Following the conclusion of its 26th annual NYC event, New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) announced its 2023 award winners. NYICFF is an Oscar qualifying film festival, and winners of NYICFF’s jury awards are eligible for consideration at the Academy Awards.
The 2023 jury included Kim Díaz (VP Creative Development, Sesame Workshop), Kyle McLachlan (Emmy nominated actor, Twin Peaks), Hsiang Chin Moe (Chair of BFA Animation, School of Visual Arts), Huda Razzak (NYICFF 2022 Jury Award-winning filmmaker, The Ocean Duck), Ira Sachs (director, Passages), Uma Thurman (Oscar-nominated actor, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2), Nora Twomey (Oscar-nominated filmmaker, My Father’s Dragon) and Christine Vachon (CEO Killer Films & award-winning producer, Boys Don’t Cry).
“What an incredibly strong year!” Twomey enthused. “So many beautiful, heartwarming films. The fact they all carry such emotional weight and are produced to such a high artistic standard is so encouraging to see.”
The Grand Prizes for animation went to the feature film sequel Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia, which was selected as the festival’s opening night film, and Korean animator Johnhoon Lee’s colorful Architect A, about an industrious builder who constructs houses to match each occupant’s life, built on their memories.
Sarah Saidan’s Home of the Heart won the Oscar-qualifying Jury Prize for animation. The piece is about an Iranian immigrant who is attacked on the street in France but survives because he has no physical heart — perhaps it was left behind in his home country?
The winners are….
Audience Award, ages 3+ — The Smeds and the Smoos (United Kingdom); Daniel Snaddon & Samantha Cutler, Shorts for Tots
Audience Award, ages 6+ — Gugu naGogo (Australia); Taku Mbudzi, Celebrating Black Stories
Audience Award, ages 8+ — Architect A (Korea); Jonghoon Lee, Short Films Two
Audience Award, ages 12+ — The Originals (United States); Cristina Costantini & Alfie Koetter, Short Films Three
Grown Ups Award, ages 18+ — More Than Hair (Canada); Fitch Jean, Celebrating Black Stories
Grand Prize, Animated Feature — Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia (France, Luxembourg); Julien Chheng & Jean-Christophe Roger
Grand Prize, Live Action Feature — Totem (Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands); Sander Burger
Jury Award, Animated Short — Home of the Heart (France); Sarah Saidan, Short Films Three
Jury Award, Live Action Short — Eid Mubarak (United States); Mahnoor Euceph, Short Films Two