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Ocelot nabs Lion at Cinekids fest

Toye's 'Rosie' worth mention

AMSTERDAM — French director Michel Ocelot was awarded the 1999 Cinekids Lion for his 70-minute animation pic “Kirikou and the Sorcerer” at the annual Cinekids international children’s film and television festival, a nine-day event which wrapped here Oct. 31.

The award to Ocelot and honorable mention for the 97-minute Belgian pic “Rosie” by director Patrice Toye capped the end of the 13th edition of the fest, which drew some 14,000 visitors to Amsterdam to see 40 of the latest international children’s films and 70 of the latest TV programs from Holland.

Fourteen films from around the world were in competition, with the Lion bringing a prize of 5,000 guilders ($2,500), which was awarded to Ocelot’s Dutch distributor Twin Film. An audience award was also picked up by Danish director Lars Hesselholdt for his film “Falconheart” (Valkonhart).

While the event, aimed at kids between the ages of 4 and 16, has traditionally focused on films from around the world and TV programming in Holland, fest managing director Sannette Naeye said Cinekid “would become increasingly more international” in its television programming focus as well.

In support of that aim, UNICEF Netherlands announced it was setting up a $12,500 fund to support efforts to help Dutch TV producers make more programming with an international orientation.