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Professionals of the Seventh Art Explore Children’s Cinema Experience

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Professionals of the Seventh Art Explore Children’s Cinema Experience
Santo Domingo, July 29 2015

Cinema, as a source of information, allows children to study society thoroughly, to know the culture and customs of other countries, to reflect on past events and also so practice values, ideas, thoughts, norms and attitudes identified through the movies.

DreamWorks producer Steve Hickner, Argentine filmmaker Alejandro Malowicki, and Dominican producer Jorge L. Morillo, arrived at these conclusions during their participation in the panel “Why make films for children,” which took place in the framework of the 10th International Children’s Film Festival Santo Domingo 2015.

The children’s film festival is an initiative of the Vice President of the Republic, Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, through the Dominican Republic Children and Youth Library (BIJRD). It took place in the halls of the Palacio de Cine of the Ágora Mall and the Bella Vista Mall in the National District, and at the Terra Mall in Santiago.

The panel was held at the Palacio de Cine of the Ágora Mall, where more than a hundred teenagers interacted with the experts and special guests that had invited by the Vice President of the Republic to participate in this event.

Director and researcher Malowicki said that to make quality films for children requires that better equipped people work in the industry.

He said that, when writing the script, the children’s film industry must always keep in mind the audience, in the sense of transmitting them universal values.

“The responsibility of the filmmaker is to educate through cinema, but, even more importantly, it is to entertain and amuse,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hickner, director of films such as An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, and Balto, agrees with Malowicki that, when it comes to children’s films, entertainment and the educational aspect should be considered as the main objectives.

“When it comes to making films for children, it should be understood that the young audience is critical, intelligent and perceptive; therefore, to grab its attention is a challenge that can only be achieved if done in a fun way,” underscored animator Hickner.

In turn, Morillo, the producer and director of Three to the Rescue, the first Dominican 3D movie, said that in the country there is “hunger for transmitting our culture and traditions through children’s cinema.”

“In our society in general, those values that are part of the essence of being human, that improve people’s qualities as individuals, and regulate their relationships with others, are in decline. Our challenge as filmmakers is to train them from childhood with the undeniable help that the audiovisual media provide to us, because children will learn values, or the lack thereof, needed to develop themselves as intellectually and reflective persons,” he said.

For her part, documentary filmmaker Martha Checo explained the history of the Dominican cinema, while filmmaker Bladimir Abud spoke about his experience in directing children in his latest film. Also, Fiora Cruz, director of the Dominican Cinematheque, spoke about books that are brought to the screen during the discussion “Reading through images.”

The panel is part of the thematic and informative series of the 10th International Children’s Film Festival 2015. Also, on Monday, the panel “Why make films for children,” took place at the Palacio de Cine of the Terra Mall in Santiago, with the participation of filmmaker Johanny Sosa and film critics José D´ Laura and Pavel González.

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