The PRIX JEUNESSE Suitcase Returns to Israel
For over two years, the PRIX JEUNESSE Foundation’s training activities were limited to digital projects. With all the possibilities that these forms of encounter offer – nothing can replace the real human encounter. It was all the more joyful for me to finally be able to use the PRIX JEUNESSE Suitcase with all its inspiring content in the context of “real” workshops again, in Israel, where the last real Suitcase workshop had taken place in January 2020 right before the outbreak of the pandemic.
The organisers of two media events had approached the PRIX JEUNESSE Foundation with the question of whether the Suitcase could come to Israel to inspire Israeli children’s television experts and also film and media students. We were happy to accept this invitation, and so in November the PRIX JEUNESSE suitcase travelled to the Cinema South Festival in Sderot and the Israeli Doc Forum at the Dead Sea.
The Cinema South Festival dedicated an entire day to the focus on programmes for young audiences. A presentation of the PRIX JEUNESSE suitcase with programme highlights from all genres and for all age groups in the morning was followed by a keynote presentation on the exciting topic “Taboo meets PC” in the afternoon. Using programme examples from the last PRIX JEUNESSE festivals, there was a heated discussion about how far children’s television can and may go when it comes to sensitive topics. Among the programme examples was the impressive Dutch documentary WHY DIDN’T YOU STAY FOR ME, which deals with the difficult and often taboo subject of suicide by parents, seen from the perspective of affected children. Other programme items included a pitching round that gave eight Israeli children’s media makers the opportunity to present their new projects to industry professionals. The intensive day concluded with three exciting TED Talks that explored the question, how to approach sensitive topics in Israeli children’s TV, and if there are topics one must stay clear off. Organizer of this focus day at Cinema South Festival was PRIX JEUNESSE’s close partner in Israel, Dr. Yuval Gozansky from Sapir College.
Invited by the Israeli Documentary Forum, the second stop of the PRIX JEUNESSE Suitcase was at the beautiful Dead Sea. The focus of this event was entirely on documentary film, and for the first time the organisers wanted to offer a platform to documentaries for children. The PRIX JEUNESSE Suitcase was a wonderful tool to offer insights into successful documentary storytelling for young audiences, with programme examples from a wide range of topics and countries. The Israeli filmmakers found this input extremely enriching and inspiring. We already look forward to seeing documentary films for children and young people from Israel at future PRIX JEUNESSE festivals!
Author: Kirsten Schneid, Festival Coordinator of PRIX JEUNESSE