the animation industry in Luxembourg. In the context of this meetup, the WORK IN PROGRESS “WOLFWALKERS” masterclass organised by Mélusine Productions and led by the Academy Award-winning Irish director Tomm Moore, will offer the opportunity to discover the ongoing work on the eponymous film currently in development. Another WORK IN PROGRESS masterclass, this time organised by Doghouse Films in collaboration with Institut français du Luxembourg and led by French director Pierre Földes, will focus on the film BLIND WILLOW, SLEEPING WOMAN adapted from Haruki Murakami’s short stories collection of the same name.

“NÄCHST STATIOUN”: DISCOVERING CULTURAL HERITAGE THROUGH AN APP is part of the Institut de Formation de l’Éducation Nationale’s (IFEN) continuing education programme aimed at teachers. The app and the same titled series developed by Zeilt Productions aim to highlight the Luxembourgish cultural heritage as well as introducing children to unusual cultural sites.

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