The Seville European Film Festival (SEFF) has renewed its alliance with the educational community and with young spectators, strengthening the Europa Junior section in its eleventh edition. The competitive section in which the Area of Culture, Education, Sports and Youth of Seville City Council and SEFF offer the youngest spectators premieres of the best European children’s and youth cinema as an example of their commitment to education and the formation of new audiences.
The Alameda Theatre, the Cines Zona Este and the Lope de Vega Theatre will once again accommodate this selection of screenings, in which the pupils will vote for the winning film. This year, the Europa Junior section consists of 11 films, of which ten are national premieres and one an international premiere. Five of the films are aimed at pupils from Infant and Primary level, 3 at Secondary and another 3 for Upper Level and Vocational students. Of the eleven films programmed, three are animation: the Hispano-Cuban Meñique y el espejo mágico, the French Edu, el pequeño lobo and the German Las aventuras del séptimo enanito.
Most of these screenings will be in original version with Spanish subtitles in order to encourage the pupils’ familiarity with other languages. For the first time, and with the youngest spectators in mind, this year the festival is offering the screening of some of the films with a direct dubbing in the cinema, by the actress Ana Pons, thus facilitating comprehension of the dialogues in those films shown in their original language. Specifically, this will done with the films Edu, el pequeño lobo (Original version in French) and the German La aventuras del séptimo enaniito (original version in English), aimed at the infants’ selection.
SEFF has also invited the directors of several of the films progammed in this section. The directors will share space and time with the pupils both before and after the screening, and answer their questions.
Workshops for young people
Coinciding with SEFF ’14, the Education Service of the Area of Culture, Education, Sport and Youth of the Seville City Council has organized the programme Seville, cinema and education for all the educational centres in the city. This includes a total of 80 workshops which will be presented by specialized monitors. The fundamental aim of this programme is to make cinema a useful, versatile tool, transferring cinematic art from commercial cinemas to the classroom. The workshops, which are open to pupils from Infant, Primary, Secondary, Upper Level and Vocational education, will be taught in the educational centres in the mornings during the months of October and November. In these activities, the pupils will learn to build a zoetrope and a slip book, they will participate in a workshop on audiovisual animation, another on audiovisual teaching or they can make a short film with their mobile phones.
EUROPA JUNIOR CATALOGUE
La Belle Vie (Jean Denizot, 2013, France, 93 min.)
Sylvain and Pierre, 16 and 18 years old, who lead an isolated life in the country with their father Yves, live in constant flight. Eleven years before, Yves took them without their mother’s permission –in the eyes of the law, he kidnapped them- and since then he has been on the run from justice. But late adolescence is an age of awakenings and of desires for independence that are hard to cope with. The two boys start to rebel against their situation which, while it is happy and filled with love, keeps them isolated from others of their age. Pierre, the elder, runs away so he can live his own life, while Sylvain, tied to his father, sets out with him on a raft journey downriver, in the style of Huckleberry Finn. On this trip he finds his first love, comes into contact again with urban life and its contrasts with his life until now in the country, and for the first time he takes control of his destiny.
Mateo (Maria Gamboa, Colombia/France, 2014, 86 min.?
Mateo, the protagonist, lives with his mother in a violent neighborhood in the Magdalena River Valley, in Colombia. Mateo does his uncle’s dirty work for him: he collects extortion money, and so helps supporthis family, although his mother is unhappy about what he’s doing. His life takes a turn when he is sent by his uncle to infiltrate a local theater group so he can investigate the members’ political activities. There, Mateo discovers the world of acting, and become shooked on it. This opens a door to redemption for him. But, let’s not forget, Mateo is in the group as an informer. So he will have to make some difficult decisions. It’s a choice between defying the established hierarchy of the Colombian armed conflict –with all the dangers that entails- and continuing with his newly found vocation.
The 7th Dwarf (Boris Aljinovic and HaraldSiepermann, Germany, 2014, 80 min.)
The 7th Dwarf picks up the adventures of Snow White’s seven dwarves,withan irreverent mash-up version of fairy tales, in the German saga which began with 7 Dwarves. Men Alone in the Wood and 7 Dwarves.The Wood is Not Enough. This time, taking advantage of the possibilities offered by the quality of European 3D animation, the dwarves’ mission is to travel into the future to sort out the mess caused by Bubi, the seventh dwarf: nothing less than putting the entire kingdom to sleep for a hundred years when he unleashed a curse by the Ice Queen, after accidentally pricking Sleeping Beauty’s finger.
Juana a los doce (Martin Shanly, Argentina/Austria, 2014)
Juana is 12, and goes to a bilingual school in Buenos Aires. Alerted by the girl’s bad grades, and the teachers’ concerns, Juana’s mother seeks professional help for her daughter. But despite her good intentions, the mother doesn’t have the time or sufficient interest to tackle the problem. So the reason for what is happening to Juana, who observes her life with indifference, is hard to identify. Juana simply doesn’t fit into her surroundings: she laughs when she shouldn’t, she doesn’t behave or think like the others, she doesn’t know how to communicate with them. However, something will soon happen that will put an end to the monotony and Juana’s tribulations at the difficult age of 12.
Wolfy, the Incredible Secret (Grégoire Solotareff and Éric Omond, France, 2013, 80 min.)
An adaptation of the successful children’s book Wolfy, the Incredible Secret by Grégoire Solotareff, from the producers of Zarafa. Loulou and Tom have been friends all their lives. There’d be nothing odd about that, except for the fact that Loulou is a wolf and Tom is a rabbit. This doesn’t worry them in the slightest until Edu discovers that he isn’t an orphan, and he sets out with his friend to find his mother. When they arrive in the land of wolves, celebrations are being held for the Carnivore Festival, where herbivores are definitely on the losing side, and where their friendship (and Tom’s skin) are in grave danger.
Antboy (Ask Hasselbalch, Denmark, 2013, 77 min.)
Just as Peter Parker became Spiderman after a spider bite, Pelle, 12, develops super ant powers when he’s bitten by an ant. And as a great power bring with it great responsibility, Pelle has got no choice but to create a secret identity with the help of his nerdy friend, Wilhelm. But, obviously, every superhero has his nemesis, and Antboy won’t be able to avoid that either. He has to accept the challenge of his supervillain: The Flea. And also the challenge of being a superhero who goes to school and has to tackle the problems of being twelve years old, and there are quite a lot of those.
Tom Little and the magic mirror (Ernesto Padrón Blanco & Bruno López, Spain/Cuba, 73 min.) – World premiere.
Tom Little is a humble peasant, young and very small, who goes off to the city with his brothers to save his family from poverty and to find true love, Meanwhile, in the king’s palace, a witch has cast a spell, and an enchanted oak tree is keeping them in darkness and without water. The king, in despair, promises to give the princess’s hand to whoever can get them out of this fix. That is when Tom comes on the scene and, with his courage, has to face great dangers and adventures. He also has to deal with the insolent princess, who is quite a handful. A good example of the quality of Spanish animation, from one of the animators responsible for El Cid: la Leyenda and Copito de Nieve.
Captain Sabertooth and the Lama Rama Treasure (John Andreas Andersen & Lisa Marie Gamlem, Norway, 2014)
Captain Sabertooth is a character whose success is confirmation that, over and above Pirates of the Carribbean, the genre of buccaneering adventures is still alive and in excellent health. Sailing the seas beside him in this film is Pinky, an orphan with whom he’ll have a thousand adventures in search of a treasure. A mission that will take them to the kingdom of Lama Rama, and to the answers to the mystery of who is Pinky’s real father.
Swim Little Fish Swim (Ruben Amar, Lola Bessis, USA / France, 2013, 95 min.)
Lilas, a young French girl, is playing her last cards in New York, where she has come to escape from her domineering painter mother and to try to establish her own career as an experimental filmmaker. A last opportunity presents itself a few days before her visa expires and she will have to leave the city. By chance, when searching for somewhere to stay, she comes across the apartment of a small family on the Lower East Side. The family consists of Leeward, an eternal adolescent and unemployed idealistic musician, Mary, who works hard every day as a nurse to maintain the family,and their three year old daughter, Rainbow. The arrival of Lilas, who immediately falls for Leeward, precipitates the crisis that was already developing between the couple. And it also precipitates the resolution of Lilas’ own life crisis, and her passage to maturity.
Geronimo (Tony Gatlif, France, 2014, 104 min.)
Tony Gatlif offers a very free adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, transferring it to a marginal neighbourhood, where the confrontation between families becomes a confrontation between Turks and gypsies. The flight, just before her forced wedding, by the young Turkish girl Nil, who runs away with the gypsy Lucky, unleashes a war between groups that will unfold through increasingly violent dance battles. But this isn’t the only particularity in this adaptation, in which there is a new character: the social educator Geronimo, responsible for a group of difficult adolescents. She is the only one capable of dealing with the tricky conflict, and is also burdened by a past not so very different from that of her pupils.