Reaching Young Audiences: Investigating media content for children and young people in a multi-platform era



Illustration by Clara Lucie Jetsmark

Much has happened in the production, distribution and consumption of film and media content for children and young audiences in the past years, both concerning the nature of the content produced and how this content reaches its intended audience. This conference investigates both historical and current aspects of a wide variety of productions for children and young audiences, focusing on film and television as well as content for social media and new platforms.

The conference marks the end of the Reaching Young Audiences project and – besides the two keynotes – there will be presentations by affiliated researchers and industry practitioners as well as papers submitted from a wide range of international scholars, offering perspectives from many European countries as well as India, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.

The conference requires in-person attendance.





The conference schedule will be from 09:00 to 17:00 on Thursday 9 October, and from 09:00 to 16:00 on Friday 10 November.

See programme (PDF)


Noel Brown: Happy Endings in Children’s Film: Emotion, Narrative and Ideology

For many people, children’s films and happy endings are regarded as almost synonymous. Though far from unique to children’s movies, there is perhaps no other tradition of cinema – not even the musical or the romantic comedy – where the narrative centrality of the happy ending is firmly established and its absence is more keenly felt. However, the concept has proven to be problematic in the study of children’s films. Not only has it been a stick to beat the genre with for reasons of supposed clichéd predictability, simple-mindedness, and sentimental denial of reality, but it is far from easy to pin down what it means. Concerning a range of international films, this paper explores the ever-changing convention of the happy ending, from its presence in early cinema to its more diverse presence in twenty-first-century productions.


Noel Brown is an Associate Professor in Film at Liverpool Hope University, UK. He has written several books on aspects of children’s film, family entertainment and animation, including Contemporary Hollywood Animation (Edinburgh University Press, 2021), The Children’s Film: Genre, Nation and Narrative (Columbia University Press, 2017), British Children’s Cinema: From The Thief of Bagdad to Wallace and Gromit (I.B. Tauris, 2016), and The Hollywood Family Film: A History, from Shirley Temple to Harry Potter (I.B. Tauris, 2012). He is also co-editor of Toy Story: How Pixar Reinvented the Animated Feature (Bloomsbury, 2018) and Family Films in Global Cinema: The World Beyond Disney (I.B. Tauris, 2015), and editor of The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Film (Oxford University Press, 2022). He is editor of the Edinburgh University Press ‘Children’s Film and Television’ series and is currently working on an edited collection to launch the series on Radical Children’s Film and Television.

Anna Potter: Culture at a Crossroads: Re-evaluating the Role of Australian Children's Television in the On-Demand Age

The global phenomenon that is the Australian preschool animation Bluey has overshadowed the turmoil faced by the Australian children's television production sector following the removal of children's content quotas from the country’s three advertiser-funded broadcasters in 2021. As in many television markets, new digital distribution technologies have transformed how Australian children's television is funded, produced and distributed. In doing so, digitisation and television’s increasing internationalisation have rendered longstanding cultural policy frameworks for the child audience obsolete. They have also allowed abundant supplies of content from the world to be made available on-demand to young audiences, causing them to desert legacy media, including public service broadcasters.

In this keynote talk, I will present findings from two research projects: “Making Australian Television in the 21st Century,” conducted in collaboration with Amanda Lotz and Kevin Sanson and funded by the Australian Research Council, and "Australian Teens: Global Screens," a participatory audience research project aimed at understanding how and why young Australians engage with drama and movies on streaming services. Using the example of Australia, a medium-sized television market with a long history of cultural protectionism, I will explore the changing significance of domestically produced content in children's and young people’s lives and the implications for Australian cultural policy and screen industries.


Anna Potter is an Associate Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. She is a researcher focusing on children’s screen production cultures and distribution networks, media industries, and communication policy. She is the author of Creativity, Culture, and Commerce: Producing Australian

Children’s Television with Public Value (Intellect, 2015), Producing Children’s Television in the On-Demand Age (Intellect, 2020) and multiple journal articles and book chapters. Before becoming a researcher, Anna worked as a media practitioner in the UK pay-TV industry. She is currently Chief Investigator (with QUT’s Amanda Lotz and Kevin Sanson) on the ARC Discovery project (2021-23) ‘Making Australian Television in the 21st Century’. This project investigates the intertwined implications of non-Australian ownership, technological adjustments, policy changes, and support adjustments enacted since the mid-00s that have challenged the making of ‘Australian’ television. Among her many other activities, she is an Associate Investigator with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for The Digital Child and is on the board of the journal Media International Australia.



Paper presenters

Adeline Tay, Alessandra Augelli, Anders Åberg, Anders Lysne, Anna Orfanidou, Anna Potter, Carolina Martinez, Christa Lykke Christensen, Clara Sánchez-Rebato Valiente, David Kleeman, Eva Novrup Redvall, Fredrika Thelandersson, Helena Sandberg, Helle Kannik Haastrup, Helle Strandgaard Jensen, Jakob Freudendal, Jeanette Steemers, Jiow Hee Jhee, Johan Nilsson, Jonas Lindkvist, Juan Francisco Gutiérrez Lozano, Kim Toft Hansen, Louise Brix Jacobsen, Maja Rudloff, Maria Skytte, Merris Griffiths, Noel Brown, Paolo Russo, Petar Mitric, Pia Majbritt Jensen, Raffaele Chiarulli, Rebecca Breg, Becky Parry, Ruchi Kher Jaggi, Selma Aitsaid, Signe Kjær Jensen, Thitinan Boonpap Common, Vilde Schanke Sundet, Yuval Gozansky

See overview of abstracts (excluding Keynotes) (PDF)



The conference will take place at the University of Copenhagen, South Campus, building 4, in Auditorium 4A-0-69 as well as the rooms 4A-0-56 and 4A-0-68.

For information on parking and public transport.

There are no suggested conference hotels. It is generally quite easy to get to the University of Copenhagen from anywhere in Copenhagen by metro or bus.


The conference is organised by the research project Reaching Young Audiences: Serial fiction and cross-media storyworlds for children and young audiences (funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark).

For more information, please contact Principal Investigator of the Reaching Young Audiences Project, Associate Professor Eva Novrup Redvall.


The Call for papers has ended.



The conference is free of charge. The registration deadline has ended though.

There will be a conference dinner at the restaurant SULT in the Film House (Vognmagergade 8B) on the evening of November 9. The fixed price for the buffet dinner with a selection of starters, mains and desserts (including beer or wine) is 370 DKK. The buffet dinner needs to be ordered and paid when registering through the link above.

During the two days of the conference, there will be some coffee and snacks, but participants will have to buy their own lunch in the university cafeterias and cafes.



The University of Copenhagen has a wireless guest network called 'KU Guest' for guests that do not have access to eduroam.

When you log on to KUguest, you must first be registered using your email address as your username and type in your phone number, and then you will recieve an access code via SMS. 

How to log on to KUguest

  1. Find the accessible wireless networks on your device 
  2. Choose "KU Guest"
  3. Add you information and follow the instructions on the screen