Professional Jury (ECFA-Jury):
• Best Feature Film: The day my father became a bush by Nicole van Kilsdonk (The Netherlands, 2016)
The jury felt that it was a contemporary, universal tale that touched on the current issues around displacement, civil war and refugeeism without ever feeling weighty and in a fun, upbeat way.
• Best Short Film: Catherine by Britt Raes (Belgium, 2016)
Catherine is a darkly comic animated film that is beautifully directed and reflects a series of life emotions in a very short period of time. It is never afraid to use death as part of the artistic vision, which stayed with us well after the film had ended.
• Honourable Mention: The Kid and the Hedgehog by Marc Riba and Anna Solanas (Spain, 2016)
The jury wanted to give a special mention to The Kid and the Hedgehog due to its thought provoking and engaging sensibility.

Children’s Jury:
• Best Feature Film: Come Along by Igor Šterk (Slovenia, 2016)
Come Along stood out because of the tension and the mystery. The children’s jury is impressed by the acting and the original story line. Furthermore, the use of an open ending is something they have not seen many times before, and fit perfectly within the plot. It is a film that will stay with them for a long time to come.
• Best Short Film: Catherine by Britt Raes (Belgium, 2016)
The children’s jury thought Catherine was humorous but moving story. The use of colour stood out to everyone and was a good fit for the story line, which they considered original and suitable for all ages.

Film Fun in Bed Jury:
• Best Short Film: Jonas and the Sea by Marlies van der Wel (The Netherlands, 2015)

• Best Feature Film: The day my father became a bush by Nicole van Kilsdonk (The Netherlands, 2016)


Distribution Prize:
In cooperation with Jekino Distribituion, The Youth Film Festival awards a distribution prize to one of the winning feature films in competition. The prize entails that this film will be shown in Flemish cinemas.

Best Feature Film:
In order to support an upcoming film project, the professional jury will award the director of the best feature film a monetary prize from The Youth Film Festival (€2 500).

Best Short Film:
In order to support an upcoming film project, the professional jury will award the director of the best short film a monetary prize from The Youth Film Festival (€1 250).

ECFA award:
The jury of professionals will hand out the ECFA award. Several international film festivals for children and youths in Europe hand out the ECFA award. ECFA stands for European Children’s Film Association. All ECFA-winners are eligible for the general ECFA award, for feature film of the year. The award is handed out by all ECFA members at the Berlinale.

All winners receive a JEFFaward designed in the festival theme “sportyJEFF”.

Ketnet’s selection:
Every year, Ketnet also selects several festival films that will be shown on television. These receive the Ketnet’s Selection label. This year, the chosen films are Storm, Cloudboy and Louis & Luca – The Big Cheese Race.


Opening and Closing Film




Cut the Crap




At every location, you can enjoy an interactive playground. Come and experiment with audiovisual installations and the newest apps.

Antwerp: LaboJEFF (Zuiderpershuis) & APPLab (EcoHuis)
Ghent: APPLab (Studio Skoop & Sphinx)
Bruges: APPLab (Cinema Liberty)
Courtrai: Mammoet & Metrum (Budascoop)

Masterclasses en workshops


Your own short film on the big screen? It’s possible! During the specials you can enjoy the films that the children have made themselves. Do you already feel the urge to get going yourself?


ECFA jury

Justin Johnson

Justin Johnson works for the British Film Institute, selecting animation and films for younger audiences at BFI Southbank and the London Film Festival. He is a regular contributor to radio and TV on matters concerning children’s films, animation and films in general. He has served on juries at many European Film Festivals, including Berlin, Copenhagen and Zlin. He has served as both a selector and a juror for the British Animation Awards. Justin sat for 6 years as a member of the BAFTA Film Committee and as Deputy Chair of the BAFTA Children’s Committee. Additionally, he has been on several different BAFTA juries, and has chaired the Short Animated Film category on a number of occasions. He has also sat on juries for many other organisations such as Childline, Cartoon Network and the UK Book Trust. During his time at the BFI, he has curated seasons in partnership with Walt Disney Studios, the BBC, Shanghai Animations Studios, Studio Ghibli, The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation, Pixar and Dreamworks, as well as hosting many on-stage events and interviews. More recently Justin has written an internal report for the BFI Film Fund, looking at what the BFI should do to ensure that more family films are made in the UK and acted as Film Consultant for the CBBC TV show Cinemaniacs. He is currently in the process of producing a couple of family feature films in the UK.

Kateřina Fojtová

Kateřina Fojtová studied Theory and History of the Dramatic Arts at the Palacký University in Olomouc, in the Czech Republic. She produced student short films, and worked as an editor and assistant in Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre during her studies. Kateřina has also participated in the Flora Olomouc Theatre Festival. At the Zlín Film Festival, she worked as Guest Service Manager and Industry Programmer. She currently works as the Program Coordinator of the student section, titled “Zlín Dog”. Kateřina is also a sales manager in the National Film Archive in Prague.

Gertjan Willems

Gertjan Willems is a film researcher at the Centre for Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Ghent. Before that, he was active as a guest lecturer at Sichuan University and Erasmus University Rotterdam, and as a guest researcher at Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas, the University of Amsterdam and the University of York. Gertjan is involved in historical and contemporary research of film and media in the Low Countries and Europe. He regularly gives lectures in Belgium and abroad, and publishes articles in Dutch, English and French. His book ‘Subsidy, camera, action! Film policy and nation-building in Flanders (1964-2002)’ will be published in the fall of 2017. He is also the programmer for the University of Ghent film club, Film-Plateau, and a member of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund evaluation committee for youth film.

Boris Van Severen

Boris Van Severen graduated from the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp as a singer-songwriter. His graduation project, The Great Downhill Journey Of Little Tommy, which he created together with Jonas Vermeulen, received the audience award at TAZ (Theatre by the Sea) and was selected for the Theatre Festival in the category Circuit X. He was also a part of Kopergietery, which creates youth theatre. He was in Charlotte Dewulf’s short film Adam and Eve in 2015, and for his role in Belgica, he took on the part of rock star Davy Coppens. His experience as a musician in Nightman, among others, certainly came in handy here. In the fall of 2016, he was featured in the Canvas series The 16.

Children's jury Bruges

Sarah Karambizi

I like watching movies from different countries. It’s fun to share my opinion, and to listen to other people’s opinions. I’m already looking forward to watching the films, and I’m curious to see which film will win. I won’t only pay attention to the storyline, but also to the set, the music, the acting,… It’s fun to do this in a group, and we can become friends. I know about the children’s jury by coming to the Youth Film Festival every year, and I have super fun memories of films like Laban The Little Ghost, Tow Truck Pluk, Pettson and Findus, Pippi Longstocking, Pelle the Police Car, Dummie de Mummie, The Tough Guys, The Little Gangster,…

Tristan Sioen

My name is Tristan and I’m 10 years old.
I don’t really have a favorite movie, but I’m most looking forward to the beautiful animation films during the festival.
I’m always ready to watch a new film, even if it isn’t what I usually watch.
Films can always be good, even if they don’t have a good cover.
P.S.: I will not be signing autographs.

Fons Dumont

Hello, my name is Fons.
I like movies because everything is possible.
Action films and comedies are the most fun.
I also like it when characters have an extreme characteristic. Or if something happens at the start of the story, and then comes back later. I don’t have a favourite film… There are so many!
I have acted in two short films myself.

Bente Dumon

Hello everyone,
My name is Bente and I love watching films, that’s why I’m super happy that I’ve been chosen to be on the jury!
I play volleyball, I dance and in the weekends I almost always watch a film.
My favourite film also played at the Youth Film Festival: ‘The Boy with the Golden Pants’.
(P.S.: The festival is also fun for an original birthday party, I did that myself once.)

Sophia Pace

My sister was on the Youth Film Festival jury before, and it was my dream to be able to experience that once too. That’s why I was super excited when I was chosen. I have a true passion for films, and I would watch a new film every day if I could. My favourite films are ‘The Red Turtle’ and ‘How to Train a Dragon’. I’m counting down to the start of the Youth Film Festival 2017!

Daan De Meurechy

My name is Daan and I’m 9 years old (almost 10).
I love to watch films, and I do it often. Ever since we got Netflix at home, I also watch a lot of series. My favourite films are the Star Wars films, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, the BFG,… and many more. I love special effects and sensational stories. My brother was on the children’s jury last year. Because I was too young to be on it, I went to some of the Youth Film Festival workshops instead. Discussing and judging films with others seems really fun.

Wolf Van Volcem

I love watching films and I have been coming to the Youth Film Festival ever since I was six years old. It’s amazing when books are adapted into films, so my fantasy becomes reality on screen.
I have seen the Harry Potter films several times.
My mother is also a big movie fan, and she even let me be an extra on Dolfje Weerwolfje when I was a toddler!
The Little Gangster and Beyond Beyond are Youth Film Festival films that I remember very well.

Katelijne Gevaert

1992- Assebroek

My name is Katelijne and I’m really looking forward to coordinating the Bruges children’s jury again this year! I’ve been a huge fan of the Youth Film Festival for years: at first as an attentive visitor, then as an enthusiastic volunteer and since 2011 as the Bruges children’s jury coordinator. Being a primary school teacher, that is a highly interesting experience. Thanks to the fantastic films, the wonderful reactions of the children and the critical comments of the children’s jury, spring half-term will be fabulous! I’m already counting the days for the most beautiful, the most amusing, the coolest, greatest,… week of the year!

Children's jury Antwerp

Fien Scheurweghs

My name is Fien Scheurweghs and I’m on the 2017 children’s jury. I’ve known the Youth Film Festival ever since I was little. I dreamt about being on the jury, and now my dream has come true. My favorite film is ‘The Secret of Moonacre’. I can immerse myself in it, and it’s full of magic, friendship, trust, love and happiness. I watch films often and have judged films before.

Maité Netten

Hello, I really love watching movies. My favorite film? I love many films, but I love the Harry Potter films most of all. I’m looking forward to being on the jury very much. I also love horses, maths, travelling, sewing cute things and having fun with friends.

Doha Yachou

I really like being part of the film jury. I often come to the activities of the Youth Film Festival, to watch films and to participate in the workshops. I like many different genres, especially fantasy films. I have a vast imagination, and made-up stories speak to me the most. Sometimes I fantasize myself and crawl into my imaginary world to make up my own story. Maybe I’ll make a film about it later, but I’m not sure yet. The last films I saw are Sing, Trolls, The Secret Life of Pets, The Jungle Book, Storks,… and many more. After the film I discuss it at home or with my friends.

Arthur Hellemond

I have visited the Youth Film Festival several times, and I enjoyed it very much. I like comedies the most, because they make me laugh. I’m looking forward to being on the jury because it’s fun to discover new films and discuss them. My favorite film is ‘Up’ because it is so imaginative and has a beautiful soundtrack.

Rune Vertenten

Hello, my name is Rune Vertenten, I’m 11 years old and I live in Sint-Gillis-Waas. I devour comic books from breakfast to bedtime, and I draw comic book figures and cartoons on everything. I love film and theatre, and I perform on stage myself sometimes. With drum rolls and the necessary drum grooves, I will be announcing the best youth film of 2017 together with the JEFF-team. TADUM BADUM BADA CHING!

Karel Van Der Haegen

Going to the movies makes me think of sitting in comfortable chairs together with my friends in front of the big screen, with a snack if possible. I love watching action movies with superheroes. “Captain America: The First Avenger” is my favourite. It is set in the Second World War, but the filmmakers were very creative with it. I also love watching superhero James Bond, and preferably in the older films. It’s always thrilling, and it’s also funny sometimes to watch the special effects from the past…

Anna Carrilho

I’m very happy to be on the Youth Film Festival jury. My brother was on the jury a few years ago, and he always came home in good spirits and full of stories. I go to the festival every year. Besides the film, there is a fun atmosphere and there are fun activities. I also love having a movie night at home with my family. My favorite film is ‘Mees Kees’, because it’s hilarious. I can’t wait for spring break to start!

Sien Vandenhoudt


Director Erik Van Looy and stand-upcomedian Kamal Kharmach make sure everything goes smoothly during the Youth Film Festival.

Kamal Kharmach
Kamal Kharmach is very familiar with the Youth Film Festival, as he is an ex-volunteer. He studied economics at the University of Antwerp, worked as a journalist for StampMedia and was even the director of the Flemish-Moroccan cultural centre Daarkom. In 2014 he won second place in Humo’s Comedy Cup as a rookie stand-up comedian. Most of all, we know Kamal from his run on De Slimste Mens ter Wereld, where he made it to the finale weeks. In 2016, Kamal made his film debut in Everybody Happy by Nic Balthazar. We certainly haven’t seen the last of Kamal yet!

Erik Van Looy

Erik Van Looy is a film director and studied at the RITCS in Brussels. In 1993, he directed his first feature film Ad Fundum. His first box office hit was The Alzheimer Case, a film adaptation of the Jef Geeraerts novel of the same name. The film sold more than 700 000 tickets. Erik van Looy was also the creator of the most successful Belgian film ever. Loft drew more than 1 million people to the cinema. His latest film, The Prime Minister, hit cinemas in 2016. On television, we mostly know him as the presenter of De Slimste Mens ter Wereld.