‘Polleke’ to open Dutch Cinekid fest

80 pix to be screened, of which 15 compete for cash

AMSTERDAM — The world premiere of “Polleke,” from Dutch director Ineke Houtman (“Scratches in the Table”), will open the 17th Cinekid Festival on Oct 11.

Nine-day kidpic fest has become one of the largest events of its kind in the world.

Produced by Egmond Film and Television (“Antonia’s Line,” “Oysters at Nam Kee’s”), pic concerns the infatuation of two 11-year-olds, a Dutch girl and a Moroccan boy.

Fest director Sannette Naeye told Daily Variety that “Polleke” was chosen, among other reasons, for its “subtle depiction of the new and much more complex society of mixed cultures that we live in, and that has a powerful impact on our children.”

Other world preems

Curacaoan film “Zulaika,” directed by Diederik van Rooijen, and U.K. director Metin Huseyin’s “Anita & Me” will also world preem during the fest. Some 80 pics will be screened, the same number as at Cinekid 2002, which drew 36,000 visitors.

Five of 15 films in competition for the Cinekid Film Award, a cash prize as yet unset but last year running to $2,500, will also have their Dutch premiere. In addition a Cinekid Lion goes to the pic winning the audience award.

The fest’s lineup is screened to Dutch visitors in 33 cities around Holland besides Amsterdam. Some 20 Dutch TV programs will also have their premieres during the event.

Kids are invited to try out the latest interactive games and CD-ROMS in specially built computer halls and to give input to jury members, all new-media professionals, deliberating on the winners of the Cinekids New Media awards.

Fest will also feature seminars focusing on children’s and TV programs in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States under the banner “The New European Link.”