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Giving birth to Pipikids

Just as most parents are relieved by the end of the school holidays, new kids festival Pipikids is preparing to launch itself into the world in just under nine months.


The brainchild of the NZ Children’s Screen Trust’s Janette Howe, the Pipikids International Film and Media Festival (PIFF), or Pipikids, will be a dedicated children’s film festival, screening in Auckland only for its first outing but with online elements for kids around the country.

“Pipikids has come out of the work I have been doing for The NZ Children’s Screen Trust,” explained Howe. “There is an opportunity to introduce kids to stories from around the world and for them to experience the magic of cinema.”

Howe is developing the festival programme, part of which will feature titles from Australia’s Little Big Shots Film Festival. Howe already has some support on board, with Native Council creating the festival website and publishers Tangible Media on board with its Good magazine as a founding sponsor.

Friends are nice but cash is king, so Pipikids will commence a Boosted campaign in February to attract funds to pay for all the things people don’t give away for free, like venue hire. Howe also hopes to draw more sponsors to the event, and is seeking some help from people who can contribute some time to share the workload.

“I hope that the screen industry will support Pipikids,” said Howe. “There is an opportunity to develop audiences and kids deserve films and content made for them.”

As well as programming titles from Little Big Shots, Howe intends Pipikids to present a selection of NZ children’s classics. The festival will also offer kids the chance to be film festival jurors. That’s something Howe already has experience of organising through her work for Prix Jeunesse, about which she presented at November’s SPADA Summit.

Pipikids will also host a kids’ online filmmaking competition, for which children can submit one-minute titles before they get old enough to stay up all night and make seven-minute movies for 48 Hours.

Pipikids will run at Rialto, Auckland, 3 – 9 September.

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