Live Better with Bonviva Zurich Film Festival – an Event for Kids Too

Zurich Film Festival – an Event for Kids Too

At the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF), Anatole Taubman comes across as anything but the villain, the role we are used to seeing him play, as he divulges the secrets of reviewing films to 40 students.

As “Spokesperson for Vulnerable Children” for UNICEF Switzerland, Anatole Taubman is preparing teenagers for their role on the children’s jury at the ZFF. From the “ZFF for Kids” program, the children’s jury will then select the winning movie from a number of outstanding children’s and family films from around the world. Here, the actor sees himself as a promoter of young talent.

Mr. Taubman, you are an internationally successful actor with much experience of festivals. What do you think makes the Zurich Film Festival special?

The ZFF has established itself impressively well. Although it is still quite new, it is appreciated on an international level by both the industry and the press. Audience numbers are also increasing year on year. And the location of the festival’s center is of course outstanding – directly on the lake, just beautiful.

As a film star, you certainly don’t have much free time. Nevertheless, you dedicate some of this time to the ZFF children’s jury. What motivates you to do this?

I have been a passionate “Spokesperson for Vulnerable Children” for UNICEF Switzerland for seven years now. For the last two years, UNICEF Switzerland has been a ZFF Cooperation Partner as well as a co-initiator and organizer of the children’s jury. That is why this movement is also close to my heart. This kind of involvement is also motivational because of the global political events that happen every day, with stories of millions of children around the world who have to endure terrible suffering. So, it is really good to do something for children that they can also have fun doing.

Anatole Taubman in conversation with the youngsters.

Do you see your work as promoting young talent too? And is this actually an issue within the film industry?

Promoting young talent certainly forms an integral par t of my involvement – the promotion of young talent is urgently needed in ever y industry! After all, today’s children are tomorrow’s filmmakers.

Why is it important that film festivals, such as the ZFF, also have a children’s program?

It is extremely important. An international film festival of a certain size also has to offer something for the younger audience. And in any case, a festival such as the ZFF, which also wants to be a public festival, needs to do this as well.

What kind of relationship did you have with film when you were a child? And how did you discover the film industry for yourself?

As a child I did not have much of a relationship with film, but as a teenager I did. Between the age of 13 and 17 I went to the movies at least two to three times a week. Cinema was of essential importance in my adolescence – it was a kind of escape from reality into a fantasy world.

Between the age of 13 and 17 I went to the movies at least two to three times a week.

Anatole Taubman

In your opinion, what makes a good children’s film?

A good children’s film offers varied and exciting entertainment while simultaneously communicating valuable content. It also avoids any glorification of violence and other portrayals that might frighten young viewers. There should be no more than three main characters, and flashbacks or moving across different periods of time should be avoided. This is too confusing for children. A good children’s film repeats core content in a discreet way and ideally por trays stories from the world that kids live in.
High levels of excitement are vital for a good teenage film. This is what makes a great film and the fact that teenagers can identify with the main characters, who may have negative as well as positive characteristics.

How do you find an audience of children in comparison to an audience that is usually made up of adults?

I find children to be enthusiastic, inquisitive, pure, innocent, and unspoiled. They have little or no tendency to think in a stereotypical way.

You often play the role of the villain. Adults find this evil side attractive – does the same apply for children?

No, on the contrary. Evil has a repellant effect and scares children. In 2016 I actually only played roles in comedies. I even played the main role in a classic romantic comedy!

Competition: Win One of Five Pairs of Movie Vouchers for the 13th Zurich Film Festival from September 28 to October 8, 2017

Every autumn, the ZFF showcases the best discoveries as well as the most anticipated films of the year.
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