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The Schlingen International Film Festival takes place every year in Chemnitz, Germany. Dedicated to the international productions of children and youth films, this festival gathers hundreds of experts to review the newest films in this area, including an Ecumenical Jury appointed by INTERFILM and SIGNIS.
In this 27th edition of the festival, the Ecumenical Jury awarded its prize to La traversée (The Crossing) directed by Florence Miailhe (France, Germany, Czech Republic, 2020). This film is centered around the character of Kyona, the female protagonist, who tells the story of a raid on her home village, the family's escape, and the loss of her parents and younger siblings. Together with her brother Adriel, she embarks on an odyssey to reach the continent of freedom beyond the sea. “As a universal escape story, the animated film, realized in strong and colorful handpainted oil-on-glass images, tells a stirring and multifaceted story of flight and migration, exploitation and violence, solidarity and friendship – and of growing up”, says the jury.
In addition, the jury gave a commendation to Rhino (Rinoceronte) directed by Arturo Castro Godoy (Argentina, 2021): eleven-year-old Damián lives alone in a run-down flat with his violent father. The authorities hand Damián over to the care of the social worker Leandro, who places him in a children's home. Damián needs time and patience to develop a new perspective on his life. According to the jury, this is a “sensitive feature film with great acting, convincing dramaturgy, and poetic images that tells a quiet story that shows that empathy and love are the most important things to help people in need”.
The members of the Jury in this year’s IFF Schlingen were: Alexandra Palkowitsch (Austria), Gergely Hajnal (Hungary), and Matthias Kuhl as President of the Jury (Switzerland).