The Royal Film Commission Jordan | The Winning Films at the 1st Edition of Jordan’s Children Film Festival

Nov 28, 2022

Amman, 28th of November 2022

The juries of the first edition of Jordan’s Children Film Festival (JCFF), organized by the Royal Film Commission – Jordan (RFC), revealed the names of the wining films at the closing ceremony yesterday evening.

Over four days, JCFF offered children the opportunity to watch a selection of four feature-length narrative family movies and 14 narrative and animation shorts from 12 countries. The films are all recent productions and most have been awarded internationally. The screenings were followed by inspiring discussions with film experts allowing the children to express their opinions and exchange ideas with their peers, instead of being mere content’s recipients.

The jury of adults made-up of professionals working in the audio-visual sector - the producer Khaled Haddad, the Manager of Ro’ya Kids Platform Lara Safadi, and the Head of the Theater Department at the Ministry of Education Bassem Awad - granted the Best Feature Award to “Butterfly’s Heart”, by Inesa Kurklietyte, from Lithuania. Commenting this selection, the jury said: “The film addresses bullying in a creative and smart way as it shows the parents’ role in supporting their bullied child as well as the child’s sharp intelligence in confronting the bulliers.”

The jury also gave a Special Mention to the Irish animation feature film “Wolfwalkers” by Tom Moore and Ross Stewart.

In the Short Film Category, the jury awarded the Best Prize to the Algerian short narrative film “White Night”, by Issam Taachit, as “the film promotes the concept of friendship and accepting others with their differences. It is creatively done using animation techniques”, as per the jury’s statement.

The RFC formed a second jury made up of children. Their choice went to the Canadian narrative film “Corvine”, by Sean MacCarron, as the Best Short Film. The young jury highlighted the importance of the issues that the film tackles, such as encouraging children to accept who they are, rejecting bullying, and promoting parents’ role in supporting their children’s hobbies as well as unleashing their imagination.

It is worth noting that the three winning films will receive cash prizes.

The audience also had its say and voted for the Irish movie “Wolfwalkers” as its favorite.

The Festival also organized a closed panel discussion tackling the lack of Arab cultural productions targeting children with the participation of the director of Haya Cultural Center Reem Arida, the children's stories author Taghreed Al-Najjar, the producer Khaled Haddad and the director Bassem Awad and the Capacity Building Department’s Manager at the RFC, Abedalsalam Al Haj.

The panelists discussed ways to increase cultural productions that target children in the Arab World, and came up with a series of recommendations: integrating a course for filmmaking students in Jordanian universities focusing on creating content for kids; getting the private sector on board to support producing content for children; allocating a film fund that encourages Arab filmmakers to create works suitable for children; cooperating with the public sector’s entities concerned with developing cultural and educational policies that target children; networking with other children’s festivals to benefit from international and Arab expertise; organizing workshops to raise awareness, in addition to creating a financial prize to develop special content for children for the next JCFF’s edition.

In order to reach a larger audience, the RFC reached out to SOS Children’s Villages Jordan, Doctors without Borders, and the RFC’s Film Centers in Mafraq and Salt. The JCFF attracted over 1100 attendees.