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Campanella’s ‘Foosball,’ ‘Christmas Log’ Top NYICFF Winners

Academy Award-winning director Juan José Campanella’s Foosball takes home the grand prize in the feature film category at the New York International Children’s Film Festival; the winning short film is A Town Called Panic: The Christmas Log, directed by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar.

'Foosball'

New York, NY -- After presenting four weekends of international films for ages 3- 18, New York International Children’s Film Festival concluded its 17th edition at its annual Awards Ceremony and Best of Fest Screening last night at the DGA Theater.

Determined by voting from audience members who are age 18 and younger, Grand Prize Awards were presented to one feature film and one short film. A Town Called Panic: The Christmas Log (Belgium/France), directed by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar (co-directors of 2014 Oscar nominee Ernest & Celestine and also the Town Called Panic feature), was awarded the Grand Prize for a short film. The award for the film, which made its North American premiere in the Festival’s “Short Films One” program, was accepted via video by its stop-motion stars, Cowboy, Indian and Horse.

The Grand Prize Award for a feature film was presented to Foosball (Argentina), directed by Juan José Campanella, director of the Oscar-winning film Secret in Their Eyes. Executive producer and co-writer Gastón Gorali was on hand to accept the award and to announce that, after making its U.S. premiere in the Festival, the film has been purchased by the Weinstein Company, and will be released in the US this August under the title The Underdogs.

Winners of the Festival’s two juried prizes are eligible for Oscar consideration in the Best Live Action and Best Animated Short Film categories, and were chosen by the Festival’s board of jurors: John Canemaker, Geena Davis, Lynne McVeigh, Matthew Modine, Richard Peña, Billy Plympton, Dana Points, Susan Sarandon, Henry Selick, James Schamus, Evan Shapiro, Uma Thurman, Christine Vachon, Gus Van Sant, Taika Waititi, and Jeffrey Wright.

The Jury Award for Best Animated Short was presented by Oscar-winning animator John Canemaker to Jamón (Spain), which played in the Festival’s “Heebie Jeebies: Spooky, Freaky & Bizarre” short film program. Iria Lopez, the film’s director accepted the award via video acceptance.

The Jury Award for Best Live Action Short was presented by actor Jeffrey Wright to Crocodiles without Saddles (Germany), and accepted by director Britta Wandaogo. The short documentary made its New York premiere in the Festival’s “Girls’ POV” short film program.

Determined by the votes of audience members age 18 and older, the Parents Magazine Parents Award was presented by the magazine’s editor-and-chief and Festival juror Dana Points to 9 Meter (Denmark). Directed by 2014 Oscar winner Anders Walter (Best Live Action Short, Helium), 9 Meter played in the Festival’s “Flicker Lounge” short film program for ages 12 to adult.

Audience awards, presented to short films, were determined by the votes of audience members of four different age ranges. A complete list of recipients follows:

Audience Award, ages 3-6: Snowflake (Russia), Animation, Natalia Chernusheva; New York Premiere, “Shorts for Tots”

Audience Award, ages 5-10: A Town Called Panic: The Christmas Log (Belgium/France), Animation, Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar; North American Premiere, “Short Films One”

Audience Award, ages 8-14: The Dam Keeper (USA), Animation, Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo; North American Premiere, “Short Films Two”

Audience Award, ages 12-18: Sleight of Hand (Australia), Animation, Michael Cusack; “Heebie Jeebies: Spooky, Freaky & Bizarre”

New York International Children’s Film Festival ran from March 7-30, 2014. The Festival’s 17th year included a record 19 feature films, over 20 visiting international filmmakers, 2014 Oscar-nominated films Ernest & Celestine (Best Animated Feature) and Feral (Best Animated Short) and the Oscar-winning Mr. Hublot (Best Animated Short). Highlights of the Festival included the Whole Foods Market Pop-Up Concessions Stand on March 22-23, featuring free snacks and gifts for all attendees, two sing-along presentations of Disney’s The Muppets (2011) led by Oscar-winning composer Bret McKenzie and Muppet Walter (Peter Linz), a special preview screening of Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted (2014), and two special preview screenings of 20th Century Fox & Blue Sky Studios’ Rio 2.

Source: NYICFF