European Young Audience Award 2021
This year’s European Film Academy’s Young Audience Award went to Johanne Helgeland’s “The Crossing.” Through simultaneous online voting, a panel of over 5,000 young people aged 12-14 from 38 countries around the world selected the winner.
The film tells the story of brave ten-year-old Gerda and her brother Otto during World War II. Gerda and Otto are called upon to complete a mission when their parents are arrested as dissidents. The other two nominated films were Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart’s “Wolfwalkers” and Matteo Garrone’s “Pinocchio“.
Due to the constraints imposed by COVID-19, the event was held entirely online for the second year. The Hellenic Film Academy (HFA) hosted the event, in collaboration with the National Film Festivals for Children and Youth, like last year: Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People – Athens International Children’s Film Festival.- CineDoc Kids: The event was supported by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Creative MEDIA Europe, and InfoKids.gr, with InfoKids.gr serving as the communication sponsor.
Two hundred youngsters between the ages of 12 and 14 from various regions of Greece saw the three shortlisted films via streaming on the European Film Academy platform, which included Greek subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, enhancing their accessibility. At the same time, they had the opportunity to ask the film’s directors and cast questions. Then, on Sunday, April 25, students joined online discussions about the films with award-winning Greek film-makers. Alexis Alexiou, Georgis Grigorakis, Sofia Exarchou, Nikos Mouchelos, Marissa Triantafyllidou, Elli Tringu, Despinis Trichrome, Maria Filini, and Lefteris Charitos listened to the young judges’ analyses of the films, answered their questions, and discussed themes, cinematic language, and production with them. Shortly before the online voting, the Greek judges were able to share and discuss ideas with their peers from other European countries. The winner was announced yesterday afternoon during a live-streamed award ceremony on the European Film Academy website. (yaa.europeanfilmawards.eu).
Every year, the European Youth Audience Award offers young people the chance to watch European films relevant to their age group and take a sympathetic and humorous approach to the issues that concern them. They chat and exchange ideas, communicate with their peers from all around Europe, and have a one-of-a-kind experience learning about European cinema, its creators, and what it stands for, all while being guided by professional film-makers.
The 38 countries participating in this year’s event were: AUSTRALIA / AUSTRIA / BELGIUM / NORTH MACEDONIA / BOSNIA- HERZEGOVINA / BULGARIA / FRANCE / GERMANY / GEORGIA / GREENLAND / DENMARK / EUROPE / ESTONIA / ESTONIA / ESTONIA / IRELAND / ICELAND / SPAIN / ITALY / KOSOVO / CROATIA / CPRUS / LETONIA / LITHUANIA / LUXEMBOURG / MALTA / BLACK MARK / UNITED KINGDOM / NORWAY / HUNGARY / HUNGARY / POLAND / PORTUGAL / ROMANIA / RUSSIA / RUSSIA / SLOVAKIA / SLOVENIA / SLOVENIA / TURKEY / CZECH REPUBLIC
A few words about the award-winning film:
The Crossing (Flukten Over Grensen) – Norway 2020, 85′
Directed by Johanne Helgeland
Starring: Anna Sofie Skarholt (Gerda), Bo Lindquist-Ellingsen (Otto), Bo Bo Boe Lingquingling (Bo Bo), Bianca Ghilardi-Hellsten (Sarah), Henrik Siger Woldene (Per), Luke Niete (Herman), Julius Robin Weigel (Hans), Kari Simonsen (Wilhelmine)
Recommended for ages: 12+
The Crossing is the story of Gerda, a fearless ten-year-old girl, and her brother Otto, whose parents were members of the Norwegian Resistance Movement during WWII. Gerda and Otto’s parents are incarcerated just before Christmas 1942, leaving the siblings alone.
Following their arrest, they come across two Jewish children, Sarah and Daniel, who are hiding in a secret closet in their home’s basement.
Gerda and Otto are now called upon to finish what their parents began: to assist Sarah and Daniel in escaping the Nazis and crossing the border to neutral Sweden, and reuniting with their parents. The Crossing is a film about self-assurance, unwavering faith, and the extraordinary courage found in even the youngest of children.
European Youth Audience Award 2020
This year, the European Film Academy’s Young Audience Award went to Stefano Cipani s “My Brother Chases Dinosaurs ” (Mio Fratello Rincorre I Dinosauri).
A worldwide panel of over 2,000 young people aged 12 to 14 from 32 countries across the world chose the winner through simultaneous online voting.
The film tells the story of two brothers, Jack and Gio, and their coming of age journey, as Gio suffers from Down Syndrome. Steven Wouterlood’s “My Amazing Summer with Tess” and Katja Benrath’s “Rocka Changes the World” were the other two films nominated.
Due to the constraints imposed by COVID-19, the event was held exclusively online this year. The Hellenic Film Academy (HFA) hosted the event in Greece for the fourth year, conforming to the specific restrictions posed by the pandemic and continuing its online activities following the IRIS Awards online ceremony. At the same time, for the first time this year, it partnered with the National Film Festivals for Children and Youth: Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People – Athens International Children’s Film Festival – CineDoc Kids.
From April 23 to 25, teens aged 12 to 14 from various regions of Greece watched the three nominated films via streaming on the Festival Scope platform, just like the judges from other countries, and had the opportunity to send questions to the film-makers and cast of the films. They then participated in online discussions about the films with Greek artists nominated for this year’s IRIS awards on Sunday, April 26. Katia Goulioni, Pygmalion Dadakaridis, Rinios Dragasaki, Youla Boudalis, Minos Nikolakakis, Stavros Pampallis, Thanos Tokakis, and Penelope Tsilika listened to the young judges’ comments on the films, answered their questions, and discussed the themes, cinematic language, and production with them. The Greek judges were able to connect with and discuss their ideas with their peers from other European countries shortly before the online voting began. The winner was announced yesterday afternoon at a live-streamed award ceremony on the European Film Academy website (yaa.europeanfilmawards.eu).
Every year, the European Youth Audience Award allows young people to watch European films relevant to their age group and take a sympathetic and humorous approach to the issues that concern them. They chat and exchange ideas, communicate with their peers from all around Europe, and have a one-of-a-kind experience learning about European cinema, its creators, and what it stands for, all while being guided by professional film-makers.
The 32 countries participating in this year’s event were: AUSTRIA / BELGIUM / NORTH MACEDONIA / BOSNIA – HERZEGOVINA / BULGARIA / BULGARIA / FRANCE / GERMANY / GEORGIA / GEORGIA / SWITZERLAND / ESTONIA / ESTONIA / ESTONIA / IRELAND / ICELAND / SPAIN / ITALY / KOSOVO / CROATIA / CPRUS / LATVIA / LITHUANIA / LUXEMBOURG / MOORLAND / GREAT BRITAIN / NORWAY / NORWAY / POLAND / PORTUGAL / ROMANIA / RUSSIA / SERVIA / SLOVAKIA / SLOVENIA / TURKEY / CZECH REPUBLIC
A few words about the award-winning film:
My Brother Chases Dinosaurs / Mio Fratello Rincorrei Dinosauri (Ιtaly- Spain, 2019, 102’)
Directed by Stefano Cipani
Starring: Francesco Ghegi, Lorenzo Sisto, Arianna Becheroni, Alessandro Gassmann, Isabella Ragonese, Rossy De Palma
Gio, Jack’s younger brother, has Down syndrome. As a child, Jack believed his parents’ tender lie that Gio was a special kid with superpowers. Now that he’s about to start high school, Jack no longer considers his brother a superhero, and he’s nearly ashamed of him, especially after meeting Arianna. Jack doesn’t want to make a bad first impression on the girl of his dreams, and his brother’s unpredictable behavior soon becomes a burden, leading him to hide Gio’s existence from his new classmates and, of course, Arianna. But you can’t be loved for who you are if you can’t love others for their imperfections. Gio will remind Jack of this life lesson through his straightforward attitude and simple but unexpectedly profound remarks.
European Young Audience Award 2017
Fatih Akin’s “Goodbye Berlin” won the European Young Audience Award this year. A coming-of-age road movie based on Wolfgang Herrndorf’s novel “Tschick.”
Over 2,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 14 from 31 different European countries watched and voted on the three nominated films. The European Film Academy held its award ceremony in Erfurt, Germany, on Sunday, May 7.
The screenings in Athens were organized by the Hellenic Film Academy in collaboration with the city’s secondary schools and Village Cinemas. The children watched the nominated films before engaging in a lively debate with Panagiotis Fafoutis, Christos Georgiou, and Yannis Ziogas. Over 2,000 young people aged 12 to 14 from 31 European countries watched and voted on the three nominated films. On Sunday, May 7, the European Film Academy hosted its award ceremony in Erfurt, Germany..
The Hellenic Film Academy wishes to thank its major sponsor, COSMOTE TV, the Onassis Cultural Centre, Village Cinemas @ The Mall Athens, and Young Plano (Youth Plan) for their invaluable support.
The European Young Audience Film Day is one of the HFA’s educational programs aimed at introducing young filmgoers to European cinema and its values.
The three nominated films were:
- Goodbye Berlin, by Fatih Akin (Germany)
Synopsis: Mike (Tristan Göbel) is a fourteen-year-old boy from a wealthy, upper-class Berlin family. His mother is an alcoholic in rehab, and his father spends his vacation with his secretary. Chik, his new classmate, is of Russian descent. The two friends plan to go on a holiday in a stolen car. And just like that, our heroes’ abrupt coming of age begins, along with the first sparks of love.
- The Girl down Loch Änzi, by Alice Schmid(Switzerland)
Synopsis: Laura, 12, is raised by her family on a rural farm in the Swiss mountains between Bern and Lucerne. She keeps a digital record of her dreams and concerns. Her fantasies revolve around Loch Anzi, a deep rocky abyss shrouded in mystery where even adults are afraid to go. As a young boy moves into her neighborhood, Laura progressively overcomes her fears and loneliness.
- My Life as a Zucchini, by Claude Barras (Switzerland, France)
Synopsis: After his mother’s unexpected death, Zucchini befriends a police officer named Raymond, who accompanies him to his new boarding school, which is full of other orphans his age. Zucchini initially struggles to find his place in this harsh and hostile world, but with his newfound friend Raymond’s support, he eventually learns to trust and love as he searches for a family of his own.
European Young Audience Award 2016
This year’s European Young Audience Award went to “Miss Impossible” by Emilie Deleuze (France), starring the feisty and unapologetic Aurore (Lena Magnien).
Over 1,500 young people aged 12-14 from 25 European countries watched the three nominated films and voted for the winner. The award ceremony was held in Erfurt, Germany, by the European Film Academy on Sunday, 8 May.
The Hellenic Film Academy (HFA) participated in this pan-European event for the second consecutive year in collaboration with Village Cinemas @ The Mall, Athens.
The Greek jury consisted of students from the 2nd Secondary School of Gerakas, the Music Secondary School of Pallini, the Moraitis School, the American College, the 8th Secondary School of Halandri, and the American Community Secondary School (ACS). The students saw the nominated films and then had spontaneous and mature discussions with the directors Christos Georgiou, Elina Psykou, and Alexis Kardaras. Following the secret ballot and vote counting, a video of the Greek results was shot and shown during the award ceremony, along with videos from the other 24 countries.
The European Young Audience Film Day is part of the HFA’s educational initiatives aimed at introducing young filmgoers to European cinema and its qualities.
The three films that were nominated were:
- Girls Lost by Alexandra-Therese Keining (Sweden)
Kim, Bella, and Momo, three bullied adolescent girls, are trying to figure out who they are. In a harsh world of adolescent violence, marginalization, and sexual confusion, the girls have only each other.
When they discover a bizarre plant in their favorite greenhouse that, when eaten, turns them into boys, everything changes.
They initially enjoy the perks of their newfound independence, but quickly realize that life isn’t all roses for males either. Momo and Bella see it for what it is: a “fake.” Being a boy, on the other hand, means more to Kim. It gives her a sense of self.
- Rauf by Bariş Kaya and SonerCaner (Turkey)
At the age of 11, Rauf has a great platonic love. He tries to impress the girl he loves in a world that fades even in the light of day. Pink is the color of this story, with unfulfilled love fantasies and snippets of peace, brotherhood, and friendship.
As a result, Rauf seeks “pink” everywhere. Those pink blossoms symbolize resistance in an increasingly dark world, a revolution against unfulfilled dreams, and the light that lies beneath imperfect lives.
- Miss Impossible by Emilie Deleuze (France)
Some may believe Arurore’s life is dull. Life takes on the guise of a light-hearted psychodrama when you’re a 13-year-old girl with unblinking eyes who glances at boys, school, family, or friends.
Especially when you have a new French teacher, are threatened with boarding school, constantly fall in love, and have the crazy idea of performing on stage with a band.
European Young Audience Award 2015
On Sunday, 3 May 2015, the European Young Audience Awards were presented in an environment bursting with youthful energy, love for cinema, and many smiles, completing this unique pan-European film festival. Young filmgoers aged 12 to 14 years old from 25 European cities, including Athens, voted between three nominated films and chose the winner of this year’s award: the film “The Invisible Boy” / “Il Ragazzo Invisibile,” directed by Gabriele Salvatores (Italy).
In a video statement broadcast at the award ceremony, director Gabriele Salvatore described adolescence as “an era that is often painful but also enjoyable, but always mysterious.”. The film tells the story of an uncanny superhero, 13-year-old Michele, who one day realizes he is invisible. It is an insightful and modern portrayal of the adolescent mentality.
Greece participated in the European Young Audience Award for the first time on the initiative of the Hellenic Film Academy, in partnership with the Onassis Cultural Centre of the Onassis Foundation, and with the support of OTE TV, the HFA’s major sponsor.
On Sunday, May 3, 2015, as part of the European Young Audience Film Day, young Greek cinephiles were treated to a one-of-a-kind all-day film experience at the Onassis Cultural Centre. The Hellenic Film Academy’s president, Vassilis Katsoufis, greeted the audience at the event with a short statement, followed by screenings of the three films nominated for this year’s European Youth Audience Award:
“You’re Ugly Too,” written and directed by Mark Noonan (Ireland), “My Skinny Sister” / “Min Lilla Syster,” written and directed by Sanna Lenken (Sweden-Germany), and “The Invisible Boy” / “Il Ragazzo Invisibile,” directed by Gabriele Salvatores (Italy). At the end of each screening, the audience had the opportunity to talk to members of the Hellenic Film Academy, directors Elina Psykou, Argyris Papadimitropoulos, Petros Sevastikoglou, and Alexis Kardaras.
Following the end of the screenings, the young viewers voted for their favorite film, with “The Invisible Boy” receiving the most votes.
Thus, together with their peers from the other 24 participating European cities, who simultaneously took part in the same process, they formed the final result.
The award ceremony took place on Sunday evening in Erfurt, Germany, and was streamed live on yaa.europeanfilmawards.eu, the official website of the European Young Award (FB: facebook/europeanfilmawards). Directors Shana Lenken (“My Skinny Sister”) and Mark Noonan (“You’re Ugly Too”) attended, as well as the writer of “The Invisible Boy,” Stefano Sardo, who received the award in place of director Gabriele Salvatores. Each city’s jury representatives announced the results of their voting in turn through video message or Skype connection, and their appointment with the European Young Audience Award was renewed for the following year.
Through this process, the European Young Audience Award allows young viewers to participate in a unique pan-European event that simultaneously takes place in different cities across the continent, to express their views, concerns, and preferences as jury members, and to discover stories, people, cultures and societies of Europe through the films.
The initiative, which is part of the educational programs of the Hellenic Film Academy and the Onassis Cultural Centre, aims to develop a joint European film strategy and reinforce its outward-looking approach.
The European Young Audience Award
This year, the European Film Academy granted the European Young Audience Award to European films aimed at young audiences aged 12 to 14 for the fourth time. It is an official category in the European Film Awards, which are currently in their 27th year.
Last year, Dutch director Dave Schram’s film “Regret!” on bullying in schools won the European Young Audience Award. In 2012, the Young Audience Award went to the award-winning film “Kauwboy” by Dutch director Boudewijn Koole. In 2013, Belgian director Vincent Bal’s “The Zig-Zag Kid” won the award, while French director Patrice Leconte’s “The Suicide Shop” was nominated.
The 25 European cities
The three nominated films for the European Young Audience Award were shown to viewers aged 12 to 14 in 25 cities across Europe, namely: Aalborg (Denmark), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Athens (Greece), Barcelona (Spain), Belgrade (Serbia), Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Erfurt (Germany), Istanbul (Turkey), Izola (Slovenia), London (UK), Kyiv (Ukraine), Malmö (Sweden), Prizren (Kosovo), Riga (Latvia), Skopje (Macedonia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Tallinn (Estonia), Tbilisi (Georgia), Tel Aviv (Israel), Turin (Italy), Valletta (Malta), Wroclaw (Poland) and Zagreb (Croatia).
The Nominated Films:
The Invisible Boy (Il Ragazzo Invisibile), Italy, 100′
Directed by Gabriele Salvatores,
Starring: Valeria Golino (Giovanna), Fabrizio Bentivoglio (Basili), Ksenia Rappoport (Yelena), Christo Jivkov (Andreij), Ludovico Girardello (Michele), Noa Zatta (Stella)
Michele, 13, lives in a quiet coastal town in Italy. He is not the most popular or athletic student in school, but he doesn’t care. It would be enough for him if Stella, the girl he likes, showed him some interest. But he has a feeling she is completely unaware of his existence. Michele’s monotony is broken one day when he looks in the mirror and realizes he is invisible. His most extraordinary adventure has only just begun.
My Skinny Sister (Min lilla syster), Sweden – Germany, 95′
Directed by Sanna Lenken,
Starring: Rebecka Josephson (Stella), Amy Deasismont (Katja), Annika Hallin (Karin), Henrik Norlén (Lasse), Maxim Mehmet (Jacob)
As she enters the fascinating world of adolescence, Stella discovers that her older sister and role model, Katya, has a severe eating disorder that she keeps hidden from others. The illness of the girl quickly shakes the family. A story about betrayal, love, and jealousy told with warmth, poignancy, and humor.
You’re Ugly Too, Ireland, 78′
Directed by Mark Noonan
Starring: Aldan Gillen (Will), Lauren Kinsella (Stacey), George Pistereanu (Tibor), Erika Sainte (Emilie)
Will is released from prison to take care of his 11-year-old niece Stacy, who has recently lost her mother. As the two try to start a family in the Irish countryside, they face a number of obstacles: Stacey is not accepted at her new school since she has narcolepsy, which she was recently diagnosed with. Will is on the verge of violating his parole conditions, and his attempts to be a father figure to Stacey are a disaster. And, even though their future is uncertain, they must figure a way to continue living their lives together.