The vision for High Five Cross Media Content For Kids was to create cross-media quality content for Nordic children. The primary media were film and/or television, but the supported projects were also required to develop content for other platforms (games, mobile phones, iPads, online, etc.).
High Five Kids was launched during BUFF:ff and the Nordic Game Conference in 2010. The application deadline was 6 September. The Fund received 38 applications, testifying to the relevance of the initiative’s content and timing. A Nordic editorial group reviewed the applications and seven projects were selected, ranging widely in terms of content, genres and form as well as in terms of target groups, platforms and country of production.
Each project received a development support of NOK 250,000 and went through a development process with international experts, organised in cooperation with the British company Power to the Pixel. The first phase, High Five Power to the Pixel Lab, was held on 16-19 November 2010. The second and final phase, on 16-18 March, featured a financing forum for the supported projects and key Nordic financiers along with an international cross-media seminar. 150 Nordic participants sat across from some of the foremost international experts in the area, including Jeff Gomez (Starlight Runner Ent., US), Karen Heldoorn (Aardman Animation, UK) and Gemma Derksen (NRCV, Netherlands). The event was supported by Nordic Game Program and Nordbuk (Nordic Children’s and Youth Committee).
The High Five Cross Media Content For Kids 2010-2011 projects:
- Barda (Eyeworks, Denmark): a game experience based on a TV series
- Carlos Casino (Thomas Borch Nielsen Production, Denmark): an animated feature film, TV series and game for children
- ABCity (Greathouse, Denmark): an animation cross-media/live action project for pre-school children based on a TV series
- Micropunks (Anima Vitae, Finland): musical animated skits for TV, mobile and internet
- Sunshine Kathy (Kool Production, Norway): based on an animation TV series
- The Core (Bob Film, Sweden): a participatory drama for different platforms based on a feature length fake documentary film
- Legends of Valhalla (Caoz, Iceland): based on a 3D animation feature film
The initiative was thoroughly evaluated and found to be very successful. Six of the seven supported projects went into development or production. The original criterion of success was for two of six. A decision was later made to support a seventh project.
The Fund budgeted for a High Five Kids II initiative in 2012-13, in that the Board and the CEO considered the area to be essential. A final evaluation and a recommendation going forward was prepared by Liz Rosenthal (Power to the Pixel). The Fund on 15 March announced the second round of High Five Kids.
It is of the utmost importance that quality content on different platforms for Nordic children and teens is produced, also in the future. It is, in part, on this foundation that future generations will build in terms of who they are, what values should exist in their world and the culture they are coming from – and which they will take responsibility for continuing. The High Five Kids initiative provided a real kick-start to a number of projects, several of which are already in the market or in production.
With limited finances, the Fund brought expertise to the region, initiated partnerships and developed and started productions. High Five Kids is an essential and obvious initiative to continue – a case where it is, indeed, possible to talk about innovative and creative enterprise across industries.