At the Zlin Film Festival in the Czech Republic, the oldest and biggest children and youth film festival in the world, the award of the ECFA Documentary Jury went to the Russian – Estonian co-production HOW BIG IS THE GALAXY? by director Ksenia Elyan. The ECFA Award is given to the Best European Documentary Film for a Young Audience. HOW BIG IS THE GALAXY? offers an insight in the Dolgan community, one of the last indigenous communities pursuing their traditional nomadic life in the extreme north of Siberia.
In the ECFA International Documentary Jury were festival organizer and journalist Kristine Simsone (Latvia), festival organizer Volodymyr Diagilev (Ukraine) and festival organizer and film teacher Rowena Martinez Ulayan-Tuzcuoglu (Turkey). In their motivation was said that “the film has been a good example of documentary filmmaking - honest, natural and illuminating. The filmmaker's camera is felt as a friendly presence, revealing the subjects' purity and charisma. It is a realistic rendition of a day to day life of the vanishing indigenous Dolgan tribe. At the same time the film is reminding us to the fact that childhood is beautiful no matter where you live - in a tundra or in a megalopolis.”
The Award was presented at the Zlin Film Festival’s closing gala ceremony on Friday May 31st and was collected by a film delegation that walked the festival’s “red carpet”. This award was installed by ECFA, a membership organisation for professionals and organisations who operate within the field of quality films for children and youth. For over 30 years ECFA has been trying to improve children’s access to the best possible film culture and to increase an awareness of the need for good media policies across Europe.
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.