This Year’s Movies for Teens Are Providing Lots of Light

16. May 2024

Several years ago, we decided to divide the original competition for youth films into two age categories because the difference between a story for a twelve-year-old and a sixteen-year-old is quite significant. This has freed up our dramaturgical hands, and we can now offer a great selection of 12 films for adolescents aged 11 and up (Junior), and for young people aged 15 and up (Youth).

While this year's crop of quality children's films may have been somewhat weaker, the same cannot be said about the harvest of films for teenagers. From Mongolia through Turkey to Argentina and Canada – young protagonists from all over the world will appear on our cinema screens, and their powerful stories are sure to resonate with their Czech peers because universal concepts such as love, friendship, freedom, tradition, desire, respect, solidarity, and courage do not require translation.

As a prelude to the upcoming European football championships, there are two films in the Junior section – Lioness from the Netherlands by Raymond Grimbergen and Winners from Germany by director Soleen Yusef. Moreover, both films tell stories about girls' football, an increasingly popular sport in youth cinema. We will have the honor of welcoming delegations of directors and lead actresses to Zlín. The main heroines of the visually impressive films La Suprema and Emma's Dream also come from somewhat remote but beautiful places. Laureanna and Emma love their homes, but they also long for a new future despite the traditional ways of life of their families. The only animated representative of the collection is the amazing adventure Kensuke's Kingdom from Great Britain, which does justice to the adventure genre.

In the Youth section of films, female protagonists once again dominate, and the strongest representative of this female strength is the French film Sisterhood by Nora el Hourch. The power of sisterhood is also revealed in the Canadian drama On Earth as in Heaven, where the heroines, coming from a religious sect, discover a new world and themselves. Taking us into the world of the Maori, rugby, and protests against apartheid is the film Uproar, where the young star Julian Dennison, known primarily from Taika Waititi's film Hunt for the Wilderpeople, excels.

International Competition of Feature Films in the Junior Category

Emma´s Dream, Argentina, 2023, directed by: Germán Vilche

Kensuke´s Kingdom, Great Britain, 2023, directed by: Neil Boyle, Kirk Hendry)

La Suprema, Columbia, 2023, directed by: Felipe Holguín Caro)

Lioness, Netherlands, 2023, directed by: Raymond Grimbergen

Young Hearts, Belgium, Netherlands, 2024, directed by: Anthony Schatteman

Winners, Germany, 2024, directed by: Soleen Yusef

International Competition of Feature Films in the Youth Category 

Uproar, New Zealand, 2023, directed by: Hamish Bennett, Paul Middleditch

Yurt, Turkey, Germany, France, 2023, directed by: Nehir Tuna

On Earth as in Heaven, Canada, 2023, directed by: Nathalie Saint-Pierre

Last Swim, Great Britain, 2023, directed by: Sasha Nathwani

Sisterhood, France, 2023, directed by: Nora el Hourch

City of Wind, Mongolia, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, France, Qatar, 2023, directed by: Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir