Petros Charalambous

“Behind every young child who believes in himself is a parent who believed first”.

Mathew Jacobson.

Only if we believe in children and provide them with the right skills and tools to express themselves, create, see, discover, travel, educate themselves, imitate, experience and feel, only then will we have created the future artists, directors and actors. Children who believe in themselves, make their very own steps and express their own voice are those who will ensure the continuation of the magic world of cinema.

Continuing on the way paved by the previous artistic directors of Cyprus Film Days for Children and Youth, filmmakers David Hands and Andreas Kyriakou, I undertake this position for the first time this year, which was assigned to me by the Rialto Theatre and the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture whom I truly thank.

This year, the festival is addressed to children aged between 9 and 14 years old, as well as to their families. We have managed to incorporate important films in this year’s Children and Youth programme, embraced by the international young audience and awarded by major film festivals. We believe that children will enjoy them, become inspired by them, gain new skills and that they will have the opportunity to unleash their imagination and feelings while gaining an unforgettable experience that will be remembered for a long time. The selection of films was based on a common thematic in which children are “superheroes”: Children fighting against a disease, courageously facing difficult family situations, fighting against adversity in their daily life, discrimination, bullying or against their smallest fears.

Within the framework of this year’s edition, prominent international and Cypriot film professionals will be hosting four masterclasses covering a wide spectrum of topics such as acting for camera, smartphone as a camera (filming techniques, directing and editing films on mobile phone), animation and virtual reality.

We are also very pleased about our collaboration, for the first time, with the Children’s Edition of the International Animation Festival of Cyprus – Animafest, which will be hosting this year an animation workshop for children.

All workshops will take place on the 13th and 14th April at the University of Nicosia and Ayioi Omologites Cultural Workshop, whom we would like to thank for their support and collaboration. The organisation and promotion of the festival, as well as the implementation of the workshops would not have been possible without the invaluable support of the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Rialto Theatre, our sponsors but, mostly, the hard work and devotion of my colleagues, Anna Kouma and Christiana Varda, whom I truly thank.

Finally, I would like to dedicate to our young spectators and actors some lines from classic children’s films, inspired by this year’s thematic:

“Life is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved” – Pooh – Winnie the Pooh.

“Sometimes we only see how people are different from us. But if you look hard enough, you can see how much we’re all alike.” Jasmine – Aladdin

“It’s up to you how far you go. If you don’t try, you’ll never know!”  Merlin – The Sword in the Stone.

“If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” Cinderella

“Nothing’s impossible”, The Doorknob – Alice in Wonderland.