Discovering Asia

BY ANNETTE BREJNER, HEAD OF THE FINANCING FORUM FOR KIDS CONTENT

In 2015 I was encouraged twice, almost simultaneously, but independently to turn my head towards Asia. To turn my head in a broader sense of course, since I already knew about the high speed of technological development in Asia. Through a workshop offered by Nordic Culture Fond in Helsinki, I met Executive Director of Finnanimation Liisa Vähäkylä, who has many years of in-depth experience with Scandinavian co-production with China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. She has now written an article for us about the importance of understanding and collaborating with the huge markets and professional/technical skills of Far East Asia. You can find her article on the next page and you will also be able to meet Liisa during The Financing Forum, where she will give a speech in this context and shed light on the key issues.

For the first time ever in the pitching section we present a European-Asian co-production between Italy, Germany and Singapore: Garden Gang (page 28). Read more ›

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Approaching Asia

BY LIISA VÄHÄKYLÄ, FINNANIMATION, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The author has been the executive director for Finnanimation, the Finnish animation producers’ network since 2009. She has travelled to China many times since 2004; in 2015 she spent 4 weeks in Xian studying the language and 6 weeks in Beijing and Chengdu negotiating with potential partners and collaborators.

Five years ago when Finnanimation, the animation producers’ network in Finland, started working on its Asia Strategy, not as many Europeans were interested in Asian film and media market, as they are now. Game companies put all their efforts towards the west, and live-action producers at least in Finland, after the Jade Warrior movie was released in 2006, showed no interest in the hiding entertainment giant. Read more ›

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Girls vs Boys on the Internet

Focus on children’s gender-like media use

BY SIRKKU KOTILAINEN, UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE FINLAND, Ph.D. PROFESSOR

Gender is an important axis that shapes media participation starting from an early age. This has recently been noticed in several studies concerning young people and media (eg. EU KIDS Online; Kotilainen & Suoninen 2013). The early traits may have implications later in the life-paths of the young – not only as audiences of media, but through gendered interests for creative participatory inputs in media and, even choice of careers.

Media educators can help children develop a positive sense of their own gender. In media productions, a positive learning environment could be created for young children offering an anti-bias worldview. Identifying differences in gender-like uses of media is the base for adults in equipping children with positive learning of media skills regardless of gender. Read more ›

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Horror in Children’s Culture and Cinema

How horror culture and understanding it can be a way for adults, parents, educators and content producers, to get closer to young people’s world

BY MARJO KOVANEN, KOULUKINO – SKOLBIO, FILM EDUCATOR / PRODUCER

A child scared to death, a child too afraid to sleep, a child having nightmares, worrying and angry parents. Isn’t this what happens when children are exposed to horror content? Shouldn’t we protect them from all of it at all costs?

Despite the on-going debate around the topic, films and other media content aimed for young audiences, even for small children, seem to take more and more influences from the horror film culture and horror conventions. This is especially the case in animation; Monster’s inc. (2001) and Monsters’s inc 2 (2013), Hotel Transylvania (2012) and Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015), just to name few examples. Even a film targeted to the youngest children Postman Pat – the Movie (2014) includes horror elements and the villain of the story is a classical horror movie monster. Filmmakers trust that children have enough film literacy competences that they can read the conventions and references to understand the film and put them into perspective. These kinds of genre elements also enhance children’s media skills and help them to become more film literate. Augmenting children’s media skills and knowledge about film narration and genres also helps them to recognize what is best for them and how to protect oneself from content that one feels is unsuitable. Read more ›

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Brave Tablet World

BY ISABEL FRÓES, IT UNIVERSITY DENMARK, Ph.D. CANDIDATE

Despite the chosen title, our present is not so grim. On the contrary, as we reach the middle of the second decade in the twenty first century, we are daily confronted by various realities. Digital and physical realities blend themselves into memories and experiences being shared, feared and treasured. Children of this century have not been cloned nor have they become “uncritical”. However following Huxley’s writing, there is abundant consumption not only of material goods, but also of digital goods. Read more ›

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