Crystal Bears for three Nordic films
by Annika Pham
Scandinavian cinema’s ability to provide the very best in children’s films has once again been illustrated with the awarding of three Crystal Bears at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. The winning titles were Danish feature film We Shall Overcome [+see also:
film profile] by Niels Arden Oplev (voted Best Feature Film of the Kinderfilmfest), Swedish film Four Weeks in June by Henry Meyer (Best Feature Film at the 14Plus section), and Swedish/US short film Never An Absolution by Cameron B. Alyasin (Best Short Film of the Kinderfilmfest).
When awarding the top prize to We Shall Overcome , the 11-member children’s Jury said: “I have a dream! Like Martin Luther King, the film’s main character has the dream not to let human dignity be undermined by the rigid principles of the past. We were very moved by how this change in the times was presented as well as by the outstanding performances of the actors and the touching story”.
The film, about a 13 year-old boy who rebels against his headmaster’s authority, was produced by Zentropa Entertainment in co-production with the UK’s Sigma Films, was very well received by international buyers in Berlin, where Trust Film Sales sold it to Germany (Arsenal Filmverleih), Benelux (A-Film Distribution), Brazil (California Films) and Taiwan (Cineplex). We Shall Overcome will be released in Denmark on March 24.
In regards to Four Weeks In June, the jury of the 14Plus competition said: “This humorous and touching story about the relationship between a young and an older person was convincing and made us think. In this film, two outstanding actors (Tuva Novotny and Ghita Nørby, the latter who won the 2005 Guldbagge Award for Best Supporting Actress) play out the conflict between the future and the past with wonderful dialogue”.
The 18-minute Swedish/US film Never An Absolution, which asks if a child can remain a child in the wake of genocide, was described by the jury as “hard reality presented in a moving but unsparing manner”.
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