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Michel ProgrammE 2023

24. August 2023


The 21st MICHEL Children and Youth Film Festival invites young cinema enthusiasts to the Studio-Kino for the first time, from September 29th to October 5th, 2023, to dream together of the vast world and experience cinematic adventures. Children and teenagers aged four to sixteen can look forward to film contributions from South Korea, Slovakia, Mexico, and many other countries.


In the race for the €10,000 endowed MICHEL Film Award MAJA, sponsored for the first time this year by Hamburg movie theater operator Hans-Peter Jansen and to be awarded by the MICHEL Jury on October 5th, a total of nine films are in competition:


Goodbye boredom is the motto of the MICHEL opening film Die unlangweiligste Schule der Welt , where the pupils around cheeky Maxe (Lucas Herzog) have to assert themselves against the rule-abiding directorSchnittlich (Max Giermann) and the strict class teacher Frau Penne (Felicitias Woll) to escape the monotony of the “rulebook of prohibitions”. Fortunately, Rasputin Rumpus (Serkan Kaya) suddenly appears. The inspector of the boredom-fighting authority goes on an adventurous class trip with Maxe’s class, which is supposed to foil the director’s plans.


The protagonists of the other MICHEL films also strive for their wishes and dreams:


In the South Korean animation film Mother Land, Krisha must not only save her mother but also her tribe and the land of the tundra where they live from the influences of Western industry.


The interaction between nature, consumption, and courage is also central in the German production Thabo – Das Nashorn-Abenteuer, based on the popular children’s book series “Thabo, Detektiv und Gentleman” by Kirsten Boie: Thabo, living with his uncle in a wildlife reserve in Eswatini on the border with South Africa, becomes a detective when his uncle is accused of poaching.


A rescue mission is also Romy as she searches for her escaped budgerigar Mimi in the forest and encounters many new friends. This Slovakian film premiered at the Berlinale.


In the English film Georgie, named after the protagonist, the girl decides to take care of herself after the sudden death of her mother – until the young man Jason suddenly rings her doorbell and turns her life even more upside down. The film by Charlotte Regan was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, among others.


The life of 10-year-old Valeria undergoes a fundamental change when, in the summer, not only her best friend moves away from Mexico City and her beloved uncle separates from his wife, but also the unexpected encounter with the neighbour boy George – Sharp Wounds not only tells of love, family, and friendship but also the first steps towards adulthood.


Exciting perspectives are also offered by the 2D animated film Chicken for Linda!  which premiered at Cannes and received two awards at the world’s most important animation film festival in Annecy. The film tells the story of Linda and her mother, their relationship after the father’s death, and playfully introduces children to French strike culture, which not only covers all of Paris on the day of the plot but also paralyzes the whole neighbourhood due to Linda’s desire for paprika chicken.


In addition to the many strong girl characters in the MICHEL films, boys are not dissuaded from their goals in the Czech production Big Dreams: Dom and his friends establish their own ice hockey team to prove themselves not only to their parents but also to the opposing team.


The final film is the Dutch production Totem. The film tells the story of Ama, who came to the Netherlands with her family as illegal immigrants and faces deportation. While the police take her brother and mother into custody, Ama embarks on a lonely search for her father, for belonging, and for a home she never knew.


Outside the competition, two new episodes of Die Pfefferkörner will be shown, in which they must uncover a mysterious attack and a jewel robbery.


The pedagogically accompanied short film program “Series for Minis” for children aged four and above, will transport the youngest visitors from their own bedrooms to the sandy expanses of the deserts this year.


For the first time, the MICHEL Children and Youth Film Festival has partnered with the Mo&Friese Young Short Film Festival Hamburg for “MICHEL meets Mo&Friese”. As part of the event, not only will a pre-film be shown, but also this year’s Friese Award-winning film, Pebble Hill where a family of shrews embarks on an adventurous journey to find a new home.


Almost all films of the young film festival will be shown in their original language and dubbed in German by actors in the cinema. The events of the MICHEL Film Festival will be moderated by children and teenagers aged eleven to sixteen, who will introduce the films and lead audience discussions with invited guests. The young reporters of MICHEL MOVIE KIDS will cover the entire festival through media, conducting interviews and discussing the films on their own blog (www.michelmoviekids.de).


However, the MICHEL doesn’t just offer a diverse programme during FILMFEST HAMBURG: On September 17th, the KinderKinder e.V. invites everyone to the World Children’s Festival, Große Wallanlagen (Planten un Blomen), featuring the MICHEL craft stand. Continuing on October 3nd, as part of the celebrations for German Unity Day, MICHEL will show the animation film Fritzi – Eine  Wendewundergeschichte.


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