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Report – Green Shoots in Children’s and Family Films

Posted on: Friday 08 July 2016 1:33am by Zarin Virji

The session illustrated strategies of making children’s and family films outside the studio system

Takeaways

  • A dearth of lower- and mid-budget family fare films in the UK as the film industry is risk-averse
  • The British film industry, including big studios, is supportive of Indie films
  • Indie films can gain funding and audience interest through release at festivals and school screenings, tie-ups with book publishers and the making of shorts

Detail

Nicole Carmen-Davies, UK Indie Producer, defined ‘family films’ as films which depict a beautiful world that children can relate to. Such films need to be aesthetically layered so that they appeal not only to the targeted age group but to a wider audience. These films must inspire child-like wonder in adults. Their short film, ‘Litterbugs’ has helped them to finance their feature film.

Ansgar Ahlers, Producer/Director, DSC9000ForeSeeSense, outlined his ten year struggle to make ‘Bach in Brazil’, an award-winning film, still playing in cinemas after 15 weeks of release. The film was co-produced by NFP, Germany and Disney, Brazil. The theme of the film as well as the sub-titles in German and Portuguese, posed part of the problem. The funding nightmare was compounded by differing regulations in both countries.

Phil Parker, Co-founder, BCr8ve, who has worked alongside Ahlers in this project, emphasised that the primary challenge was the non-existence of a market for this kind of film.

Pauline Burt, Chief Executive, Film Cymru/Wales, shared her conviction for public funders to stimulate the market with seed funding. In the last decade, the cost and difficulty of reaching kids has been a constraint in making these films. However, social media can be employed to reach out to the family audience. Filmcymru/Wales has developed a partnership with Chicken House. They have prepared a long list of books that could be turned into films through engaging with children at library events.

Zarin Virji

About the author

Zarin Virji

University of Sheffield, Student

Zarin Virji's twin passions are teaching and writing. She has been a teacher, head teacher and teacher trainer for the past 25 years in Mumbai, India. At present she is studying Creative Writing at the University of Sheffield, UK Read more

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