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The winners of the PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL 2024 were announced recently, with coveted trophies being awarded at a festive gala in the Old Town Hall of Munich, Germany.  PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL is the world’s oldest and largest festival for children’s and youth television programmes.

A total of 406 TV programmes from 51 countries were submitted to the competition by television broadcasters and production companies. Back in January, an international pre-selection jury had chosen 84 entries for the final round. The range of programmes in the six main categories are Fiction/Non-Fiction up to 6 years, Fiction/Non-Fiction (7-10 years) and Fiction/Non-Fiction (11-15 years). The categories cover genres such as comedy, drama, animated action series and educational content.

Norwegian children’s television won two of the coveted main prizes – one in the 11 to 15 Years/Fiction category for an episode of the series ‘Like Me’ which deals with the pressure many young people feel when making their sexual debut. The comedy series ‘Superhero Academy’, also from Norway, which is about first-graders at a boarding school for future superheroes, won in the 7 – 10 age category.

The Apple TV+ series ‘Jane’ won the Theme Prize, related to this year’s theme of the festival, which is “For Us, No Planet B – Kids TV and Sustainability’. The jury regarded the series an outstanding example of how to foster climate literacy among children.

‘The Smeds and the Smoos’, a Magic Lights Pictures production in association with BBC and ZDF, did not only win in the Up to 6 Years/Fiction main category, but the UNESCO Special Prize as well, for successfully promoting cultural literacy.

The film ‘Days of Thunder’ by Mexico’s Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica – Film Training Center – CCC was another big winner of the evening. Both the Gender Equity Prize and UNICEF Special Jury found the short film to be taboo-breaking. The programme teaches girls and women not to be ashamed of their periods despite menstruation till this day still being hidden, stigmatised, considered “dirty” and even dangerous in many societies.

This year’s final programmes were also particularly diverse in terms of subject matter: exclusion, racism, abuse of power, violence, and death are addressed as well as friendship, cohesion, gender identity, physical disability, activism, and cultural exchange.