Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children announced 11 awards in three categories on May 8, 2005, at the Isabel Bader Theatre. Five awards were decided upon by childrens juries, two audience-choice awards were determined by festival-goers of all ages, and four awards for the Jump Cuts Young Filmmakers Showcase were decided by a jury of film-industry professionals. The curtain fell on the 8th-annual event with more than 20,000 children and family members, an increase of 20% from last year, seeing 87 films from 26 countries.
"It's our best Sprockets to date," said Jane Schoettle, director of Sprockets. "We're absolutely thrilled with the increase in attendance and the increased number of international guests. Seeing a 20% growth in one year is an incredible testament to the profile of the festival and the level of engagement of our young audiences. Once again, Toronto's youth have spoken through the jury process and through our audience awards with compelling results."
Sprockets festival-goers chose Sung Baek-yeop's OSEAM from South Korea to win the Audience Choice Award Animated Film. Nine-year-old Gami is blind and, after the loss of her mother, the sole caretaker of her impish five-year-old brother Gilson. A visually stunning, hand-drawn animation, OSEAM explores themes of beauty, tragedy, and never-ending love, all underscored by the tenets of Buddhist tradition.
Sprockets Audience Choice Awards are voted on by all festival-goers who attend the Family Weekends.
In the Young People's Jury Awards Short Film Category, Jury 1 (ages eight and nine) awarded the prize to Mair Doyles BLUE DOG BLUES from the U.K. Cosgrove Hall produced the film about a dog, a biscuit and an anti-scratch cone.
Jump Cuts offers young Ontario filmmakers in grades 3 to 12 a chance to have their short film shown on the big screen at Sprockets. There are four Jump Cuts awards decided by a jury of film industry professionals.
The Frederick Simpson Award for Best Film Grade 3 to 6 was presented to Melody McMullan from Toronto for RACHEL CARSON LIBRARY COP 3: THE KONFETTI KILLER. The Veronica Herman Award for Best Film Grade 7 to 9 went to Nicholas Arnold of Kingston for THE CRIPPLED LAMB. The Gertrude Löwengren Award for Best Film Grade 10 to 12 was presented to Tyler Shoemaker of Windsor for A SHORT FILM ON DEATH. The TVOKids Young Filmmaker Award Grade 3 to 9 went to Joseph Procopio from Woodbridge for GREEN TEE.
This year's Jump Cuts jury consists of director Anita Doron; actor, producer, and filmmaker Johnny Kalangis; childrens television producer Marney J. Malabar; and founder and director of the World of Comedy International Film Festival, Carla Nolan. The Frederick Simpson, Veronica Herman and Gertrude Löwengren awards are sponsored by the Herman Family Fund. The TVOKids Young Filmmaker Award is generously sponsored by TVOntario.
For a complete list of winners, visit www.e.bell.ca/filmfest/sprockets/index.asp.