2010 festival film list
7 DAYS IN SLOW MOTION
Directed, written and produced by Umakanth Thumrugoti, a 15 year Disney Feature Animation veteran (India, 2009) / 100 mins / 35mm / in English / Cultural differences in child rearing and emotional disturbances expressed. / Ages 9 and up.
The 7 days mark a comical journey where Ravi sets out to make a Bollywood film with his schoolmates, writes a ransom note, casts a heroine in his film, uses creative ways to keep his friends, Hamid and Onka involved in his project during the ever-stressful exam season and keeps his mother thinking that all his hard work was towards his final exams! In his movie-making mission, Ravi accidentally captures some darker moments of his friends’ and families’ lives which gets revealed in a party where everyone suddenly sees on the screen who they are and what they represent. They all turn on Ravi for revealing their true selves but this truth results in life changes for one and all.
Set in a middle-class India, where the pressure of examinations is the most defining aspect of a parent and child’s life during school years, this movie deftly balances humor with life lessons to tell an important story.
Director-Producer Harrod Blank (USA, 2008) / 77 mins / digital projection / Eccentric characters and behaviors, some personal emotional issues expressed. / Ages 7 and up.
AUTOMORPHOSIS looks into the minds and hearts of a delightful collection of eccentrics, visionaries, and just plain folks who have transformed their autos into artworks.
On a humorous and touching journey, we discover what drives the creative process for these unconventional characters. And in the end, we find that an art car has the power to change us — to alter our view of our increasingly homogeneous world.
Subjects featured include: Harrod Blank and his Camera Van; World-renowned spoon bender Uri Geller and his fork-and-spoon-covered “Peace Car”; Howard Davis’s “Telephone Car” an obsession-driven telephone collection; & Leonard Knight, a religious folk artist who’s painted his vehicles as well as most of an entire mountain in the desert as a testament to his faith. Weaving his own tale amidst the others, Blank, as narrator, is the glue that binds these vibrant portraits. **NEW INFO! Meet the owner of the “Telephone Car” on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 7pm at the Cable Car Cinema!**
AZUR & ASMAR
Director Michel Ocelot (France, 2006/2008) / 99 mins / 35mm / dubbed in English / Historic and cultural child rearing differences expressed. Some violence. / Ages 5 and up.
Azur & Asmar is the story of two boys raised as brothers. Blonde, blue-eyed, white-skinned Azur and black-haired, brown-eyed, dark-skinned Asmar are lovingly cared for by Asmar’s gentle mother, who tells them magical stories of her faraway homeland and of the beautiful, imprisoned Djinn Fairy waiting to be set free. Time passes, and one day Azur’s father, the master of the house, provokes a brutal separation. Azur is sent away to study, while Asmar and his mother are driven out, homeless and penniless.
Years later, as a young adult, Azur remains haunted by memories of the sunny land of his nanny, and sets sail south across the high seas to find the country of his dreams. Arriving as an immigrant in a strange land, Azur is rejected by everyone he meets on account of his “unlucky” blue eyes, until finally he resolved never to open those eyes again. The once-beautiful child clad in gold is reduced to a blind beggar. Yet, blind though he is, little by little and step by step, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious country. Meanwhile, back in her homeland, Azur’s nanny has become a wealthy merchant and Asmar has grown into a dashing horseman. Reunited, but now as adversaries, the two brothers set off on a dangerous quest to find and free the Djinn Fairy.
“BEAUTIFUL!” – New York Times
“MAGNIFICENT! ENCHANTING!” – Variety
“PURE MAGIC!” – Hollywood Reporter
“IMPOSSIBLY GORGEOUS!” “The year’s most beautiful animated film!” – Salon
“Is it too early to announce the most beautiful film of 2009?” “It’s hard to imagine a more transporting cinematic experience!”
– Chicago Tribune
“DAZZLING! A STORY AT ONCE WHIMSICAL AND EPIC!” “The tale of two brothers from childhood to manhood, it is rife with storybook themes and offers an inspiring vision of harmony between different cultures, different people. Eye-popping and elegant, it’s a richly satisfying affair!” – Philadelphia Inquirer
THE SECRET OF KELLS
Director Tomm Moore (Ireland/France/Belgium, 2009) / 75 mins/ 35mm / Brief situations of violence and tension/ Ages 6 and up.
Do not miss the highly anticipated new animated masterpiece from the producers of Kirikou and the Sorceress and Triplets of Belleville! Magic, fantasy and Celtic mythology come together in a riot of color and detail that dazzle the eyes in this sweeping story about the power of imagination and faith to carry humanity through dark times. Features the voices of Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter, In Bruges), Mick Lally, Evan McGuire and Christen Mooney.
Young Brendan lives in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids. But a new life of adventure beckons when a celebrated master illuminator arrives from foreign lands carrying an ancient but unfinished book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers. To help complete the magical book, Brendan has to overcome his deepest fears on a dangerous quest that takes him into the enchanted forest where mythical creatures hide. It is here that he meets the fairy Aisling, a mysterious young wolf-girl, who helps him along the way. But with the barbarians closing in, will Brendan’s determination and artistic vision illuminate the darkness and show that enlightenment is the best fortification against evil?
“Absolutely luscious to behold!” – Variety
“Stunning! A cascade of light, color and wonder burst from the screen!” – The Irish Times
“Holds the spectator in a waking dream from beginning to end!” – Le Monde
“Absolutely brilliant animation! You want to keep stopping the film to admire the many elaborate layers that nearly every frame is loaded with. Children will certainly enjoy the film, but the rich visuals are an adult’s reward.” – Ain’t It Cool News
“A gorgeously realized fable about the power of imagination and art to thrive even in the most hostile times! Immediately establishes Moore as an absolute master of his craft – a story teller and visual artist who deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as masters such as Michel Ocelot and Sylvain Chomet.” – Twitch
“A marvelous display of creativity in animation, both in terms of compelling visuals and articulate storytelling.”
– Animation Insider
“Visually ravishing and doused in Celtic magic! Captivatingly original!” – Screen Daily
“Pure magic! The Secret of Kells leaves you stunned by its originality, audacity and pure artistry!” – Newsarama
STELLA AND THE STAR OF THE ORIENT
Director Erna Schmidt (Germany, 2007) / 90 mins / 35mm / In German with English subtitles / Ages 8 and up.
New Year’s Eve 2005: in her grandmother’s old villa, ten-year-old Stella is exploring the attic when she is suddenly catapulted 100 years back into the past on a fantastic time journey. She lands in the same villa, although naturally it is furnished in a completely different way. There she meets Clementine, who is her own age, and her younger brother Gustav. Stella is utterly amazed when she recognises her great-grandmother in Clementine. But there is no time left for explaining things to one another: the family faces ruin, the villa is going to be sold, and now Clementine can surely forget about her dream of studying to become a doctor one day. Unless, of course, the children find the Star of the Orient…
Stella: Laura Berschuck; Clementine: Hanna Schwamborn; Gustav: Julius Römer; Father of Clementine and Gustav: Uwe Kockisch; Mother of Clementine and Gustav: Edda Leesch; Kleinheinz: Axel Prahl; Dr. Lodeus: Hans-Martin Stier; Mother of Stella: Gabriela Maria Schmeide
Screenplay: Martin Dolejš / Director: Erna Schmidt / Commissioning Editor: Heike Lagé / Camera: Andreas Höfer / Editor: Karola Mittelstädt / Music: Andreas Hoge / Sound: Jochen Hergersberg
TV Station: ZDF / Producer: Ingelore König / Production Company: Kinderfilm GmbH / Coproduction Company: Studio Babelsberg / Motion Pictures GmbH, ZDF / German Distribution: farbfilm verleih GmbH
A co-production of Kinderfilm GmbH, Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures GmbH and ZDF with backing from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM), Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (BKM), Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA). The screenplay for this film was written in collaboration with the Summer Academy of the Society for the Promotion of German Children’s Films (Förderverein Deutscher Kinderfilm e.V.).
Director Santosh Sivan (India, 2008) / 105 mins / 35mm / In Hindi with English subtitles / With the narrative occurring in a war zone there are scenes of potential violence. Cultural differences in child rearing expressed. / Ages 10 and up.
Tahaan, from award-winning, internationally-renowned director Santosh Sivan (The Terrorist, Before the Rains), is a stunningly shot, fable-like story set in scenic but strife-ridden Kashmir. The conflict is used as a backdrop for the story of an eight-year-old boy, Tahaan, who tries to gain back his beloved pet donkey that has been sold along with his family’s possessions to pay the family debt. With his father missing in action for three years, Tahaan lives with his older sister, his loving, parable-telling grandfather, and mute mother, but is left more or less on his own to wander village and countryside, navigate border checkpoints, and negotiate with merchants and money lenders in an effort to regain his lost pet. More than a war movie, this is a film about striving, finding life-purpose, and, finally, of right and wrong – as Tahaan is recruited by a young militant to throw a grenade into an army compound, building to a heart-thumping final scene.
Like Sivan’s earlier films, Tahaan is told with warmth, humor and simple honesty, while his gorgeous cinematography offers breathtaking views of Kashmir’s snow-covered mountain passes and shimmering lakes. A recurring encounter with a group of mystic Sufi singers contributes to the atmosphere and provides a compellingly exotic musical bed.
Director Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti (Cuba, 2005) / 80 mins / digital projection / In Spanish with English subtitles / Cultural child rearing differences expressed. Issues of a broken family part of the narrative. A few scary scenes for two runaways. / Ages 10 and up.
In a tale akin to “Romeo and Juliet,” the friendship between two children is threatened by their parents’ differences. Malú is from an upper-class family and her single mother does not want her to play with Jorgito, as she thinks his background coarse and commonplace. Jorgito’s mother a poor socialist proud of her family’s social standing, places similar restrictions on her son. What neither woman recognizes is the immense strength of the bond between Malú and Jorgito. When the children learn that Malú’s mother is planning to leave Cuba, they decide to travel to the other side of the island to find Malú’s father and persuade him against signing the forms that would allow it.
WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE?
Director Catherine Gund (USA, 2009) / digital projection / Ages 8 and up.
What’s On Your Plate? is a witty and provocative documentary about kids and food politics. Over the course of one year, the film follows two eleven-year-old African-American city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. Sadie and Safiyah talk to food activists, farmers, and storekeepers, as they address questions regarding the origin of the food they eat, how it’s cultivated, and how many miles it travels from farm to fork. Sadie and Safiyah visit supermarkets, fast food chains, and school lunchrooms. But they also check out innovative sustainable food system practices by going to farms, greenmarkets, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs. They discover that these options have a number of positive effects: they are good for the environment, help struggling farmers survive, and provide affordable, locally grown food to communities, especially lower-income urban families. The film culminates with a delicious local meal cooked by the girls and friends they have made along the way. Sadie and Safiyah formulate sophisticated and compassionate opinions about urban sustainability, and by doing so inspire hope and active engagement in others.
Assorted Mix of Short Films
YOUR SHORTS ARE SHOWIN’ (Short Films)
This exciting assorted mix of short films will be shown throughout the festival before feature length films.
Yesterday, Today and Tomororrow
A short film with a toe tappin’ tune showing a young woman clipping, blending, melting, crunching many items of her childhood to create one, central, totemic artifact. The creative editing and use of just about every household item will leave you wanting to melt some crayons of your own. Director Valentine Sheldon (2008)/ 5 minutes / dvd / USA. All ages.
A garden hose in search of adventure, discovers that the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence, in fact there isn’t even any grass! Kevin Watkins uses stop motion animation masterfully in bringing a garden hose to life. And you thought a hose just sits there coiled when you’re not around? Director Kevin Watkins (2008)/ 10 mins / dvd / USA. All ages.
How Birds Got Their Song
A film based on a traditional story of the Narragansett Indians and adapted by local filmmaker Jo Dery in collaboration with the students of the Nuweetooun School. Under her direction the students created the figures and scenes used in animating the story as well as playing the instruments in the film’s original sound score. The result is a memorable story that will leave you yearning for the sound of a wood thrush. Director Jo Dery (2009) / 5 minutes / dvd / USA. All ages.
Songs of Freedom
Songs of Freedom is a short film that uses contemporary music, storytelling and film to share and preserve the history of the Underground Railroad. The story is told in powerful and empowering ways from the point of view of a young girl named Imani. She and her family are forced to flee if they are to remain together during the time of American slavery. Director David Marshall (2009) / 28 mins / dvd / USA. Ages 7 and up – includes disturbing historical situations and dramatic tension.
Gus Outdoors: Gull Island
Local filmmaker Sean Nightingale could not have found a better nature narrator than his own son. Six-year-old Gus explores Gull Island and teaches us what he knows about the life-cycles of birds nesting on the island and some of the plant life that surrounds them. Gus Outdoors will captivate and inspire children to get outside and see what they can find in their own “backyards.” Director Sean Nightengale (2009)/ 23 mins / dvd / USA. All Ages.
Check out a great interview on NewEnglandFilms.com with Sean HERE.
A musically inspired, cut and paste styled short film following the journey of animal friends joining in the ride in an electric car. They Might Be Giants provides the narrative score and charged up, rhythmic beat. Directors Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata with animation production done by Tiny Inventions. (2009) / 4 mins / dvd / USA. All Ages.
Davy Crockett in Outer Space
Who needs computer animation when we have chalk boards? This song driven short film is the updated Crockett as a “buckskin astronaut”. They Might Be Giants recreates the music from the classic 70’s television show to this 21st century, chalk line hero. Directors Max Porter, David Cowles, Ru Kuwahatawith animation production done by Tiny Inventions. (2008) / 4 mins / dvd / USA. All Ages.
Force 1 TD
A short film unlike any you have seen before. The central characters are some high school friends from the lower east side of Manhattan. The dilemma is to help one of their visually impaired friends to get the “right” attire for their upcoming prom. They are just one pair of sneakers away from being done. What appears to be an easy last visit to a shoe store turns into an odyssey. The seeing eye horse, Carmine, has no problem keeping everything unpredictable. Director Randy Krallman (2008) / 10 mins / dvd / USA. Ages 8 and up.
Seven-year-old Alison has been dragged around the world by her eccentric adventure photographer parents. She longs to stay in one place and go to school with children her own age. On a family expedition high in the Himalayas, Alison meets a Sherpa girl named Rita. Although they cannot speak each other’s language, the two strangers set off on a wild and touching adventure over a 17,000 ft. pass near the base of Mt. Everest—a journey that plops them right in Alison’s dream world. Based on the true life experience of Alison Teal Blehert-Koehn. Director Alison Teal Blehert-Koehn (2007) / 15 mins / dvd / USA.Ages 8 and up.
This short animation is about the story of a young girl named Sarah who loves to read, and lets her imagination take on the adventure she reads about in her books. Her vivid imagination and passion for books inspires her to write her own so that she can share her adventures with others, young and old. Director John McGowan (2009) / 2 mins / dvd / USA. All Ages.
Locally Unwanted Land Usage
The city of Biggerton has too much trash! The people don’t know what to do with all of the garbage! Finally, they decide to dump it all onto the city of Smallerton. How will Smallerton get out from underneath this mess? Director Kate Balsley (2009) / digital projection / 7 mins. All Ages.
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50 YEARS OF POLISH ANIMATION FOR CHILDREN
1958-2008 FROM ALE KINO! (Short Films)
(Poland, 1999-2009) / 65 mins / digital projection / In Polish (or no dialogue) with English subtitles. / Recommended for all ages.
Funny, visually unique, accompanied by music from the greatest Polish composers, this sampling of short films from Poland will delight all ages and demonstrate why animation is the cinematic genre for which Poland is best known the world over. The collection comes to us from the International Young Audience Film Festival Ale Kino!, which is the largest and oldest festival of films for children and young people in Poland. The Ale Kino! Festival has just celebrated their 40th anniversary. They are making these films available to the PCFF as a celebration of their milestone and our inauguration. Included in the program is Mouse and Cat (1958, Wladyslaw Nehrebecki), which was the audience favorite at the RISD Museum’s Free-For-All Saturday “Line-Up” of films in November.
Mouse and the Cat (1958, Wladyslaw Nehrebecki)
A mouse accidentally brings to life the drawing of a cat. The outline of the cat is like a string, shifting shape and turning into other characters. A mad chase takes place, leaving the audience to wonder if the colorful mouse will be clever enough to outwit his linear foe. 8 min. 30 sec.
A Striped Adventure (1960, Alina Maliszewska)
A film about how two unusual elephants, one with horizontal stripes, the other with vertical stripes, find a place for themselves – together with their checked family! 11 min.
The Crossbow (1963 , Wladyslaw Nehrebecki)
From the series Lolek and Bolek. Inpsired by a film about William Tell seen on television, Bolek and Lolek decide to copy the legendary scene with the apple. Fortunately, just like in the legend, all ends well, but there’s plenty of excitement along the way. 9 min. 25 sec.
Maluch the Little Car (1965, Lucjan Dembriński)
The adventures of Little Car. Taken to school by his mother the Tank Truck and his father the Crane Truck, Little Car decides to play truant. 8 min.
Barnaby the Dragon (1977, Tadeusz Wilkosz)
A story of an eccentric sweet-toothed dragon. 10 min.
The Spinner (2005, Joanna Jasińska-Koronkiewicz)
The story of how flax is transformed into a beautiful piece of linen. 3 min.
Joyets (2007-8, Magdalena Osińska)
A boy and a girl set out on an expedition to get a strawberry hanging on a tree. They discover that even the most difficult obstacles can be overcome thanks to love. 13 min.
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BEST OF NY INT’L CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL
KID FLIX MIX 2009 (Short Films)
(2009) / 65 mins / digital projection / Recommended for all ages.
The world renowned New York International Children’s Film Festival presents this kaleidoscopic collection of the best animated short films from around the world, for ages 3 to 8. The program features musical and narrative works from Sweden, France, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Switzerland, the UK, and the US, and offers a spectacular array of traditional, CGI, collage, and stop motion animation styles. Program is in English.
7 Days of the Week
McBride/Cowles, USA, 3 min
Mo Willems, USA, 8 min
Breaking the Mould
Manley/Paulli, UK, 1 min
The Bridge on the River Zzzeee
Thomas Szabo, France, 5 min
Christian Robinson, USA, 3 min
Dan Pinto, USA, 5 min
Sarah Wahl, Finland, 2 min
The New Species
Evalds Lacis, Latvia, 10 min
Harry Flosser, Germany, 4 min
Sooner or Later
Jadwiga Krystyna Kowalska, 5 min
Spot and Splodge in Snowstorm
Geffenblad, Sweden, 8 min
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
Konstantin Bronzit, USA, 10 min
… and more!