Mexican director LuisMandoki's Innocent Voices has scooped the top GoldenGryphon prize at the 35th Giffoni Film Festival, one of theworld's leading events dedicated to childrens' films.
Innocent Voices, which is based on the true life story of co-screenwriterOscar Torres, is set in El Salvador in the 1980s against the back drop of thecivil war and focuses on a child soldier.
UK directorShona Auerbach won the festival's Grand Jury Prize for Dear Frankie,about a mother who hires a stranger to pose as her deaf son's father.
Both films were competing inthe Free-to-Fly section which is judged by threehundred 12-14 year-olds from around the world. Overall, 1500 child jurors tookpart in the various sections of this year's festival.
The top prize inthe Y-Generation category, which is judged by 15-19 year-olds, was awarded toGerman director Dennis Gansel's Napola. Set during World War II, the film is about a youngboxer of humble origins who through his sporting skills enters a school thattrains future 3rd Reich dictators.
The First Screens section,which is judged by 9-12 year-olds awarded its top prize to Carroll Ballard's USpicture Duma, about the friendship between a South African boy and aleopard.
Finally, the Kidz section,judged by 6-9 year-olds, handed out prizes to US director Bryon E. Carson'sanimation feature The Golden Blaze, and to Germany's Joachim Masannek for TheWild Soccer Bunch 2.
Guests attending thefestival, which is located in a small town near the Amalfi Coast, includedHaley Joel Osment and Claire Danes.