UK-based companies took home three of six major prizes at Prix Jeuness International, the worldwide children’s TV festival held this past week in Munich. Two other trophies stayed home in Germany and the sixth was awarded to a Colombian series.
Askania Media Filmproduktion in Berlin took the trophy for the kids 12 to 15 category with Alone Against Time, a 24-style adventure series for teens.
The UK swept the seven to 11 age group, with Horrible Histories from CBBC taking home with the metal-and-glass ball for Non-Fiction, and one-off animated special The Gruffalo, from Magic Light Pictures, winning the Fiction category.
Bookaboo, the rock-and-roll-and-reading dog from CiTV, took the Up to Six Non-Fiction Prize, and the festival’s highest overall scoring project, The Little Boy and the Beast, earning 9.01 points out of a possible 10, won the Up to six Fiction award for presenting child’s-eye view of divorcing parents.
The 2010 theme for Prix Jeuness was diversity, and the special prize for the program best exemplifying that theme went to La Lleva (Tag) a brand-new series from Colombia’s Ministry of Culture that sends one child to live with another from a very different situation for five days.
Prix Jeunesse also offers several special prizes. The UNESCO award for promoting cross-cultural understanding, was awarded to Syrian Television for Turning Point, a daring documentary about the challenges of being a teen girl in that country. The UNICEF prize for helping children to achieve their potential was given to Argentina’s new Canal Encuentro for A Special Tour – a visionary profile of a musical tour featuring disabled young musicians.
The ‘Next Generation’ prize comes with a cash award and a year’s worth of mentoring from international companies. It’s intended to help a young producer working in challenging circumstances who shows promise for the future. The award went to Besouro Filmes from Porto Alegre, Brazil, creators of the innovative and insightful drama Lord Lucas Vacation, which revolves around a young boy who is convinced his sister is dating a vampire.
On the interactivity front, three prizes were doled out. In the Up to Six age group, the award went to Henson series Dinosaur Train‘s website, created by Fablevision, The Jim Henson Company and PBS in the US. WDR Soundbox from Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Germany captured the Seven to 11 Interactivity Prize and The Teen (12 to 15) Interactivity Prize went to Routes, from UK-based Channel 4.
Prix Jeunesse also lets the target audience have a say, and a German kids jury looked at the seven to 12 category, agreeing with the professionals’ 50% vote to give its Fiction award to The Gruffalo from Magic Light Pictures. The kids, however, preferred the UK’s Rival Media’s The Shrinks for the Non-Fiction award.
Seven international youth juries reviewed the series for 12 to 15s, and when all their votes were tablulated, Alone Against Time was the champion with the kids, as well.
The participants in Prix Jeunesse vote for most of the awards, but only one gets their heart. Each participant gets one heart sticker to place next to the program title (on a large display board) that most captured their emotions. It was a close race for the 2010 ‘Heart’ Prize where ZDF documentary Moritz: It’d Be Cool if She Became an Angel about a teen boy’s affection for his terminally ill sister took the top honor.