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Hungarian entry scoops top prize at Oulu children's film fest

Prizes at the 35th annual children's and youth film festival went to movies from Hungary, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

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Paula Vesala and Linnea Skog play a mother and daughter in the coming-of-age drama Little Wing. Image: Yle

The 35th annual Oulu International Children's and Youth Film festival, which wraps up on Sunday, has attracted some 30,000 viewers over the course of a week. On Saturday evening, prizes were handed out in an array of categories.

Winning the main Starboy award, worth 30,000 euros, was Hungarian director Róbert-Adrian Pejó for his movie film Paw. It tells a fictionalised version of the life of Mancs, a Hungarian rescue dog who found people buried by earthquakes around the world. The children's jury praised the picture for its "good plot and suspense".

The ECFA Award, awarded by the European Children's Film Association for the best European film, went to Danish film Villads from Valby, directed by Frederik Meldal Nørgaard. The film about a mischievous six-year-old boy is described as "a backlash against growing up too fast".

The Global Future Prize for the best youth film was awarded to Magnus, a documentary about young World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen by Norwegian director Benjamin Ree.

The award for best Finnish feature or short film went to Little Wing by 2014 Oscar nominee Selma Vilhunen. It tells of the troubled relationship between a 13-year-old girl played by Linnea Skog and her single mother, played by Finnish pop singer Paula Vesala – both making their feature film debuts.

And the festival best nature film prize went to a surprise winner: a documentary made by a group of local first and third graders.

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