Audience Votes Crown “Totem” in the Big Apple

Audience Votes Crown “Totem” in the Big Apple

In a heartwarming victory, the powerful film “Totem,” produced by Volya Films from the Netherlands, co-produced by Leitwolf in Germany and Tarantula in Luxembourg, has claimed the esteemed Grand Prize for Live Action Feature at the 2023 New York International Children’s Festival.

Director Sander Burger’s artistry struck a chord with audiences, securing the top spot in a competition determined by the collective votes of festival attendees. The opinions of attendees under 18 years old carried additional weight in the final tally, highlighting the film’s remarkable ability to connect with its target audience. “Totem” beautifully weaves a tale of identity, heritage, and courage, inviting viewers on a transformative journey alongside main young swimmer Ama.

“Totem” captivated hearts with its moving narrative, that follows Ama and her best friend Thijs, who dedicate themselves to preparing for imminent swimming championships. Ama, of Senegalese descent growing up in the Netherlands, identifies as fully Dutch, seldom reflecting on her roots. However, a sudden threat of deportation challenges her perspective. Ama immerses herself in her mother’s enchanting narratives of their homeland, embracing the mystical porcupine as their family’s totem. Ama’s voyage of self-discovery unfolds as she not only learns to honor her heritage but also discovers the courage to advocate for her family and culture.

Congratulations to the entire Totem team!

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