Local Release

NYICFF’s 2019 Grand Prize Feature Film Award presented to 'My Extraordinary Summer with Tess'


NEW YORK, NY (March 18, 2018) – Closing out its annual festival’s top slate of international
films culled and curated from thousands of productions from around the globe, the New York
Int’l Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) announced this year’s awards selected by its
Oscar®-qualifying jury and top-ranked films voted on by the festival’s over 25,000 attendees.
Grand Prize Awards were announced for the short film and feature film that received the top
votes from all NYICFF audience members. NYICFF’s Grand Prize Feature Film Award was
presented to My Extraordinary Summer with Tess (Netherlands), directed by Steven
Wouterlood. NYICFF’s international premiere of the film came on the heels of the film’s world
premiere at the Berlinale, where Tess also received special recognition. A warm and poignant
film of “surprising emotional depth. . . based on a prize-winning novel by Anna Woltz, a beloved
Dutch writer of work for young readers, it explores family relationships and emphasizes the
importance of human connection.”(Variety)

A NYICFF Grand Prize Feature Special Mention was also accorded to NYICFF’s opening night
film The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (UK/Malawi), Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut. The
film received extremely enthusiastic marks by NYICFF audiences and made its East Coast
premiere prior to its March 1st launch on Netflix.

Executive Director Nina Guralnick said “Rarely has NYICFF seen an audience react so
enthusiastically and unanimously for its top awards; the votes are a testament to the strength of
both feature films and their ability to resonate with audiences of all ages.” Programming Director
Maria-Christina Villaseñor added “We take enormous pride in our role as curators, helping to
bring outstanding films to audiences and underscoring that parents and kids are savvy viewers
that appreciate offerings beyond the standard family fare. Great films and filmmakers often offer
a compelling point of entry for young viewers to their storytelling whether productions were
conceived with that audience in mind or not. We guide both industry and audiences to this fact.”

NYICFF’s mission to promote and advocate for distribution and easy access to high-caliber
international films for young audiences is a calibrated balance between helping family
audiences discover titles, such as The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, and helping outlets find
outstanding international productions, such as My Extraordinary Summer with Tess. In
identifying and advocating for talented filmmakers and innovative, meaningful storytelling for a
young audience that doesn’t lack for sophistication, NYICFF each year brings awareness of the
best in the field to new viewers and industry internationally, connecting films and audiences,
supporting distribution deals, and driving awareness of international titles to US and new
country markets.

Emerging filmmakers are also substantially recognized through NYICFF’s Oscar®-qualifying
awards, conferred by its impressive industry jury, including Sofia Coppola, Melissa Cobb,
Geena Davis, Jorge Gutierrez, Elizabeth Ito, Matthew Modine, Mark Osborne, Ira Sachs,
Nora Twomey, Uma Thurman, Taika Waititi, and Jeffrey Wright. This year’s Jury Award for
Best Live Action Short was presented to A Field Guide to Being a 12-Year-Old Girl
(Australia) by Tilda Cobham-Hervey from the Festival’s Girls’ POV program while the Best
Animated Short was presented to Hors Piste (France) by Léo Brunel, Loris Cavalier, Camille
Jalabert, and Oscar Malet. The Jury also accorded Special Mentions in Live Action Short to
Christian Zetterberg’s Slow Dance (Sweden) and for Animation Short to Quentin Marcault’s
The Man with Birds (France).

NYICFF Audience awards, presented to short films, were determined by the votes of audience
members in five different age ranges. A complete list of recipients follows:
● Audience Award, ages 3-6: ZOG (UK), Animation, Max Lang & Daniel Snaddon; Shorts
for Tots
● Audience Award, ages 5-10: SATURDAY’S APARTMENT (South Korea), Animation,
Jeon Seungbae; Short Films One
● Audience Award, ages 8-14: HORS PISTE (France), Animation, Léo Brunel, Loris
Cavalier, Camille Jalabert, Oscar Malet; Short Films Two
● Audience Award, ages 12-17: SUPERHEROES (Germany), Live Action, Volker Petters,
Short Films Three
● Grown-Ups Award, ages 18+: A KISS (Netherlands), Live Action, Nima Mohaghegh;
Friends & Neighbors: Netherlands

ABOUT NEW YORK INT’L CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL Distinguished by its unique mission
and high-caliber programming, New York International Children’s Film Festival was founded in
1997 to support the creation and dissemination of thoughtful, provocative, and intelligent film for
children and teens ages 3-18. Celebrating its 22nd year in 2019, the flagship New York City
Festival takes place February 22 - March 17, and has grown from one weekend of films into the
largest film festival for children and teens in North America. Presenting consistently sold-out
screenings for the general public and weekday screenings for school groups throughout New
York City over the course of four weeks at venues throughout the city, the Festival’s rich and
dynamic film program -– drawn from roughly 2,500 international submissions – boasts over 100
short and feature films, filmmaker Q&As, retrospective programs, parties, premieres, audience
voting, and a Closing Night celebration. The Festival is an Academy Award® qualifying festival,
one of only four film festivals in New York State – and only two children’s film festivals in the
country – to hold that honor with the Festival’s esteemed jury selecting the qualifying films. The
Festival experience cultivates an appreciation for the arts, encourages active, discerning
viewing, and stimulates lively discussion among peers, families, and the film community.
In addition to presenting the annual event, New York International Children’s Film Festival is a
multifaceted arts organization that offers year-round engagement, including a nationwide
touring program, filmmaking camps, and Film-Ed educational field trips for public and private
schools, with free or reduced-cost school programs offering equal access to the art of film for
all. New York International Children’s Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization,
supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in
partnership with the City Council, and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts,
with support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Girls' POV
programming is supported by Sony USA Foundation and by a grant from the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Film-Ed is supported by AMC Cares. Canadian films at the
Festival are supported by the Consulate General of Canada. Japanese films at the Festival are
supported by Japan-United States Friendship Commission. Netherlands films are supported by
Never Grow Up!, a joint effort of Dutch Performing Arts, the Consulate General of the Kingdom
of the Netherlands in New York, EYE International, Netherlands Film Fund, Cinekid, Dutch
Foundation for Literature, and DutchCulture.

Photo Credits :
● The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019), dir. Chiwetel Ejiofor. Courtesy Ilze Kitshoff /
● My Extraordinary Summer with Tess (2019), dir. Steven Wouterlood. Courtesy Picture
Tree International/Bind Film.
● A Field Guide to Being a 12-Year-Old Girl (2017), dir. Tilda Cobham-Hervey. Courtesy
NY Int’l Children’s Film Festival.

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