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Friday, May 30, 2008

PRIX JEUNESSE 2008 is officially open

The Director General of Bayerischer Rundfunk has declared PRIX JEUNESSE 2008 officially open, and the first program – a BBC drama – is spooling as I type. The international children’s TV festival is my favorite gathering because it’s built around the creative “state of the art” and health of our industry, rather than the business or issues.

This year, a record 400 producers, writers, executives and researchers from over 50 countries have come to Munich. There are 87 shows in the finals, and in a new twist, clips from all of them played in the opening session, perfectly synced to a violin/cello duet.

In the opening 12-15 age group, it’s clear that identity will be a strong theme – personal identity, cultural identity, sexual identity. Of course, this is an eternal issue for adolescents, but the opportunity to see if from a variety of cultural perspectives – a British boy discovering he was donor-conceived, a Dutch teen joining his first gay pride parade, animated Argen-teens learning about safe sex, a Colombian photographer shares his neighborhood, Canadian young activists – is eye-opening. The first discussion session comes tomorrow morning, and it’s easy to anticipate conflict over some of the more open and explicit stories.

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