CINEKID Festival

Deadline | Event Dates (period)
01 June 2023
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Final submission deadline
Submission/Registration Fee

Festival Description: Cinekid is the world’s largest media festival for children. Every year more than 60,000 children are given the opportunity to visit over 500 media productions selected by the festival: feature films, short films, episodic productions, cross-media projects, and interactive installations as well as partake in workshops and masterclasses. For more than 35 years, Cinekid has been the largest international children’s film and media platform in the world, bringing children from all over the Netherlands into contact with the richest selection of film productions. Cinekid wants to amaze, entertain, connect, and contribute to the development of children into independent, conscious, and thoughtful citizens of the world. Cinekid is also the most important international professional platform focused on children's film and media productions.

Cinekid for Professionals intends to improve the availability and quality of productions and connects the industry. The highlight is the annual Cinekid Festival during the autumn vacation. In Amsterdam and dozens of film theatres around the country, children can experience new striking international films, and television productions and get in touch with the creators, as well as explore the MediaLab, with interactive art installations, workshops, and games. International professionals meet during the festival’s professionals’ program at its coproduction market, conferences, and during talent development programs that run throughout the year. The Cinekid festival gives an overview of the best new international children's films, television productions, and cross-media productions for children with the aim of promoting the quality of media for youth. In addition to its unique public programming, Cinekid encourages collaborations through Cinekid for Professionals, an internationally influential five-day industry program.

2023 Call for Entries (Archive)

The 37th Cinekid Festival will take place from 15 to 29 October 2023 in Amsterdam.


  • Best Children's Film Competition
  • Best Dutch Children's Film Competition
  • Best International Short Film Competition
  • Best Dutch Short Film Competition
  • Best Dutch Series Competition

Eligibility criteria

- Best Children’s Film Competition

Each year Cinekid presents its prestigious Best Children’s Film Competition showcasing the best new feature films for children from all over the world. Cinekid takes great care to select films of all genres and includes works for children in each of Cinekid’s age categories (from 3 until 14 years old).

  • On average 15 feature-length films are invited.
  • All films competing in the Best Children’s Film Competition are eligible for two awards, which are given to the winning film’s majority production company.
    Cinekid Lion - Best Children’s Film Competition - Jury Award: An international jury of children’s film professionals decides which film is honoured with a Cinekid Lion Jury Award statuette and prize money. The amount of prize money is dependent on sponsors and is to be announced at a later time.
    Cinekid Lion - Best Children’s Film Competition - Audience Award: The votes of the children's audience attending the Cinekid Festival decide which film wins the Cinekid Lion Audience Award statuette.
  • Only feature films are eligible for the Cinekid Best Children’s Film Competition. The submitted film needs to be at least 50 minutes.
  • The screening of the submitted film at Cinekid should at least be a Dutch premiere.

- Best International Short Competition

The Cinekid Best International Short Competition helps acquaint Dutch children with stories and ways of storytelling from as many countries as possible. Cinekid's aim is to represent as many countries and cultures, techniques, and artistic diversity as possible. More than 50 short films are presented in thematically combined programmes or as preludes before a feature film screening.

The films are chosen to represent a wide range of styles and showcase a broad spectrum of countries and cultures. An international jury of children’s film experts and professionals decides which films are awarded Cinekid Lion Jury Awards in two categories. The winning film’s director will be awarded a Cinekid Lion statuette and prize money. The amount of prize money is dependent on sponsors and is to be announced at a later time. The two categories are:
Cinekid Lion – Best International Animated Short
Cinekid Lion – Best International Live-Action Short

  • All new short films for children and youth produced in 2021/2022 are eligible for the competition.
  • Only short films are eligible for the Cinekid Best International Short Competition. The submitted film should be shorter than 50 minutes.

Last but not least, this year, Cinekid is also seeking international high-quality episodic productions that are interested in having their international premiere at Cinekid Festival 2023. If you have a production that you think would be a good fit for the festival, please don't hesitate to contact the festival.


2020 Festival Coverage

Cinekid opens with animation feature Calamity.

Cinekid is accessible to more children than ever: both online and live throughout the NetherlandsCinekid, world’s largest children’s film festival, opens on the 7th of October with the adventurous family film Calamity by French director Rémi Chayé. This hand-drawn animation feature tells the story of the legendary, headstrong young woman Martha ‘Calamity’ Jane, who stands her ground in the Wild West. This autumn, Cinekid is more accessible than ever to children and professionals, with an online festival and live festival events spread across the Netherlands from the 7th  until the 23rd of October. The latest films, television productions, media installations, workshops and tutorials taking place in 14 days and 10 festival locations throughout the country at the new Cinekid online platform. The regular Cinekid on Tour programme also brings youth films to more than 20 arthouse cinemas. Cinekid for Professionals presents the programme online, including the Junior Co-Production Market and the Industry Forum. More international professionals will now also be able to visit Cinekid digitally, without the limitations of travelling.
“Calamity stands out because of Martha’s strong personality; it makes her unafraid to overthrow the traditional hierarchy. The powerful and unique character of this woman in this amazing animation is very inspiring and socially relevant. We are very happy with Calamity as the opening film for Cinekid 2020,” Heleen Rouw, director of the festival, explains. Cinekid wants to explore borders and remain distinctive in selecting the movies, television series and media installations we present to children and their caretakers.
Cinekid has been involved with Calamity since the very start of the film project. The producers, Maybe Movies and Nørlum, came together during the Junior Co-Production Market in 2017. Award-winning director Rémi Chayé, who wrote the script with Fabrice de Costil and Sandra Tosello, presented his debut film Long Way North in the Best Children’s Film Competition in 2015. Calamity is part of the Best Children’s Film Competition 2020, featuring 14 other international titles. The animated film Calamity will be distributed in the Netherlands by Cinéart and released in cinemas and arthouses in December.
In addition to the opening film Calamity, Dutch documentaries Getekend door het leven (Quinty Misiedjan) and De Schooltuin (Mark Verkerk) will premiere during the autumn holidays at Cinekid.
During the first week of the school holidays in October, Cinekid will bring the festival to Amsterdam (Het Ketelhuis, EYE, Studio K and Meervaart) as well as Filmschuur Haarlem, Forum Groningen and Concordia Enschede; and during the second week to Lux Nijmegen, Chassé Breda and Lantaren Venster Rotterdam. With more than 50 feature films, 150 short films and 25 series, Cinekid 2020 offers its largest festival programme ever, including more than a 100 premieres from 40 countries.
Schools programme
Cinekid has also organized an educational programme for schools in Amsterdam during the week prior to the school holidays in fall in Amsterdam cinemas Eye, Het Ketelhuis, Meervaart and Rialto. This will include various activities with interactive game elements in the room to introduce pupils to various quality film and media forms. Teachers will receive preparatory interactive teaching materials specially developed for this purpose. Cinekid reaches children and teachers with workshops and media art not only during the festival, but throughout the year.
From the 19th until the 23rd of October, the children’s film festival will be the place where international children’s media experts meet online. Cinekid for Professionals’ mission is to stimulate production of youth films by offering talent development programmes. As well as a co-production market where the hottest movies and series in development are presented and introduced to buyers, an extensive conference programme evolving around socially relevant subjects, and a large sales library with the newest productions to promote international distribution. This year more professionals than ever have the opportunity to participate in these online events.

2019 Festival Coverage

Cinekid Festival has selected 26 animated short films from 19 different countries for the 2019 Best International Animated Short Film Competition. Also, for the first time, the leading children’s media festival is expanding the international shorts programme with the Best International Short Live-Action Film Competition. This competition contains 9 highly promising new short films, from various countries around the world.

Cinekid believes that there is a lack of international competitions for live-action shorts made for children. Since shorts are often a stepping stone for young talents, Cinekid wants to further support these filmmakers and celebrate the diversity and creativity of the live-action shorts that are made worldwide.

All the international selected titles will have their Dutch premiere at Cinekid Festival, running from 19 to 25 October, and will be presented in combined programmes for different ages, or as preludes to the feature film screenings. Cinekid will also showcase the entire line-up of the animated shorts as a sneak preview at the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in the UK, which takes place Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 September 2019.

A jury of three film professionals will award the filmmakers of the best films from both competitions with a Cinekid Lion Statue and a cash prize of €2,500 each. This year’s jury members are Kirsten Ruber, director of Go Short International Short Film Festival, Thomas Meyer-Hermann, founder of Film Bilder animation studio and screenwriter and director Julia Thelin (Push It and Tweener).

Full selection of Best International Animated Short Competition:

A Tiger With No Stripes | Raul ‘Robin’ Morales Reyes | Switzerland, France
Big Wolf & Little Wolf | Rémi Durin | Belgium, France
Chess | Alexey Pochivalov| Russia
Cloudy | Filip Diviak, Zuzana Čupová | Czech Republic
Dad | Atle S Blakseth, Einar Dunsæd | Norway
Echo | Borisa Simovic, Kosta Rakicevic | Serbia
Elsa and the Night | Jöns Mellgren | Sweden
Good Heart | Evgeniya Jirkova | Russia
Heatwave | Fokion Xenos | Greece, United Kingdom
Hedgehog | Morgane Mattard, Kaisa Pirttinen, Vaibhav Keswani, Jeanne Laureau, Colombine Majou, Jong-ha Yoon | France
In the Woods | Salomé Bertolone Lopez, Maxime Dartois, Marjorie Grinda, Zoé Guillet, Alissa Mazouz, Rebecca Wahler | France
Nest | Sonja Rohleder | Germany
Overboard! | Filip Pošivač, Barbora Valecka | Czech Republic, Slovakia
Partridge in a Bear Tree | Adam Bailey | United Kingdom
Raccoon and the Light | Hanna Kim | United States
Sam’s Dream | Nolwenn Roberts | France
Saturday's Apartment | Jeon Seungbae | South Korea
Snail the Painter | Manuela Vladić-Maštruko, Manuela Vladić Maštruko | Croatia
The Elephant's Song | Lynn Tomlinson | United States
The Fox and the Bird | Sam Guillaume, Fred Guillaume | Switzerland
The Kite | Martin Smatana | Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic
The Last Day of Autumn | Marjolaine Perreten | France, Belgium, Switzerland
The Wheat Keeper | Haitao Bai | China
The Wiremen | Jessica Patterson | Ireland
This side, other side | Lida Fazli | Iran
Tree High | Martina Svojikova | Belgium

NB: 2024 Festival Dates are tentative



Event Dates

  • From 15 October 2024 to 28 October 2024



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