In 2011 ECFA (European Children’s Film Association) launched the first edition of the ECFA Award, the election of the Best European Children’s Film of the year. Throughout the year 9 different children’s film festivals (from Oulu to Pyrgos, from Bucharest to Gifonni) have hosted an ECFA Award jury, adding one title to ECFA’s shortlist. The 9 shortlisted films competed for the final ECFA Award: the Best European Children’s Film 2011.
More than 60 members of ECFA, all of them active in the children’s film industry, were invited to cast their vote.
And tonight, on February 11, 2012 the award was given out at a ceremony during the Children’s Film Community Party (Treffen der Kinderfilmszene) in the International Film Festival of Berlin, in the Homebase Lounge.
The votes from the member organizations already cut the shortlist down to 5 titles. The final nominees were:
- The Liverpool Goalie, directed by Arild Andresen, Norway
- The Runway, directed by Ian Power, Ireland
- Tomboy, directed by Céline Sciamma, France
- A pas de Loup, directed by Olivier Ringer, Belgium
- Ways to live forever, directed by Gustavo Ron, the United Kingdom
And after a close competition the ECFA AWARD 2012 for the Best European Children’s Film 2011 goes to:
A pas de Loup / On the Sly
Directed by Olivier Ringer, Belgium 2011
There is no money prize connected to the ECFA Award. However as nominated by only professionals in the field of European children’s film, the value and prestige of the ECFA Award cannot be underestimated.
Synopsis ON THE SLY: In a not-so-far-away land, not so long ago, lived an ordinary little girl named Cathy. She was however convinced that she was invisible to her parents. To be certain, she decided to disappear. What could end badly turns into an extraordinary adventure…
Director Olivier Ringer: “Cathy feels like a prisoner, choking in a sterile world where everything is neat, decent and tactful. But out in the wild Cathy’s view on the world changes, she’s like Robinson Crusoë. To survive in the wilderness, she has to adapt some primitive habits: gathering food, finding protection from predators and shelter from the storm, developing a relationship with the surrounding environment. This film is looking exclusively through Cathy’s eyes. To have a better understanding it is our duty as parents to bend our knees until we’re on the same height as our children. Even when her parents are caring, Cathy feels as if she doesn’t exist for them. Many children will recognize that: their parents have the best intentions but do not always succeed in sparing them enough time.”
“We are very happy to announce that the first ever ECFA Award went to the beautiful artistically uncompromising On the Sly. We also hope that this award can contribute to an increased focus on all the fantastic children’s film that are made in Europe,” says Tonje Hardersen, President of ECFA.
ECFA is an association for professionals and organizations who operate within the field of quality films for children and youth. It aims at securing children’s access to the best possible film culture and to increase an awareness of the need for good media politics in the different European countries.
ECFA was founded in 1988 and has now 60 members in 25 European countries.
A pas de Loup/On the Sly got its world première at the Berlinale 2011 within the Generation program, and has been awarded numerous prizes in festivals all over the world:
- Children's Jury Prize for Best Feature Film at the Children's Film Festival Seattle – US, February 6, 2012
- Grand-Prix du Meilleur Scénario at the Olympia Children’s & Youth Film Festival – Grèce, December 12, 2011
- ECFA Award at the Oulu’s Children’s & Youth Film Festival – Finland, November 26, 2011
- The Golden Butterfly Special Jury Prize at the Hamedan International Children Film Festival – Iran, November 22, 2011
- Le Grand Prix du Jury Enfants & une Mention Spéciale du Jury International au 7ème Festival International du Film pour Enfants de Tel Aviv – Israel, October 31, 2011
- Le Prix Principal du Jury Enfants pour un Long-Métrage de Fiction au Festival International du Film pour Enfants de Zlin – Tchéquie, June 7, 2011
- Le Grand-Prix du Jury Enfants, le Prix Spécial du Jury International et le Prix Inis du Jury Professionnel au Festival International du Film pour Enfants de Montréal – Canada, Mars, 2011.