Record attendance of 9,300! Eight days of KUKI confetti spirit have come and gone in a rainbow blast of extraordinary shortfilms, laughter, burning questions, some tears and newly discovered perspectives and horizons. KUKI stuck to its traditional framework of 13 programs aimed at the hungriest and most challenging age groups of all: 4-18. Each program had something to be amazed, amused and inspired by and lively audience discussions covered topics ranging from what filmmakers earn and why grownups so rarely apologise for their own bad behaviour, to whether women really do bleed or if it's ok for your mum to stalk your YouTube chat....
Visiting filmmakers raved about the fun atmosphere and full cinemas, all of them saying how eye-opening it was to watch their films with the honest and direct interaction of the young viewers and how much they learned in the process too! In times such as these, when freedom of speech, movement and action are under threat, here in Germany and all over the world, the communal interactions and creative exchanges possible at such film festivals works against ignorance and prejudice, and instead inspires participation, empathy, curiosity, critical thought and a sense of belonging.
The party-hard KUKI team were the first to rise for the early morning school screenings and the last to leave the interfilm dance floors late at night, spreading catchy songs and silly dances wherever they went. The Opening and Award ceremonies were bursting with kids, balloons, popcorn and buttons - while the more radical screenings for older teens such as Girls* Riot (a feminist program curated and presented by 15-17-year-old girls) left even the adults in the audience astounded, educated and empowered.
Three young juries awarded €3000 in prizes and glitter-globe trophies (handmade by the KUKI crew) to three films: LUCKY TICKET by Russian director Andrey Naimanov for its young protagonist's tenacity (Best Film for Young Children); the empathetic and beautifully crafted claymation TEOFRASTUS directed by Sergei Kibus from Estonia (Best Film for Children); the Belgian/French film MATRIOCHKAS by Bérangère McNeese for its convincing actors and timely message concerning the current pro choice debate (Best Film for Youth). The audience award for Best Children's Documentary went to the playfully inspiring A FIELD GUIDE TO BEING A 12-YEAR-OLD GIRL directed by Tilda Cobham-Hervey from Australia and the special FBW Award was conferred to the German filmmaker Chiara Fleischhacker for her insightful and shimmering chamber-piece WHAT REMAINS.
Click here for an overview of all winners
Find more festival impressions here