Okuhle Media’s Managing Director and Executive Producer, Wilna Van Schalkwyk recently returned from Munich, Germany where the world’s biggest festival celebrating children’s television programming – the Prix Jeunesse International 2018 – took place. She was there to introduce SABC 3’s hit kids cooking show, Yum.Me to producers, creators, and distributors from all corners of the globe and to judge this year’s selection of TV shows.
The theme for this year’s event was “Strong stories for strong children”, which promoted the important role that great storytelling can play in developing empowered youngsters. The festival featured 95 finalists from 35 countries,” says Wilna, “and each of these was a brilliant example of how children’s TV can be employed to really build up a child’s resilience, especially in the world today.”
Best of the best
Getting to see some the best that the world of kids entertainment has to offer is just part of the reason for attending the Prix Jeunesse International festival. The other is the prestigious competition that rewards both fiction and non-fiction stories across various age groups. Like most big award shows, Prix Jeunesse works on a peer-review system which allows all participating professionals working in the industry to vote in the competition.
“During the 4 days of the festival, everyone in attendance got to vote for the shows in the various categories,” explains Wilna. “I personally saw and voted for about 65 out of the 95 finalists and was blown away by what I saw.”
And which shows were her favourite?
“In the ‘7-10 Years – Non-fiction’ category I loved a show that tells the story of 8-year old Pia from Vietnam as she tries to teach her new baby brother everything she knows about life. It was an absolute stand-out for me and the highlight of the festival.” says Wilna.
Other shows that Wilna loved, include I am Me: Luis is feeding the Animals in the “Up to 6 – Non-fiction” category, Kids on the Silk Road in the “7-10 Years – Non-fiction” category, and My Life: Born to Vlog in the “11-15 Years – Non-fiction” category.
Meeting the who’s who
The Prix Jeunesse Festival also enables industry professionals to engage with one another about their experiences and to learn from legends in the industry. Something that Wilna really appreciated. “It was a very uplifting experience,” says Wilna. “I met with some of the biggest names in children’s TV and was able to talk to others about being a resilient leader in the work place and about my experiences in children’s television over the past 10 years with Hectic Nine-9.”
The Prix Jeunesse International 2018 ran from 25-30 May and was hosted at the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation. The festival’s awards ceremony took place on 30 May at the Löwenbräukeller in Munich.