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Toronto’s Sprockets film festival brings together buyers and book publishers as its 10th instalment gets underway

Along with its usual fare for kids, parents and teachers hungry for movies for and about children, Toronto, Canada's Sprockets festival is increasingly taking on an industry component. Prior to the kick-off of the children's film festival today, dozens of pros from the screenwriting, production and book publishing industries converged for its second-annual Astral Harold Greenberg Fund Family Fund networking event in downtown Toronto.
April 13, 2007

Along with its usual fare for kids, parents and teachers hungry for movies for and about children, Toronto, Canada’s Sprockets festival is increasingly taking on an industry component.

Prior to the kick-off of the children’s film festival today, dozens of pros from the screenwriting, production and book publishing industries converged for its second-annual Astral Harold Greenberg Fund Family Fund networking event in downtown Toronto.

‘This networking started about five years ago, and we began formalizing it last year,’ explains Kelly Alexander, director of industry initiatives. ‘Part of what we do is to stimulate connections between sectors.’ From repurposing films for the multiplatform universe to finding books with feature film or documentary potential, the opportunities run the gamut.

Attending the event this past Wednesday were producers from 9 Story Entertainment, Shaftesbury Films, MarVista Entertainment, CCI Entertainment, Breakthrough Films & Television, as well as book publishers including Fitzhenry-Whiteside, Second Story Press, Annick Press and Dundurn Group.

‘This year the numbers grew by at least 10 companies,’ says Alexander. ‘It’s great to see the momentum that’s building.’

There will also be a cocktail party on Monday for Canadian delegates and those from around the world at which organizers are hoping to see as many as 70 international buyers from Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, the U.K., the U.S. and Germany.

‘The point for us is to foster collaboration and to get talent to recognize talent, to meet one another and let things grow,’ says Alexander.

As the business component grows, Sprockets maintains the two-part structure in place since its inception 10 years ago for children and their parents. A week-long school program for students grades one to 12 will be bookended on the weekends by a family program for kids ages three and up.

The Sprockets International Film Festival for Children runs to April 22. For more information check out www.sprockets.ca

This article first appeared on sister publication Playback’s website www.playbackmag.com

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at garyrusak@gmail.com

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