The 12th annual Tel Aviv Children and Youth Film Festival returns to the city’s cinematheque from July 7 to 17, spotlighting over 60 feature films and documentaries from around the world.Each year, in addition to the screenings, the festival offers children ages four to 16 and families alike opportunities to participate in film workshops and meet with artists.The theme for this year is “Inspirational Children,” intended to appeal to the concerns of youth: their aspirations, loves, dreams, fears and more. The festival will spotlight children whose stories of survival and determination to surpass societal limits are motivational and meaningful.“This year’s program is wonderfully rich,” said festival artistic director Michal Matus. “It includes a variety of quality films that reflect the desires, dreams and fears of the upcoming generation.”Many of the films, shorts and documentaries are prizewinners, both internationally and Israeli, including Baba Joon, the 2015 Ophir Award winner for Best Picture.The lineup will also feature The Eagle Huntress (Otto Bell), Blanka (Kohkei Hasei), and Oddball (Stuart McDonald), all of which have won numerous awards at festivals across the globe.Special guest Marion Döring, director of the European Film Academy since 1996, will participate as head juror. She told Metro in a recent interview of her excitement over attending the festival for the first time. “For me, being a member of the jury is always a great experience. The wonderful thing about festivals is you never know what you’ll get, because the films are brand new.” Döring began her career as a journalist and then editor after studying French and Portuguese at the University of Mainz. She has worked at the European Film Academy since its inception in 1988, first as public relations manager and later graduating to director.Döring will judge alongside 10 other film experts, including Alon Garbuz, former director of the Tel Aviv Cinematheque for 42 years. Accompanying the professional jury will be a team of seven young jurors who dream of one day working in the film industry.When asked what advice she would give to budding young filmmakers, Döring pointed to the ability to be open. “Watch film because it makes you travel. Cooperate and co-produce with others and other countries. Film will always help you in life.” Tickets can be obtained by calling (03) 606-0800, ext. 1.