A touch of ‘Grass’

Richter pic tops Holland's Cinekid festival

AMSTERDAM — German director Roland Suso Richter’s “A Handful of Grass,” from Bavaria Film, received the 2001 Cinekid Lion jury award, the top honor at the 15th edition of the annual Cinekid international children’s film and TV fest, held in Amsterdam.

The eight-day event closed Sunday and drew some 20,000 visitors to Leidseplein in Amsterdam, traditionally the main focus of the event, but also another 18,000 to 33 other venues around Holland where Dutch kids lined up to see the latest international as well as local feature, TV and new-media kidfare.

Some 16 films were in competition at the fest, with Richter capturing a rather nominal award of 5,000 guilders ($2,100) that will go to his Dutch distributor when his film is picked up for Holland. Audience recognition award also went to German talent, as Andrea Katzenberger from Studio Hamburg Prods. walked away with another Lion for pic “The Bloody Nuisance.”

Over the last few years, event organizers have worked to bring Dutch professionals together with international industry toppers in a series of seminars such as this year’s Animation Meeting, That seminar was attended by, among others, Iain Harvey, founder of U.K. company Illuminated Film, and Emmanuele Petry, VP of Nelvana Europe.

Petry, however, criticized the Dutch kidfare industry as being far too locally oriented. “There is such a stretch between the local Dutch industry and what the world is really like on an international level.

“Dutch professionals want to be more international but are still afraid of being too mass market,” she told Daily Variety.

She added that the local attitude was pervasive. “Some of the programs at Cinekid specifically selected for the international industry to see were not even subtitled into English,” she pointed out.

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