Eliot & Me wins at China International Children’s Film Festival
by Naman Ramachandran
- Cool Kids Don’t Cry, On My Way and Jungle Master amongst other winners of the 12th edition of this international festival dedicated to children’s film
The 12th China International Children’s Film Festival (September 10-14), held every two years and this year in Siping City in northern China, displayed a European slant when it came to disbursing awards. Fintan Connolly’s Eliot & Me won the International Jury Award for Best Performance by a Child Actress and the Award for the Children’s Favourite Child Performer for young actress Ella Connolly (photo), the latter voted for by local schoolchildren. Fiona Bergin, who co-wrote with Fintan Connolly, produced for Ireland’s Fubar Films with funding from the Irish Film Board and RTE.
Veteran actress Jiang Wenli (Farewell My Concubine) who chaired the international jury described Ella Connolly’s performance as “compelling and authentic, with a naturalness rare in child acting. Her character was very believable”.
Fintan Connolly said, “When we were making the film we had no idea we would end up travelling around the world screening it at film festivals. So many kids’ films have young boys as their central characters and I wanted to create a story that had a young girl as the hero for a change. I think the audiences like this.” Eliot & Me, whichtells the tale of 10 year-old Lucy and her efforts to find her missing dog, will have its Irish premiere at the Cinemagic festival in Belfast on October 12.
The other European winner at Siping was Dennis Bots’ Cool Kids Don’t Cry [+see also:
film profile], a Belgium/Netherlands coproduction based on a well-regarded Benelux young adult novel where a girl diagnosed with leukaemia finds love. The film won Best Children’s Feature and Centre International du Film pour l’ Enfant et la Jeunesse award.
Full list of winners
Children’s Favourite Feature: On My Way (Gary Mak, Li Yuan, China)
Children’s Favourite Animated Feature: Jungle Master (Xu Ke, China)
Children’s Favourite Child Performer: Ella Connolly, Eliot & Me (Fintan Connolly, Ireland)
Award for Best Children’s Feature: Cool Kids Don’t Cry (Dennis Bots, Netherlands, Belgium)
Award for Best Animated Feature: Wolf Children (Mamoru Hosuda, Japan)
Award for Best Directing: Kamila Andini, The Mirror Never Lies (Indonesia)
Award for Best Screenwriting: Mehrdad Khoshbakht & Babak Kaydan, The Sound of My Foot (Mehrdad Khoshbakht, Iran)
Award for Best Performance by a Child Actor: Mohammad Samad, Gattu (Rajan Khosa, India)
Award for Best Performance by a Child Actress: Ella Connolly, Eliot & Me
Award for Best Performance by an Adult Performer: Zu Feng, I Swan (Kong Sheng, China)
Special Prize for Chinese Children’s Film by Siping Municipal Government: My Running Shadow (Fang Gangliang, China)
CIFEJ PRIZE: Cool Kids Don’t Cry
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