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Mo&Friese’s Splendidly Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Shorts
by Marinell Haegelin

What is fascinating about Mo&Friese Junges Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg (Mo&Friese) programs is that yearly they explore theme topics about the perspective and varied creative approaches filmmakers choose. The festival’s age spectrum, 4 years to 16-year-olds, does offer flexibility, and the heterogeneousness of their programs are always impressive. For its 24th edition of Mo&Friese, the six-member team lead by festival director/curator Lina Paulsen chose the theme "In Good Company;" it’s all about earthlings sharing the load (whatever type of load it may be) and is a topic close to most peoples’ hearts.

This year 63 films arrived from 32 countries and were shown in 10 international competition programs. Mo&Friese film line-ups continually share filmmakers’ relevant, sometimes humorous, and modern interpretations of storytelling. Oftentimes filmmakers choose small, ordinary events and/or questions youngsters often have (and parents flounder over/are flummoxed by), and/or they artfully provide fresh ways to deal with age-old situations and everyday problems. For example, when a chance encounter opens an African father’s eyes to his daughter’s pubescence, i.e, her self-awareness, thus the freedom of her cow herding days end and she joins the women in the fields (12+: ASTEL, Ramata-Toulaye Sy, Senegal 2021).

This year as well, Mo&Friese ran concurrently with Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg. An adult jury was added for the European Children’s Film Association selection. Its three award juries are: the Mo Award covering programs for the nine to 14-year-olds, the Friese Award targeting programs for the four-to-eight age group, and Neon Award for films intended for from the age of 14. They also select together three films for the High 51 competition.

Additionally, film workshops with varying and changing topics are offered yearly for children and adolescents in order to engage, challenge and stimulate their curiosity and creativity regarding the many aspects of filmmaking.

How wonderful it is knowing what good company you're in with the Mo&Friese team. They take personal delight in ensuring audiences viewing experiences are enjoyable, lively, and appealing.