The 38th Kinderfilmfest München is returning to the big screen in this unusual year with four feature films and a series for young adults. It will open on July 3 with the world premiere of LAURA’S STAR, a live-action adaptation of the classic children’s book of the same title by Klaus Baumgart. Director Joya Thome, who opened the Kinderfilmfest in 2017 with her debut film, QUEEN OF NIENDORF, filmed the story of Laura, a little girl who looks after a star that has crashed to Earth, with an adorable ensemble of children.
Kids on the sidelines and the ups and downs of coming of age
Besides LAURA’S STAR, the other three films are primarily about children who, each in their own way, find themselves on the sidelines. In MISSION ULJA FUNK by Barbara Kronenberg, Ulja discovers that science and religion are often incompatible. Since her passion for astronomy is not exactly met with enthusiasm in her religious family, she decides without further ado to take off on a whirlwind road trip to Belarus with her classmate Henk to observe the meteor she has discovered as it hits the Earth. In André Hörmann’s feature-film debut, NACHTWALD, it’s two boys named Paul and Max who run off on the last day before summer vacation to search for a legendary cave that Paul’s missing father had always talked about. Their journey deep inside the Black Forest mountains becomes the adventure of a lifetime for both of them. In the animated film THE APE STAR, Jonna, an orphan girl, wants nothing more than to be part of a family. When her new mother arrives and turns out to be a gorilla, she feels apprehensive at first. Director Linda Hambäck tells an enchanting tale of an unconventional love between two outsiders.
The Ape Star
Mission Ulja Funk
A program for teenagers and young adults
This year, the series WE ARE NOW already maps out where the Kinderfilmfest intends to go in the future: “In addition to what we offer children of all ages, we aim to progressively establish a program for teenagers and young adults, thus closing the gap to the rest of what’s on offer at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN,” says the new director of the Kinderfilmfest, Tobias Krell. Christian Klandt’s hit series, which earned the Bavarian Television Award in 2020, tells the story of 17-year-old Laura (Lisa-Marie Koroll) and her clique, who experience the ups and downs of coming of age. The latest season centers on Hannes (Helge Lodder), who realizes that he is not who he wants to be.
As I see it, educating children about film is a central part of the Kinderfilmfest. We want to make a virtue out of necessity: if the children can’t come to us, we’ll come to them.
Festival films as a weekend open-air event
The regular program of films has most of its screenings on three days during the festival weekends. On July 4, 5, and 10, there will be four children’s films and one series for teenagers. Our partnership with Kino am Olympiasee will allow us to present the films outdoors during the day on a large LED screen. The films will also be shown in the Rio Filmpalast movie theater on weekdays. Also, on July 4, the White Elephant children’s media award will be presented prior to the screening of MISSION ULJA FUNK. Since 2005, the Medien-Club-München e.V. has been honoring productions at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN that foster positive development in children and youth and that contribute to improving the quality of what the media offer them.
A workshop on film for Bavarian schools
Tobi Krell’s first year in charge of the festival has already brought a number of new developments. The pandemic has ruled out school trips this year, so an alternative was needed. For the first time, Kinderfilmfest München will be offering an online workshop for school classes throughout Bavaria. Further information will be available here soon.