And the winner is...

The award winners at the 13th edition of the BUSTER International Film Festival for Children and Youth were revealed Friday the 13th of September 2013.

BUSTER Honorary Award

Photo: Thilde Mørup Christensen

BUSTER's motivation:
Both at home and abroad, Denmark is said to make the world's best children and youth films. Part of the credit for this reputation can be given to film producer Per Holst, who has played a crucial part as producer of 'Tree of Knowledge', 'Zappa' and many other masterpieces in this genre. During his over 40 years in the industry, Per Holst has produced over 50 films and is regarded as one of Denmark's most innovative and significant producers. Constantly on the lookout for new talent, he has helped developing directors like Jannik Hastrup, Niels Malmros and Bille August. Together with the latter, Per Holst received an Oscar for 'Pelle the Conqueror' in 1989. In spite of his long career, Per Holst is still going strong and during the last 20 years he has added memorable characters like 'Jungle Jack' and 'Max Embarrassing' to the Danish national film heritage. It is for his invaluable contribution to Danish children and youth films that BUSTER has chosen to honor Per Holst with this year's retrospective series - and it is therefore with great pleasure that we present the BUSTER honorary award to this esteemed gentleman.

The International Jury Awards

The International Jury:
Avie Luthra, Bitte Eskilson, Camilla Bendix, Cornelius Conrad og Lolita Bellstar.

Danish Film Directors' Best Film for Children:

'The Rocket' (Australia)

Director Kim Mordaunt is awarded a cash prize of 3.000 euros.
The award is sponsored by Danish Film Directors.

Motivation of The International Jury:
A film of enormous scope which immerses us into a world rarely seen before. This is a story of wars - wars of the past and wars of the future as a family tries to survive a new invader. But also the battles of ancestry and how a little boy overcomes what society deems as his fate. This film doesn't shy away from the brutalities of real life in Laos but also permits us to celebrate the power of hope and strength. The film succeeds both due to the quality of the script and the beautiful and, at times, unsettling imagery. A brave and resonant experience.

Danish Writers Guild's Best Screenplay for Children:

'Mother, I Love You' (Latvia)

Screenwriter (and director) Janis Nords is awarded a cash prize of 3.000 euros.
The award is sponsored by Danish Writers Guild.

Motivation of The International Jury:
This gripping story lets us have full access to the world of a 12 year old who can't cope with the rules life imposes. The boys fears and bravery are articulated in the script with a masterful precision. We believe that children and parents alike will be swept along Raymond's powerful journey that is universal to the experience of growing up.

Special Mention:

'Wadjda' (Saudi-Arabia)

'Wadjda' is directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour

Motivation of The International Jury:
It is a very important movie which tells a warm and emotionally truthful portrait of a girl's life in Saudi-Arabia.

The Youth Jury Awards:

The Youth Jury:
Frederikke Mikkelsen, Igor Egholm, Kristoffer Bjørkholt Sørensen og Carla Zafirakos.

Best Film for Youth:

'Lilet Never Happened' (the Netherlands)

Director Jacco Groen is awarded a cash prize of 3.000 euros.

Motivation of The Youth Jury
This year's winning film gives a raw and honest insight to a world, which is seldom portrayed on screen. The story is packed with contrasts - it balances between fairy tale and tragedy, care and neglect, childhood dreams and harsh realities. The film displays a new angle on the western world's desire to help, which in this story does more damage than good. The main character's rock hard attitude and the sexual environment she's in challenges the audiences perception of a vulnerable girl, made innocent by her pet name: Snow White.

Best Youth Actor sponsored by the Danish Actors' Association:

Deniz Hasgüler ('Jîn', Turkey)

Deniz Hasgüler is awarded a cash prize of 750 euros.
The award is sponsored by Danish Actors' Association.

Motivation of The Youth Jury:
Through mimicry and body language the winning actress is capable of displaying the role in a nuanced manner, most impressively. We don't know much about her - don't know exactly where she comes from or where she's going - but still, we are with her all the way. She ads life to scenes with an otherwise calm pace and succeeds in the challenge of being alone on the screen through most of the film. In the role as Jîn, Deniz Hazgüler spellbinds the audience with her appearance even though she only has a very few lines of dialogue.

Special Mention:

'Baby Blues' (Poland)

'Baby Blues' is directed by Kasia Roslaniec.

Motivation of the Youth Jury
We have chosen to give a special mention to the Polish Baby Blues by Kasia Roslaniec, because it offers an unexpected twist on an otherwise ordinary story and the open ending leaves the audience breathless.

Shorts and Documentaries Jury Awards

Shorts and Documentaries Jury:
Kassandra Wellendorf, Lars H. Ostenfeld og Lotte Andersen.

Politiken Foundation's Best Short Film:

'Rabbit and Deer' (Hungary)

Director Péter Vácz is awarded a cash prize of 2.000 euros.
The award is sponsored by Politiken Foundation.

Motivation of the Shorts and Documentaries Jury:
The winning movie in the Best Short Film category skillfully narrates through images, demonstrates an impressive sense of visual effects and uses the premises of animated movies in a most unique fashion to support the main characters' perception of the world. The movie is a true gem, which in a very simple way dares to display a significant subject about viewing the world in different ways and despite differences get back together. The animated images displays a poetic yet raw atmosphere which makes the movie a great experience with many layers for both children and adults. The story leaves room for interpretation, and we would like to see more from the people behind this movie.

Special Mention, short film:

'Dublin' (Sweden)

'Dublin' is directed by David Aronowitsch.

Motivation of the Shorts and Documentaries Jury:
The handsome Somali boy Daoud's loneliness and desperation as a commuter refugee is relentlessly, almost documentary sharp in David Aronowittsch's 'Dublin'. With a lingering camera and long stagnant shoots, the images create a mood of powerlessness that fills the adolescent boy. With deep wonder Daoud tries to comprehend his destiny. He can´t return to Somalia, and he is banished from one country to another up through Europe. A limbo that he desperately tries to break. A quiet and heartbreaking film that makes a strong impression. That is why, the jury has chosen to give a special mention to 'Dublin'.

Best Documentary:

'Approved for Adoption' (France, Belgium)

Directors Laurent Boileau and Jung Henin are awarded a cash prize of 2.000 euros.

Motivation of the Shorts and Documentaries Jury:
The film tells a personal story in a very poetic style of animation. The animations are mixed with live footage and 8mm film. The animations are all based on the main character's own drawings interpreting his upbringing as an adopted child in Europe. This personal and authentic visual style creates a strong identification with a child's experience of loneliness and foreignness within a large family. The film is moving in its absolute honesty and raw depiction of the main character's upbringing, where his family as well as his own 'far from perfect' behavior are involved. This adoption story does not just tell a story of loss, though. In the end the film suggests a possible healing of the loss of love. Despite the tough subject the film radiates an amazing excess and has moved us all.

The Children's Jury Awards

The Children's Jury:
Amy Zorning Kjellberg, Kaoutar Bouhafa, Magnus Birke, Nada Fathy El-Sayed, Nefer Skjoldan og Peter Vilmar.

Nordic Film Foundation's Best Film for Children:

'The Day of the Crows' (France)

Director Jean-Christophe Dessaint is awarded a cash prize of 3.000 euros.
The award is sponsored by the Nordic Film Foundation.

Motivation of the Children's Jury:
The award for best film goes to the one that touched us the most. It's a story, which also surprised us very much, new things kept happening, there was a constant wealth of nuances, and we felt very well entertained throughout the film. The film is about conquering your fears and regain hope and joy. The characters are distinctive and diverse, but at the same time fascinating, and they are portrayed in a way that implores you to care for them despite their odd appearance.

Nordic Film Foundation's Best Child Actor:

Sitthiphon Disamoe ('The Rocket')

Actor Sitthiphon Disamoe is awarded a cash prize of 1.000 euros.
The award is sponsered by the Nordic Film Foundation.

Motivation of the Children's Jury:
We have seen many talented performances at BUSTER this year, many of the child actors have done very well, but one especially caught our attention as exceedingly talented. He manages to convey feelings to us, which we recognise in ourselves, despite the fact that he lives in a world that is so very different from ours. We were deeply moved by his struggle to turn his luck - and fortunately he succeeds in the end.

Politiken Audience Award

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.

Politiken Audience Award:

'Clara and the Secret of the Bears' (Switzerland)

'Clara and the Secret of the Bears' is directed by Tobias Ineichen.