German pics win at Giffoni

'Lola!,' 'Crocodiles' take prizes at kid film fest

ROME — German kidpics emerged the big winners at the 40th Giffoni Film Festival.

Franziska Buch’s “Here Comes Lola!,” about a 9 year old’s pop stardom dreams, and Christian Ditter’s “The Crocodiles Strike Back,” in which children take action against threatened parental unemployment, scooped two of the four top nods.

“Lola!,” which is sold by Bavaria Film Intl., took the top prize in the Elements +6 section and also Giffoni’s audience award; while “Crocodiles,” also a big fest fave, won in the Elements +10 section for works congenial to kids between the ages of 10 and 13.

Gallic helmer Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s “Oscar and the Lady in Pink,” about a boy contending with cancer, took the Generator +13 prize, while gritty Aussie entry “Blessed,” interweaving teen tales from the streets, by Ana Kokkinos, nabbed the nod in the Generator +16 category.

This was a landmark edition for Giffoni, the pre-eminent Southern Italian kiddie pics fixture, which saw Samuel L. Jackson, Susan Sarandon, Sam Worthington and pop star Jesse McCartney among guests, and audiences of more than 10,000 people per day between July 18-31.

It also marked the start of construction on a long-gestating Giffoni Multimedia Valley structure that will expand fest’s infrastructure and scope.

As is customary at this unique event, which topper Claudio Gubitosi recently rebranded Giffoni Experience, pics were judged by 3,000 jurors aged 3-23 from 43 different countries.

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