Artistic director’s message

CINEMA FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE utilizes a language in order to represent the world around us, and its primary concern is to address children, teenagers, and young adults.

The Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People has been serving the genre of cinema for children and young people since its establishment in 1997, by promoting quality films that don’t usually find their way to commercial distribution.

This year’s competitive program alone includes 86 films from 59 countries of the world, which touch on issues from all aspects of children and young people’s lives. The making of these films required knowledge, sensitivity, talent and bravery. The fact we are presenting these films in our Festival is a small homage to their creators.

The 4th Kids & Docs competition taking place in Amaliada has a special importance for us. During its course, 29+1 exceptional documentaries will be screened, and many of their creators will be present to chat with the audience, while the city of documentary gets its bearings.

The feature “2019. Approaching childhood and youth in modern Greek cinema” is also important, as it will showcase 14 short films of recent Greek production. These films were not shot with a young audience in mind, but they are worth taking note of, seeing as, in a way, they deal with modern Greek society as it is now.

The other side of this feature is the 2nd Olympia “Creative Ideas” Pitching Lab; it is a workshop for professional filmmakers, which aims to boost the production of films for children and young people in Greece, seeing as the level of said production in Greece is much lower than that in the rest of Europe.

However, being a member of the audience watching select films is not the only thing to be enjoyed by young (and older) audiences in Pirgos, Amaliada, and other cities of the Western Greece Region.

Dozens of workshops, seminars, and masterclasses complement the happenings taking place in the movie theaters, Camera Zizanio continues to confidently present the creations of children from our country and all over the world, and hundreds of visitors arrive to brighten up the city of Pirgos.

Given the extent of the Festival’s activities, there is only one thing missing: a space that can adequately house these activities in their multitude, and constitute a starting point for the Festival’s further growth.

This space will be the old raisin factory of ASO. With the funding secured from the Public Investments Program and the active support of the Regional Government of Western Greece, the only thing we have to fear in the future is our lesser selves.

Still, the past 21 years of the Festival stand proudly in the face of this fear, as do all our other activities relating to the genre of  cinema for children and young people and film education since the beginning of the 90’s…

Dimitris Spyrou
Artistic Director