Since its creation, the Seville European Film Festival hasn’t just limited itself to programming films for younger audiences, it also has a strong commitment to education through cinema and the generation of new audiences. The titles that are screened in coordination with the educational centers in morning sessions during the festival, in which some of the film’s directors participate, seek to stimulate the film experience for spectators between 3 and 19 years of age.
This year, as a novelty and with a view to the subject matter and the messages they transmit, the films for infant audiences in the Europa Junior section (for audiences from 3 to 12 years) will be differentiated from the films for the adolescent audience in the new section Filmlovers of the Future (for audiences from 12 to 19 years). Both sections include some 20 films having their national premiere and they are competitive, each will have a winning film which will be chosen by the young spectators through their votes.
Six films chosen from the proposals most suitable for audiences from 3 to 12 make up the selection of films in Europa Junior. Animation in its different forms and concepts floods the section with different stories and discourses aimed at the infant public. The animal world as an allegory of the real world is the starting point for the construction of the adventures in the musical In the Forest of Huckybucky by Rasmus A. Sivertsen; also in Big Bad Fox (Le Grand Méchant Renard Et Autres Contes), the new film from the creators of Ernest and Célestine, nominated for the Oscar as Best Animation Film and winner of the César Award in the same category, adapts the comic by Benjamin Renner (co-director of the film with Patrick Imbert); and also in The Jungle Bunch by Eric Tosti and David Alaux, known for the television series ‘The Jungle Bunch to the Rescue’
From Russia we have Fantastic Journey to Oz by Vladimir Toropchin, Fedor Dmitriev and Darina Schmidt, an animated revision of the world of ‘The Wizard of Oz’; and out of competition Revolting Rhymes by Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer upturns the traditional fairy tales adapting the Tales in Verse for Perverse Children by Roald Dahl. The world of the comic, however, will become flesh and blood with Little Spirou by Nicolas Bary, an adaptation of the now classic comic strip Little Spirou, created in 1987 by Tome and Janry, in this adventure comedy.
This edition of the Seville Festival takes another step in its commitment to the creation of new audiences with the inclusion of a new competitive section, Filmlovers of the Future, which will have a specific programme for the audience aged from 12 to 19. A dozen films make up this section which aims to attract that public which, in entering adolescence and having the capacity for decision, usually abandons culture as an entertainment option.
Several films in Filmlovers of the Future deal with education in schoolrooms as the setting in which to talk of young people’s problems. Educational and teaching models that affect the lives of the pupils feature in films such as Orchestra Class by Rachid Hami starring Kad Merad (The Chorus, Welcome to the Sticks) where education is an instrument for personal rehabilitation and music is the medium to channel the pupils’ potential. With a documentary view, we’ll enter integrated classrooms in Children of Chance by Thierry Michel & Pascal Colson, or those in which youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds are prepared to face the world through an oratory competition as happens in Speak up by Stéphane de Freitas & Ladj Ly.
The filmlovers of the future will discover how a timid youth from Manchester who listened to the New York Dolls and read Oscar Wilde became Morrisey, the legendary, intelligent and unclassifiable singer of the Smiths, in the biopic England is Mine by Mark Gill; and they’ll learn of the adventures, sexual awakenings and life lessons of the young people in The War of Bumpkins by Davide Barletti and Lorenzo Conte. The lives of young protagonists facing hostile environments and the world of adults are the main storylines in films such as the British drama in the form of dystopia The White King by Alex Helfrecht and Jörg Tittel, the drama about directionless lives in Mobile Homes by Vladimir de Fontenay; or Alone by David Moreau, an adaptation of the homonymous Franco-Belgian comic by Bruno Gazzotti and Fabien Vehlmann, published since 2005 in the magazine Spirou; or the winner of the Audience Prize at the Edinburgh Festival Just Charlie by Rebekah Fortune¸ which looks at the conflict of gender identity at an early age with football as the backdrop.
This section is completed by three titles which also are in The New Waves Section of the Seville Festival: the already presented Mrs. Hyde by Serge Bozon, an irreverent comedy starring Isabelle Huppert, in a revision of the classic of fantasy literature created by Robert Louis Stevenson; the dark story set in the Sicily of the ‘90s, Sicilian Ghost Story by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza; and the drama of life and overcoming problems in Ava by Léa Mysius. And joining the activities that Seville is organizing this year within the programme for the Murillo Year, we have Murillo, el último viaje, an Andalusian documentary directed by José Manuel Gómez Vidal which recovers the figure of the Seville painter on the 400th anniversary of his birth.
The films will be shown in their original version with subtitles, and it will be the young spectators who, with their votes, choose the winning film in each of the sections. The Europa Junior section and the Filmlovers of the Future section will bring over 22,500 children and young people, along with their 1,2000 teachers, from more than 180 educational centers, to the cinemas, so that they can experience at first hand a European cinema aimed at them. In these session arranged with the educational centres in the city, the festival has the support in their promotion of the Territorial Department for Education, and the Education Service in the Department of Education, Citizen Participation and Municipal Buildings of Seville City Council which also offers 180 free workshops for training in audiovisual subjects. The workshops will be held in the school centers, between one and two weeks before the start of the festival as a satellite, complementary activity to Europa Junior and now also to Filmlovers of the Future. These activities continue for several weeks after the Seville Festival ends. In 2017 this activity is available to over 5,000 pupils.