As this is being written, a wave of violence is washing over Malmö. Violence which hits us all. Many people are scared of being outdoors and they feel powerless and afraid. The media brings us reports of children murdered in their own neighbourhoods, the very places where they should be able to feel safe. This is happening right now, right next door to us.

We believe, despite the darkness, that the great majority of us want to help make Malmö safe and peaceful once again. Creating shared meeting places that bring us together instead of letting us remain alone. This is what BUFF wants to be a part of.

The great thing about BUFF is that we show films for everyone.
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from.
At BUFF, everyone is welcome.

Our collaboration with the City of Malmö’s Department of Culture for Children and Young People helps ensure that all of Malmö’s schoolchildren are given a chance to see film here at BUFF. We’ve planned this festival for you, your friends, pupils, children and grandchildren. We hope that you’ll take this chance to experience films from all over the world together with those closest to you, but also with people who you’d never otherwise have met, as new friends and acquaintances. We hope that our shared experience of films will make us talk to each other more. That together, we will open up to one another and share each others’ stories. We believe that coming together around a film enriches all of us and feeds a curiosity about other cultures, languages and narratives. We believe that we can change society for the better a little bit at a time. By taking young people seriously, and by challenging them with stories that both move and question.

Influence is this year’s theme

The theme for this year’s festival is influence and we ask what influence young people have in society. Today, children and young people make their own films using mobile phones or webcams, and consume moving images in front of the computer on YouTube and other sites. But how does the education system make use of the robust digital expertise possessed by so many of today’s young people?

Another important thing to ask is how much influence young people really have in terms of what is on offer to them via film and TV? One of the reasons that the Norwegian youth series Shame has become so successful is that it takes its target audience seriously, building on research material gathered by a production team that has gone to the very people the show is aimed at in order to discover which questions are important for young people today.

Researcher Elza Dunkels, a guest at BUFF 2017, with her lecture on Friday March 24th, uses the term juvenism to expose the power structures that enable discrimination against young people in society. In the news coverage offered by the mainstream media, children and young people are largely rendered invisible and a youth perspective is rarely allowed any real space in the sphere of public debate. What happens to young people who grow up experiencing that they lack any influence I society, over their lives and their futures?

Many of the films shown at BUFF touch on the theme of influence,
and by allowing time for discussion after a number of the screenings
we’re making a deliberate effort to open up for a vital reflective dialogue.

In the preparation of the festival, we’ve had the help of a reference group of young people, who will also be participating in various aspects of the festival programme. Influence is also a common theme in this year’s seminar programme.

Welcome to a BUFF which has never been more important, or better, than it is right now.

Daniel Lundquist, Programme Manager
Julia Jarl, Festival Director