May 15, 2024: Celebrating the Anniversary of PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL: Highlights from 60 years of commitment to quality in children’s television

The PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL is the world’s most prestigious meeting place for media professionals in children’s and youth television. Hundreds of experts from all continents come together every two years at Bayerischer Rundfunk in Munich to award the prestigious PRIX JEUNESSE trophies to the most innovative children’s television programmes. In 2024, the festival celebrates an impressive anniversary: For 60 years, the PRIX JEUNESSE has been committed to quality programmes for young audiences.

Founded in 1964 by visionaries from Bayerischer Rundfunk together with representatives of the city of  Munich and the Free State of Bavaria, the competition has developed over the course of its 60-year history into the most important platform worldwide for discussing and promoting quality in TV programmes for children and young people.

Starting out as a mainly European competition, the PRIX JEUNESSE is now the quality brand in the international children’s television scene. Winning a PRIX JEUNESSE is considered the highest honour the industry can bestow. However, the PRIX JEUNESSE festival week is much more than just a competition with prizes awarded at the end. Participation in PRIX JEUNESSE is an intense training opportunity for all those who want to gain a better understanding of quality in programmes for young audiences: Participants analyse each of the competition programmes in moderated discussion groups. The successful Canadian producer JJ Johnson (Annedroids) explains: “This discussion is exactly what sets PRIX JEUNESSE apart from every other conference on the planet. You are confronted with new ideas, question your own creative decisions, and understand what the audience needs. It’s sometimes painful, but so enriching that I wouldn’t miss it for the world”.

Another special element of the PRIX JEUNESSE festival: Each festival participant can take part in the voting for the winners of the main categories, which means there are no juries meeting behind closed doors. In addition, various information sessions offer input from the latest research studies in the field of children’s media – a learning experience that inspires new approaches and strengthens commitment to the young target group.  

The history of PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL is also the history of children’s television worldwide, in all its cultural diversity. The perception of children, their position in society and their (media-related) needs: All these aspects have undergone enormous changes over the past decades. The PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL competition programmes reflect these developments in all their rich cultural variety. For open-minded media professionals, the PRIX JEUNESSE’s exposure to international programme quality was and is therefore a source of maximum inspiration, as a long-time PRIX JEUNESSE participant from Danish children’s television, Anette Tony Hansen, describes: “What I remember most is the enormous flood of impressions when watching children’s programmes from all over the world together. Discovering all these new trends and approaches in television for children was so inspiring and wonderful and helpful for all my future years as a children’s television producer.”

Programme highlights from six decades offer an insight into the multifaceted history of the PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL:

1964: Against the discrimination of indigenous minorities: Girl of Ainu

The Japanese production Girl of Ainu was one of the winning programmes at the first PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL in 1964. The forty-minute black-and-white film for children takes a critical look at discrimination against the indigenous Ainu minority in Japan, which was first officially recognised as an indigenous people by the Japanese parliament as recently as 2019.

1970: Sesame Street marks the beginning of popular educational television

The US series Sesame Street, celebrated as revolutionary and modern, wins the PRIX JEUNESSE IN-TERNATIONAL in the “Up to 7 years” category. This marks the beginning of the series’ global success story and its message: learning can and should be fun.

1986: UNICEF honours educational justice in As Long as he can Count the Cows

The importance of learning and education is also addressed in the film As Long as he can Count the Cows, winner of the UNICEF Special Prize at PRIX JEUNESSE. The Danish children’s television programme tells the story of a boy from Bhutan in the form of a drama and impressively accentuates his right to education.

1996: Short Film The Boy, the Slum and the Pan Lids

Almost 30 years old, but still inspiring: in this short film by Brazilian broadcaster TV Cultura, a boy steals two pot lids in a favela. After a turbulent chase, it turns out that the theft served a good cause! 

2002: Sensitive portrayal of child trans identity in The Day I Decided to be Nina

Dutch children’s television has always been characterised by its readiness to not shy away from any topic. In 2002, the sensitive portrait of a boy who feels like a girl was the first time that trans identity was taken up on children’s television. 

2010: The feelings from a child of divorce: The little One and the Beast

ZDF won over the international expert audience in the “Up to 6 years” category with an empathetic animated short film. A boy lovingly describes how he and his mother feel after her divorce and how they deal with the upsetting situation.

2022: Taboo subject of parental suicide: Why didn’t you stay for me

A 25-minute documentary from the Netherlands shocks and convinces: four children talk about their lives after the suicide of their fathers. The young filmmaker asks questions that hardly anyone dares to ask. She shares a common fate with the children: Her mother committed suicide as well. 

Global training activities

The knowledge that is exchanged at PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL is carried out into the world: after each festival, the PRIX JEUNESSE team organises workshops and presentations with the help of a global network of partners so that as many children’s media creators as possible can benefit from the content and insights gained at the Munich festival. In the 60-year history of PRIX JEUNESSE, an impressive 941 workshop events have been held in 105 countries and 261 cities. And there are now even PRIX JEUNESSE festivals on other continents: since 2003, children’s television makers from Latin America have been meeting every two years at the PRIX JEUNESSE IBEROAMERICANO in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL 2024: International programmes reflect the diversity of children’s television

From 24 – 29 May 2024, the world of children’s television will come together at the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation for the 31st time. A total of 406 film and television entries from 51 countries have been registered for this year’s competition. 84 of them are in the final round and will compete for the main prizes in the six categories up to 6 years, 7 – 10 years and 11 – 15 years, each divided into fiction and non-fiction. There are also prizes to be won, from a German children’s jury and an international youth jury, as well as special prizes from UNESCO and UNICEF, the Gender Equity Prize and the Theme Prize.

The best international children’s and youth programmes from the last two years are submitted to the competition. The range of programmes covers all genres that children’s television has to offer: From comedy formats over drama and animated action programmes to documentaries and educational magazines. The themes of the television programmes are also highly diverse. This year’s programmes cover topics like bullying, racism, physical disability and death as well as friendship, solidarity, gender identity and cultural exchange.

Around 400 children’s media professionals from over 50 countries are expected to attend the festival week at the Bavarian Broadcasting Centre. They will have an intensive workshop experience: in addition to watching and discussing the competition entries, all participants are invited to take part in voting for the winners.

Since 2006, every PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL has had a festival motto. The one for 2024 is: “For Us, No Planet B! Kids TV and Sustainability!” What role can children’s television play in promoting environmental protection? In addition to discussing TV programmes on topics such as environmental responsibility and climate change, the “Climate Night” on the evening of 26 May will present current research findings on forms of child-friendly media communication of the climate crisis.

The winners of the PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL 2024 will be honoured at a festive gala on the evening of 29 May in Munich’s Old Town Hall.

Further information on the competition and photos are available at

Contact: Kirsten Schneid, Festival Coordinator / Tel: +49-89-5900-42058

May 15, 2024: Celebrating the Anniversary of PRIX JEUNESSE INTERNATIONAL: Highlights from 60 years of commitment to quality in children’s television
GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner