Club of Festivals
Festival Director SCHLiNGEL | Chemnitz | Germany
The club shows that there is a very lively and well-functioning network of children's film festivals around the globe. In smaller and larger (online) meetings, the members will discuss the film program of SCHLiNGEL and, at the end, they will award a special film in each of the three SCHLiNGEL age categories (children's, junior and youth film).
Director Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival | Oulu | Finland
He is the director of the Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival, which is organized annually in November by the Oulu Film Centre. As a gentle contrast to children’s films he has also been involved with IIK!! Horror Film Festival in Ii from its beginning, where he was the chairman of the board for 14 years. He was altogether eight years a board member of the Oulu Night of Arts, an annual event where all kinds of arts forms meet.
Festival Director MICE | Valencia | Spain
Josep Arbiol is the founder and President of the International Festival Union for Children, Youth and Teachers MICE (Mostra Internacional de Cinema Educatiu), which includes among others screening places in Valencia and Madrid (Spain), Havana (Cuba) and Western Sahara. Furthermore, Josep Arbiol is also Festival Director of MICE Valencia. Born in Estivella (Valencia) and educated at the University of Valencia, the teacher and producer has a long audiovisual career in media and has mentored in educational films with children. He is a member of ECFA, UNIAL and the CIFEJ board of directors.
Festival Director and Artistic Director Festival International du film pour enfants de Montréal (FIFEM) | Canada
Jo-Anne Blouin is head of the International Film Festival für Kinder FIFEM, which she has created. At the age of 16, in her native Quebec, she began working in theatres for children and embarked in the heady world of creating collective works. Later on, she shifted focus to children’s films and created the FIFEM. She believes children should have access to films from many cultures. Until 2008, Jo-Anne Blouin was CIFEJ’s Executive Director and in 2018, she received the Honorary Award from SCHLiNGEL Festival.
Head of the business platform of the IFF Almaty (Kazakhstan) | Moskau | Russland
Ekaterina Bordacheva is co-founder of the “Eurasian Film Market” in Kazakhstan and Head of the business platform of the Almaty IFF. She started in the film industry in 2003 as an assistant film producer in the production company for children and youth films “Rakurs” and graduated from the Russian Film University VGIK in 2006. Ekaterina Bordacheva has experiences as producer, film lecturer, event manager, film distributor and programme curator for European children’s and youth film festivals. Since 2013, she has been a top manager of the International Film Market and the Russian Film Business Forum in Moscow.
María Liset Cotera García
Festival Director Festival La Matatena Internacional de Cine para Niños (...y no tan Niños) | Mexico
María Liset Cotera García is founder and director of the International Children’s Film Festival “... and not so Children” and of La Matatena, an Association of Film for Girls and Boys, A.C. She graduated from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Unidad Xochimilco in Mexico City with a degree in Social Communication and works as a film producer and promoter for children in Mexico. She specialises in the field of design and the creation of methods to bring children closer to the world in moving images. María Liset Cotera García is also an advocate for children’s rights.
Former Executive Director DYTIATKO International Children’s Media Festival | Charkiw | Ukraine
Volodymyr Diagilev was the executive director of the DYTIATKO International Children's Media Festival in Kharkiv until 2022. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and Head of the Kharkiv Association of Children’ Screen Arts “Dytiatko”. Volodymyr Diagilev is also the founder of the educational project “Children of Miss Peregrine”.
Marion Røst Heimlund
Programmer Kristiansand International Children’s Film | Norway
Marion Røst Heimlund started to work for at Norway’s largest International Children’s Film Festival in Kristiansand (KICFF) as programmer in August 2021. Since 2007, she has been actively engaged with the film industry and, among others, worked with the Tromsø International Film Festival. She is the children and youth representative in the board of the Film Club Association in Norway.
Programmer Zlín Film Festival | Czech Republic
Jaroslav Hynštová has been working as a film programmer at Zlín Film Festival – International Film Festival for Children and Youth since 2005. She studied Film and English Philology at the Palacky University in Olomouc. She is a journalist, screenwriter and director of an amateur theatre group, where she also writes plays. Jaroslava Hynštová was regional correspondent for the biggest Czech newspaper.
Educational Programme Zurich Film Festival for Kids, Public Affairs | Zurich | Switzerland
Yvonne Augustin graduated with an PhD in Film Studies from the University of Zurich. Already during her studies, she worked as a producer and co-director. In 2013, she started working in the core team of the Zurich Film Festival, where she is responsible for the educational programme "ZFF for Kids" as well as public affairs.
Festival Director Tromsø International Film Festival Junior (TIFF Junior) | Tromsø | Norway
Astrid Aure is the festival director of the Tromsø International Film Festival childrens edition, TIFF Junior, and has been with the festival since 2014. She works with children and young people year-round and is also the programme director for the „Films from the North“ programme at Tromsø International Film Festival. She studied Journalism and also completed a Masterʼs degree in Film Studies.
Main Coordinator Ale Kino! | Poznań | Polen
Marta Jodko studied Art History at the Adam Mickiewnań. She has been working as a programmer at the International Young Audience Film Festival Ale Kino!, Biennial Art for Children, and the Children part of the Animated Film Festival Animator since 2010. Since 2022, she has been the main coordinator of Ale Kino! and a board member of the ECFA.
Founder, Festival Director | Cinemira Budapest International Children’s and Youth Film Festival | Hungary
Nora Lakos graduated from the National Theatre and Film Academy (SZFE) Budapest and went on to study Film Directing at the London Film School and the Brussels Film Academy INSAS. In 2018, she founded Cinemira, the first international childrenʼs film festival in Hungary. She is also a director, screenwriter and producer. In 2020, she founded Squirrel Film Production, a production company specialising in producing films and series for young audiences.
Festival Director Festival Comkids | São Paulo | Brasil
Beth Carmona is the director of Comkids which is not only a festival, but also a platform that provides information in the field of film and organises events on current topics and discussions. She is also an executive producer and creative consultant in the field of childrenʼs and audiovisual media in Brazil and throughout Latin America. Furthermore, she is also the founder and president of Midiativa, the Brazilian Center on Media for Children.
Co-Leiterin Internationales Kinderfilmfestival Wien | Wien | Österreich
Martina Lassacher studierte Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft, Anglistik/Amerikanistik und Spanisch, sie promovierte 1986. Anschließend unterrichtete sie an verschiedenen österreichischen Universitäten Filmtheorie. Sie ist die Co-Leiterin des Internationalen Kinderfilmfestivals Wien und Leiterin des Instituts Pitanga, dem Trägerverein des Internationalen Kinderfilmfestivals, sowie von den KinderKinoWelten Österreich.
Assisting Programmer and Head of Communication BUFF Malmö Film Festival | Malmö | Sweden
Måns Leonartsson is Programming assistant and head of communication at BUFF Malmö Film Festival, the largest film festival for young people in Sweden. Måns Leonartsson is also a board member of FOMP – the association for film and media education in Sweden, a touring musician and a film enthusiast.
Betty Li Yuan
Programmer CICFF | Beijing | China
Betty Li Yan is programmer of China International Children’s Film Festival (CIFF). In 2011, she started as a volunteer for the festival and later became the international coordinator for both the festival and China Children’s Film Association. Additionally, Betty Li Yuan is a producer for co-productions and holds a bachelor’s degree of Architecture from Zhengjiang University and a master’s degree of Film Art from Beijing Film Academy.
Programmer Internationales Kinderfilmfestival | Vienna | Austria
Elisabeth Lichtkoppler has been one of the organizers of the international Children’s Film Festival Vienna for more than 25 years. Since 1991, she is the Managing Director of the Children’s and Youth Cinema CINEMAGIC, which is a part of WIENXTRA, which helps to plan and organize many innovative children’s and youth activities.
Festival Director SIFFCY | New Delhi | India
Jitendra Mishra is one of the few Indian film producers & promoters who have been able to create a benchmark in “Alternative methods of Film Production, Distribution & Promotion” at international level. He had designed & is the festival director of the “Smile International Film Festival for Children & Youth” (SIFFCY). Jitendra Mishra also has been elected president of CIFEJ and is a member of the Cannes Producers Network.
Senior Adviser Kristiansand International Children’s Film Festival | Norway
From 1998 to 2020, Danckert Monrad-Krohn was director of Kristiansand ICFF. During his career, he worked as a film teacher at Agder Folk High School, worked as a children’s film consultant for Kristiansand Kino, organised school screenings, film workshops and teacher training programmes. He has also been a member of the Guarantee Committee, which provides economic support for the import of children's films to Norway, and the Screen Education. Danckert Monrad-Krohn was deputizing as Children’s Film Consultant for The Norwegian Cinema and Film Foundation in 2002.
Calliope Charalambous Krief
Festival Director, Founder | Athens International Children’s Film Festival (ATHICFF) | Greece
Calliope Charalambous Krief founded the Athens International Childreʼs Film Festival in 2018 and has been its festival director ever since. She also works as a producer for theatre and television, and has additionally worked as a director in these fields, being involved in the production of TV shows, music and corporate events. She holds a Bachelorʼs degree in Humanities and a Masterʼs degree in Theatre Direction.
Programmer FACETS Chicago International Children’s Film Festival | Chicago | USA
Deidre Searcy is the film programmer at FACETS Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, a media educator and arts education expert with 20 years of experience. She is the former Project Director at Education Development Center and has designed and led workshops for youth and adults. She engaged with Street-Level Youth Media where she worked to position media arts as a catalyst for change in inner city schools.
Lead Programmer Next Wave Toronto International Film Festival | Canada
Ikoro Sekai is a Toronto-based film programmer, media artist and youth facilitator. He graduated from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University in Montreal. Since 2016, he has been the lead programmer for the annual TIFF Next Wave Film Festival, which works to increase access to film for young audiences and emerging filmmakers. He is an advocate for the use of media to promote young and emerging artists
KINEKO International Children’s Film Festival | Tokio | Japan
Mitsuo Tahira founded the Children’s Film Festival Japan, now KINEKO, Japan’s first international children’s film festival. He established the “Live Cinema”, where films for children are dubbed in Japanese live in the cinema hall. The KINEKO grew in the last 30 years to the largest event of its kind in Japan. In addition to his work at KINEKO, he cultivates cooperation with foreign film festivals, has been networking with Japanese filmmakers overseas for years and is committed to organizing film screenings for young children up to teenagers.
Festival Producer Discovery Film Festival | Dundee | UK (Scotland)
Mike Tait is Festival Producer of the Discovery Film Festival, an international film festival for young audiences. He is functioning as a promoter for high-quality productions for children and youth. He’s also the coordinator of the DYAs, a group of youths who act as young programmers for the festival and develops year-round family-friendly screening programmes and supports schools and teachers in the development of film as a valuable resource across the curriculum.
Alejandra Fritis Zapata
Festival Director, Founder Ojo de Pescado | Valparaiso | Chile
Alejandra Fritis Zapata is foundress and director of “Ojo de Pescado” (The Fish Eye) International Film Festival of Children and Youth from Chile. She is a producer, documentary filmmaker, specialist in children and young audiencesʼ cinema contents, and teacher of audiovisual literacy. She is also the foundress and head of the international seminar “The childhood wants cinema” and director of the documentary television serie “My rural school” about chilean countryside schools.
COO, Head of Programme | Castellinaria Festival del Cinema Giovane | Bellinzona, Switzerland
Cristiana Giaccardi is the COO and Head of Programming at the Castellinaria Festival del Cinema Giovane. Before starting in Bellinzona in 2018, she worked as a project manager at the Ticino Film Commission, as coordinator of the International Literary Criticism Week and as head of the programme office at the Locarno Film Festival, as junior producer at Ventura Film and as coordinator of the programme office at the Festival du Réel in Nyon. She has also worked as a press officer for the international press.
Festival Director, Programmer | Just Film Youth and Childrenʼs Film Festival | Tallinn, Estonia
Mikk Granström graduated with distinction from Tallinn University in 2019 with a Masterʼs degree in Educational Management and is currently writing his PhD thesis in Education. He is the director and programmer of the festival for children and young people Just Film and a board member and head of administration of the Black Nights Film Festival. Mikk Granström has also been teaching film in primary and secondary schools for 15 years, as well as masterʼs students in Educational Leadership at Tallinn University.
Programme Designer | Busan International Kids and Youth Film Festival | South Korea
Emily Jang received her Masterʼs degree in Film Theory from Chung-Ang University and is currently pursuing a PhD in OTT Policy, Planning and Economics. She has been a member of the Korea Media Rating Boardʼs Film Experts Committee and serves as a jury member for the Childrenʼs Rights Film Festival organised by the international NGO Save the Children.
Festival Director | China International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) | Beijing, China
Huang Jun is Chairman of the China Childrenʼs Film Association, which is responsible for organising the CICFF. He was also Director of China Childrenʼs Film Studio and Managing Director of China Film Animation Co. He also directed numerous films and television programmes in his career as a director.
Artistic Director | Tel Aviv International Children's Film Festival (TAICFF) | Israel
Noy Levin studied Film at the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television in Tel Aviv University and is a director of short films and children’s plays. She is the Artistic Director of the Tel Aviv International Children’s Film Festival (TAICFF) in Israel In addition, Noy curates cultural events and is a lecturer of film and animation.
Head of Programme | BUFF Malmö Film Festival | Sweden
Daniel Lundquist started working at BUFF Malmö Film Festival in 2009 and has been programme director since 2012. Previously, he worked in various positions at the Swedish Film Institute and the City of Malmöʼs cultural department. He completed a degree in arts administration.
Deputy Artistic Director | Olympia Film Festival | Athens, Greece
Pantelis Panteloglou studied Social Anthropology in Athens and has a master’s degree in Social Exclusion and Minorities. Since 2011, he has been working for the Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People and meanwhile became its deputy artistic director. He got his expertise from working in various creative and technical positions for film festivals, television and theatre. In February 2022 he was elected on the board of the European Children’s Film Association and since February 2023 he took over as president.
Artistic Director | Zlín Film Festival |Czech Republic
Markéta started working at the Zlín Film Festival in 1999, in 2013 as artistic director. She is focused on European cinema for young audiences and is active in educational programs for children and youth. She is a member of the board of directors of the FILMTALENT ZLÍN foundation, which supports young talented filmmakers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Markéta Pášmová is also the head of Zlín Industry Days – a program for film professionals.
Ivonne Sanchez Noroña
Festival Director | MICE Kuba
Ivonne Sanchez Noroña is the director of the educational film festival MICE Cuba. She studied Social Development at FLACSO Cuba. She is a cultural scientist at the Cuban Cultural Research Institute “Juan Marinello” and a professor of history. She is also a member of the Universo Audiovisual de la Ninez Latinoamericana y Caribeña.
Director | Youth Film Organisation Flanders JEF | Belgium
Iris Verhoeven is the director of the Youth Film Organisation Flanders (JEF), which organises the annual Youth Film Festival in several cities. She studied Politics and Sociology, Comparative Cultural Studies and Cultural Management, and – in Barcelona – Catalan Language and Art. She also completed the LinC Leadership programme at Utrecht University and Antwerp Management School. Before joining JEF, she was the Executive Director of the European Youth Film Festival for ten years. Before that, she also worked at the University of Antwerp and as director of the Antwerp Cultural Centre.
Programming Director | New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) | USA
Maria-Christina Villaseñor is the programme director of the New York Childrenʼs Film Festival. She is also a writer, media arts curator, speaker and juror. She is also currently working on a forthcoming podcast on animated documentaries for Dok Leipzig, as well as several student-created film programmes for the NYICFF. One of her earlier life positions was as Associate Curator of Film and Media Arts at the Guggenheim Museum.