Chemnitz, Germany, October 2nd, 2017 (SIGNIS/INTERFILM). At the 22nd Schlingel, the International Film Festival for Children and Young Audience in Chemnitz, the Ecumenical Jury awards its prize to Sobre rodas (On Wheels), directed by Mauro D’Addio (Brazil, 2017).

“Atmospheric images transport us to the dusty roads of small-town Brazil”, says the jury. “On Wheels takes us on an inspiring journey of self-discovery with classmates Lais and Lucas, two equally charming and well-developed main characters.  Aided by the trust they place in each other they are able to overcome adversity and build resilience to the challenges life throws at them.  Lucas may not regain the ability to walk and Lais may not find the father she has never met, but along the way, they nevertheless become empowered through the development of an open and loving relationship to each other.  On Wheels portrays with a refreshing lightness the importance of resilience in life and seeing beyond the outward limitations of others”, adds the jury in its justification.

In addition, the jury awards a commendation to Zuckersand (Sugar Sand), directed by Dirk Kummer (Germany, 2017)

Sugar Sand tells the story of an extraordinary friendship between two 10-year old boys faced with the threat of separation by the inner German border in the year 1979. Questions of faith and values come to the surface for Fred as he is met with the religious background of his best friend Jonas. With an open curiosity towards the world that he as a GDR citizen is unable to experience, Fred explores the true meaning of solidarity and the properties of the soul through his friendship with Jonas.  

“Although not exclusively a children’s film Sugar Sand still raises relevant and balanced reflections on navigating life in a system of bureaucracy that we find appropriate for a younger audience,” explain the jurors. 

The members of the Jury were Ingrid Stapf (President, Germany), Reinhard Middel (Germany) and Astrid Skov-Jacobsen (Denmark)