Program for Children and Youth

National cinematography

Many would agree that a successful national cinematography is the one that
attracts the audience to the movie theatres. They would also agree that its
important segment is the production of films for children and young adults. The
reason for that is that the production of films for children is the only way to
ensure a long-term recruiting of people who are interested in films. It
is also the means of raising the criteria of taste and the means of “producing
young people who might learn to love film so much that they become major players
in some field of cinematography. However much it might seem naďve or utopian, a
quality domestic production subconsciously persuades even the youngest
that it is possible to make films in their own country.

The end of sixties and the beginning of seventies was the time of the
relative rise of the film production for the youngest audience. Two of the
literary works by Mate Lovrak, Vlak u snijegu and Družba Pere Kvržice,
intrigued two directors: Mate Relja in 1970 and Vladimir Tadej in 1976. The
leading actors from both these films - Slavko Štimac and Mladen Vasary – later
became professional actors.

Today, when we watch those films, many people notice huge differences between
them and contemporary films for children, which are enriched with
computer-generated visual effects. However, one of the main tasks of such
programs is to familiarize young audiences with the history of cinematography
and the fact that many interesting and good films were made before the invention
of computers.

It is this quality presentation of old films that can be crucial in
the awakening of interest in film, its values, for watching them close,r and
maybe even studying them.

But, at the same time, film can be an incentive to turn attention to other
areas. In the case of the above-mentioned films, they were the areas of music
and literature.

When we talk about the relationship between children and film, we have to
bear in mind three basic compounds that contain those two notions: first are the
films for children; second are films about children; and third are children's
film. The first one is the film that has children for an audience, and the third
are films that are results of children's creativity. Between them are films that
can be for children but are actually for adults, because they question different
realtionships between children and adults. Certainly one such of the most
succesful domestic films is Golik's Imam dvije mame i dva tate from 1968.
Even though very humorous and entertaining, this film is at the same time a
serious analysis of family life and circumstances in which children of divorced
parents grow up. At the same time those parents, in the words of one of the
protagonists, want to organize their lives in a civilized and cultured way.

At last, when we talk about the relationship between children and film, it is
important that the youngest don't understand that feature films are the only
film products. Children are very compatible with, for example, animation. It is
maybe the most appropriate means of visualising a fairy tale. Just as a fairy
tale is a literary form in which no one is surprised with wonders, so is
animation a film form in which no one is surprised when things start to move:
drawings or, for example, shoes. But, it is important to show to children
animated films that are different from feature animated films, such as Disney's
or those that are regularly shown on television. Films by Borivoj Dovniković,
author of animated films and a brilliant book about animation, with their humor,
simplicity of caricatures and outstanding quality, are an ideal way to
familiarize young people with other approaches to animation. If we talk about
documentary films, the same can be said of Krsto Papić, who is one of the most
successful and interesting Croatian documentarists. His films, such as Mala
soeska priredba
, or Nek se čuje i naš glas, are a proof of careful
observation of social phenomena, their gentle ironicalness, as well as deep
sympathy for completely annonymous people who try to make their lives more
interesting, actual, and even adventurous. Krsto Papić is one of those Croatian
filmmakers who show and prove that documentary films are one of the most
important segments of domestic production, but, even more importantly, that a
documentary can be very alive and interesting, and in its shortness and
succinctness also be extremely attractive. (Dario Marković)