The Norwegian children's and youth film The Crossing received tonight the European Film Academy's (EFA) Young Audience Award. The film was selected as the winner by 3,500 teenagers from a total of 38 European countries
-This is so cool! With the Young Audience Award, European Film Awards puts a deserved and strong focus on children's films, and we have been nominated along with two fantastic films. Knowing that children from all over Europe have voted for The Crossing makes me happy and proud, says director Johanne Helgeland. She participated in the live streaming awards ceremony together with the actors Samson Steine and Anna Sofie Skarholt who played Daniel and Gerda in the film.
-The nomination of The Crossing was great, winning the prize is enormous. It shows that good, strong stories get through - regardless of language. And it confirms the importance of us continuing to make this type of film for a young audience, says producer Cornelia Boysen.
The Crossing (Flukten over grensen) was one of three nominated films together with the Italian film Pinocchio, and the Irish animated film Wolfwalkers. These three films have been through several selection processes before they ended up as the three nominees. Two juries have been involved, consisting of members of EFA's board and then former jury members from other Young Audience Awards. Finally, 3,500 twelve- to fourteen-year-olds from 38 European countries have watched the three films and voted for the best European children's film.
-This is a great joy, and the first time in the EFA Young Audience Award's ten-year history that a Norwegian film wins the award. That it is a film about children who help other children on the run - in our recent history - makes us extra proud and happy. A big congratulations from all of us at the Norwegian Film Institute to director Johanne Helgeland and producer Cornelia Boysen and everyone who has been involved in the film, says Kjersti Mo, CEO of the Norwegian Film Institute.
The winner was announced during a live streaming award ceremony from Germany, where the European Film Academy is located. The European Film Academy administers the European Film Awards.
The Crossing is directed by Johanne Helgeland, and the screenplay is written by Maja Lunde.
Helping Jewish children
Produced by Cornelia Boysen for Maipo, The Crossing tells the story of the adventurous 10-year-old Gerda and her brother Otto whose parents are in the Norwegian resistance movement during the Second World War. One day, just before Christmas in 1942, Gerda and Otto's parents are arrested, leaving the siblings on their own. Following the arrest, they discover two Jewish children, Sarah and Daniel, hidden in a secret cupboard in their basement at home. It is now up to Gerda and Otto to finish what their parents started: To help Sarah and Daniel flee from the Nazis cross the border to neutral Sweden and reunite them with their parents. The Crossing is a film about the confidence, uncompromising loyalty, and great courage you can find in even the youngest of children.
The Crossing as previously won the Main Award for Best Feature Film for Children at Zlin International Film Festival for Children and Youth, the Audience Award at Cinekid, the Press Award and EFCA Feature Award at Brussels International Children’s Film Festival, the Children's Jury Prize at the Nordic Film Days Lübeck and the European Children's Film Association - ECFA Award Oulu International Children's and Youth Film Festival.
International sales agent Susan Wendt of TrustNordisk is happy about the young audience, “who appear to recognize the same qualities in the film as we do: A deeply moving and suspenseful film with high production value that appeals to the entire family.”
The Crossing has received 10 million NOK in development and production support from the Norwegian Film Institute. Domestic release was February 14, 2020, and was seen by almost 150.000, even in a time with cinemas closed due to COVID-19.