2012 festival film list

*2012 PCFF Best Feature Film Winner*
Circus Dreams
Ages 8 and up. Director Signe Taylor / (USA, 2010) / 82 mins.

“Mom? Dad? I want to join the circus!” As a parent are you prepared for this scenario? See this movie and you will be! Some kids are natural entertainers who have discovered a passion for the circus arts. In Circus Dreams, that passion finds fulfillment at Circus Smirkus, the only traveling youth circus in the US, annually assembling the finest young circus performers for its summer tour (including a stop in Rhode Island!). This documentary captures it all, from the grueling auditions to the successful tears of joy in being part of an extraordinary experience. Truly inspiring!

This is not your average group of kids. They are clowns, trapeze artists, jugglers, and already accomplished entertainers. Beginning with extraordinary access into the auditioning process, the film highlights the trials and tribulations of a variety of young performers as they polish their acts and nervously await audition results. The 27 who are selected spend the summer together training full-time for what will eventually be 70 performances in 15 towns. Circus Dreams perfectly balances the fun of the circus with insightful, behind-the-scenes drama in a perfect demonstration of what dedication, passion, talent, and ambition make possible — no matter your age. No one performer outshines the other, as they all learn valuable lessons about teamwork and positive critique. Director Signe Taylor has captured an inspiring portrait of kids who break free of mainstream stereotypes and reach for their circus dreams.

Winner of:
Best Films4Families Feature Seattle International Film Festival
Youth Jury Citation SPROCKETS Toronto International Film Festival for Children and Youth
Indie Spec Special Recognition Award Boston International Film Festival
Audience Choice Award Woods Hole Film Festival
James Goldstone Award Vermont International Film Festival

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Crocodiles Strike Back

Ages 11 and up (parental guidance suggested due to coarse language, bathroom humor and scenes depicting danger and violence). Director Christian Ditter / (Germany, 2010) / German with English subtitles / 90 mins.

The Crocodiles was a huge hit at our festival last year so bringing the second installment of their trilogy was a NO-BRAINER! All of the original cast members are back (looking a little older as kids are prone to do). Several new characters are introduced that assist in solving yet another town conspiracy. This time the gang of pint-sized detectives stumbles across a plot involving a local factory threatened with a mysterious closure. Worried that their parents will lose their jobs, the young sleuths must work together to uncover the sinister plan. Dealing with issues relevant to kids around the world, this entertaining coming-of-age film is guaranteed to thrill audiences.

The Crocodiles is based on the book by the same title by Max von der Grun. It is packed with plenty of adventure and humor. What this film has above and beyond other films made for young adults is a sincere development of characters with real world domestic situations. There are kids from broken families trying to cope. Racism is tackled, as are stereotypes of the physically challenged, often in humorous ways. The same sentence we used to describe last year’s scenes of kids using slurs and behaving insensitively fits this film just as well. “It is part of the larger and more important narrative of kids learning how hurtful their exclusionary actions and hateful words can be… then making amends for their previous beliefs through their own actions.” A developing element of the narrative this time around is the balance of gender roles. These evolving young adults are empowered through their friendship despite entering a difficult age of thinking romantically about each other. There is still teasing but with respect for one another.

Winner of:
Children’s Jury Award, International Film Festival Thessaloniki 2010
Children’s Jury Award, Best Feature Film, Children´s Film Festival Seattle 2010

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I Am Kalam
Ages 8 and up (strong child discipline). Director Nila Madhab Panda / (India, 2010) / Hindi w/English subtitles / 87mins.

A true-to-life film about fulfilling potential and overcoming destiny, KALAM has touched hearts across India and worldwide. Chhotu, a bright, yet impoverished Rajasthani boy, dreams of gaining an education while he works at a roadside cafe. When he hears an inspirational message from President Kalam, he changes his name and commits to studying independently whenever he can. He befriends a local prince, but the two must fraternize in secret. Through their forbidden friendship, and a case of misjudged intentions, Kalam struggles to find his place and tries to meet the president. A heartwarming narrative, I AM KALAM speaks not only to the dreams of many uneducated children in India, but to anyone who has dared to seek a better life for themselves.

Winner of:
The Don Quixote Prize, Montreal International Children’s Film Festival (2011)
Special Jury Mention, Cinekid International Children’s Film Festival (2010)
Best Feature Film, Lucas International Film Festival (Germany, 2010)
Audience Awards, Indian Film Festival (Los Angeles, 2010)
Audience Favourite Choice, Barbican London Children’s Film Festival (2010)
Best Feature Film, Indian Panorama, IFFI (Goa, 2010)
International Jury Special Mention, Ale Kino International Film Festival (Poland, 2010)
Best Actor, Minsk International Film Festival (2010)

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I Believe I Can Fly
Ages 8 and up (one curse spoken). Director Seb Montaz / (France, 2011) / French with English subtitles / 41 mins.

WARNING: If heights make you nervous you might want to find another movie! I almost swallowed my tongue. Tancrède and Julien are two friends on an incredible exploration into the world of free flight. They are pioneers in ‘highlining’ – a vertiginous combination of climbing, slackline, and tightrope walking. Using their FEARLESS skills and experience as climbers, the pair push the boundaries of possibility as they embark on a new evolution of their sport. Some would argue it’s art.

You follow their travels from the Verdon gorge to the skyscrapers of Paris, and finally to the spectacular cliffs and fjords of Norway – where the pair put weeks into training for their ultimate test (it’s hard not to think of Philippe Petit).

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Jumping Boy
Ages 9 and up. Director Chin Lin / (Taiwan, 2011) / Chinese with English subtitles / 95 mins.

Having lost his left leg to bone cancer, Ka is left with only one leg to jump with. When he is discharged from the hospital, Dr. Chen gives him a present: a child’s picture book entitled Rolypoly. The doctor tells him, “Jump five million times, and you’ll see Rolypoly.” Thus begins a story of a boy, an aging children’s book author wishing to correct a past misdeed (theft), and a Chinese village that embraces them both.

The film took three years to make due to the difficult process of combining live actions with animations. All the stories (the animation parts) in the movie were bed-time stories the director Chin Lin told to his son 15 years ago. The main actor playing the author (Tien Bien) is a famous stage actor in Taiwan. All the children are non-professional actors.

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Letter for the King
Ages 9 and up (sword fight violence). (Norway, 2008) / Norwegian with English subtitles / 107 mins.

“This letter is for the king… It’s vital to his country and to yours. Now that I can’t take it, you have to do it… But beware. Enemies are everywhere.” When a dying knight speaks these words to Tiuri, pushing a mysterious letter into the adolescent’s hands, the young squire must embark on a dangerous mission to save his kingdom. Though not yet a knight, Tiuri is forced to summon the courage and cunning of a seasoned veteran to complete this quest. Through dark woods and snowy mountains, Tiuri is pursued by thieves, spies and the ruthless Red Riders, all intent on stopping him before he can reach his goal. But by never forgetting the importance of friendship and the value of keeping a promise, Tiuri learns that you don’t need a sword and shield to act with the gallantry of a knight.

Director Pieter Verhoeff brings Tiuri’s quest to the screen in true epic style. The stunning natural settings will transport viewers to a medieval world of clashing swords, daring escapes and horseback chases. Based on the book by Tonke Dragt, Letter for the King is a rich and exciting adventure story that celebrates the power of honesty and friendship.

Watch the Trailer

This trailer is in Norwegian, but the PCFF screening will have subtitles!
Light of the River
Ages 6 and up (threatening situations without harm). Directed by Tetsuo Hirakawa / (Japan, 2009) / in Japanese with English subtitles. 75 mins.

This beautiful and warmhearted adventure once again demonstrates how some of the best animated films come from Japan. A loving family of river rats is driven from its riverbank home by a human construction project. Needing to find a new place to live, a father and his two young sons, Tarta and Chichi, negotiate the everyday yet unexpected dangers of a city, surviving only with the timely help of a string of unlikely friends: a dog, a cat, a sparrow, and a wise sewer-rat. Kids will delight in the eager, irrepressible Chichi, who treats their journey as a fun adventure and has a knack for getting into trouble. Throughout, gentle lessons unfold about balancing trust and caution, coping with loss and longing, and discovering one’s strengths and proper home—all set against the backdrop of a disconnected human world unaware of its impact on nature.
Lotte from Gadgetville
All ages. (Estonia, 2006) / dubbed into English / 81 mins.
Our first feature-length animated film from Estonia is a gentle spirited film full of wacky contraptions, silly/happy songs, and a warm and refreshingly un-cynical sense of humor. Lotte is a cheerful girl-dog who lives in Gadgetville, a village crazy about inventing Rube Goldberg-esque machines. The town is abuzz about the Japanese bee Susumu, who introduces Gadgetville to the concept of judo. After the town becomes obsessed with the sport, Lotte and her three friends try to help Susumu get back to Japan, to test their new skills in an international judo contest.

Winner of:
2007 Latvian Film Prize for Best Animated Feature Film; also nominated for Best Music and Best Screenplay
2007 Official Program 2007 of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival
2006 Best Film, Ene and Tonis Birch Foundation of the Estonian National Culture Foundation
2007 Children’s Jury Award from Divercine International Children’s Festival in Monevideo, Uruguay
2007 Best Feature Length Animation, Lielais Kristaps, Latvia
2007 Fred, der Goldene Gossi, Children’s Jury Award for Best Film Festival from 19 Kids Festival, Bielefeld, Germany
2007 Best Feature Length Animation Tindirindis from the International Animated Film Festival, Lithuania
2008 Audience Award, Mill Valley Children’s Film Fest
2008 Official Selection of the New York Children’s Film Festival
Watch the Trailer
Magic Silver
Ages 8 and up. (Norway 2010) / Norwegian with English subtitles / 83 mins.
The Blue Gnomes that live in a mountain are in charge of the “magic silver” that brings sunlight to every day. The Red Gnomes are farm Gnomes with low opinions of those uppity Blues. After the magic silver is stolen by a gnome (Blue? Red? I’m not tellin’), it brings out the best between the two gnome groups to restore the daylight. With Gnome hats to die for and a sleigh chase even Tarantino would envy, this will definitely confirm to you that the winters are as long as their imaginations in Norway.

This is THE film that broke opening day records in Norway!

Watch the Trailer


Man on a Mission
All ages. Director Mike Woolf / (USA, 2010) / English / 83 mins.

So you got what it takes to be an astronaut? If not, do you have 30 million dollars? It will not get you onto a NASA space ship but it will on a Russian one. You are Richard Garriott’s co-pilot as his dream to follow his astronaut dad’s path into space is realized…. by purchasing a seat on a Soyuz rocket being sent to the International Space Station. Man on a Mission shows like never before what it “takes” to prepare to go to space and how it feels once you get there…and back.

Watch the Trailer

“…Man on a Mission will be an exhilarating documentary for anyone interested in space travel, and probably even for those who aren’t. Garriott’s journey is quite interesting and unique, beginning with his days as a young man when he came up with some of his first computer games, to his financial success investing in various companies, some of which are pioneering the idea of space tourism. If Garriott’s life had not been as interesting as it was, this documentary could have suffered, but what we end up with is a really well put together autobiographical snapshot of Garriott, and a captivating view of the Russian space program, from their intense training to the rituals they exact on Garriott before his liftoff into space.

This is a documentary that will ultimately appeal to a very wide audience. Man on a Mission should garner a fair amount of press in part due to the amazing footage of Earth Garriott captured while on his journey. Being a fan of space travel, I can’t recall seeing another documentary that so effectively captures the thrill of space travel. If you have children, I urge you to take them to see this little beauty, as it provides some of the most well-documented material on what astronauts go through during training and while in space, as well as the aforementioned footage. If you’re an adult, Garriott’s financial success story and taste for adventure should inspire you, and will hopefully encourage any naysayers in the United States that space travel is not a waste of tax-payer money, but a necessity that serves many purposes and can help to bolster the pride of a nation.” – as reviewed by Dirk Sonniksen
Me and My Umbrella
Ages 9 and up (some cursing, beginning of romantic intrigue, suspenseful scenes and one very spooky teacher). (Brazil, 2010) / Portuguese with English subtitles / 78 mins.

What can be more nerve wracking for kids than starting at a new Junior High? How about starting at a haunted one?! When Eugenio, Cebola, and Frida go to explore their upcoming stomping grounds, they head straight into an out-of-this-world adventure involving time travel, a magic umbrella, a daring rescue, and one truly terrifying teacher.

Winner of Best Family Film: Brazilian Film Academy Awards 2011

Watch the Trailer

Sandman and the Lost Sand of Dreams
All ages. Jesper Moller / (Germany/France, 2010) / dubbed into English / 81 mins.

Ever wonder where you go when you sleep? In this beautifully animated stop-motion film, six-year-old Milo finds himself transformed into an animated character and swept into Dreamland, a secret nocturnal world of enchantment and adventure. There he sets sail in a magic car-boat through deliciously bizarre dreamscapes (full of giant chocolate bunnies, birthday cake women, cotton clouds and paper-maché mountains) on a mission to try to upend the schemes of the nefarious Habumar, creator of nightmares, who has threatened children everywhere by stealing the Sand of Dreams. Sandman and the Lost Sand of Dreams is a sumptuously handcrafted film perfect for youngest audiences, with playfully inventive characters immersed in brilliantly colorful dreamscapes. Knowing that it took one day to create an average of 2.5 seconds of film action can contribute to appreciating this film technically. It took three years to make in total.

Don’t lose any sleep over the fact that this trailer is in German. The film we show will be dubbed in English!

Watch the Trailer

The Secret Letter
Ages 12 and up (threats of violence, suspense w/real potential danger, teenage antics). Director Simone van Dusseldorp / (Netherlands 2010) / Dutch with English subtitles / 87 mins.

Balancing work and family time is never easy, especially if you live where you work. The growing tensions at home lead eleven year old Eva to run away and make clear to her parents how she feels. What Eva doesn’t know is that she is running into a world of trouble. This suspenseful film turns from a domestic mystery into a criminal one with only Eva and her friends having the knowledge to solve it.

Based on the famous book by Dutch writer Jan Terlouw, The Secret Letter explores the relationship between fathers and daughters, and looks at what happens when you start to doubt everything you thought you knew.

Winner of:
Best Dutch Children’s Film: Cinekid Film Festival, The Netherlands, 2010
Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children, 2011
Kristiansand International Children’s Film Festival, Norway, 2011
BUFF Film Festival, Sweden, 2011

Watch the Trailer

It’s no secret that this trailer is in Dutch. The film we show will have English subtitles!
Soul Boy
Ages 12 and up (threatening situations, coarse language). Director Hawa Essuman / (Kenya-Germany, 2010) / Swahili with English subtitles/ 60 mins.

A man trades away his soul to a witch one tipsy night. His son is given a chance to gain it back IF he can accomplish seven challenging tasks assigned to him by the witch. A spin-off of Harry Potter? No way. Soul Boy is in a league of its own. This film was made in one of the poorest slums in Africa with the people who live there acting out the parts. Part scavenger hunt, part coming of age, and part dark magic film — all make this an UNFORGETTABLE movie.

You could say that the location is the real protagonist of this film. All African cities have enormous, sprawling slums, but the Kibera district in Nairobi can hardly be called a district at all. It’s a muddy ocean of slums in which more than one million people live and battle for survival. Abila (14) lives in the violent slum jungle of Kibera. He is a Luo – one of the many Kenyan tribes. He is smitten with Shiku, who is the same age, but she is a Kikuyu, and that is the problem. Boys and girls from different tribes are not encouraged to mix. But Abila has another problem. At the start of the film, he finds his father in a disturbing state. His mother says it’s a hangover, but Abila has a feeling there’s more going on. He finds out that his father’s soul has been stolen by a Nyawawa, a female spirit. Despite the hostility of the surroundings, Abila and Shiku set off together to save the soul of Abila’s father.

This film emerged from a workshop situation and benefited from production support by the famous German director Tom Tykwer. Above all, the camera work is of a level that is seldom seen in African pictures. The authentic background in combination with the outside support turned Soul Boy into a sparkling – and surprisingly professional looking — short film.

Winner of:
Dioraphte Audience Award, International Film Festival Rotterdam
Veto Award, Afrika-Filmfestival, Leuven, Belgium
Signis Award, Zanzibar International Film Festival
Polish Filmmakers Association Award, Ale Kino!, Poznan, Poland
Best Actor : Samson Odhiambo, Kenya International Film Festival
Best East African Film, Kenya International Film Festival
Special Mention “Passeurs d’images” prize, FESTIVAL CINÉ JUNIOR (Int’l Film Festival for Young People), Paris, France
The Young Jury Prize, FESTIVAL CINÉ JUNIOR (Int’l Film Festival for Young People), Paris, France
Spiritual Film Festival Award, Paris, France
Best Children Film Award at the Film Festival Recklinghausen (Germany 2011)

Watch the Trailer
Tales of the Night
Ages 8 and up (Some scenes may frighten sensitive children. Silhouetted scenes of danger/ un-glorified violence). Director Michel Ocelot / (France, 2011) / French with English subtitles / 84 mins.

If there were such things as candy for your eyes Tales of the Night would be it. Your vision will be tempted by the detailed Day-Glo backgrounds bursting with color and kaleidoscopic patterns. In director Michel Ocelot’s (Azur & Asmar) storytelling, history blends with fairytale as viewers are whisked off to animated enchanted lands full of dragons, werewolves, captive princesses, sorcerers, and enormous talking bees — and each fable ends with its own unique twist.

In our first year at PCFF we brought in the very well received film by Michel Ocelot, Azur & Asmar. This year marks his cinematic return to Providence with his latest work Tales of the Night. The “tales” are six fascinating and exotic fables woven together, each unfolding in a unique locale, from Tibet, to medieval Europe, an Aztec kingdom, the African plains, and even the Land of the Dead.

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“Instantly timeless! A triumph of intricate craftsmanship!” – Variety

“Stunning! Newcomers to Ocelot’s work will be filled with wonder!” – Screen Daily

“Both a worthy successor to the first four films by Michel Ocelot, and a proposal for an innovative new approach that transcends the boundaries of animation.” – Cahiers du cinéma

Ages 12 and up (“birds n’ bees” maturity, teenage tempers). Director Johannes Schmid and produced by Philipp Budweg / (German/Poland, 2011) / German, Polish and Russian w/English subtitles / 93 mins.

This year PCFF has selected two films (the other being The Secret Letter) driven by the question of “What would happen if you found something that made you wonder if you really know your own Dad?” In tracing Kattaka’s quest to answer this question, Wintertochter unfolds into a road movie (from Berlin deep into Poland) about friendship between different generations and nations and the courage to face life’s difficulties. Through her inspiring trip, she comes to realize that history can shape identity, family isn’t always biological, and the choices we make now can affect our future for the better.

Winner of Best Feature Film at the 2011 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival
Official Selection: Munich International Film Festival, Germany, 2011
Official Selection: FIFEM Montreal, Canada, 2011
Official Selection: Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia, 2011
Official Selection: 16th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, San Francisco, 2011

Watch the Trailer

Compilations & Short Programs

The Best of New York International Children’s Film Festival 2011
Kid Flix Mix
All ages. English or musical non-dialogue / various lengths totaling 60mins.
Due to overwhelmingly positive feedback, we try to include the Kids Flix Mix and Party Mix in every festival. These compilations bring together the best of this year’s New York Children’s Film Festival Shorts. You will recognize several favorites from PCFF 2011 and be introduced to a new slate of wonderful films traveling the world’s festival circuit. The program features musical and narrative works from USA, UK, Hungary, Denmark, Latvia, Spain, Germany, Slovakia and Canada.

Mi’au Myau
UK / Animation, Vida Vega, 2009, 1 min
In this lovely hand-drawn short animation, a group of birds sit together on a branch, chirping away each in their own native tongue. But when an unexpected visitor comes along, his words are universally understood.

All That Cats
Hungary / Animation, Mátyás Lanczinger, 2009, 1 min x 3
In this series of short animations, a duo of hip hop cats perform beatbox rhythms to transform everyday situations into a musical experience.

How the Shammies Bathed
Latvia / Mixed Media, Edmunds Jansons, 2010, 7 min
Collage and mixed media animation create a textural feast, with adorable animated characters designed in patterned fabrics, burlap, and buttons. A foreboding “drip-drop” coming from a dark room turns out to be only water in the tub – it’s bath time for the Shammies!

Denmark / Animation, Siri Melchior, 2010, 5 min
In this fun, sweet, musical cartoon, a little bird struggles to find his voice in a world full of different noises. A colorful, hand-drawn gem from NYICFF alum Siri Melchior (Dog Who Was a Cat Inside, Mambo) makes its first East Coast appearance following a run of major fests including Berlin, Toronto, Annecy, Seoul, and many more.

The Yellow Balloon
USA / Animation, Ben Thompson/Rob Castillo, 2010, 3 min
The true story of a dramatic event that takes place on a New York City subway, featuring a little girl and her yellow balloon.

Who’s There?
Slovakia / Animation, Vanda Raýmanová, 2009, 9.5 min
Two boys hatch out of eggs and have an imaginative adventure. Sometimes as friends, sometimes as rivals, they build a house to protect themselves from the wolf.

Germany / Animation, Verena Fels, 2010, 6 min
Isolated on the edge of society, a cow tips the balance of destiny when she attempts to make a friend.

Spain / Animation, Pablo Jordi, 2008, 3 min x 2
Stunning colors, character design, and art direction show influences of Miro in this Spanish series about the creative adventures of a group of friends living together on the animated island of Saari.

Snowflakes and Carrots
Canada / Animation, Samantha Leriche-Gionet, 2010, 4 min
A little girl steals the carrot noses from all the snowmen she can find. But why?

Precise Peter
Germany / Animation, Martin Schmidt, 2010, 5 min
An obsessive compulsive dad is excited about introducing his little boy to the joys of al fresco dining. The fish is ready, the table is set, the sun is shining, all seems perfect — but junior can’t quite get with the program.

Murphy’s Shorts
USA / Animation, Todd Hemker, 2009, 2 min
A chubby kid on a diving board keeps bouncing, higher and higher, as sister, dad, and baby watch from below with growing anticipation and concern.

Canada / Animation, Rob Silvestri, 2009, 4 min
Pig see cookie. Pig want cookie. But the cookies are frustratingly out of reach in glass jar on top of the fridge, just beyond his grasp… or are they? With inventiveness and relentless determination, Ormie employs Wile E. Coyote-type contraptions and half-baked plans in a series of increasingly desperate attempts to attain the sweet objects of his obsession.

The Best of New York International Children’s Film Festival 2011
Party Mix
Ages 8 and up. English or musical non-dialogue / digital projection / 68 mins.
Due to overwhelmingly positive feedback, we try to include NYICFF’s Party Mix and Kids Flix Mix in every festival. These compilations bring together the best of this year’s New York Children’s International Film Festival Shorts. You will recognize several favorites from PCFF 2011 as well and be introduced to a new slate of wonderful films traveling the world’s festival circuit. The program features musical and narrative works from USA, UK, Turkey, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany and Canada.

UK / Animation, Sumo Science, 2010, 2 min
Multiple Oscar®-winning studio Aardman Animations (Wallace & Gromit, Creature Comforts) has created the world’s smallest stop-motion character. Dot measures just 9mm tall and was animated using a microscope and tweezers. In this miniature escape adventure, Dot runs away from unraveling thread, jumps over pins, and hitches a ride on the back of a bee… all before grabbing a pair of nails and wielding them like swords.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
USA / Animation, Dean Fleischer-Camp, 2010, 3 min
An up-close and personal interview with Internet video star Marcel, a tiny shell with one eyeball, two shoes, and a really great personality!

Don’t Go
Turkey / Animation/Live Action, Turgut Akacik, 2010, 4 min
Awesome, thumpy, electronic disco music propels this non-stop chase scene of a movie – as a cute, pink-bellied, one-eyed CGI bunny gets chased around an apartment by a live action black cat.

Canada / Experimental Renaud Hallee, 2009, 2 min
Falling objects are synchronized to produce rhythms and patterns.

Germany / Animation, Malena Modéer, 2010, 4 min
Colorful stop motion, goofy live action, surreal homemade sets, and a ridiculous pigeon costume come together to humorous effect in the story of Johnny – a hilariously narrated, tongue-in-cheek fable about what happens to little boys who don’t drink their milk!

The Deep
USA / Animation, PES, 2010, 2 min
Metallic objects come to life in the depths of the sea, in the newest film from New York’s brilliant stop-motion artist PES – whose past NYICFF selections include Western Spaghetti, Dogs of War, and Game Over.

The Incident at Tower 37
USA / Animation, Chris Perry, 2009, 11 min
A guard at a futuristic water tower intercepts a covert band of amphibian creatures trying to destroy the tower to rehydrate their planet.

Fluffy McCloud
Ireland / Animation, Conor Finnegan, 2010, 3 min
A short film about mans’ mixed relationship with Mother Nature. Fluffy McCloud uses his powers of precipitation mostly to annoy. But when one of his pranks causes near calamity, he decides to use his meteorological skills to make people happy.

France / Animation, Patrick Jean, 2010, 2.5 min
Old-school video game icons take over New York City (and the world) in this music video for French techno-pop band Naïve New Beaters.

The Lost Thing
Australia/UK / OSCAR® WINNER BEST ANIMATED SHORT Animation, Andrew Ruhemann/Shaun Tan, 2010, 15.5 min
A boy encounters a strange creature on a beach and decides to find a home for it in a world where everyone believes there are far more important things to think about. This beautifully animated film comes from Passion Pictures, producers of past NYICFF favorites City of Paradise and Dog Who Was a Cat Inside.

USA / Animation, Kirsten Lepore, 2010, 5 min
This transoceanic love story, animated in stop motion on the beach, forest, and undersea, details a long distance friendship that blossoms between a sandman and a snowwoman who exchange gifts via a bottle in the water. But sand and snow cannot withstand water, so how can the two hope to be together?
Jungle Beat Films (part of Party Mix)

These two films are just part of many quality shorts that Sunrise Productions of South Africa have created. Using CGI animation, the stories utilize animal characters to convey situational comedy with a lesson to enjoy. The series aims to entertain, inspire and ignite children’s curiosity.

(South Africa/USA, 2009) / 4 mins.
A giraffe walking along on the savannah hits his head on the moon and breaks it…and tries to fix it.

Shout, Shout Let it All Out
(South Africa/USA, 2010) / 5 mins.
A frog’s croak runs away. As he chases to reclaim it he captures other animal sounds along the way.

ANIMATOR International Animated Film Festival
Poznań, Poland
The Award Winner’s Show
Ages 14 and up (Appropriate for older audience only. Please see detailed program notes below). Multiple countries, 2007-2011 / approx. 71 mins.
Ever wonder what you might see at a major international animation festival (versus a children’s film festival)? PCFF is thrilled to screen this year a compilation of prize-winning shorts from ANIMATOR, the youngest, but also one of the largest, animation festivals in the World. Lucky for us, ANIMATOR’s Artistic Director, Marcin Gizycki, spends half his year teaching at RISD, and he’s been a big help to PCFF from its start. Marcin has chosen all the films in this program to showcase for our teen and older audience the greatly varied techniques and kinds of storytelling that you see in top films at Animator, and other international animation festivals.

A little more about ANIMATOR: Now in its fifth year, ANIMATOR occupies the entire historic city center of Poznań, Poland, every July with a nine-day program that includes more than just hundreds of animated films from all over the World: retrospectives of renowned directors, premieres, special screenings, thematic screenings, concerts, outdoor screenings, panel discussions, exhibitions, performances, lectures, workshops, and a programs for children. One of its specialties: connecting animation and music — many of the screenings are accompanied by live music performed by groups ranging from a jazz trio to a symphonic orchestra. For more information, see www.animator-festival.com.

ANIMATOR FESTIVAL – Prize-winning short films

Tôt ou tard
Jadwiga Kowalska, Switzerland, 2007, 5 min.
The temporary interruption of the forces of nature leads to a convergence of day and night. Two animals with opposing sleep schedules have never met. Squirrel and Bat discover and develop a friendship out of this unique event.

Zhila-bila mucha (“Once there was a fly”)
Alena Oyatieva, Russia, 2009, 13 min. 30 sec.
The hazily painted and illustrated story of the life of a young fly captures the beauty and dangers it must face to survive. Some foods may nourish you, but one wrong choice may kill you.

Immanuel Wagner, Switzerland, 2010, 7 min. 34 sec.
Two bizarre figures try to get along with each other. One of them, equipped with a long, floppy nose — prone to eruption — but no arms, seems rather rude at first. The other is constantly cleaning up after him. Interspersed with Japanese cartoon-like exclamations … you might be surprised by the conclusion.

Gerald’s Last Day
Justin & Shel Rasch, USA, 2009, 11 min. 30 sec.
Gerald the dog has been scheduled for termination by the dog pound at 5:00 pm. Today is his last chance to seduce an adoptive family. Can he do it before his time runs out? This heartfelt story begs the question of whether it’s better to be yourself or try to be what you think others want.

A Trip to the Seaside
Nina Bisyarina, Russia, 2008, 7 min.
This is a beautifully drawn and painted journey of a young girl and her caretaker traveling by train to the seacoast. The characters they meet on the train and their expectations of what the coast will be like keeps the viewer in a state of suspense.

Chroniques de la poisse (“Sticky Ends”)
Osman Cerfon, France, 2010, 6 min. 17 sec.
You will not have seen a film quite like this before. Jinx has the body of a man and the head of a fish. Misfortune bubbles escape from his mouth. When one of them follows somebody, he becomes dogged by bad luck. Very bad luck… (Please take note: Contains graphic depictions of bodily injuries, dismembered body parts, and physical bullying)

Sinna mann (“Angry Man”)
Anita Killi, Norway, 2009, 20 min.
ANGRY MAN is about demon’s within and domestic violence. It tells the story of an abusive husband (taken over by the “Angry Man”), a battered wife, and a frightened, but courageous boy who enlists the help of the King of Norway to save his damaged family. Potentially disturbing, yes, but its powerful treatment of both the destruction and the restoration of hope make Angry Man worth watching. If you can get through the first 4 minutes, you’ll be rewarded. Filmmaker Anita Killi (Trollfilm AS, Norway) has won prizes and praise aplenty for her poetic use of the cut-paper medium in this film, for taking on such a difficult topic, and for demonstrating so beautifully the potential for human’s to repair, both themselves and their families. For more on the film and its making, see http://www.trollfilm.no/new/eng_sinna.html.

Angry Man also won Best Animated Short at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival in 2010. (Please take note: Frank portrayal of uncontrollable anger, domestic violence, and a young boy’s fear — for himself, his mother, and his afflicted father).

Providence Community Library Show
Ages 8 and up (Be aware that what was considered funny many years ago may be considered insensitive by standards of 2012). / approx. 60 mins.
“What did Mom or Grandma watch when they were my age?” This year we are introducing what we hope to be a yearly component of our festival. The PCL is developing a film program — drawn from their rich archive of 16mm films — that will allow younger festival-goers to take a trip back in time. Kids will get a taste of what their parents or grandparents might have watched when they were in elementary or middle school. This year’s compilation will consist of short black and white films of past comedians. The process of showing the films will be as nostalgic as the film itself. The projector will be in the auditorium! We GUARANTEE you will see genuine emulsion scratches and hear monaural sound! Stay tuned to our website for film details.

Your Shorts Are Showin’

Ages 8 and up. / approx. 70 mins.
Providence Children’s Film Festival proudly presents this year’s reel of shorts that were either invited or submitted and selected by our jury. Included is a wide assortment of animation, live action, musicals, and narratives, and some of the filmmakers are as young as YOU! Stay tuned to our website for specific titles.

Steinfliegen (Stoneflies)
Directed by Anne Walther / (Germany, 2009) / 15 mins / German with English subtitles
What is a stone with flying ambitions to do? Well, consult other strata of rock society of course. Ferdi’s mission of “in-quarry” has him consulting stones of all types. The advice given from a gem stone to a curb stone is as valuable as dirt until he meets the mountain top-rock…

Dark Side of the Lens
Directed by Mickey Smith / (UK, 2010) / 6 mins / English
Warning: Shortly after viewing this six minute film you will have to fight the urge to get an underwater camera and jump into a nearby ocean. Mickey Smith’s work ethic as a wave riding photographer is… “If I only scrape a livin’ at least it’s a livin’ worth scrapin’…if there’s no future in it… at least it’s a present worth rememberin.’” Oh to be a teenager again! Ooops, he’s in his 30’s.

Dodu – The Cardboard Boy
Directed by Jose Miguel Ribeiro / (Portugual, 2010) / 5 mins. / no dialogue
Dodu is sensitive boy limited to playing indoors for many hours of the day. Using his imagination and a cardboard box he creates extraordinary worlds inhabited by singular creatures that help him cope with his emotions and growth.

Then I Shall Reign Supreme!
Directed by Joseph Nelson / (USA, 2011) / 11 mins.
This film makes no pretensions of being anything else other than a back yard film… BUT it’s a GOOD back yard film. The imaginations of two young boys run wild into their own grown-up reenactment of a fight to save the princess. This low budget, tongue-in- cheek comedy succeeds in it’s depiction of what happens when real worlds collide with fantasy worlds. Yup, Mom trumps all knights!

The Fisherman at the Bottom of the Sea
Directed by Leszek Galysz. Written by Agnieszka Taborska. / (Poland, 2011) / 13 mins. / Polish with English subtitles
You can spend a lifetime harvesting the sea and never witness the beauty below. A fisherman is given a special invitation for a tour of the ocean bottom by a Golden Fish who has been washed ashore. Transformed into a fish form allows him a perspective into aquatic life no land creature could hope to see. This hand drawn animation from Poland beautifully conveys the abundance of life and the resplendent glory of colors below the watery horizon of the ocean’s surface.

Tale of the Mischievous Fudge Thief
Directed by Elise Kowitz / (Australia, 2010) / 13 mins. / English
This is a ONE OF A KIND film. Tale of a Mischievous Fudge Thief is a Dickensian musical set in the quaint town of Fudgeville. The story is of a very special rat and his desperate journey to become accepted as a human by the unwelcoming, fudge-obsessed townspeople.

The Yellow Balloon
Directed by Ben Thompson / (USA, 2010) / 3 mins. / English
This dramatic hand drawn story will have you gripping your seats. When a girl and her balloon are separated by the subway car doors… can the balloon survive until the next station?!

*2012 PCFF Best Short Film Winner*
Directed by Nuno Rocha / (Portugal, 2009) / 6 mins / no dialogue
Bring it janitor! This universal basketball lesson will have everyone’s inner nerd cheering. Appearances are deceiving when a night security guard challenges a janitor to some basketball.