New to PRIX JEUNESSE 2008 is the “Next Generation Prize” for promising talent shown by the person or team behind a competing program. The award is meant in particular for “a program produced under difficult circumstances, with scarce finances, or in a developing or emerging production environment.”
The award includes cash, but also a year of mentoring toward a new project, by experts from one of the broadcaster sponsors behind the prize – Nickelodeon UK, Disney Germany, BBC, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, KRO Youth and ZDF/Germany.
I asked Bernadette O’Mahony, representing the ACTF, what they were looking for in the Next Generation Prize-winning entry. “We were looking for somebody who, with resources – financial, plus support and advice – has the ability to grow and create something that is worthwhile for their audience. We wanted to help as developed world companies, without taking away the essential cultural nature.
“We looked at the experience of the overall team, but mostly the role of the young professional (“young” being defined more as early in a career than chronological youth) at the core, since the prize goes to an individual. We looked at what kind of support they had around them, and then at the creativity and quality of what they were doing now.