Youth and Children’s Film Festival Just Film crowns Boyz in the Wood with the main prize

    Just Film, the largest youth and children's film festival in Northern Europe and a sub-festival of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, set the audience record and handed out the Grand Prix to Ninian Doff for Boyz in the Wood.

    At its 19th edition Just Film screened 54 feature films and documentaries, offering a wide selection of films to kids, youngsters, parents, teachers, students and adults. During the 17-days-long festival, the audiences had the opportunity to choose films from a children's and a youth programme, documentaries in the DOC@JUST section, children's rights programme and the Science360° programme.

    Just Film managed to break its audience attendance record this year with over 20 000 visits (2019 saw 18 000 visits). 

    Just Film also hosted over 70 foreign guests, another record for the festival, that saw the number triple from the last edition. The festival presented two world, one international and two European premieres. 

    Mikk Granström, the head of Just Film commented: “The festival is growing rapidly and is starting to find its spot at the international circuit. We were glad to host so many international guests this year and will approach the jubilee edition in 2020 with great enthusiasm and excitement!”

    The motto for this year’s Just Film was "All for one and one for all!" as many of the films in the programme introduced children and youngsters who take responsibility, stand against injustice and care for the future of mankind. 

    Just Film International Youth Film Competition

    Jury: Moonika Siimets (Estonia), Margret Albers (Germany), Karsten de Vreugd (The Netherlands) 

    Films in competition: https://www.justfilm.ee/en/movie-posts/youth-competition/

    Grand Prix for the Best Youth film:

    BOYZ IN THE WOOD (Great Britain)

    Director: Ninian Doff

    Jury commentary: "We have seen a lot of great and touching drama in this competition – there has been one film though which showed in a very original way that you can be really funny and deal with relevant topics at the same time. Finding your vocation, taking your chances, young versus old and wield a friendship which might last forever. We had a hilarious time with this hilarious film!"

    International Jury special mention:

    ANTIGONE (Canada)

    Director: Sophie Deraspe

    Jury commentary: "To tell a classic tale in a new way is very tough. In this film stereotypes are successfully avoided – you have  a set of believable and authentic characters taking us on an intense emotional journey. Antigone is smart, stubborn and strong but even when she loses her mind, there is still hope. That makes this film so powerful."

    ECFA Competition

    Jury: Stella Skiba (Poland), Giancarlo Zappoli (Italy), Johannes Lõhmus (Estonia)

    Films in competition: https://www.justfilm.ee/en/movie-posts/ecfa-competition-programe/

    ECFA Award for the Best European Children's Film:

    BINTI (Belgium)

    Director: Frederike Migom

    Jury commentary: "The award goes to a movie that expresses sincere emotions, humanistic and ecological values both in challenging and happy moments of life and does so through dance, with energy and overall joy for life."

    ECFA jury special mention:


    Director: Stefano Cipani

    Jury commentary: "The special mention goes to the heartwarming depiction of family values."

    Just Film Youth Jury Competition

    Jury: Joonas Väli (15 y/o), Grete Kangro (15 y/o), Lili-Ann Bürkland (18 y/o), Maili Kukke (16 y/o), Villem Saar (15 y/o) 

    Just Film Youth Jury Best Film Award:


    Director: Jan Komasa

    Jury commentary: "An enthralling and heartwarming story about a young man's determination and self-validation. The film is shot enchantingly and it keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end credits. The diversity and masterful acting of the lead are exceptional."

    Youth Jury special mention:

    ANTIGONE (Canada)

    Director: Sophie Deraspe

    Jury commentary: "This film deserves recognition for its depiction of current social topics. The protagonists' passionate fight for freedom and justice was unique and inspiring. The family's ability to stay loyal and stick together through tragic times is moving."

    Just Film Children's Jury Competition

    Jury: Brittany Aasamets (12 y/o), Heleri Pajuste (12 y/o), Kris Prendon Teder (11 y/o), Mona Grete Pärgma (10 y/o) Otto Samuel Kahar (11 y/o)

    Just Film Children's Jury Best Film Award:

    Cleo: If I Could Turn Back Time (Germany)

    Erik Schmitt

    Jury commentary: "In our opinion, the winning film had a bit of everything - excitement, drama, comedy and usage of interesting filming techniques and tricks. This film brought up important messages - you cannot live in the past, you must live in the present; care for others because you never know how much time you have with them; do not overthink, otherwise you could miss the adventure of a lifetime."

    Children's Jury special mention:

    THE SHIP (Mexico)

    Director: Batan Silva

    Jury commentary: "This film stood out because it told a story that was based on real-life and real problems. It carried a message that we all have dreams that deserve to be fulfilled."

    The festival wants to thank all of its sponsors, collaborators, guests and the audience!

    Just Film 2019 Grand Prix "Boyz in the Wood". Photo: still from the film

    ECFA Award 2019 "Binti". Photo: still from the film