Tough youth stories win awards

AWARDS. "Hold Me Tight", a film about peer pressure, hit a chord with the festival audience in Mannheim, and "Super Brother" was rewarded at the Oulu Children's festival in Finland for its imaginative fable about autism.

The team behind Kaspar Munk's "Hold Me Tight" could announce four sold-out screenings as the film was presented to German audiences at the Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival last week. Producer Anders Toft Andersen is therefore more than content that the film was in fact honoured with the Audience Award at the closing ceremony this weekend.

"We are extremely happy with this award," says Anders Toft Andersen. "In Denmark, the film has mainly attracted younger audiences and is seen as a youth film. The fact that it was successful at Mannheim goes to show that it also has the potential to draw a more mature international art house audience, and that's something we've hoped for all along."

The film also won the Ecumenical Award for its artistic imagery and "very responsible and sensitive guidance of the adolescent actors." Thus "the director lays the foundation of a wider social debate," the jury concludes, referring to the film's grave subject of schoolyard bullying that has dire consequences for a group of teenagers.

Super Brother – humour and autism

Birger Larsen's "Super Brother" deals with yet another tough issue, but in a humorous, imaginative way that earned it the CIFEJ Award at the Oulu Children and Youth Festival.

The CIFEJ organisation, working to promote high-quality films for young audiences, singled out "Super Brother" because it "shows a true view of the autistic problem, saying there are always solutions to get nearer to the persons you love."

"Super Brother" also competed in Berlin and received a Special Mention at the recent Lübeck festival.