Christmas Story wins Audience Award at Sarasota Film Festival

“Christmas Story” took its first international award on Saturday at the 10th Sarasota Film Festival. The Finnish family hit directed by Juha Wuolijoki won the Audience Award for Best in World Cinema.

Sarasota ranks as the 8th largest independent film festival in the U.S. Last year the award was taken by Sarah Polley’s Oscar-nominated film “Away From Her”. In 2006, the winner was Chan Wook-Park with “Lady Vengeance”, which also took the Little Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

The English-language version of “Christmas Story” will have its World Premiere at Marché du Film in Cannes in May. The Finnish family hit features the voices of Golden Globe nominated John Turturro (“Oh Brother, Where Art Thou,” “Transformers,” “Barton Fink”) and Noah Emmerich (“Pride and Glory,” “The Truman Show,” “Cop Land”).

The top-grossing Finnish film of 2007, Christmas Story has been sold so far to ten countries including, for example, France, Turkey, Mexico and Scandinavia. Flins & Piniculas will release the film theatrically in Spain Christmas 2008. The film won two Jussi Awards (Finnish “Oscars”), the Viewer’s Choice Prize and the Prize for Best Cinematography.

“Christmas Story” is the feature debut by Juha Wuolijoki and recounts the unique and amazing journey of Santa Claus on his way to becoming the Santa that the world knows and loves. The film is produced by Snapper Films and world distributed by Delphis Films.

SNAPPER FILMS:Snapper Films Oy is a Finnish movie and television production company. Snapper Films selectively develops both Finnish movies and English-language independent productions. International movie operations are mainly handled in the New York office, Snapper Films LLCDELPHIS FILMS:Founded in 2003, Delphis Films, the worldwide distribution division of the publicly traded media group company FRV Media, acquires and licenses all rights to award-winning film and TV productions with an expertise in high quality family films.