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At the Zlin Film Festival in the Czech Republic, the oldest and biggest children and youth film festival in the world, the Prize for the Best Children Performance from the International Expert Jury in the Competition of Feature Films for Children went to Finn Little for his performance as Mike in the Australian film STORM BOY, directed by Shawn Seet. In this contemporary version of Colin Thiele’s classic novella, the original Storm Boy Michael has grown up to become a retired businessman. When remembering his childhood, growing up on an isolated coastline, Michael recounts to his granddaughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an orphaned pelican.

In the International Expert Jury were director & producer Petr Oukropec (Czech Republic), distributor and executive producer Xiaojuan Zhou (Canada), film director Rima Das (India), director of the Cinekid Festival Floortje van Spaendonck (the Netherlands) and film director Rasko Miljković (Serbia). In the jury’s motivation was stated that “Finn Little delivers a touching performance of a little boy who brings up a baby pelican and does everything to protect the bird. The love between the two is contagious. We enjoy every moment when the two are on the screen. Finn carries the film brilliantly.

Last week STORM BOY also opened the festival on May 24th. On that occasion, director Shawn Seet shared this message with the audience: “I’m truly honoured to have this film just be a part of this Festival, let alone be the opening film. I hope that everyone will connect with the themes of the film which I believe are universal, and experience the beauty and wildness of the Coorong National Park, a unique environment in Australia and the world.

The Best Children Performance Award was presented at the Zlin Film Festival’s closing gala ceremony on Friday May 31st.

The ZLÍN FILM FESTIVAL is the oldest and largest children and youth film festival in the world. Festival screenings are conducted in Zlin and several other towns in the Czech Republic. Each year the festival presents around 300 films from more than 50 countries. This year 42.000 visitors attended the festival screenings, through various activities the festival reached out to 115.000 people and the 59th edition hosted 2.600 accredited guests.

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Kateřina Martykánová                                             

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