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The Winners of the 21st SCHLINGEL International Film Festival


New record: The Chemnitz film festival attracted about 21,000 visitors

With the highlight of the festive awarding ceremony on Saturday night, the 21st SCHLINGEL International Festival for Children and Young Audience was closed. Over one week, eleven juries had to find their favourite films. Altogether, 16 prizes worth 63,000 Euros were awarded to the winners. The festival screened a total of 181 films from 54 countries.


European Children’s Film Award sponsored by the Saxon Ministry of Culture (endowed with 12,500 Euros and initiated by the Saxon State Ministry for Science and Fine Arts):

European Children’s Jury: 16 children from eight different countries

CROWN PRINCE | Czech Republic 2015 | director: Karel Janák

“This year’s prize goes to an amusing film for young and old. The story had it all: excitement,humor, and romance were all there. Lots of unexpectedtwists kept us entertained.
We were mesmerized and whisked away to a magical world of castles, dragons, and knights.”

Honourable Mention 1: Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass
Honourable Mention 2: Monkey Business

Best Child Actor (DIAMANT – a bicycle of Diamant Bicycle Works Hartmannsdorf):

European Children’s Jury: 16 children from eight different countries

Thinh Vinh Tran (Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass) | Vietnam 2015 | director: Victor Vu

“This year we’ve chosen a very exotic actor. We were enthused by his acting and talent.
Above all, his ability to express emotion impressed us. His difficult role required him to show emotions like hate, jealousy and love.He excelled in doing so.”

Main Award of the Department of Private Broadcast and New Media of the Saxon Free State (10,000 Euros):

Professional Jury Feature Film International: Beate Biermann, MDR, Cosima Stracke-Nawka, SLM, Dr. Ildikó Katalin Takács, Hungarian Film Fund, Katrin Voigt, Department for Culture with the City of Chemnitz

YELLOW FLOWERS ON THE GREEN GRASS | Vietnam 2015 | director: Victor Vu

"Both the director and the amazing young actors have succeeded in expressing the conflicts and opposing feelings of twelve-year old Thieu and his nin-year old brother Tuong. The brothers love and hit each other, because sometimes they are just not able to articulate their feelings. Dreams and reality collide, mysticism and magic are part of the story but behind it all there is a very real background which the audience gradually learns about. The last pictures of Thieu carrying his brother to see the princess are unforgettable. The film has a very clear storyline and the main characters’ sometimes sad and sometimes happy emotions are brilliantly illustrated.
In the end the film channels a clear message: the hope to reach a concrete goal can move mountains even when someone believes in a princess who turns out to not even exist. It is very important to listen and to understand even the little gestures and messages sent to us by others.
This film takes the audience on a journey to Vietnam, a far-away, foreign, beautiful country. It allows them to almost participate in this foreign culture by offering a compass to find the right direction in an unknown world. And the film’s compass are the children with their feelings, which can also be identified by the young audience in Europe. We would like to wish this film a great journey to the cinemas in our countries! We hope this award will contribute to its success story!”


Award of the City of Chemnitz (5,000 Euro):

BUFFALO RIDER | USA, Thailand 2015 | director: Joel Soisson

Professional Jury Feature Film International: Beate Biermann, MDR, Cosima Stracke-Nawka, SLM, Dr. Ildikó Katalin Takács, Hungarian Film Fund, Katrin Voigt, Department for Culture with the City of Chemnitz

“The audience dives into an unknown world, which, however, is very real. The interesting subject of the film helps to get a better understanding of this far-away country, its foreign culture and the Thai way of life. The relationship between the main characters gives the youngsters in the audience a feeling of the poverty, hardship and despair one the one hand and the meaning of family, traditions and solidarity on the other side. The film’s cinematography is both fascinating and powerful; the story is told with caution and empathy, the actors are amazingly convincing and the wonderful music adds to the beauty of the film. The Jury considers the film exceptionally valuable, touching and important with regard to the subject.”

Honourable Mention 1: Julian Dennison for his role of Ricky Baker in Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Honourable Mention 2: Beluga

MDR Special Award (6.000 Euro):

COME ALONG | Slovenia 2016 | director: Igor Šterk

Professional Jury Feature Film International: Beate Biermann, MDR, Cosima Stracke-Nawka, SLM, Dr. Ildikó Katalin Takács, Hungarian Film Fund, Katrin Voigt, Department for Culture with the City of Chemnitz

„This film is full of beautiful imagery. An impressive camera with amazing pictures for the big screen. The film‘s special fascination lies with the cleverly developed inner tension. It’s the casual moments that are touching. The director sensitively puts on his main characters and gives every one of his actors the same stage. Having to rely on each other in the wilderness, the adolescents slowly let go of their prejudices and cautiously, but honestly, start to talk about their emotions and fears. They take on responsibilities and learn to act together to achieve their goals. In the end we get a feeling that fortune will more than double when shared.”

Junior Film Award (unendowed):

Junior Jury: Students of Sportoberschule Chemnitz

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE | New Zealand 2016 | director: Taika Waititi

“What do we expect from a good movie? The film should feature an exciting story, be full of action, funny, but also tell about love. In our winning film we did not only laugh about the exceptional main character but followed the story of an exciting, action-packed manhunt, which featured many very funny moments.”


Youth Film Award (1,000 Euros):

MY NAME IS EMILY | Ireland 2015 | director: Simon Fitzmaurice

“The story, the characters, the music and the impressive shots of Ireland’s landscape fit together like clockwork. These set a mechanism into motion that excites and mesmerizes the audience and takes them along on a wonderful trip.  This poetic film shows images that will be remembered.  These are underscored by the philosophy conveyed by the profound characters.
"Facts are only a point of view." Emily learns these words from her father.He is put into the psychiatric ward after his wife dies.  Emily has to get along with her host family alone. When she gets no sign of her father on her birthday she goes looking for him with her classmate Arden.Not only does she find the way to her father, but also to herself and her first love.
This film is successful in conveying the courage to be different. The talented actors work in perfect harmony with one another. Swimming against the current is portrayed as not only something nice and loveable, but also as something important and wise. The actors are able to embody this authentically with great understanding and sensitivity. Their expressive speech moves the audience and evokes a spectrum of emotions. My Name is Emily draws a connection between accepting one’s own individuality and that of others.”

Honourable Mention: The Half


DEFA Sponsorship Prize (4,000 Euros):

UNDER THE SAND: THE PROMISE OF FREEDOM | Denmark, Germany 2015 | director: Martin Zandvliet

“1945, the end of World War II. Startling pictures call an almost unknown chapter of Danish-German history to mind: young German soldiers are forced to remove land mines from a beach under Danish control. Sergeant Rasmussen, who at the beginning is obsessed with revenge and retaliation, develops a responsible and nearly friendly relationship with the almost childlike German soldiers. This relationship is disrupted when Rasmussen has to accept a personal loss that was seemingly caused by one of the boys. The film breaks a taboo by depicting members of the German military as victims. While doing this, the film addresses its central topics of revenge and the desire for retribution and at the same time, the possibility of forgiving.  These are questions that apply to both the past and the present.
Roland Møller’s excellent acting as sergeant, the young German actors playing the soldiers, and the film’s remarkable camera work make it a pleasure to watch.This is a touching film that should be talked about. We mustnot forget that still today young people, even children, are mistreated and used in areas of crisis and war zones.”

Youth and Children’s Film Prize of the Goethe Institute:
The prize includes the acquisition of the non-commercial rights and the subtitling of the films into a minimum of five languages

Professional Jury Feature Film National: Jenny Mügel, Goethe-Institut Mexiko; Emel Öztürk, Goethe-Institut Ankara; Sabine Söhner, DEFA-Stiftung; Deniz Sertkol, Goethe-Institut München

AT EYE LEVEL | Germany 2016 | director: Evi Goldbrunner, Joachim Dollhopf

“Who doesn’t know that feeling of shame that young people feel at certain moments toward their parents? How difficult is it to escape from the ideals set by society’s norms?
Michi, whose father is a little person, has a lot of difficulty with this. ‘At Eye Level’ shows how a young person deals with his own and society’s prejudices and overcomes these. The film provides a fresh look at acceptance. Especially Luis Vorbach’s acting impressed us. He did a convincing job of showing eleven-year-old Michi’s complex feelings. ‘At Eye Level’ is a children’s film for young and old that inspires viewers to think about their own ideas of being different.”


Jury Prize Short Films (1,000 Euros)
In cooperation with Filmverband Sachsen:

Professional Jury Short and Animation Film: Sabine Kues, Filmverband Dresden, Lutz Stützner, DIAF, Ines Wolter, Chemnitzer Filmwerkstatt

SNOWMAN | Norway 2015 | director: Iain Forbes

“This short tells a touching story without saying a word, without fancy camerawork or dramatic music. The film uses simple images that concentrate on what’s important, but is playful at the same time.
The story of eight-year-old Jan who’s building a snowman in front of his house and is confronted with all kinds of difficult situations is light at the beginning. The last ball of snow that just won’t get on top of the snowman is not Jan’s biggest problem, and this becomes clear to the audience at the end of the film. The father playing with him in the snow is only alive in his dreams. It’s the first Christmas without him, yet he’s still there. In just eight minutes the audience laughed and almost cried. If you can achieve that, we feel that you earn a prize.”


Jury Prize Animation (1,000 Euros)
Sponsored by Deutsches Institut für Animationsfilm, DIAF:

Professional Jury Short and Animation Film: Sabine Kues, Filmverband Dresden, Lutz Stützner, DIAF, Ines Wolter, Chemnitzer Filmwerkstatt

LONG WAY NORTH | France, Germany 2015 | director: Rémi Chayé

“It’s an adventurous trip of discovery without the guarantee of a safe return. Nevertheless,our hero follows her vision to search for her lost grandfather. Heroes following their paths to unpredictable events in the wild, their stories told with fantastic pictures, are just a couple of the ingredients to making an exciting story.  Adventure films are normally very popular, but ones that also give a glimpse into a forgotten era featuring a woman in the central role without seeming educational are quite rare.
Some scenes in the film appear to be from a documentary and let the audience forget that the story is purely fiction. But the story could have really happened. This film follows a courageous vision, employs aesthetic imagery in pastel tones and features exhilarating, but at the same time sad, folk pop songs to convey belief in a vision that can become reality.”

FURTHER AWARDS (cross-competition awards):

Award of the European Children’s Film Association ECFA:

ECFA Jury: Mika Anttolainen, Oulu; Egmont Elschner, Chemnitz; Ligia Keșișian Mitulescu, Bukarest
THE CHILDREN OF CHANCE | France 2016 | director: Malik Chibane

“The winner is: A beautifully directed true story about protecting two Jewish boys in a hospital during French occupation in World War II … A realistic film, full of emotions and hope!”

Honourable mention 1: BLANKA
Honourable mention 1:THAT TRIP WE TOOK WITH DAD

Prize of the FIPRESCI Jury:

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS | USA 2016 | director: Otto Bell

FIPRESCI-Jury: Rolf-Ruediger Hamacher, Köln; Marina Kostova, Skopje; Dinu-Ioan Nicula, Bukarest

“For the documentaristic and, in the meantime, full of imagination approach to the dedication of a charismatic young girl to overcome the taboos of gender, specifical to an ancestral culture, in order to spread her wings to an ideal of life. The „perspective of the eagle” offers the opportunity to valorize the poetry of the vaste Mongolian landscapes, elevating to a high altitude the spectator’s heart.”

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury:

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE | New Zealand 2016 | director: Taika Waititi

Ecumenical Jury: Dominik Gehringer, Jena; Bernd Merz, Hamburg; Magali Van Reeth, Aix-en-Provence

„When Ricky, a grumpy boy of 13, arrives in his new foster home far away into the wilderness of New Zealand, he is the one to be surprised by the roughness of this environment and those new parents. With an unusual cast and a strong focus on awesome landscapes, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is reminding us the aim of education: to help children find their autonomy. The attitude of the grownups questions our relation towards animals and Nature. This film made for younger audience, with a gripping story and hilarious moments, puts you on an unusual path where Ricky finds self-confidence and freedom. A rough story, where human beings can only find their right place with the help of others.”

Honourable Mention: Mister Frog

Fair-Play-Prize for exceptional commitment to the problems of teenagers:
Jury: Students of Matthes-Enderlein-Gymnasiums Zwönitz

LENALOVE | Germany 2016 | director: Florian Gaag

“We have been asked many times what the criteria for the Fair Play-Prize are. We award the Fair Play-Prize to a film that depicts the lives of teenagers authentically and encourages critical thinking on behaviours and different life situations. We live in a digital world. Smartphones and social media are essential aspects of our life. We chat with friends. But is it really them or we are talking to or just a fake profile? It can happen to everyone! Florian Gaag depicts the danger of and the dealing with the digital world and new media. We very much liked the way the art of graffiti came to life in Lena’s imagination and state of hallucination. The black screen gave us a moment to reflect, a moment for our own thoughts.That was important to us because Florian Gaag’s film features so many things: friendship, love, mobbing, peer pressure, blackmailing but also trust and honesty. We also appreciated the inclusion of the adults’ world into the storyline. We live with our parents, who, as the film shows, hardly know what consequences their curiosity and egoism may cause.”

Lichtenauer Audience Award:

JILL AND JOY | Finland 2015 | director: Saara Susanna Cantell

Since 2006 the Festival has awarded the SCHLINGEL of Honour to a filmmaker who has shown exceptional commitment to the field of children’s and youth films. This year’s award went to German scriptwriter and director Herrmann Zschoche. He directed various DEFA feature films for children and adolescents and created a true classic with “Sieben Sommersprossen // Seven Freckles”. The awarding ceremony took place on 28 September 2016.

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