L I S T E N / L U I S T E R

A film by: Astrid Bussink

Life can seem pretty overwhelming at times, particularly when you’re growing up. And it’s not always easy to talk to your parents or friends about your problems. Fortunately, the “Kindertelefoon” (Child Helpline) in the Netherlands provides a listening ear. L I S T E N presents a cross-section of conversations between children and the Kindertelefoon. One girl talks about being home alone virtually all week; another’s sad because her parents are getting divorced. A boy in an asylum seekers’ center is worried about the future, while another boy doesn’t want to be gay and hopes these feelings will pass. Every day, the Kindertelefoon takes calls like these from children who want someone to talk to. But children also call to talk about their pets, to practice their audition for The Voice Kids or to make pranks. The recordings of these phone conversations are accompanied by images that quite literally give color to the conversations, and that beautifully reflect their tone—sometimes hilarious or naughty, but more often sad or heartrending.

Country: the Netherlands
Length: 15’
Completion: 11/2017
Genre: documentary
Themes: human interest, youth
Screening format: DCP, H264, ProRes
Spoken language: Dutch
Subtitles: English

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  1. International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, the Netherlands (15 – 26 November, 2017)
    Kids&Docs Competition Won: IDFA Special Jury Award for Children’s Documentary
  2. One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Czech Republic (5 – 14 March, 2018)
    Official Selection
  3. Internationaal Filmfestival Assen | Vrouw & Film, the Netherlands (11 – 12 March, 2018)
    KersVers Competition
  4. DOCVILLE, Belgium (21 – 29 March, 2018)
    Supporting film for 69 Minutes of 86 Days.
  5. Go Short – International Short Film Festival Nijmegen, the Netherlands (11 – 15 April, 2018)
    Dutch Competition Won: Best Dutch Short Film
  6. CinéDOC-Tbilisi – International Documentary Film Festival, Georgia (3 – 8 May, 2018)
    Official Selection
  7. International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany (3 – 8 May, 2018)
    Children’s and Youth Film Competition Won: ECFA Short Film Award & Special Mention Youth Award
  8. Doc Edge Festival, New Zealand (9 May – 4 June, 2018)
    Official Selection & Docs 4 Schools
  9. Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival, Poland (11 – 20 May, 2018)
  10. Mo&Friese Children’s ShortfilmFestival Hamburg, Germany (3 – 10 June, 2018)
    Official Selection
  11. Cinema in Sneakers – Film Festival for Children & Youth, Poland (7 – 17 June, 2018)
    Children Short Film Competition
  12. Drunken Film Fest, United Kingdom (14 – 21 July, 2018)
    Official Selection
  13. Lundäng International Film Festival, Sweden (26 – 28 July, 2018)
  14. Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival, United States (26 – 29 July, 2018)
    Official Competition
  15. Zomerparkfeest, the Netherlands (9 – 12 August, 2018)
    Short Film Program

Director: Astrid Bussink
Producer: Een van de Jongens: Hasse van Nunen, Renko Douze
Cinematographer: Sander Roeleveld
Sound & Sound Design: Tim van Peppen
Editor: Riekje Ziengs
Production Design: Sanne Houwing
Music: Yvo van Gemert, Bartho Weayen
Line producer: Merle Bemelmans, Lotte Kwak, Britte Hermans
In association with: KRO-NCRV