Record number of pix to unspool

BERLIN — A record number of entries will be shown at the children’s film festival in the Thuringian city of Gera this week, culminating on Friday with a jury of children awarding the Golden Sparrow to the best film.

Germany’s 11th annual Goldener Spatz Children’s Film and Television Festival opened with the film “Kidnapping Mom and Dad” on Sunday. More than 100 films will be shown at the festival, which is held every two years.

This year’s edition has seen an unusually large number of entries, according to Ingrid Kotte, the Goldener Spatz committee chair, who cited the growing demand for children’s programming among German broadcasters as the reason for the fest expansion.

German kidvid

The Goldener Spatz mainly showcases German or German/foreign co-productions, including films, TV shows and documentaries, all aimed at kids.

Thuringia’s state governor, Bernhard Vogel, was delighted that his state has come to represent children’s television — he even declared Gera the “Federal Capital of Children’s Films.” But he reminded filmmakers and television producers of their responsibilities, telling them in front of an aud of several hundred kids and parents that while shows “for the little ones don’t always have to be funny, they must always be good.”

The festival, which continues through March 26, was established in the former East Germany 22 years ago. It remains the only children’s film festival in the country.

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