TIFF Kids Festival Awards The Best And Brightest In Children’s Cinema

How to Steal a Dog, Belle and Sebastian 2: The Adventure Continues, Before the Bomb, and Sing amongst top winning films at the 2016 TIFF Kids International Film Festival

TIFF Kids 2016 ResultThe awards for the 19th annual TIFF Kids International Film Festival™ were announced yesterday at a ceremony held at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The celebration of the best in children’s cinema came to a close last night with Toronto’s youngest audience members crowning How to Steal a Dog as their favourite feature film and Sing as their top short film. Prizes included the TIFF Kids International Film Festival People’s Choice Awards; the TIFF Kids International Film Festival Young People’s Jury Awards, selected by three juries aged 8 to 13; two short film awards selected by the TIFF Kids Festival Adult Jury; and the Jump Cuts Young Filmmakers Showcase winners, determined by a jury of film professionals.

“TIFF Kids presents children with, perhaps, their very first experience with new cultures, countries, and languages, allowing them to travel the world right from their cinema seat,” said Elizabeth Muskala, Director of TIFF Kids and Youth Learning. “Every year we work with smart, intuitive young jury members with a pulse on the best films and an incredible understanding of the industry.”

The TIFF Kids Festival People’s Choice Awards, including two awards for digiPlaySpace, were voted on by festival-goers during the three TIFF Kids Festival public weekends (April 8-10, April 15-17 and April 22-24) and the entire run of digiPlaySpace (March 5 – April 24).

TIFF Kids Festival People’s Choice Award – Favourite Feature Film
How to Steal a Dog, dir. Kim Sung-Ho, South Korea, Korean with English subtitles
Toronto Premiere
This adaptation of the novel of the same title — about a young girl’s scheme to afford a house for her displaced family — uses tenderness and light-hearted humour to teach a valuable lesson in morality, compassion, honesty and love.

TIFF Kids Festival People’s Choice Award – Favourite Short Film
Sing (Mindenki), dir. Kristof Deak, Hungary, Hungarian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Zsofi has found it challenging to fit in at her new school, but her outlook begins to change when she is admitted to the school’s famous choir. That is, until she learns that the choir director may not be the inspirational teacher she is touted to be. It will take Zsofi and her new friend Liza to reveal the truth.

digiPlaySpace People’s Choice Award: Favourite Installation
Flippaper, Artist: Jérémie Cortial, Roman Miletitch, France
North American Premiere
A mashup of video-gaming, pinball & drawing: visitors can draw their own pinball level using different coloured paint markers on a simple sheet of paper, and then play the game for themselves.

Flippaper is one of six games from the 2016 exhibition that will join TIFF’s international digiPlaySpace touring exhibition.

digiPlaySpace People’s Choice Award: Favourite App
Monster Mingle, Artist: Cowly Owl, United Kingdom
Players can build their own friendly monster with this creative app for kids, discovering fun creatures, musical scenery and hidden surprises as the monster plays in a magical kingdom.

Three juries of young film lovers aged 8 to 13 each selected the winning film in their category.

TIFF Kids Festival Young People’s Jury Award (Ages 8 to 10) — Best Feature Film
Belle and Sebastian 2: The Adventure Continues
(Belle et Sébastien, l’aventure continue), dir. Christian Duguay, France, French
Toronto Premiere
This thrilling update of the popular 1960s TV series, based on the beloved French children’s novel, reintroduces us to brave Sebastian and his faithful canine companion Belle as they set out to find Sebastian’s adoptive mother following the end of World War II.

On choosing the film, the jury said, “Belle and Sebastian 2 was a magnificent movie with breathtaking cinematography and amazing music. Not to mention the acting was spectacular and felt so real.”

Honourable mention goes to Abulele, dir. Jonathan Geva, Israel.

TIFF Kids Festival Young People’s Jury Award (Ages 11 to 13) — Best Feature Film

Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass (Tôi thấy hoa vàng trên cỏ xanh), dir. Victor Vu, Vietnam, Vietnamese with English subtitles
Canadian Premiere
Two young brothers find their close relationship tested in this beautiful coming-of-age drama based on the novel by Nguyễn Nhật Ánh and set in the picturesque countryside of central Vietnam.

Explaining their selection, the jury stated, “This film is a rewarding experience that had vibrant cinematography, convincing acting and was infused with the most amazing CGI!”

Honourable mention goes to Long Way North (Tout en haut du monde), dir. Rémi Chayé, France/Denmark.

TIFF Kids Festival Young People’s Jury Award (Ages 9 to 13) — Best Short Film
Before the Bomb
, dir. Tannaz Hazemi, U.S.A., English
Canadian Premiere
When Elsa overhears a voicemail from Child Services, she knows that she will have to take charge if she and her brother are to remain together.

The jury said of their winning choice, “The film was selected because of its well-written characters and how the actors brought strength to their roles. It dealt with very serious subject matter in a very sensitive and touching way.”

The TIFF Kids Adult Jury Awards were selected by a three-person jury consisting of industry professionals: Carlos Bustamante, host of YTV’s The Zone and Big Fun Movies; Chris Landreth, Academy Award-winning animator; and Jessica Watson, Manager, Acquisitions at Entertainment One.

TIFF Kids Festival Adult Jury Award — Best Live-Action Short Film
King’s Day (Koningsdag), dir. Steven Wouterlood, Netherlands, Dutch with English subtitles
International Premiere
The local King’s Day celebration is underway, but Younes has to remain at his family’s street market selling his father’s car parts. Set up across from his stall is a young folk singer, Kelvin, whose father is ruthlessly focused on his son’s success. Despite their differences, Younes and Kelvin may be each other’s only hope at altering the futures their fathers want for them.

The Adult Jury praised King’s Day as, “A film that’s inhabited by strong, three dimensional characters, including two amazing performances by the lead actors.”

TIFF Kids Festival Adult Jury Award — Best Animated Short Film
Jonas and the Sea (Zeezucht), dir. Marlies van der Wel, Netherlands, No dialogue
North American Premiere
Jonas has dreamed of living in the sea all his life, which is impossible—or is it?

The Adult Jury selected this film, “For its tale of lifelong perseverance, told with spectacular visual design and its surprising payoff in the last shot.”

Open to youth in two categories — Grades 4 to 6 and Grades 7 and 8 — the 15th annual Jump Cuts Young Filmmakers Showcase provided an opportunity for budding young filmmakers to flex their creative skills and see their work in cinema. A jury comprised of film industry professionals selected the award-winning film in each grade category. This year’s jury includes actress, writer, and producer Lauren Collins (Degrassi: The Next Generation); Ravi Srinivasan, Executive Director of the South Western International Film Festival (SWIFF) and Programming Associate for the Toronto International Film Festival; and Kim Cooper, creative content strategist specializing in youth initiatives, former editor at OWLKids, and digital producer for Family Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior.

New for 2016, select filmmakers in grades 4 to 6 were competing for the “filmpossible” award, presented by Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, for the most accomplished film to have an onscreen representation of disability. This award was determined by Holland Bloorview’s Children’s Advisory Council (CAC), which is comprised of children and youth with disabilities and their siblings, who range in age from 3 to 13 years.

The Frederick Simpson Award for Best Film (Grades 4 to 6)
My Dream
, dir. Giancarlo Haidar
A stop-motion short about a young boy’s dreams.

Honourable mentions go to Courage, directed by Ruchi Srivastava and Out of Focus, directed by Amy Cohen, Keegan Wilson, Joshua Parker and Emma Bolden.

The Veronica Herman Award for Best Film (Grades 7 & 8)
, dirs. Lillian Jacobs, Emily Wiljer
Armed with her sketchbook, a girl goes for a walk and meets some strange creatures along the way.

Honourable mentions go to Face Sucker, directed by Kai Korven, and The Poo Strikes Back, directed by Mila MacNeil, Maria Xiropodis, Kathleen Wernick and Nathan Hagon

The Frederick Simpson and Veronica Herman Awards are generously supported by Garrett Herman.

“filmpossible” award presented by Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Grades 4 to 6):

My Life With My Brother Rhys, dir. Owen McIntyre
A glimpse into a boy’s life with his brother Rhys, complete with its challenges and celebrations.

TIFF and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) are excited to announce that Dam! The Story of Kit by director Kjell Boersma, art director Julie Flett, and supervising producer Mark Jones, will be the film created for TSO’s educational concerts, with a score written by Toronto-based composer Erica Procunier. The joint commission between TIFF and TSO partnered an emerging Canadian filmmaker and a Canadian composer (selected by the TSO) together to create a new film with original music that will premiere as part of the TSO’s Young People’s Concert and Student Concert series in February 2017. Dam! The Story of Kit and accompanying score will be performed for over 20,000 young Torontonians and across Canada with other orchestras. TSO would like to thank TIFF and Canada Department of Heritage for making this project possible.

From April 8 to 24 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, the TIFF Kids International Film Festival celebrated 19 years as one of the leading children’s film festivals in the world with special programming and activities for children aged 3 to 13. This year featured a lineup of 139 films, comprising 28 features and 111 shorts —representing the best of Canadian and international cinema made for children, hands-on family activities and young filmmakers showcases, and the return of the popular award-winning digiPlaySpace, an interactive exhibition which included installations, learning-centric games, virtual reality, and new digital creative tools. TIFF Kids Industry Conference offered 3 days of programming, welcomed 47 guest speakers, and 260 accredited professionals.

For information about joining the TIFF Kids 2017 Young People’s Juries Contest or submitting a film to the 2017 Jump Cuts Young Filmmakers Showcase, please visit tiff.net beginning November 2016.

Social Media:
Facebook.com/TIFF #TIFFKids @TIFF_NET #digiPlaySpace

About TIFF

TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

TIFF is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, L’Oréal Paris and Visa, and Major Supporters the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and the City of Toronto.

The TIFF Kids International Film Festival is supported by The City of Toronto and the Ontario Arts Council.

The TIFF Kids Industry Conference is supported by the Ontario Media Development Corporation; Bell Fund; Canada Media Fund and Eye on Canada.

Special thanks to the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Toronto;
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Australian Consulate General, Toronto; Embassy of Denmark, Ottawa; Consulate General of Hungary, Toronto; Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto; and the Consulate General of Israel, Toronto and Western Canada.

Media Partners of the TIFF Kids International Film Festival are Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD.