Already awarded a Silver Bear at the Berlinale, and submitted by Switzerland for the Oscars, French-Swiss director Ursula Meier's Sister, French director Christoph Barratier's War of the Buttons (photo), and Belgian director Bouli Lanners' The Giants, which collected two prizes at Cannes, were the winners at the 13th Buster - the Copenhagen International Film Festival for Children and Young Audiences, which ended yesterday (September 23).
"It took our breath away and made us forget the checklist of qualities an award winner should have," said the international jury of Sister, which won Best Film for Children. The film portrays a 12-year-old boy and his complicated relationship with his unemployed sister, whom he lives with near a luxury ski resort.
The jury judging films for young audiences cast its ballot in favour of The Giants, about two teenage brothers who are stranded in their late grandfather's house over the summer. Lanner's feature received both the CICAE and the SACD awards in the Directors' Fortnight at last years Cannes International Film Festival.
A family adventure set in France during the German occupation 1940-1945, War of the Buttons won the top prize of the Children’s Jury for its depiction of the'"war' between the children in the small French villages of Longeverne and Velran. The arrival of a young Jewish girl becomes a reminder of the real war in the outside world.
The Children's Jury voted Kacey Mottet Klein (Sister) Best Children's Actor, while the jury for Youth Films decided for Julia Garner (US director Rebecca Thomas's Electrick Children) as Best Youth Actor. The International Jury gave South African director Avi Lutra's Lucky the prize for Best Original Screenplay.
With 43 films to his credits, the 'grand old man of Danish animation', Danish director Jannik Hastrup received the Buster Honorary Award. Dutch directors Michiel van Jaarsveld's Papa's Tango won for Best Short and Saskia Gubbel's Through Ellen's Ears for Best Documentary.
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Editor's note: The Giants commences a two-week Australian season at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image on November 1.