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‘Niko’ wins Cinekid prizes

Finnish animation nabs jury, audience awards

BRUSSELS — Finnish toon “Niko & the Way to the Stars” took the jury and audience awards at children’s film fest Cinekid, which wrapped Saturday in Amsterdam.

Pic tells the story of young reindeer Niko who sets out to find his father, one of Santa’s finest, and to learn to fly.

Helmers Kari Juusonen and Michael Hegner collected the awards, each worth E15,000 ($18,650).

Pic has been sold to more than 100 territories, with The Weinstein Company an early taker for English-language rights.

Other Cinekid kudos went to “The Ten Lives of Titanic the Cat,” the feature debut of Norwegian helmer Grethe Boe, which got the nod from the MovieSquad junior jury.

Fest’s new media jury award went to “Klokhuis Gamestudio” from IJsfontein Interactive Media, a platform that allows kids to design and play their own games. Public nod went to Nintendo’s “Mario Kart Wii.”

Jury prize for best Dutch kids TV went to “De Daltons, de jongensjaren,” which airs on pubcaster VPRO. Series also got the nod for best fiction.

Non-fiction kudos went to “Overleven in Nederland: Rauw” by Anneloek Sollart, also from VPRO. Docu concerns a kid whose mother insists he only eats raw, unprepared foods.