Ten years ago author, journalist and man-about-town, Nick Place, had a big idea for small people: gather the best national and international short films made for and by kids and stage the first international film festival for young people in Australia.
During his research into the concept, Place quickly discovered a rich tradition of children’s film festivals in both Europe and America. By 2005, the inaugural Little Big Shots festival took place at our home and partner, ACMI, with the first-ever Festival Director Marcella Bidinost at the helm.
In its first year, Little Big Shots screened 23 films, including 2 features. Through Marcella’s tenure, and into that of the second Festival Director, Chloe Boulton, the festival continued growing, presenting more films and an interstate tour, which drew an ever-growing audience of devoted fans to the festival.
In 2014, Little Bit Shots has held screenings at the Sydney Opera House, Adelaide Festival Centre and the National Film and Sound Archive, touring to some of the country’s most recognisable cultural venues, as well as a range of new venues that have joined the festival in the past three years under the current Festival Director, Ben Laden.
This year the event will screen 105 films over six days, a red carpet premiere, 42 sessions, free workshops and activities, as well as a specially curated retrospective of films from past programs and a closing night event, featuring an address by a very special guest artist.
After ten years we’ve grown a little bigger and perhaps a little wiser, but the world is still so full of possibilities. With the fast pace of technological development and the similarly speedy evolution of kids’ imaginations, the next decade will present many challenges for this unique event.
But with kids who’ve grown up with LBS and the parents and grandparents who come back every year to see the next program, we reckon we’re onto a pretty good thing.
Come down, celebrate with us and see some wonderful films from around the globe that are sure to make you laugh, cry and might even make you consider making some of your own celluloid history.
– Ben Laden, Little Big Shots Festival Director
Little Big Shots takes place at ACMI from Saturday 31 May – Monday 9 June 2014.