Sunday, December 9, 2012

2013 Children's Film Festival Seattle


Beloved annual festival for Seattle children and families returns with more than 120 international films for all ages.

Northwest Film Forum rolls out the red carpet for the 8th edition of Children's Film Festival Seattle, the largest and most respected film festival on the West Coast dedicated to children and their families, curated especially for ages 3 to 12.

The 11-day extravaganza celebrates the best and brightest in international cinema for children, and will include more than 120 films from 38 countries (the most extensive program in the festival's history), including live performances, animation, features, shorts and hands-on workshops, all crafted with care to appeal to the next generation of movie lovers.

Opening weekend kicks off with a major Seattle feature premiere on Thursday, a rockin' pajama party on Friday night, and a yummy pancake breakfast and film smorgasbord Saturday morning. As the festival unspools, audiences can enjoy award-winning feature films from India, Germany, the Netherlands, France and China. A film from the 1920s gets the not-so-silent treatment, with a new score composed and performed live by a talented local musician. Notable shorts include an entire program of new films from South America, a lively program featuring an all-Seattle roster of filmmakers and a spotlight on short films by indigenous filmmakers from North America and Australia.

"This is the little festival that could," said Elizabeth Shepherd, who has directed the festival since its inception. "It is very gratifying each year to see our cinemas fill with such eager young viewers. We're excited to present films in our cinemas that serve as a vibrant, colorful and sensitive bridge to the world beyond Seattle."

Festival opening night is slated for Thursday, January 24, with a special Washington feature premiere of Zarafa, an animated French feature that recently won Audience Favorite and Childrenʼs Jury Grand Prize from the Chicago International Childrenʼs Film Festival. Opening weekend includes a rockin' pajama party on Friday, January 25, with Caspar Babypants, starring Chris Ballew (former front man of the Seattle band the Presidents of the United States), and an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast and film smorgasbord on Saturday, January 26.

Festival highlights in 2013 include award-winning feature films from India (Gattu and Krish Trish and Baltiboy), Germany (The Crocodiles All For One and Tom and Hacke), The Netherlands(Taking Chances and Alfie the Little Werewolf), France (Zarafa) and China (China Fantasia). Captain January, a 1924 film newly-rescued and restored and featuring adorable child star Baby Peggy, will get the not-so-silent treatment, with a new three-harp score composed and performed live by Leslie McMichael.

Notable among the short film programs are new children's films from Latin America, a lively program made by an all-Seattle roster of filmmakers including Drew Christie, SJ Chiro, Wes Kim and Britta Johnson, and a spotlight on films created by indigenous filmmakers from North America and Australia.

Special education programs for children during the festival include a hands-on workshop with visiting British animator Charlotte Blacker (who also leads a drop-in animation booth in Northwest Film Forum's lobby during the festival), and a class with recording artist and sound wizard Robb Kunz.

As in previous years, kids will also be decision-makers and VIPs at the festival — this year's Children's Jury, made up of ten Seattle-area youth ages 8 to 13, will view more than 50 films in competition and award prizes to their favorites.

Fore more information, visit the official websites:
Northwest Film Forum
Children's Film Festival Seattle

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