Archive of films A Story of Children and Film / A Story of Children and Film

United Kingdom
2013, 101 min

Section: Out of the Past
Year: 2013

Childhood is the subject of Cousins’ exciting new journey through the history of film, as well as the themes connected to it – loneliness, playfulness, adventure, and mystery. One of the greatest cinephiles among filmmakers, he has created a pioneering and emotionally compelling composition with the help of 53 clips.


The main theme of Mark Cousins’s new and exciting journey through the history of film is childhood – and the related subjects of loneliness, playfulness, adventure, and mystery. Cousins, one of filmmaking’s greatest cinephiles, has created a revelatory and emotionally powerful film using fifty-three excerpts of films from twenty-five countries. Besides scenes from classics such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Red Balloon, Kes and The 400 Blows, Cousins also cites many practically unknown gems of world cinema (many of them made by women) from regions that have been unjustly ignored. The Czech Republic is represented by Karel Kachyňa’s Long Live the Republic and Miroslav Janek’s documentary The Unseen. The world of Cousins’s film, centered on the filmmaker’s extraordinarily compelling home videos of his niece and nephew, is playful, melancholic, innocent, highly personal and, at the same time, universal. The two key features of Cousins’s work – story and journey – are poetically interlinked in a film whose DVD is a must-have for all home collections, right alongside the famous movies mentioned above.

About the director

Mark Cousins (b. 1965, Belfast) is a Northern Irish filmmaker, writer, curator, and traveler. His first film The First Movie, won the Prix Italia and has been included in this year’s Kurdish retrospective. In the autumn of 2011, he gained widespread acclaim with his massive project The Story of Film: An Odyssey, which was shown at numerous festivals, including KVIFF in 2012. He is the author of numerous essays on film and also the books The Story of Film (2004), Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary (with Kevin Macdonald, 2006) and Widescreen: Watching Real People Elsewhere (2008). Cousins and actress Tilda Swinton are co-founders of the 8½ Foundation dedicated to bringing world cinema to children. At last year’s KVIFF, Cousins presented the international premiere of the compelling cinematic essay What Is This Film Called Love? His latest work, A Story of Children and Film, premiered a few weeks ago at Cannes.


The Festival Agency
44, rue de Cléry, 750 02, Paris
Tel: +33 789956194
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

Film Europe s.r.o.
V Jámě 1, 110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
E-mail: [email protected]

HanWay Films
24 Hanway Str., W1T 1UH, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 290 0750
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Out of the Past
Director: Mark Cousins
Screenplay: Mark Cousins
Dir. of Photography: Mark Cousins
Music: Olivier Messiaen, Aljoscha Zimmerman
Editor: Timo Langer
Producer: Mary Bell, Adam Dawtrey
Production: BofA Productions Ltd
Contact: The Festival Agency, Film Europe s.r.o., HanWay Films
Distributor: Film Europe s.r.o.


Mark Cousins

Film Director

Adam Dawtrey


Mary Bell


Chiara Gelardin

Sales Agent

Leslie Vuchot

Service Company Rep., Distributor


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