Two Irish feature length animations, Tomm Moore’s ‘The Secret of Kells’ and ‘Niko & the Way to the Stars’ from directors Kari Juusonen and Michael Hegner, have both received nominations from The European Film Academy in their Animated Feature Film 2009 category.
‘Niko & the Way to the Stars’, co-produced by Galway based outfit Magma Films, is the adventure tale about the young reindeer Niko who is still learning how to fly. He sets out for a quest to find his father, a famous member of the legendary Santa Flying Forces. Earlier this year the film was nominated for several IFTAs including Best Animation. The film won the Best Film and Best Script “Jussi” awards at the Finnish Film Awards and picked up both the Best Film and Audience Award at the Cinekid festival in Amsterdam.
The story for Cartoon Saloon’s ‘The Secret of Kells’ takes place in the fortified Kells Abbey in remote 9th century Ireland which is threatened by the Vikings. It tells the tale of twelve-year-old Brendan as he explores the art of illuminating the darkness and discovers the means of protection against the raids of the barbarians. ‘The Secret of Kells', directed by Tomm Moore, has previously won the prize for Best Feature film at the 13th Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival (SICAF), the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the 33rd Annecy Animation Festival in France and the Edinburgh Film Festival’s Standard Life Audience Award. Furthermore Tomm Moore was named Director of the Year and Cartoon Saloon, along with Les Armateurs and Vivi Film, being named Producer of the Year at this year’s Cartoon Movie Tributes.
The films were nominated by a jury consisting of EFA Board Members Per Holst (producer, Denmark) and Antonio Saura (producer, Spain) as well as representatives of CARTOON, the European Association of Animation Film, Agnès Bizzaro (program consultant/ editor, France/Germany), Enzo d'Alo (director, Italy) and Joanna Quinn (director, UK)
The third film nominated in the category is ‘Mia and the Migoo (Mia et le Migou)’ from Jacques-Rémy Girerd. The nominated films will now be submitted to the EFA Members to elect the winner who will be announced at the European Film Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 12 December, in Bochum.
The 22nd European Film Awards are presented by the European Film Academy and EFA Productions with the support of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 "Essen for the Ruhr", the Minister President and the Minister for Federal and European Affairs and the Media of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the Filmstiftung NRW.
For more information visit www.europeanfilmacademy.org