New Film Competition judge announced

18 Apr 2017 Becca Cawthorne

We are delighted to announce that the second of our Childnet Film Competition judges is Joanna van der Meer, a Film Tutor and Family Learning Programmer at BFI Southbank.

We spoke to Joanna to find out why she supports the Childnet Film Competition and what she is looking for in a winning entry.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at the BFI?

I’m Joanna van der Meer and I’m Film Tutor and Family Learning Programmer at BFI Southbank – which means I teach filmmaking skills to both children and adults – anything from animation to film editing and everything in-between. I also programme children and family activities. My background is very mixed – I’ve had many jobs including being a zoo keeper!  (I looked after the monkeys). I also worked for the animation company that created the Wombles and have worked as a film extra and film location caterer.

Why do you support the Childnet Film Competition?

 Childnet is a wonderful initiative which encourages a positive evaluation of how the internet is used by children – it’s a great medium for children to show this through the films they create.  It’s tremendously uplifting.  We all know there is a lot of negativity about the internet, especially social media but Childnet allows us to understand that children embrace the potential of the medium as a force for good – which of course it is!  I’ve always been impressed by the scope of the films presented that really do display this.    I’m very pleased to support the work that Childnet does.

What will you’ll be looking for as a Judge?

 What I look for is an original, strong story that conveys the message in an innovative, well thought through way.  Less important is technical competence although I always look for good audio quality which will definitely get more marks from me! I know how tricky this aspect of filmmaking is so I appreciate care taken over this – and I respect attempts to address problems with this – using a recorded narrative and subtitles for example.

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