The international newcomer festival was founded many years ago by young adults and young people who are all film enthusiasts. This year it will take place for the 30th time with the help of public institutions.

At the REC – Filmfestival Berlin, young filmmakers will receive a platform to present their film to an audience, experience direct reactions to their work and receive professional feedback from a jury. Furthermore, the filmmakers have the opportunity to make important contacts and friendships as well as participate in exciting workshops.

The REC – Filmfestival Berlin is divided into two sections: The REC for Kids (6-12 years) and the REC for Youth (13-25 years). Therefore, it covers two very essential parts: The media education for young festival participants and young talent support for the older participants.

The theme of the submitted films, as well as length and types of films are optional. Also, it is not about a high professional level of the films. Instead, the festival wants to present a colourful mix of all kinds of international films. On the last day of the festival, the jury will award prizes with a total value of 5000€.

REC for Youth is a section of the REC – Filmfestival Berlin with an international open competition for films from youth age 13 to 25. As festival with a big international participation and with young filmmakers at the beginning of their career, it is a signpost for new topics, forms and trends. Not only the visitors benefit from that: Main focus at this festival for young talents is the possibility to receive a professional feedback and critical reflections for the screened films. Public internet-platforms like „youtube“ can’t provide that in this way – success here is measured in „clicks“, which are only a very unprecise vote of spectators. This does not replace the personal and professional discussion on a festival.

Especially for the young talents competent critics and discussions about approaches, dramaturgy, montage or camera-work are a valuable help. At the REC-filmfestival we do this with a competent moderation, having ambitious talks with the filmmakers, with the possibility to discuss with the audience and in particularly with an immediate response by the jury. The jury consists of professional filmmakers, journalists and film reviewers. Directly after the program this jury gives an opinion to the potencies and the weak points of every film.

Furthermore there are talks to selected films which will be recorded on video and be broadcasted in the next days. And finally there are, like at every other festival, lots of opportunities for talks ‚off the record‘ with other filmmakers from different countries, with spectators, with the festival-team and jury-members.

REC for Kids

The open competition in an international setting is intended to offer young filmmakers the opportunity to present their own work to an audience, to experience the reaction of the audience, to receive professional feedback from the jury and, of course, to win great prizes. In addition, the exchange between the filmmakers is promoted and new, also international contacts can be made. Participation in the competition therefore contributes to the learning process and the further development of the young filmmakers. The competition is also interesting for teachers and media educators, who can get ideas, exchange information and make contacts.

The young viewers see several short films in the respective film blocks, which are then discussed by the moderator in terms of media education. The aim is to develop an understanding of the medium of film and its production in a playful way. The films are a colourful mix in terms of their style and subject matter. For example, they can be animated cartoons, animadocs or live-action films. In this way, the children learn about a wide range of film production possibilities and move away from purely consuming professional films and television shows. The goal is to teach the children how such mostly simple-looking films are produced and what effort is actually required to make them. The special thing about this is that all the films shown are not made by film professionals, but by children who are of a similar age to the viewers. This creates a realistic comparison group and the children see what possibilities they have. In addition, there is the opportunity to deepen the knowledge gained in the workshops offered on various film and media-related topics, to try things out and to implement creative ideas.

In addition to lots of fun, the children should have developed a greater understanding of film by the end of the day and have deepened their knowledge in individual areas through the workshops.

REC for Youth

The section REC for Youth (formerly „REC international young film festival“) focuses mainly on providing a platform for young filmmakers and supporting the next generation of filmmakers. Therefore, professional feedback and critical reflection of the screened films form a special focus in this section. This media educational claim is achieved through expert moderation, the opportunity to discuss with the audience as well as the competent criticism of the expert jury, which is composed of filmmakers, journalists and film critics.

This year, the festival aims to improve on what is already known and to concentrate on its strengths. The international aspect will be strengthened and more emphasis will be placed on the English language. The approach of promoting young talent will be taken more seriously, and amateur films will be given a greater focus. To this end, on the one hand, the age group will be rejuvenated with a maximum submission age of 25 instead of 27, and on the other hand, films which are independent of any institutions will be given preference in the selection of films.

An important role at the REC for Youth section is of course the international exchange among the young filmmakers, which will be strengthened by some small changes this year. Berlin is to be experienced as a media city and multinational relationships are to be encouraged, as several exciting new projects and collaborations have already emerged in recent years through these unofficial and official gatherings.