LUCAS cuts across genres to show a selection of the best narrative, documentary, animation, and experimental films from around the world. In order to meet our standards, we’ve made a few improvements both to our selection process and to the competition.
The program has been conceived for three different age groups: 4+ (yellow), 8+ (red), and 13+ (blue). LUCAS now addresses teenagers directly as well with the added curated program “Young European Cinephiles”.
While the youngest group (4+) can watch individual short films in an environment that is set up for their special needs, a feature film program has been curated for each of the older groups. Rather than selecting films – as in previous years – according to their premiere status, the festival now makes selections only according to quality. The program goes far beyond the classical criteria for children’s and teen films: it places an old classic in the program as a counterpoint or else recommends films that were not specifically produced for the children’s and teen film market.
Screening as German premieres for the 8+ and 13+ age groups, short and mid-length films from around the world supplement the program. In the past years LUCAS has gained great recognition for its short film competition; the quality of this section has been preserved. But we’ve added a new, innovative format – the mid-length film (up to 60 minutes) – to our competition, assuring these films a key position at LUCAS.
Along with the program, our prizes have also changed. The juries, made up equally of young film enthusiasts and film industry professionals, bestow on each of the sections 8+ and 13+ the “Award for the Best Feature Film” (5,000 €) and the “Award for the Best Short/Mid-Length Film” (2,000 €).
In addition, the jury of the 13+ section will choose among the feature-length films for the “Sir Peter Ustinov Award” (2,000 €), granted this year in a new context by the Peter Ustinov Foundation – in recognition for “extraordinary artistic achievement.”
Moreover, we continue to bestow the unendowed Audience Award as well as the Award of the European Children’s Film Association (ECFA), given by our own jury.
In order to improve the LUCAS network and strengthen our lively discussions about the program, from now on there will be a committee that pre-screens and selects the films together.
In addition to Dr. Cathy de Haan, the artistic director of LUCAS, the members of the selection committee include all-out film experts. After her short film FAULER ZAUBER (2015), screenwriter and director Annette Friedmann is working on her first feature. She is also a dramaturge and lecturer and, since 2013, has worked as project supervisor in the Children’s Film Fund of the Kuratorium junger deutscher Film. The education scholar Dr. Martin Ganguly combines his knowledge of cinema with his pedagogical expertise. His multimedia work on education has been distinguished on several occasions with the renowned European Comenius Medal. Committee member Pamela Fischer has been involved with the Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection for several years and is currently in charge of communication and public relations at the Bundesverband Jugend und Film e.V. Dr. Ursula Vossen has longtime experience as a film and television producer as well as in film funding. She has written several scholarly books and numerous articles.
LUCAS colleagues Gesine Götting (festival management) and Marie Wolters (film education and pedagogy) facilitated the screenings and film selection process of the selection committee.
Films for 8+
Camilo is 13 and a student at the Humboldtschule in Bad Homburg. Handball, piano, books, and films are just some of his many hobbies. Camilo is particularly intrigued by 3D technology as well as by MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS (USA 2012, D: Joss Whedon), which he watched in the cinema with great enthusiasm. The young film enthusiast has high standards: the story, the music, and the actors all have to impress him before he likes a film.
Rosa is 11 and goes to the Musterschule in Frankfurt. She is very musical and plays the piano in addition to the oboe. In her free time, she likes climbing and swimming. She prefers to go to the cinema with her best friend because it’s just the most fun with her. She appreciates her favorite film ZOOMANIA (USA 2016, D: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush) particularly for its successful animation. She wanted to become a member of the LUCAS jury because she loves to describe and evaluate films.
Remke Oosterhuis is, along with Tessa van Garfhorst, the artistic director of the Dutch “Fantastisch Kinderfilm Festival.” Central to the festival is children’s imagination, which is to be supported and stimulated through creative offerings and installations. The women also run the company “De Taartovers,” which prepares art installations, workshops, and concepts for museums and festivals.
Margret Schepers is especially knowledgeable about children’s films. She develops and supervises family-oriented television series, fairy tale films, and family film events. She was involved with productions like TIERE BIS UNTERS DACH, DAS DOPPELTE LOTTCHEN and STERNTALER. But she has also collaborated on series and film ideas for adults. These include DIE KIRCHE BLEIBT IM DORF and PÄLZISCH IM ABGANG. Margret Schepers works as a TV commissioner at Südwestrundfunk in Baden-Baden.
The Austrian Gudrun Sommer directs the festival “doxs! dokumentarfilme für kinder und jugendliche.” She is also a curator and lecturer with a focus on documentaries, children’s films, and media literacy. Among other projects, she has initiated KID DOK, the competition “dok you,” and “doku.klasse.” Sommer rates films for the German ratings board FSK and is a board member of “Film und Schule.” In addition, she has been a jury member of the Grimme-Institut since 2012.
12-year-old Lilli attends the Graf-Stauffenberg-Gymnasium in Flörsheim. She plays basketball and the violin and dabbles in theater. The most fun she ever had at the cinema was with two friends. The three of them had the whole cinema to themselves and quickly staged a battle of the nachos. Since Lilli loves to watch films and to discuss them thoroughly afterwards, she absolutely wanted to become a LUCAS jury member.
Films for 13+
Stina Ask Mikkelsen
Stina Ask Mikkelsen studied arts management as well as film and visual culture. She’s been active in the film industry since 2007 and has already held various positions as coordinator, organizer, festival producer, and marketing manager. Currently she is the program head at the Kristiansand International Children’s Film Festival (KICFF), Norway’s largest children and teen film festival. At LUCAS, Stina Ask Mikkelsen is also a member of the ECFA jury.
Anis Ben Ahmed
University lecturer Anis Ben Ahmed is the director of international affairs at “Children’s India – International Children’s Film Festival” in Bangalore as well as general secretary, since 2010, of the “Sousse International Film Festival” (FIFEJ-Souse). The longtime Sousse Cinema Club member also founded the theater club “The Seeds” in Sousse.
Rümeysa is 18 and attends the Gymnasium am Bötschenberg in Helmstedt. In her free time, she likes to ride her bike, draw, and play music. In addition to German, she speaks English, Turkish, and French. Once, when she and a friend were all alone in the cinema, the girls danced and played around during the closing credits. Rümeysa gets particularly excited about a film when it makes her think.
Luana Almeida Pees
16-year-old Luana attends the Goethe Gymnasium in Frankfurt and speaks four languages: German, English, Portuguese, and French. While spending a school year in Canada, she particularly enjoyed the way that films were shown in there original language there. Since it’s important to her to talk about the films she’s seen in the cinema and since she likes attending film festivals, she’s very excited to be a member of the LUCAS jury.
14-year-old Halima attends the Friedrich-Ebert Gymnasium in Mühlheim am Main. She speaks German, English, and French. STAR WARS (USA 1977-2015; D: div.), THE LORD OF THE RINGS (NZ 2001-2003, D: Peter Jackson), and BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (USA 1961, D: Blake Edwards) are just some of her favorite films. Halima is only impressed with a film if it has a good soundtrack and if the acting is as realistic as possible. She is excited to get to know many international films as a member of the LUCAS jury.
Annegret Richter has already worked all over the world as a curator, film journalist, moderator, and lecturer. She was the longtime director of the international festival DOK Leipzig’s animation section and is currently the managing director of AG Animationsfilm, the federal association of the German animation film industry. Prior to this she was the festival director of the international short film festival “Filmfest Dresden.” At LUCAS she’s presenting the program of animated short films “Colorful and Wild!”
Elisa Giovannelli has been working at Cineteca di Bologna since 2005. She is in charge of Schermi e Lavagne – Cineteca Educational Department, which organizes screenings, workshops, lessons, contests, filmclubs for kids, meetings with cinema authors and professionals particularly aimed at younger generations, both in the school frame and on families’ spare time. Elisa Giovannelli is the Local Executive Manager for the international Innovation Lab of the Europa Cinemas association, which is held yearly in Bologna during the festival Il Cinema Ritrovato.
Stina Ask Mikkelsen
Stina Ask Mikkelsen studied arts management as well as film and visual culture. She’s been active in the film industry since 2007 and has already held various positions as coordinator, organizer, festival producer, and marketing manager. Currently she is the program head at the Kristiansand International Children’s Film Festival (KICFF), Norway’s largest children and teen film festival. Stina Ask Mikkelsen is also a member of the LUCAS jury in the 13+ section.