EFA Young Audience Summit 2021

 

 

The EFA Young Audience Summit 2021 was co-created by and for former Young Audience Award participants and other young film enthusiasts.

It explored plans to develop a European Film Club as well as questions such as: 

- Should films be given a higher priority in schools? 
- How important are films to young people?
- How much are films for entertainment vs a form of social and cultural education? 
- And can we create a sense of European culture through cinema?

The Summit hosted a Q&A with Spanish filmmaker, creative director and cinephile Pablo Maqueda and screened two award winning short films selected by young people WHALE VALLEY and a screening and discussion with the makers of THE CHICKEN.

The Summit took place just before the EFA Young Audience Award 2021, that once again presents three nominated films to young people across the continent. Click on the sections below for more details. 

Summit Results - Press Release

Young Film Fans Want to Watch More European Films

European Film Academy unites 80 young film lovers in Young Audience Summit

Young people have a great appetite for watching more European films. That is what 80 participating 12-16-year-olds from 25 European countries expressed unanimously at the EFA Young Audience Summit on 17 April. However, 64% say that they do not find it easy to get access to European films. 

pic_1618995988_05b3bc527d09778429d8fcf7debd3e9c.jpeg

Initiated by the European Film Academy (EFA), the summit saw 97% of the young participants calling upon the film industry to make it easier for young people to watch European films. While aware of the film industry’s need to generate income in order to continue making films, they also underline the potential of young audiences for European film - now and in the future. 

To improve access to European films and build a year-round engagement with film, EFA has been exploring the idea of a European youth film club. To involve the young people this is aimed at, EFA set up a youth council to develop this further. Youth Council members hosted the summit and presented their thoughts on what role film can play and the creation of such a film club. This was met with great enthusiasm, with 95% feeling that it should be co-created by young people, like the summit was. 

“I would also like to have international clubs not just because you can meet new friends but also because you can see how different(ly) people think, hear about their mindset and their point of view” Arnisa, Kosovo

97% of participants felt that European cinema is an important way of creating a sense of a European identity.

"How people just live their lives in certain countries in films is really good to give a bigger understanding to people about Europe." Felix, UK

Some 86% said they would go to the cinema more often, if such a film club inspired them to. Research by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, which was presented at the summit, showed a 17% - 71% increase in cinema-going by participants in national film clubs in different European countries in recent years.

It could lead to “much more movies about our culture and our countries“ 
participant from Montenegro

Other long-term benefits to the film industry identified by participants included:

- Young people will talk about European films to their peers, building the audience further
- More young people would be interested in the film industry and they would have more knowledge and skills
- There would be greater diversity in the cultures and countries covered in European films
- An engagement with European films would help young audiences to develop an understanding for our European neighbours and Europe as such
- There will be a larger audience for European films in the future

The Summit participants explored the importance of film for young people:

"Film...builds our characters in real life and that’s what helps us grow as people.” Ahmad, Sweden 

“Movies are the way of filmmakers to open our eyes” Maria, Spain 

“Films make teenagers feel less lonely, now that they are away from each other. You always learn something from a film because you watch it, you think about it, you talk with other people, you have contacts with other opinions and realities.”  Sofia, Italy

They also concluded:

“Films should play a more important part in education” Lukas, Austria

"movies tackle many topics which means many lessons and they are a form of art, they are a portrait of humanity” Alkis-George, Greece

About the Summit

The EFA Young Audience Summit 2021 is being co-created by and for former YAA participants and other young film enthusiasts. 

Although last year’s summit was postponed, we used the lockdown period to explore opportunities (with the young people who were due to attend the summit) for shared screenings of European films and cross-border interaction that has developed into the idea for a European film club. EFA decided that the ideas were so strong that we have established this group of young people as the Youth Council and plan to test the European Film Club idea at the summit. 

Co-created and co-hosted mainly by Youth Council members, the Summit and will consult participants on plans to develop a European Film Club as well as exploring questions such as: 

- Should films be given a higher priority in schools? 
- How important are films to young people?
- How much are films for entertainment vs a form of social and cultural education? 
- And can we create a sense of European culture through cinema?

The Summit will also host:

  • A Question & Answer session with Spanish filmmaker, creative director and cinephile Pablo Maqueda, director of DEAR WERNER (WALKING ON CINEMA).

and we will screen two award winning short films selected by the Youth Council:

- WHALE VALLEY – an atmospheric short featuring a challenging and poignant story of two young brothers who live in a remote Icelandic fjord, one battling depression and the younger one trying to save him.

- THE CHICKEN – set in war-torn Sarajevo, this touch story lightened with the slightly comedic presence of a live birthday gift for young Selma. This gift, a chicken, disrupts the lives of the mother and two sisters physically and emotionally with potentially tragic results. The screening will be followed by discussions with the director, Una Gunjak, and producer, Siniša Juricic.

The Summit takes place just before this year's YAA, that once again presents three nominated films young people across the continent.

In preparation, the European Film Academy has been working closely with the Youth Council of nine former YAA participants, among these are:

Anissa Llewellyn (14) from Lewes / UK, who says:
"The European Film Club will give young people a chance to watch films from other countries in Europe, learn about other cultures through film, and, mainly, connect with other young people. At the moment, we are all very separated - for a number of reasons- and film could help bring us all together.”

Clara Quero Molina (15) from Sevilla, Spain who says:
“Every frame by itself is a door to other worlds, an insight into the lives of others. Films let us see the world from different points of view.”

Raluca Nemeti (15) from Cluj-Napoca, Romania who says:
“I like the fact that I can express myself a lot better through film and also the fact that it allows me to escape the ordinary world. It's a great way of expressing my creativity.”

Instead of studied experts discussing what they think the young generation wants and does, the European Film Academy invites young people themselves to discuss. So 12-16-year-olds who have Young Audience Award or other film engagement experience or interest, can apply by downloading, completing and returning the application form below until 31st March 2021.

Download the application form here!  

The Summit was supported by:

pic_1574336392_a0cd0702718cb21e496d1b4478cc7766.png

Summit Programme

09.50 Sign In
10.00 Opening & presentations about the European Film Club idea by the Youth Council
10.20 Break-Out Sessions – to discuss the film club idea
11.00 Screening of WHALE VALLEY by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
11.15 Break-Out Sessions – to discuss the film
11.40 Group Discussions
12.20 Interview with filmmaker Pablo Maqueda
   
12.50-13.10  LUNCH BREAK
   
13.10 Break-Out Sessions – to discuss the importance of film for young people
14.00 Screening of THE CHICKEN by Una Gunjak
14.30 Break-Out Sessions – meet the creators of the film
15.10 Round-up of the Summit
15.30 End


Download the programme here.

The European Film Club Idea

European Film Club aims to be a film platform and film club network across the continent for young people to come together to watch and discuss European films and make their own. Co-created by young people European Film Club will build a diverse catalogue of films chosen by young people and build a love of European film for the next generation.

Storytelling has been at the heart of learning for millennia and film is arguably the most advanced form of storytelling. Films can help bring history, geography, languages and a range of other subjects to life telling every conceivable human story. Films provide an insight into the lives of others, into different cultures and what it means to be European. Building a love of European film is not just an investment in the future of the film industry but into young people’s cultural futures.

Following the success of the Young Audience Awards (YAA) and feedback from its European partners, the European Film Academy (EFA) spent 2020 brainstorming with young people about how to develop a year-round engagement with film. This has resulted in the idea to develop a European Film Club for young people. So impressed with former YAA participants’ ideas, EFA has decided to co-create the programme with young people. In January the founding group of 9 young people from Romania, Croatia, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Portugal and UK formed the Youth Council and agreed with EFA to focus the upcoming Young Audience Summit on the development of the European Film Club idea.

The European Film Club will create a pan-European network of film clubs co-created by young people that will:

- develop a year-round engagement in film for EFA Young Audience Award participants building to the awards
- build a collection of films chosen by and for young people including classics of European cinema and Young Audience Award winners
- build on an existing online platform to host and coordinate online viewing as well as stream and download films for live screenings
- develop the platform and other tools to support the running of film clubs, by youth organisations, teachers and young people themselves
- enable viewing of films from different cultures and nationalities
- sharing what it means to be European and celebrating its diverse expressions through film
- support international exchange, chat and discussion of films
- support learning about film and encourage creativity and young people’s filmmaking


Youth Council views:

“I think that movies or films are basically the most universal tool of storytelling.”

“…what you watch as a kid actually gets in how you grew up and what person you become.” 

“I think being part of the process is actually really crucial”

“I think that if the audience is young people, it should be like, chosen by young people.”

“a place where you can watch movies without other people disturbing, you can talk about the movies with your peers…is going to be super cool, at least where I’m from, everybody would love that”

“There are some independent films and directors that aren't very well known in Europe and a good way to know them is by a film club.”

”it's good we have such big dreams for the beginning of all of this…”

“The kids have to have some culture. I think every kid has to see the classics…”  

Meet the Youth Council

Last year’s Summit was due to be a live event taking place in Germany with participants from all over Europe to discuss a range of film and film literacy issues including film clubs. EFA’s 35 partners in the Young Audience Awards passed on the opportunity to the young people they had involved in the Awards. This resulted in 55 applications and after careful consideration of the forms submitted, 26 young people were selected to take part.

Although it had to be postponed because of COVID-19, EFA’s partners were keen on the idea of coordinated film clubs and so we began brainstorming and invited the young people who had been due to join the Summit to brainstorm as well. Some 14 young people took part over several months to explore opportunities for shared screenings of European films and cross-border interaction that has developed into the idea for a European film club. EFA decided that the ideas were so strong that we invited this group of young people to form the Youth Council to work on co-creating the European Film Club idea and to it at the Summit. This then led to the Youth Council taking on a greater role in co-creating and mainly hosting the Summit.

“In 2020, I was chosen to take part at the YAA Summit at Germany but unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, it was cancelled. A few months later, I was given the opportunity to become one of the members of the EFA's Youth Council and to develop the idea of a European Film club for young people.” Clara


Youth Council members include:

Raluca (15) from Cluj-Napoca, Romania

pic_1616756459_e219eab57884c7f1bc400e2ae1fdd7b4.jpeg

Film experience: I've been a part of a local film club in my city for 4 years and I have also taken part in other editions of the EFA Young Audience Award as a jury speaker and member of the film selecting committee.

Favourite film: Even though some might think of it as overrated, one of my favourite films is JOKER directed by Todd Phillips. I found the acting phenomenal and the scenography really impressed me. It's a pretty controversial film, some love it, some hate it, but my opinion will stay the same regarding this masterpiece.

What do you like about film? I like the fact that I can express myself a lot better through film and also the fact that it allows me to escape the ordinary world. It's a great way of expressing my creativity.

What do you like about the European Film club idea? I like the fact that I can get to meet new people with the same interests as me. Also, it's a great way of connecting with other cultures and it gives us a feeling of belonging into a loving community.

Maria (16) from Lisbon, Portugal

pic_1616756600_9ebfe5701f5accfbf38f4a4b0b8d7371.jpeg

Film experience: Before being part of this project, I have had a film workshop of one week in Spain, I was involved with EFA YAA for three years. Then, there is also my hobbies which relate to my engagement with film.

Favourite film: I like a variety of films and genres. An example can be A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE from Steven Spielberg. I found the film very interesting because of the complex message being communicated. How smart the director was in connection to all of the emotions and themes, when moving forward. The movie is perfect to do self-reflection.

What do you like about film? In general, I like how films are able to be an instrument for storytelling. I admire and respect how emotions can be shared. I love how movies make us reflect and entertain us at the same time. It is marvellous how we are being educated.

What do you like about the European Film club idea? I like the idea on how it is an opportunity to discover and rediscover films that might be the one to change our lives.

Clara (15) from Seville, Spain

 
pic_1617028886_95c68884b7a2fa1461c8c572269ff5c9.jpeg
 

Film experience: Since I was a child, I've always loved cinema because I've inherited my family's passion for it. In 2019 I took part in the YAA jury. I'm also a member of the team of young programmers of the European Film Festival of Seville. After months of hard work, I had the opportunity to present two wonderful films and to meet their directors: "Dear Werner" by Pablo Maqueda and "Ghosts" by Azra Deniz. It was such an amazing experience that I will always remember.

Favourite film: A few years ago, when I was 11 years old, I watched THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING by the British James Marsh (a biopic about Stephen Hawking) and it completely changed the idea that I had about cinema. One of the things that impressed me most, was the amazing story that it tells: how Stephen Hawking was able to overcome all the challenges that his illness set him. This film gave me a new perspective of Stephen’s illness (ALS), that totally shocked me. With Eddie Redmayne’s wonderful performance, a beautiful soundtrack and in a very emotional way that made me cry for the first time while watching a film, I experienced some strong emotions that I hadn’t felt before watching any other film. Furthermore, this film helped me mature and to become interested in deeper films, that were different from the ones that I used to watch during my childhood.

What do you like about film? In first place, one of the reasons of why I Iove cinema is that unique language that characterises it, with numerous elements from other forms of art such as literature or music, that make it the most advanced form of storytelling. I’m fascinated by the different perspectives that you can tell a story from. Every frame by itself is a door to other worlds, an insight into the lives of others. Films let us see the world from different points of view.
The soundtrack, the photography, the script, the setting and the rhythm blend together to create a perfect harmony on the screen and an indescribable magnetism that keeps you in front of a screen for hours.
The unique language of film unites us as a civilization with no borders between cultures. No matter who you are or where you come from, you have the opportunity to connect with others just by the international language of filmmaking.
One of the things that this pandemic has taught me is that cinema sometimes is a very powerful tool to escape and unwind from the overwhelming reality that we live in. In some form, it is therapeutic. Whenever I'm behind a screen I feel a magic emotion that I don't experience anywhere else, like that boy in CINEMA PARADISO.

What do you like about the European Film club idea? In my opinion the idea of a European Film Club is very interesting. I like the idea that there are no creative and cultural borders between European teenagers and that they can be united by the international language of filmmaking. I think that if the audience is young people it should be created by young people. European Cinema has been underrated by the youngest generations for many years. There are some very independent films and directors that aren't very well known in Europe and a good way to get to know them is by a film club. I hope that this activity will open teenagers' minds and will inspire them to become more interested and appreciate the quality of European Cinema.

Anissa (14) Lewes, UK

 
pic_1616800197_58b4bc524e6547bb4b54aa1e3886086a.jpeg
 

Film experience: I have attended the YAA as a voter before, and I was on the YAA jury through zoom last year (2020). I am a member of the Youth Council. I also, of course, love watching films with my friends and family!

Favourite film: I love films which tell old stories, because it allows the new generation to enjoy them, and for the stories and myths to continue to be passed down. For this reason, I really love the film WOLFWALKERS it is based off an old Irish myth about people who could turn into wolves, and it tells the story of a girl who is given this ability by a wolfwalker. The animation is really beautiful, and much unlike the new, children's animation. Another thing I love about this film is that it can be watched by anyone, but older people and teens will see the deeper meaning. It would be incredibly sad if stories like this one stopped being passed down, as they are a huge part of how we grow up, and film allows this to happen in the modern day.

What do you like about film? I like how film brings everyone together: friends, family, and people across the world. People learn more through film than they might realise, especially about other countries and cultures. Film allows people to understand people outside their own country; when I attended my first YAA award voting, my favourite part was talking to all the other kids on a huge zoom call, and hearing about their takes on the film! It was such a fun way to make friends, and it was so cool to know other people around Europe were watching the same films as me, each in their own country! Film is also a great way to bring family together (me and my family have a movie night on the weekend where we all watch a film together).

What do you like about the European Film club idea? I love that the European Film Club will give young people a chance to watch films from other countries in Europe, learn about other cultures through film, and, mainly, connect with other young people.  At the moment, we are all very separated - for a number of reasons - and film could help bring us all together.

Jonas (15) from Vilnius, Lithuania

 
pic_1616800334_60bb6e4961491272ccca2215f7da4aa1.jpeg
 

Film experience: I have participated in the 13th and 14th kids film jury's and The European Film Jury in 2019.

Favourite film: The film I like is A COLONY by Genevieve Dulude-De Celles. I find it interesting because it tells a story from the eyes of a teenage girl with her identity searches and struggle to adapt in a new school.

What do you like about film? I like films that draw attention and keep the viewers chained to their TV screen. I like to feel as if I'm one of the characters or can relate to one of them.

What do you like about the European Film club idea? I like the idea of a European Film Club, because kids get to learn that there are more than Hollywood action movies. They'll learn about European movies and filmmakers. They'll see the work of their compatriots. It would be a big step in European cinema being recognised world-wide.

Thomas (15) from Seville, Spain

pic_1616800484_bb31e5dcf0faae74811293e79f1c4d6a.jpeg

Film experience: I have been a jury member at the Young Audience Awards and I made a short film at school when I was little. I've always been connected to it.

Favourite film: I love "Little Women" by Greta Gerwig from 2019. Its direction is amazing and I find really interesting how Greta tells the story, from Jo's point of view and not making anyone the villain. Also, I love the photography and the modernity of the story.

What do you like about film? I like how it can change people, how it can educate everyone and make people feel seen. I love the power it holds and the capacity film has of making you feel at home.

What do you like about the European Film club idea? I really like how it can be a great way of helping people and educating everyone in an entertaining way.

Hugo (14) from Zagreb, Croatia

pic_1616800655_ab5bc2488165a55fba7fbef88ff65eb1.jpeg

Film experience: I have been in a film jury in February 2019.

Favourite film: JOJO RABBIT. The plot is around the time of WW2. And I feel that the movie correctly shows people during that time. Especially the children's characters. 

What do you like about film? I like the fact that I can express myself a lot better through film and also the fact that it allows me to escape the ordinary world. It's a great way of expressing my creativity to younger audiences.

What do you like about the European Film club idea? I like the idea. I enjoy films and I'm always surprised how much you can learn from them. I feel that European films don't get as much recognition as American films do. So the idea of a European film club is excellent to reach out to younger audiences.

Štefan (14) from Sežana, Slovenia 

pic_1616800791_b1effbd857da25128f5cb46ee48dc9ba.jpeg

Film experience: Being a member of jury at the YAA

Favourite film: I really like AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD, since it is a very realistic and grim depiction of that era and is highly entertaining and hypnotic.

What do you like about film? That it is a media available to everyone and it is a practical tool for conversion of big ideas and deeper meanings to a wider audience.

What do you like about the European Film club idea? That I can freely share my thoughts and ideas about film in general, with like-minded people.

Matteo (14) from Turin, Italy

pic_1616800958_8ebc16aec438f6e5a505ed11f024ce97.jpeg

Film experience: I have participated in the 2019 YAA jury in my town, in the EFA YAA youth council, and in the committee selecting the movies for YAA 2021. In my youth, I have been part of an award-winning short film at the Turin Film Festival (in the youth category) when I was in first year elementary school.

Favourite film: The movie I like the most (and that has been a great part of my childhood) is "STAR WARS: EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE". Although recently I have begun asking myself whether or not the Original Trilogy should be treated as separated works when they really are one story (the Hero's journey) that has been broken in three movies to not be too long. I like this movie because, apart from the fact that I grew up with my father talking to me about STAR WARS, it has a great scope (and vision), a self-conclusive plot that leaves openings for continuation, and it includes very well (in my opinion) the classic themes of fairy tales placed in a wholly new context - clash of good versus evil, the powerful political enemy of the farm boy hero, and sword fights... in space! 

What do you like about film? I like the fact that it is a more debatable medium of narration (because we can spend hours discussing whether or not, for example, Inception by Nolan is a metaphor for filmmaking, while in a book the selective presentation or details makes metaphors all too obvious), and that it is easily affordable for everyone. I also like the variety of existing movies.

What do you like about the European Film club idea? I like the feeling of an international film culture that this will help create. I also like the concept of connecting many young people across a large, varied landscape and placing them in a safe environment where they can work together. Oh, and have I mentioned I like cinema? ;-)

Films and Filmmakers

At the summit, we we will screen two award winning short films selected by the Youth Council, as well as interview film makers.

Guest Speakers


Pablo Maqueda

pic_1616690271_3a1b4a07a56c9343263fbffe4c491950.jpeg
Pablo Maqueda
Photo: Daniel Mayrit 


Pablo Maqueda (Madrid, 1985) is graduated in Film, Media and Audiovisual Communication. In his commitment to new formats, he produced and directed the experimental project ALL THE WOMEN 366 MINUTES, 366 VIDEOS, referenced in major national and international media such as New York Times or Indiewire. In 2013 he created the Spanish film manifesto initiative #Littlesecretfilm. He has produced more than 25 films, including the last works of Chema García Ibarra, Marçal Fores or Miguel Larraya. He is in development of his next project, THE UNKNOWN GIRL, produced by Imval PC and Pantalla Partida. DEAR WERNER (WALKING ON CINEMA), is his first feature film as writer and director. 


Siniša Juricic

pic_1617787658_b72abe54df6a93e2b06ee425447592bb.jpeg


Born in 1965 in Zagreb. He graduated in production from the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb in 2009. He founded the Nukleus Film in 2009, and Nukleus Film Slovenia in 2012. Since 2013, he has established Jaako Dobra Produkcija (JDP) as a production company focused only on co-productions and production services, by which he became a regionally strong partner. The current focus is on the production of films by talented filmmakers from Southeast Europe in order to realize their full international potential and recognition. The films he has produced have been awarded and funded in and outside the country, with the most acclaimed awards being France 4 Visionary Award for Ilian Metev's LAST AMBULANCE IN SOFIA, which was screened in the competition selection of the 51st Cannes Film Festival Criticism Week, and the Grand Prix for the same film at the festival in Karlovy Vary. The film has toured over 70 world festivals, won 15 awards, and honors for Peter Kerekes VELVET TERRORISTS which won the Critics' Award at Karlovy Vary in 2013 and entered the FORUM part of the Berlin Film Festival 2014 where it won the award audience.
In 2012, he was awarded the annual Albert Kapovic Award by the Croatian Producers Association for his contribution to the international promotion of Croatian film.
He is a member of the European Film Academy and the production networks of EAVE, ACE and Inside Pictures.

 

Iman Alibalic

pic_1617787996_7ccbf46c32ea27a912069701adee3eaa.jpeg


Iman was born in Sarajevo on 1st of August 2006 and is attending the ninth grade of high school. She lives in Sarajevo with her parents, older brother and twin sister. In her free time, she does acting, singing, skiing, ice skating, rollerblading but also likes to read a book or watches a good movie. When she was 7 years old, she played the lead role in the short feature film THE CHICKEN which was amazing experience for her, and she won an award for the best children's role at the Film Festival in Turkey and Italy. She is especially glad to have had the opportunity to be part of film crew for a film about wartime in Sarajevo. She has heard a lot from the experience of her parents who lived in besieged Sarajevo for 4 years. According to her parents, the film is extremely authentic and has rightly been awarded many times at many festivals.

 

Matthias Pilz

pic_1617890146_75bf2f3ce1c56598a1a3f11f8ddb1244.jpeg 

Matthias grew up in Berlin and moved to London, where in 2012 he graduated the National Film & Television School (NFTS) with an MA in Cinematography. He is now based in London and is mainly working in Features, TV Drama, Commercials & Promos, but is also enjoying to team up with Artists and to dive into the realms of Ballet and Dance films as well as Stop Frame Animation.

 

Una Gunjak

pic_1617890296_ab8e56efc320acebe9295f997018898e.jpeg 

Una Gunjak was born and raised in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She studied in Italy and in the UK, where she obtained her MA in Editing at the National Film and TV School. In her previous lives, Una has extensively worked as editor on features and documentaries, before focusing on writing and directing. Her short film THE CHICKEN made in 2014 premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Critics' Week, won the European Film Award for Best Short Film 2014 and screened in the International Competition of Sundance Film Festival. It went on to screen at 270 other festivals around the globe, winning along more than 70 awards. Her short film SALAMAT FROM GERMANY, made within the initiative Lebanon Factory, will premiere at the Directors' Fortnight 2017. Una's feature film project ALFA, was selected for the Cannes Film Festival Cinefondation Residence and Torino Film Lab's FeatureLab programme where it won the Production award. ALFA also won the financial support of Creative Europe Media program and the French-Italian Development Fund. Una is currently in preproduction of her feature film project EXCURSION, winner of the Hubert Bals Script Development Fund, that has already secured production support from the Bosnian Film Fund and HAVC (Croatian Audiovisual Centre).

Films


WHALE VALLEY by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

pic_1616799628_84fc4eb659309c2fbbb82e404f83edfe.jpeg

The film shows a pure love story between two brothers who live in a remote Icelandic fjord with their parents. When the younger brother, a little boy, witnesses a life or death moment involving his big brother it sets in motion the possibility of either a great tragedy or a turning point to better times in both of their lives.

My intention with WHALE VALLEY was to show pure love between two brothers who live in a remote fjord. I wanted to show how their upbringing and surrounding affect them. I seek my inspiration from the contrast in the Icelandic nature, the great beauty and harshness and also the inner turmoil of a child/person who has no words for his feelings.
- Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

Trailer

 

THE CHICKEN by Una Gunjak

pic_1616799702_0d9fb68f7e85715940fa92cd802f17ed.jpeg

As a present for her 6th birthday, Selma gets a live chicken. When she realises the animal is going to be killed to feed the family, she decides to save it and set it free, unaware of the high stakes such action will lead to. While trying to bring back the missing chicken, Selma's mum becomes the target of a sniper shoot. Sarajevo, 1993.

THE CHICKEN is a very personal story for me. I have spent my childhood in war and that experience has not only marked my memories but has shaped my personality for the rest of my life. It took me many years to come to terms with the fact that, even though I and my family survived, the war has however killed something in each one of us. For me, it was my childhood that was killed, I became an adult when the first bombs fell, when I was forced to face the high stakes every new day brought. Childish games became dangerous and deadly, consequences of our even most benign and innocent actions became extremely cruel. You wake up as a child and you go to bed as an adult.
- Una Gunjak

Trailer