ECFA Awards 2023 for Best European Children’s Films

On 18 February ECFA announced the winners of the annual ECFA Awards for Best European Children’s Film, Children’s Documentary and Children’s Short Film. Winner of the Feature Film Award was COMEDY QUEEN (by Sanne Lenken), the Documentary Award went to WHY DIDN’T YOU STAY FOR ME? (by Milou Gevers), the Short Film Award saw an ex aequo, awarding both THE RIGHT WORDS (by Adrian Moyse Dullin) and LUCE AND THE ROCK (by Britt Raes).

Awards were handed out during a festive gathering with over 300 members of the international young audience film community in Berlin.

Felix Vanginderhuysen, director Sanna Lenken & Margret Albers

Director Sanna Lenken (Sweden) received ECFA’s Best European Children’s Film Award for COMEDY QUEEN, about 13 year old Sasha who refuses to cry despite suffering an immeasurable sorrow over her mother’s death. An aspiring  stand-up comedian, her goal is to make her father laugh again.


The ECFA Doc Award 2023 for Best Young Audience Documentary was handed out to WHY DIDN’T YOU STAY FOR ME by Milou Gevers (the Netherlands), giving a stage to four children and one director who lost a parent to suicide. When Milou Gevers probes the questions no one ever dared to ask her, the kids can finally tell about the journey they made from the moment they heard the news…



The ECFA Short Award went to LUCE AND THE ROCK by Britt Raes (Belgium), about Luce, who lives happily in a peaceful little village. The only thing that scares her is the dark. One day a giant rock disturbs the quiet life in the village, destroying all the houses… With an equal amount of votes, the award was shared with THE RIGHT WORDS by Adrian Moyse Dullin (France). During a bus ride, Kenza puts her naive and romantic little brother to the test: he must make a declaration of love right now to Jada, a girl who never even noticed him.



Throughout 2022, 26 children’s film festivals hosted an ECFA Award jury, selecting one title to ECFA’s shortlist. All shortlisted films competed for the final ECFA Awards, voted by approximately 160 members of ECFA (from 44 countries). The ECFA Awards are the only European children’s film awards voted on by professionals and were handed out by ECFA’s outgoing President Margret Albers and Secretary-General Felix Vanginderhuysen.



Congratulations to all winners! And massive thanks to all festivals organising an ECFA Award Jury and to all members for casting their votes.