Film festivals are a great way to enjoy films from around world, many of which would never be seen otherwise. There are many festivals specifically for kids and teens, featuring the best of international children’s films and inspiring a love of film in the next generation.
Here are a few festivals coming up in the next few months:
Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival – November 13, December 18 and 19, 2010 and January 25, 2011
This festival features short films of all varieties – animation, live action and documentary – from around the world. All the films are made for children and teens, and the festival has sessions for older students as well as sessions for all ages. All the screenings are free to the public at Martin Luther King Jr. Theater in Santa Monica.
Children’s Film Festival Seattle – January 2- February 6, 2011
This year’s Children’s Film Festival Seattle will feature 100 films from 25 countries which have been carefully selected for their creativity and artistic or technical mastery. Each film was made specifically for a young audience and speaks positively to diverse backgrounds and cultures, boys and girls alike. The schedule of films and other events will be posted on the festival’s website December 1, 2010.
Young film lovers ages 8-12 are invited to serve on the jury, attending screenings throughout the festival and announcing prizewinners at the closing ceremony. Apply by writing a top ten list describing the qualities of a perfect children’s film. Send this along with name, age, grade, a short bio and contact information to email@example.com by December 31, 2010. Weekday morning screenings are available for groups February 7-25. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about field trips, workshops and other educational opportunities.
Providence Children’s Film Festival – February 18-22, 2011
Since 2009, this festival has brought films from around the world, including from local film makers in Rhode Island, all directed towards children and families of diverse ages, backgrounds and cultures. There are films for everyone at the festival, with program notes indicating age and content appropriateness. The Providence Children’s Film Festival also provides many educational opportunities, including workshops led by filmmakers and animators. More information about the 2011 festival will be available closer to the event.
Other Film Festivals
Film festivals are great resources for anyone wanting to bring more international or independent films into the classroom or family. The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is one of the best known film festivals for children. Though it took place in October, the festival offers educational support all year round, including a “Best of the Fest” DVD and curriculum guide and summer film camps for kids and teens.
The New York International Children’s Film Festival also offers workshops throughout the year, and continues to screen films from the festival throughout the year. The festival is the largest attended children’s film festival in North America and has extended that by offering a travelling festival and an online film festival where select featured festival films are available for free. Also on the website is a directory of films from past festivals that are available through Netflix or Amazon.com.