Kidfest Roster Heavy On Asia

Children’s fest co-directors Renate Zylla and Martina Hey have lined up around 10 features and 10 shorts for the 14th kidfest, which will unspool at the Irania, Yorck-Kino, Toni and Landesbildstelle.

In what has become almost a tradition, a Danish film will open the fest: “Lad Isbjornene Danse” by Birger Larsen is a comedy punctuated with rock ‘n’ roll and set in contemporary times. Two productions from DEFA, the previously state-run East German studios, are also slated: “The Light Of Love” by Gunther Scholz and Gunter Friedrich’s “Die Sprungdeckeluhr.”

There is a strong presence this year from Asian countries, including a first from Vietnam, Viet Linh’s “Ganh Xiec Rong.” China has two films, Wang Haowei’s “Oh! Xiang Xue” and, out of competition, “Jiao Jiao Xiao Jie” by Chen Jingti which stars, yes, a panda. Japan will unspool Iwao Seto’s “Chiisana Kazoku,” a screen adaptation of the story “Grandma” by Peter Hartling, and Indonesia’s contribution is “The Sky Is My Home” by Slamet Rahardjo.

Canada has entered “Angel Square” by Anne Wheeler along with “Vincent And Me” by Michael Rubbo. Greece slates a first film from Dimitris Spyrou, “O Psylos.”

The features in competition will be awarded prizes by three juries, two of which are comprised of adults: the UNICEF jury and the jury from the French-based Intl. Center for Film for Children and Youth.

The third jury is comprised of 10 to 14-year-olds who live in Berlin. They have at their disposal a first prize of 3,000 marks (about $2,000) donated by the city of Berlin.

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