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May 2014

Catching Attention, Reaching Young Audiences: The PRIX JEUNESSE Suitcase in Abu Dhabi

Under the title: “Catching attention, reaching young audiences: Challenges for producers and creative film artists” eight selected experts for educative children's television met in Abu Dhabi to discuss quality standards and suitable content for film and TV productions and possible forms of cooperation in the Arab region. 

The workshop was part of the activities of the Science Film Festival 2014. It was moderated by SilkePenno, editorial producer of the German science magazine “pur+” aprogramme for children produced by German broadcaster ZDF in their “ZDF tivi” thematic channel.

The participants introduced themselves by presenting own productions and SilkePenno was impressed and surprised by the high quality of the films from the MENA broadcasters.

For two days, the participants watched and analysedinternational films from the PRIX JEUNESSE suitcase, TV productions with science content and defined guidelines for quality productions, content relevance and age suitability for young target groups. They identified the potential of cooperation as well as network possibilities order to establish a continuous exchange .The participants also presented their own programs and discuss them in the workshop.

“I got motivated. Anything is possible…” Ali Karam, producer from Palestine (Ramallah) said “The expanding of ideas in the workshop was crucial for me. We are neglecting the importance of education in the region. It is important to develop an Arabic character. As Arabic region we can produce something together“. MeedoTaha, Professor at the American University in Dubai who also participated in the workshop was very pleased too: “It was a great workshop. It was very important to have this exchange with colleagues from different backgrounds, with different approaches. The variety of participants was crucial. This workshop helped me how to reach, how to approach children on an educational level.”

ChristeenKhoury and Mais Momani, from Ro’ya TV in Jordan and HatimBabiker Ahmed Ali, Sudan TV Channel were also convinced: “It was a great experience. There will for sure be possibilities to cooperate in the future.” Dr. Manal Mekhael, from Media-Arts for Development, Egypt added: “It was good to have the chance to think outside the box, to be exposed to other approaches and to network with colleagues from the region.”

For content and quality discussion also the program series “I got it” was introduced. “I got it” is an edutainment co-production for children, produced in South-East Asia on the initiative of the Goethe-Institut. Mohamad Koaik, from Talent MENA FZ-LLC was convinced: “I enjoyed meeting professionals from the region and the discussion about the children educational programme here in the region, which I care about very much. But the workshop session about “I got it” impressed me the most and definitely motivated me to do something.” And Rania Jammal, Commissioning Producer JCC TV added: „It was very refreshing to meet, to watch all those different examples. It was impressive to watch the movies of other colleagues. Such a workshop reminds you how important it is to be creative to communicate and not to focus so much on your work”.