‘Bird,’ ‘Spirited’ nab kid kudos

'Girl' takes Cinekid Lion aud award

AMSTERDAM — Iranian director Rahbar Ghangbari’s “Little Bird Freak” and Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” tied for the Cinekid Film Award at the kidfare fest on Sunday.

Film fest director Sannette Naeye said both were strong examples of pics about the inner lives of children that were “getting harder and harder to find.”

The prize, 2,500 euros ($2,435) each, will go to the films’ Dutch distributors, in the case of “Spirited Away” Paradiso Film & Entertainment. “Little Bird Freak” is still seeking a Dutch distrib.

The Cinekid Lion audience award went to Danish director Hans Fabian Wullenweber’s film about kiddie bankrobbers, “Catch That Girl.”

Upwards of 35,000 took part in Cinekids 2002, which kicked off Oct. 12 and included panel discussions and seminars. Danish documentary filmmaker and Oscar winner Jan Bang Carlsen, in a panel discussion titled “Changing Children in a Changing World,” castigated sensationalist violence and said violent stories “should be told with care. Many of the American series show a total lack of love or concern for their characters.”

During the same discussion, British pubcaster the BBC’s kids news show “Newsround Extra: Sierra Leone” took a drubbing for its alleged “colonialist” attitude.