Young Programmers for Young Audiences! European Film Festival Network

European film festivals recognise the importance of cultivating loyal audiences, which is why we are increasingly developing programmes for young audiences. To reverse the established practice of programming for young audiences exclusively by adults, we have joined forces and created a new network of European film festivals consisting of the Kino Otok – Isola Cinema International Film Festival, the Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival, the Vilnius International Short Film FestivalPiccolo Grande Cinema and the Motovun Film Festival. We have made it our mission to actively involve young programmers in the creation of all five established international film festivals and have named the network Young Programmers for Young Audiences! or Young4Film for short.

The aim of our festival network is to thus develop our audiences and promote European – especially non-national – films amongst the target groups of primarysecondary and university students. We entrust young programmers with the responsibility of becoming part of the festival teams, while their film programmes and promotional material will be shared with young audiences at all the festivals within the network. The selected films will be accompanied by original digital educational materials, which will be made available to other film curators, film educators and teachers, ensuring that their reach extends beyond the Young4Film network and wider partnership. In addition to the five European film festivals, three cultural organisations working in the field of film education are also involved in the network’s activities: A Bao A Qu (Barcelona, Spain), Meno Avilys (Vilnius, Lithuania) and Kijufi (Berlin, Germany).

Our collaborative approach to engaging young programmers is based on the original Moving Cinema methodology, which has been developed since 2014 by the team of the Catalan organisation A Bao A Qu in collaboration with several international partners, with the aim of developing active young film audiences. It is precisely this past collaboration that has given us a shared understanding of the importance of developing young audiences and we will further build on our efforts in this area by taking into account the issues of sustainability, environmental awareness, balanced gender representation, inclusion, diversity and representativity. We are confident that with our expertise and enthusiasm, we will continue to pave the way in the innovative development of young audiences and become a trusted authority in this field, inspiring many other film festivals through our work to involve young people in programming.

Young4Film Festival Network in 2023

You are cordially invited to visit the festivals in our festival network this year and see first-hand or online how we involve young programmers in the creation of our programmes and ensure high quality, diverse and fresh film selection for young audiences. And don’t forget to tap us on the shoulder, if you see us around – it will be our pleasure to chat with you and discuss our project. See you!

Vilnius International Short Film Festival, Vilnius, Lithuania, 18-24 January 2023
Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival, Belgrade, Serbia, 10-17 May 2023
Kino Otok – Isola Cinema International Film Festival, Izola, Slovenia, 7-11 June 2023
Cinehill Motovun Film Festival, Motovun, Croatia, 22-24 July 2023, and Petehovac, Gorski kotar, Croatia, 26-29 July 2023
Piccolo Grande Cinema, Milan, Italy, November 2023

Beldocs for Young Audiences

Since its establishment in 2008, Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival has been devoted to young audiences providing them with quality audiovisual and cinema experience and film education activities curated by film and youth professionals. By 2023, Beldocs film education programmes include diverse youth-centered activities mainly focused on audiences aged 13-18 years, which we recognised as the most underserved youth group in Serbia when it comes to film education and audiovisual literacy:

  • Young Programmers is the strand of work that reflects the core of the Young4Film philosophy: active involvement of young people in the creation of five established international film festivals as Young Programmers, who co-curate festivals’ onsite and online programmes and become valuable members of the festivals’ programming teams. At beldocs IDFF, Young Programmers curate the festival’s Teen section for teenagers, as well as in other specific educational sessions with and by young people.
  • Beldocs Teen is a special festival selection of award-winning documentaries with premiere screenings for primary and high school students and their teachers, followed by moderated discussions. A Teen Jury is formed each year to select the winning film of the program. The program is also part of the year-round Young Spectators strand which includes educational screenings and discussions on other festivals, in cinemas and inside school hours.
  • MiniDoc is an annual creative documentary film workshop for high school students led by filmmakers.
  • Teacher trainings based on specific methodologies of pedagogical work with documentary film at schools offer professional workshops and trainings on viewing processes, discussing films and creating cinema with students for primary and secondary school teachers in Serbia.
  • Young4Film at Beldocs+ VoD is a shared online platform in development phase to offer teachers, students and film educators selected young programmers’ choices from five international film festivals in the Young4Film European network of festivals; online distribution of high-quality cinema selected and enjoyed by young people from various corners of Europe.

The European project Young Programmers for Young Audiences! European Film Festival Network is coordinated by Kino Otok – Isola Cinema International Film Festival with the support of Creative Europe MEDIA.


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