FNE Innovation: Film for Kids at Hospitals in Six EU Countries

    Edita Bilaver and Ivana Alpeza Edita Bilaver and Ivana Alpeza

    Film New Europe continues to invite leaders of innovative AV projects to share their projects directly with its readers. Today, our guests are Edita Bilaver Galinec and Ivana Jakobović Alpeza from Film for kids at hospitals (Croatia), which is fund by the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme.

    Project’s name: Film for kids at hospitals

    Countries covered by the project: Croatia, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia, Italy

    Name of the co-beneficiary organisation (s) (if applicable): Kids Meet Art, (Croatia), JEF (Belgium), BUFF Film festival (Sweden), Cooperativa promotora de mitjans audiovisuals (Spain), Javni zavod Kinodvor (Slovenia), Il Nuovo Fantarca onlus (Italy)

    How did it all begin?

    The JEF in Belgium, the Croatian Association Kids Meet Art, and the BUFF International Children and Young People’s Film Festival in Sweden have, thanks to MEDIA funds in 2017 and 2018, created three national platforms dedicated to film screenings and audience engagement for children at hospitals.

    Targeting niche audiences among young audiences of European films with this innovative distribution strategy and its audience development aspect resulted in huge interest from our new possible partners.

    In fact, at the project’s third edition, the programme Film for Kids at Hospitals increased significantly regarding the covered EU territories – Croatia, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Spain, and Slovenia, when three new partners joined: Cooperativa promotora de mitjans audiovisuals (Spain), Javni zavod Kinodvor (Slovenia), and Il Nuovo Fantarca onlus (Italy).

    All the organisations had already worked with children in vulnerable situations, including hospitals, since, in their vision and scope of work, the concept of inclusivity is very important. From the 82 hospitals initially included in the project, today the content on six national platforms is available to the network of 200 hospitals.

    What is our vision? Sharing is caring …

    Our project's main goal is to give ill children in hospitals and rehabilitation centres in these six countries access to exclusive, (festival) quality films, and the possibility to attend their own film festival. Offering alternative and exclusive European children's films online gives us an important role to provide them with access to culture, which is a children’s right.

    Our platforms are not merely databases of film, but also a provider of audience engagement online tools, such as educational material, quizzes at the end of the film, introduction films of cast & crew, links to applications which explore or enforce the film experience further, and being able to rate the films and leave a comment. In this way, our project enables transnational availability of European audio-visual works, providing its subscribers new content every year, enriched with additional extra materials that enhance film literacy.

    Platforms’ content of 90% European productions selected using our own criteria

    Our Project's film catalogue consists of a minimum of 90% European productions from different European countries and is selected by six partners and available in six languages. The same criteria are applied to the extra material that is created for each film title on the platform. Currently, our film catalogue consists of over 70 titles, and is updated every year. We have created a list of joint selection criteria for Film for kids at hospitals.

    In particular, we look for high-quality pieces told from a child/youth's perspective, striving for diversity in terms of themes, genres, age, and gender of its authors, as well as their cultural background. Ideally, our films should convey a strong message, strive for a call to action, and be in line with the children’s ability to receive and understand those messages. Our content is for different target groups: young patients within different age groups: 3+, 6+, 9+, 12+, 15+, and, indirectly, the parents of patients, and staff at the hospitals

    Marketing activities based on network force and community feeling

    Our marketing approach is based on networking. We work closely with festivals and distributors of European AV works on digital platforms. Our idea is to set up the Film for kids at hospitals brand as a relevant digital distribution channel dedicated to targeted niches among the young EU audience. This brand communicates our project’s USP elements: specific film criteria, European content, and extra materials. Becoming a known brand will allow us to not only find a sustainable business model, but to be linked to most adequate commercial VOD platforms, that will permit further development around Europe.

    Also, by combining our online and offline activities, we create a context of strengthened and more efficient relations with the AV community and other identified stakeholders acting as a cohesive element within the AV community. Apart from the AV community, the children who were part of the project while in hospitals, would, upon their recovery, become ambassadors of the project within their schools and community, and some of them may continue to support children still in hospitals by visiting them, talking about the films on the platform, and participating in offline activities with us.

    Transfer of knowledge and sharing content among partners through 1-to-1 mentoring model

    We believe in the sharing of knowledge, experiences, and joint-effort work among partners. We work in a non-hierarchical way, where we divide the tasks according to the strengths of the partners. A very important knowledge-sharing model that we have adopted is a mentoring system between “old” and “new” partners: in our partnership experience, this model of 1-to-1 mentoring, together with brainstorming sessions in person, are the most efficient. Following the same logic, each partner is also in charge of the project theme in which they have more experience, to transfer and to enhance other partners in that area.

    About the authors:

    Edita Bilaver Galinec is a business consultant, a co-founder of the non-profit organisation Kids Meet Art, engaged in film literacy programmes in Croatia, and a Board Member of the European Children’s Film Association – ECFA. She has many years of experience in the corporate business sector and in the institutional field; she is an expert in strategic planning processes and in the design of development strategies.

    Ivana Jakobović Alpeza holds a degree in Liberal Arts and is the Head of Sedmi kontinent, a film education programme developed by the Kids Meet Art organisation dedicated to promoting film literacy in Croatia. She is a Team Leader of the first Croatian online repository of films and educational materials for school classrooms and preschool institutions.

    Visit our project's website in English: https://filminhospital.eu/ and join us by sending a request to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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