|© Prix Jeunesse|
|The “A Special Tour” team, from left: Miguel Rur, Mariana Loterszpil, Cielo Salviolo and Veronica Fiorito.|
Television and film are very important to children – both can open the world to young people, help them learn through entertainment and give them a voice. At two European festials this spring, UNICEF gave awards to producers and filmmakers who use the visual medium to celebrate children’s rights and raise awareness about issues facing youth.
Prix Jeunesse International
Prix Jeunesse International is a bi-annual festival that celebrates the best children’s broadcasting from around the world. The UNICEF Prize is given to a programme that highlights children’s rights and how they can enable children to grow in health, peace and dignity, and demonstrates how children all over the world can have the same opportunities and choices to make their dreams come true. This year, UNICEF awarded the prize to “A Special Tour” by Canal Encuentro in Argentina.
The winning program was part of a series that highlights a group of talented, disabled artists during a tour around Argentina. In this episode, we meet Maxi Lemos, a singer who suffers from spastic tetraplegia but is a passionate singer. Maxi is working to set up a foundation to provide assistance and job opportunities for handicapped teenagers finishing their schooling, with the objective of leading them to social integration.
From the jury note: “Each young person has a gift, a personality and a point-of-view. This program features a young person with a distinct vision and purpose to achieve, despite circumstances that would be seen as a barrier by others. The beautiful production highlights the youth’s strength of character and spirit in the face of challenges, and shows an individual who has created his own “next step” to follow. It is a wonderful example of how young people with disabilities can be presented with complex identities highlighting their talents, personality and inspiration, instead of just stereotypes.”
|“Sinna Man” director Anita Killi receives the UNICEF Award at Annecy.|
Annecy International Animation Festival
Annecy, the world’s largest festival focusing on animation, celebrated its 50th anniversary this year and continued its partnership with UNICEF to honor animators who focus on children’s rights. The power to appeal to a vast worldwide audience and to cross language and cultural barriers: that’s what makes animation one of the most innovative global mediums. Anyone interested in children's rights will be impressed by the efforts to use the powerful visual language of animation to help translate the main articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This year, Annecy awarded the UNICEF Award to “Sinna Mann (Angry Man),” directed by Anita Killi (Norway). The film is about a young boy whose father is very angry and violent. He is torn between fear and his loyalty to his father. The latter, and the fear that the problem is somehow his fault, keep him from telling anyone. In the end, he shares his fears with someone understanding who gets help for the father. “The goal of "Angry Man" was to make an emotional film about a very difficult and touchy subject, namely violence within the home,” director Killi says. “I want this film to reach out to the child. It is not your fault and it can be better.”