116 Films to See Before You're 16

The book to help you find the right film at the right time.
The definitive guide to indispensable films for youngsters and their families!

What does growing up mean? Is it crossing the threshold that separates us from childhood and allows us to say we are no longer children? There is no specific moment, but a collection of experiences and opportunities that accompany us through this delicate and exciting transition. Growing up means going to school, and perhaps meeting a great life teacher, following your dreams but also facing countless problems: illness, war, death. It means exploring love and discovering that our imagination never leaves us, we just have to keep nurturing it.

For each of these moments, there is at least one film ready to lend a hand and tell its story, help us reflect and somehow build our own story.

From Harry Potter to Moonrise Kingdom, via Elephant or Pan’s Labyrinth. 116 films skilfully told, accompanied by iconic illustrations, enriched with countless fun facts and contributions by actors and directors.

  • There are no other cinema guides/manuals of this kind, specifically for kids and educators.

  • It strikes a perfect balance between blockbusters, mainstream films, Indi gems, high- and pop-culture films.
  • Beautiful original illustrations by Alessandro Ventrella.

  • Opinions and anecdotes from film-makers interviewed for the occasion.

  • Divided by themes, age groups, hashtags, to help find the right film

GENRE Cinema manual
TARGET All ages
FIRST PUBLISHER Mondadori (Italy), 2021


Manlio was born in Salerno in 1974. In 1997 he wrote and directed the multi-award-winning short film Indice di frequenza starring Alessandro Haber in the lead role. For over twenty years he has been involved in organising the Giffoni Film Festival, and was deputy artistic director from 2007-2018. Screenwriter and director of hundreds of videoclips, documentaries and short films. He is involved in neuro-linguistic programming and audiovisual semiology. From 2014-2018 he was artistic consultant and member of the Creative Committee at the DOHA FILM INSTITUTE (Qatar). He made his narrative debut with the bestseller trilogy Petrademone (Mondadori 2018-2019),  translated into various languages. He co-authored Le belve (PIEMME 2020) with Guido Sgardoli.