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14 - 20 August - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Emotion in speeches and strong stories at comKids - PJIBA 2017

Since 2009, producers, creators of contents for children and young people that are starting to work in this area gather in the city of São Paulo to participate in the Prix Jeunesse Iberoamericano Festival, under the comKids brand. Most of them come Ibero-American countries and speak Portuguese and Spanish.

Beyond the competitive show, this year's festival promoted actions and activities, from August 14th to 20th. They happened in four of São Paulo's most important cultural spaces: Sesc Consolação, Goethe-Institut, Espaço Itaú de Cinema and the Cinemateca Brasileira. More than 800 people from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Portugal and Uruguay have circulated the event for 7 days and were present on the screenings, workshops and debates. It is a meeting point, a moment of exchanges, debates, ideas and celebration between professionals and friends.
It was a week of immersion not only in the screenings of more than 70 programs, but also in the contemporary themes of Latin American childhood and youth presented in audiovisual content in various formats and proposals. And as an amalgam of the debates, a theme permeated various productions and activities of the festival: the strength of children's stories to address necessary and urgent issues.
The opening ceremony of the festival set the tone for this year’s edition, with the screening of "Sleeping Lions," award-winning British short film, directed by David Barnes, awarded in PJI2016, with a sensitive and non-explicit narrative on a taboo subject, or child abuse. The creative and courageous approach to contemporary themes was also the focus of many conversations during comKids. Quality stories can do a lot more than entertain. Stories that inspire, question and transform are an urgent need in the complicated contemporary world.
Having that on mind, the discussion tables, the nights and the moments after the exhibitions were filled with beautiful speeches and reflections of the participants on autonomy, self-esteem, resilience and on the rights that children have to know about their world, their speech, expression and guaranteed feeling. We know that audiovisual can certainly help and support children at many stages of their development. Let see some of the winners: "Guilhermina and Candelario", "Ba", “Jorel’s Brother ”, “Asquerosamente Rico”, “Atrapasueños”, “Work for who?”, “Sueños Latinoamericanos”, among others.
I want to highlight here two moments of extreme emotion that happened in this year's edition. In the roundtables, comKids themes of the lack of representation on the screen, gender, race and ethnicity were approached with vehemence by writers, directors and actors of the audiovisual youth. In "My time" session, two documentaries "Respect" and "Kunumi, the native thunder" were exhibited with the presence of their protagonists, Kayllane Coelho, a girl who suffered an attack of religious intolerance and the young Guarani Indian Werá, who is also a rapper, talking about land demarcation. The audience was impressed! This project was carried out in Brazil by Free Press Unlimited and comKids.
The workshops were highly appreciated by the participants and the Portuguese director and animation teacher Fernando Galrito, spoke with an audience of educators to talk about the strength of animation as a pedagogical language. Kirsten Schneid, brought a special PJ Suitcase with European and Asian festival titles of 2014 and 2016. These productions sparked a hot debate in the audience of TV executives and producers.
Also, many winners and the brilliant international presence of Hyunsook Chung from EBS South Korea, Jan-Willem Bult from the Netherlands, Yuki Yoshida from Japan Prize and dear Latin friends such as Liliana de La Quintana, Pablo Christiny, Alvaro Ceppi, Soledad Suit, Karen Garib, Aldana Duhalde, Pamela Órdenes, Sandra Tellez and many other professionals from Latin America and Brazil. At the end we have made another remarkable edition of PJ Iberoamericano, and It’s stories will remain in our memories.
By Beth Carmona Director comKids PJIBA2017