2012 Award Winners

The award winners at the 12th edition of the BUSTER International Film Festival for Children and Youth were revealed this friday the 21st of September.

The Children's Jury Awards:

Nordisk Film Foundation's Best Film for Children:
War of the buttons (France)

The director Christophe Barratier is awarded 3.000 euros.

The children's jury's motivation:
The award for best film goes to a film that reveals many stories. There are stories of war on different levels, between the countries, the adults and between the children - where the adults could learn something from the childrens warfare: when the children fight they only steal their rivals buttons. The film also tells stories of love, love between the children, between the adults and the love of their country. The last important story is that of friendship, where the importance of sticking together in times of hardship is a main theme. All these stories are told in an exciting manner, we were highly entertained and enjoyed the beautiful images.

Nordisk Film Foundation's Best Child Actor:
Kacey Mottet Klein in Sister (Switzerland)

The actor Kacey Mottet Klein is awarded 1.000 euro.

The children's jury's motivation:
We have witnessed many impressive childrens performances at BUSTER this year. Many have touched us, but one in particular is very special. It is the boy, who is both child and adult. He takes care of his mother, puts food on the table, and takes care of the laundry and rent money. The way he overcomes all these responsibilities, even though he is just a child, is convincingly played. We were fascinated by the way the actor embodied the strength while at the same time revealing a fragile side. We were taken in from the start!

Politiken Audience Award

Politiken Audience Award:
Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods (Germany)

In collaboration with the newspaper Politiken, BUSTER presents the Politiken Audience Award. Pre-selected films, all with potential for distribution in Danish cinemas, are rated by their audiences.

The International Jury Awards

Danish Film Directors' Best Film for Children:
Sister (Switzerland, France)

The director Ursula Meier is awarded 3.000 euros.

Excerpt of the international jury's motivation:
One film took our breath away. It made us forget our check-list of the qualities an award winner should have and yet still fills it out. It delivers a personal vision and a story so powerful that we burn into the film. It constantly surprises, and unfolds characters in such ways that you are deeply touched. A simple, almost genius way of working with the visual contrast of different environments. Acting performances so incredible, that you nearly forget its acting and not real life you witness. This film bears evidence of human insight and social indignation that linger inside you for a long time.

Danish Writer's Guild's Best Screenplay for Children:
Lucky (South Africa)

Screenwriter Avie Luthra (also director of the film) is awarded 3.000 euro.

Excerpt of the international jury's motivation:
Its original, it inevitably touches you despite the unsentimental mood, it avoids taking the obvious gateway into the story but seeks out a new way of portraying a conflict, which has already been portrayed endlessly. The storys simplicity draws you into the film, which still is unpredictable and surprising while delivering a strong contemporary social comment. You experience a foreign world through a strong main character and end up cleverer. The characters stand out as real people remote from any cliché. Despite the heart breaking circumstances the story leaves you with hope for the characters future.

Special Mention:
Ernest & Celestine (France)

Excerpt of the international jury's motivation:
The jury has decided to give a special mention to a film, which celebrates originality and poetry in an irresistible way. The film reaches you, no matter if you are 4 or 84 years old. An animation film that with its poetic, simple strokes and wild imagination enforces values as tolerance, friendship and rebellion. Its heart beats irresistibly for the underdog in a way that inevitably charms.

The Youth Jury Awards:

Best Youth Film:
The Giants (Belgium, France, Luxembourg)

The director Bouli Lanners is awarded 3.000 euros.

The youth jury's motivation:
This years winner was a break from the sad social realistic youth film model. It is a film that takes childrens and youths problems seriously without lecturing. The film was very original and fun, without becoming a forced joke. The characters are convincing as they are solidary in a true manner, and the relevant issues in the film are presented with a new perspective. We love the storys different supporting characters and the small macho men with a hint of innocence. The film has a nice slow rhythm that gives room for true feelings.

Danish Actors' Guild's Best Young Actress:
Julia Garner (USA)

The youth jury's motivation:
There is radiance and strength behind her angelic face. Although her character is eccentric, we get to know her well and get close to her. She embodies her naïve and quirky character with natural spontaneity. Although the character is complex and the story extreme the actress succeeds in making the story credible, and makes one wonder if it actually is possible to become pregnant with a tape recorder.

Special Mention:
Night of Silence (Turkey)

A film by Reis Celik.

The youth jury's motivation:
The youth jury would like to give a special mention to the film Night of Silence, which was very different from the other films in the competition. It was a revelation for us and an insight into a culture that we knew very little of, and we hope that this film will be seen by many. Thank you BUSTER for showing this feature.

Short Film and Documentary Jury Award

Best Short Film:
Papa's Tango (Netherlands)

The director Michiel van Jaarsveld is awarded 2.000 euros. The Award is sponsored by Politiken-Fonden.

Short Film and Documentary Jury's motivation:
Papas Tango portrays a modern conflict with a growing relevance in these global times. In a loving and authentic way it describes a girls separation from her father as he chooses to move back to Argentina. The film is about identity, belonging and betrayal alike. The quality of the film is that there are no bad guys or lecturing  the world is complex and the film allows the complexity to be present. We have chosen to give the award for Best Short Film to Papas Tango by Michiel van Jaarsvald because it is a strong and moving film about parting and a daughters love for her father.

Special Mention:
Birdboy (Spain)

Short Film and Documentary Jury's motivation:
Birdboy by Pedro Rivero and Alberto Vasquez is one of those films you cant quite explain what is about but you cannot forget. It has its own very unique visual touch, and we were deeply fascinated and astonished. The film was like a nightmare about the end of the world, and it is not child-friendly. Nevertheless, it was strong, beautiful, alluring and frightening all at once. One of the films you remember and come back to.

Best Documentary:
Through Ellen's Ears (Netherlands)

The director Saskia Gubbels is awarded 2.000 euros.

Short Film and Documentary Jury's motivation:
We have chosen to give the award for best documentary to a true gem of a film. The Dutch film Through Ellens Ears by Saskia Gubbels tells an important story with great authenticity. The film is about Ellen, a deaf girl at a pivotal stage of her life. Ellen wants to be a pattern breaker by being the first in her family to attend a normal school. As a main character Ellen is strong and charming. She is certainly not a victim, and the film leaves its audience deeply affected. And this may sound very nice, neat and politically correct, but when told as precise as in this case, it works as films should when they are best.

Special Mention:
China Heavyweight (China)

Short Film and Documentary Jury's motivation:
China Heavyweight, directed by Yung Chang, is an eminently well photographed film. With poetry and photographic precision it depicts a China that we havent seen before. The world of boxing has always been an appealing subject in the history of cinema, but in this film the environment and the slight characters provide a new visual perspective on a world full of unresolved dreams.

BUSTER Honorary Award

The Honorary Award goes to Jannik Hastrup (Denmark)

BUSTER's motivation:
For five decades, Jannik Hastrup  the grand old man of Danish animation, has found his way to the hearts of all generations through his unique drawings, funny universes and lovable characters like Cirkeline, Benny og Cykelmyggen Egon. We love all his drawings, his ideas and his human engagement. We are happy that Jannik still is an active player in the field of Danish animation, where we wish to see him many years to come. Thank you Jannik  for all the wonderful experiences you have given us so far.