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Double Win For 'Niko' at Cinekid
28 Oct 2008 :
Magma Films’ cartoon feature film ‘Niko & the Way to the Stars’ has taken both the Jury and Audience awards at children's film fest Cinekid in Amsterdam over the weekend.

Together with Finnish film company Anima Vitae, Galway based Magma’s own daughter company Ulysses Films in Germany and Afilm in Denmark, the pic picked up both the Cinekid Lion Award and the Audience Award for Best Film. It’s the first time ever a film has picked up both top awards.

Set to hit cinema screens here in Ireland from November 28th, the CGI animated film tells the story about a reindeer boy who longs to fly and dreams of one day meeting his father who is a celebrity member of the famous Santa’s Flying Forces. His desire to fly and find his real father leads him on a difficult and exciting journey accompanied by his true friend Julius, a flying squirrel, and Wilma a singing weasel whom they meet along the way.

The Cinekid Lion Awards is worth €15,000, helping filmmakers to produce new inspiring projects. ‘Niko And the Way to the Stars’ was supported by the Irish Film Board, and the Government of Ireland Section 481 tax incentive.

Speaking on the win Moe Honan producer with Magma Films says: “We are delighted with these prestigious awards and doubly happy that the film has not only impressed the main jury at Cinekid so much, but has also reached out to our main audience - the children, who also voted it as their favourite. It’s a must see film this Christmas.”

The film has been sold to more than 100 territories, with The Weinstein Company handling the English-language rights.

“Niko is currently on release in Finland and enjoying the highest audience figures ever for a children’s movie after its second week. Altogether it has sold to over 120 countries and the Weinstein Company has bought the film for the US market and Pan Latin America,” explains Ralph Christians, executive producer with Magma.

Irish based writer Marteinn Thorisson co-wrote the screen play, while young Irish actor and voice talent Andrew McMahon gives the voice to Niko. Morgan Jones, Paul Tylak, Aileen Mythen, Alan Stanford and many other Irish actors feature in the film’s voice track which was originally cast and recorded in Ireland. Wicklow based composer Stephen McKeon has also created the orchestral film score.

Check out the trailer for 'Niko & The Way to the Stars' on IFTN here.

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