A teenage girl is uprooted from her island due to climate change, while another must find a home among strangers. A child copes with the loss of a parent, while two school friends defy their conservative community to participate in the most exciting scientific event of the century.
Like so many children all over the world, the young protagonists in this year’s selection are all trying to figure out where they belong, and how to belong there. They are children who must make choices. Who must act, for the sake of themselves, their families, or their communities.
And ultimately, against all odds, their choices and actions have an impact. Sometimes positive, other times not so much… but the important thing is the making of the choice itself: the taking of responsibility.
At a time when young people are facing societal, environmental and technological challenges that their parents can barely understand, much less deal with, this year’s programme is dedicated to ACTION. It’s a call to activism, personal responsibility and empathetic engagement with the world and the people around us.
Only if we allow ourselves to care about the people and the world around us, and only if we dare to do something about it, can we change our world. This, ultimately, is the eternal message of cinema: that we can be, and should be, the protagonists of our own story. That our actions can, and should, have a positive impact. That no-one is going to make things better for us, other than us.
Beyond the big screen, we are once again thrilled to be offering a selection of hands-on creative workshops that are calls to cinematic activism for young people of all ages. With a select group of Workshop Leaders and with subjects ranging from hand-drawn animation to the creation of VR characters, and from environmental protection to cinematic self-expression, our message to young people is clear: Creativity in the audiovisual sector is a field accessible to all; a means to express oneself, and a powerful tool, even in the youngest of hands, to build a better world.