Documentary about Chile’s children wins International Emmy

In a 16-episode mini-series, kids from a range of different backgrounds share their dreams about the future.

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A documentary series focusing on the hopes and aspirations of Chile’s youth has taken the Emmy award for the Best Children’s/Youth Program made outside the United States.

The stars of ¿Con qué sueñas? (“What’s your dream?”) were a group of boys and girls aged seven to 13 from all across the country, who talked openly to the camera about the factors that shape their outlook on life.

In 16 half-hour episodes on Chile’s Televisión Nacional (TVN), the innovative documentary series also looked at how the children’s lives were shaped by the places where they had lived and grown up.

Series Director Paula Gómez told El Mercurio she felt honored to receive the prize, highlighting the role of the children who gave their time and opinions to the project.

These children lead very different lives. Some of them live in the altiplano [highlands], while others have to walk two hours just to get to school and still others are typical urban kids.”

Made with funding from Chile’s National Television Commission and a grant from the country’s Bicentenary Commission, the documentary series edged out Germany’s Allein gegen die Zeit (“Race Against Time”), Australia’s Dance Academy and Saladino from Malaysia.

¿Con qué sueñas? is the first Chilean children’s program to win an Emmy and only the fourth in South America. This year, it was the only show from Latin America to pick up an International Emmy award.

November has been a successful month for Chilean children’s programs. Less than a fortnight ago, international cable channel, Cartoon Network, announced the launch of Zumbástico Fantástico, a program featuring five light-hearted animated stories made in Chile.

The International Emmy awards were presented at a glitzy ceremony at the Hilton New York hotel, presented by pop sensation Lady Gaga and former Beverly Hills 90210 star Jason Priestley.