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35th Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival 13 – 20 November 2016

This November the Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival celebrates its 35th year. Once again, the event offers a versatile selection of interesting, high-quality content to many different age groups. This year the programme includes a particularly high number of films suitable for pre-school aged children.

In Louis & Nolan – The Big Cheese Race two rival villages compete for greatness, while in the colourful animated feature Raven the Little Rascal – The Great Race the winner gets one hundred gold coins.
Difference is explored in the films from many different angles. The stories feature minorities,victims of bullying and alienated youth. Different living environments are the subject of Indian feature The Trap as well as the German documentary film Not Without Us. Included in the youth film competition is Magnus, a documentary on a special boy’s journey to the top of the chess world. The films in the youth category deal with themes previously seen in films aimed at more mature audiences. Girls Lost plays with gender, while Dryads – Girls Don’t Cry is a story about pushing boundaries.
The opening film this year is Swallows and Amazons, about two groups who fight over the rule
of a desert island. The festival opening takes place at 6.30 pm on Monday 14 November in Valve Main Hall (Valvesali) at Cultural Centre Valve. Performing at the event are the young musicians of the Suzukikoulu Oktaavia music school. The festival draws about 30,000 visitors annually, and features a programme of some 150 films representing a wide range of different cultures and countries from India to Ecuador. Visitors this year can look forward to big adventures and animals of all sorts, including a rescue dog, a small goat in the Alps and a clever little fox.

The theme of the special programme ‘Hungary on the Big Screen’ was inspired by the homeland of festival director Eszter Vuojala, who is retiring after this year’s festival. Vuojala has worked at Oulu Film Centre since 1990 and held the position of festival director since 2006, when she took over from her predecessor Pentti Kejonen. Hungary is country with a significant film industry, as is indicated by the Academy Award for
Best Foreign Language Film given to László Nemes earlier this year. Because of the focus on Hungarian cinema, many filmmakers from Hungary are expected this year in Oulu. On offer is an interesting selection of titles spread across the short film, children’s film, youth film and documentary programmes. Beloved classics like The Little Fox, The Rabbit with Checkered Ears whose hero flies and fights for justice, and Willy the Sparrow, about a boy who turns into a sparrow, all demonstrate the high quality of Hungarian children’s film and animation. Contemporary films also deal with serious subjects: Home Guards is a topical story about two brothers, while The Wednesday Child tackles social issues.

There are a total of 12 films in the children’s film competition, 7 films in the youth film competition and 11 films in the Finnish competition. The new Global Future Prize is granted by the 4H Association to the best film in the youth film competition. To learn more about the prizes and juries, please visit our website:
Children’s film competition:
Face to Face Iceland 2015, directed by Bragi Thor Hinriksson Fortune Favors the Brave Germany 2016, directed by Norbert Lechner Going to School Denmark 2016, directed by Frederik Meldal Nørgaard Little Mountain Boy Switzerland 2015, directed by Xavier Koller Louis & Nolan – The Big Cheese Race Norway 2015, directed by Rasmus A. Sivertsen Nelly’s Adventure Germany 2016, directed by Dominik Wessely Paw Hungary 2015, directed by Robert-Adrian Pejo Raven the Little Rascal – The Great Race Germany 2015, directed by Sandor Jesse, Ute von Münchow-Pohl
The Secret Society of Souptown Estonia, Finland 2016, directed by Margus Paju
Siv Sleeps Astray Sweden 2016, directed by Catti Edfeldt, Lena Hanno Clyne Swallows and Amazons UK 2016, directed by Philippa Lowthorpe
The Trap India 2015, directed by Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair
Youth film competition:
Alba Ecuador, Mexico, Greece 2016, directed by Ana Cristina BarragánDryads – Girls Don’t Cry Norway 2015, directed by Sten Hellevig Girls Lost Sweden 2016, directed by Alexandra-Therese Keining Little Wing Finland 2016, directed by Selma Vilhunen Magnus Norway 2016, directed by Benjamin Ree
The Wednesday Child Hungary 2015, directed by Lili Horváth Zhaleika Germany 2016, directed by Eliza Petkova
Finnish competition:
Cold Ice, Warm Heart Finland 2016, directed by Viljami Alaheikka Good Morning Finland 2015, directed by Heta Okkonen Jill and Joy’s Winter Finland 2015, directed by Saara Cantell Little Wing Finland 2016, directed by Selma Vilhunen Miss Finland 2015, directed by Sanna Liljander Onionskin Finland 2016, directed by Reetta Elviira H. Picnic Finland 2015, directed by Heikki Ahola Remember? Finland 2015, directed by Sanna Liljander Ricky Rapper and the Nighthawk Finland 2016, directed by Timo Koivusalo The Secret Society of Souptown Estonia, Finland 2016, directed by Margus Paju
The Snow Queen Germany, Finland 2015, directed by Karola Hattop In addition to the special programme ‘Hungary on the Big Screen’, programmes of fairy-tale films, documentaries, shorts and films by young talent will be screened at the 35th anniversary festival. Also included is the Oskari Competition for films made by children and young people. In total, the festival programme features some 150 films. For recent updates, promotional images and more information on the films and filmmakers, please visit our website:
Media representatives and members of the film industry can apply for accreditation at our website: Accreditation is free of charge with no deadline. Accredited visitors will receive a pass that grants access to all the film screenings.