Bizarro – Some films defy easy descriptions and thus this reel came to fruition. Time travel, flamingoes and pirates all have something to say here if you give them your time. Creative narratives aplenty! (Mulit-national, 2021-22 / 70 mins / Ages 8+ for subtitle reading)
ANOTHER TIME (Darb’oħra) – Ben, a young boy with a keen and curious mind, stumbles upon a charming little toyshop in the heart of a Maltese village. Intrigued by its potential mysteries, he wanders in. Among the mechanical treasures and skilled woodwork lying inside, Ben’s attention lingers on a mysterious hidden object on one of the shelves. Overwhelmed by his curiosity, he discovers something he could never have imagined, that will take him on a journey into the captivating mysteries of time and space. (2022 / 13.5 mins / Malta / dir. Sarah Zammit / Maltese w/English subtitles)
BENCH – Sometimes body language can be grossly misunderstood with not so subtle consequences. (2021 / 2 mins / UK / dir. Rich Webber / no dialogue)
BLEH – In the eyes of an imaginative preschooler, cellphone users are like zombies and there are dangers all around. (2022 / 4 mins / Netherlands / dir. Tim Alards / no dialogue)
CODE ROSE – In the open sea, a flamingo lands on an aircraft carrier. To keep the runway clear and get the planes to take off, the military have to get rid of it. But the flamingo and its congeners return relentlessly to put pink on the grey war machine. (2022 / 5 mins / France / dirs. Taye Cimon, Pierre Coëz, Julie Groux, Sandra Leydier, Manuarii Morel, Romain Seisson / no dialogue)
THE FALL – Leafie is a plucky little maple leaf who loves to groove. But when their latest performance takes an unexpected turn, the harsh realities of the season come crashing down. (2021 / 3 mins / Canada / dir. Desirae Witte / in English)
HELLO STRANGER – An astronaut lands on an unknown planet where everything is foreign at first but then becomes strangely familiar. (2021 / 6 mins / Germany / dir. Julia Ocker / no dialogue)
META – META is an animated film that takes up topics such as change, cycles, connection, and interaction in a playful and experimental way. The aim is to show that everything consists of many parts and that in the end we are all connected with each other. (2022 / 3.5 mins / Germany / dir. Antje Heyn / in English)
NAUTIBUOYS – A band of totally professional pirates attempts to fix their ship. Just what drives this ship and everything on it is more akin to Spongebob than to Pirates of the Caribbean. (2021 / 5 mins / Canada / dirs. Goonshire & Arnold Gutierrez /Rrrrr’ in English)
SUNSHINE MOTEL – Seven-year-old Rose is on holiday with her mother when she wakes up alone in the Sunshine Motel. This is a fascinating study of the motivating power of boredom especially with no parental oversight. And if left for long enough they will take matters into their own hands. (2021 / 6.5 mins / Netherlands / dir. Rosita Wolkers / Dutch w/English subtitles)
SWOP – DENTIST – Sef doesn’t want to go to the dentist so he tricks his friend Wesley into swapping heads with him. Wesley realizes too late that he has no choice but to go through with Sef’s dental treatment. Fortunately, the pain is soothed by the present he gets from Sef’s parents as consolation. It’s a head swapping world out there. (2022 / 10 mins / Netherlands / dirs. Job, Joris & Marieke / Dutch w/English subtitles)
OLD YOUNG CROW – An Iranian boy befriends an old Japanese woman at a graveyard in Tokyo. The beautiful, animated tale that evolves from this encounter is entrancing. (2022 / 12 mins / USA / dir. Liam LoPinto / in Japanese and Persian w/English subtitles)
To animate something is to give it the illusion of having life. The materials animators “bring to life” are unlimited. This year LET’S GET ANIMATED includes a whiteboard that expresses an evolving adoration between two people on a ball team, an ocean filled with creatures that look familiar in shape but whose composition is in opposition to their environment, and a textile-designed dinosaur that swallows a pathogen with a personality! Included on this reel are…
ATHLETICUS: Guides – Two flamingoes find a colorful glove on a ski slope. Of course it MUST be headwear to a flamingo! (2019 / 3 mins / France / dir Nicolas Deveaux / animation / no dialogue)
DOG OF MY DREAMS – True love doesn’t always have to be about people. Stop motion collage animation with our original, Ants on a Log song of the same title. (2020 / 2 mins / USA / dirs. Anya Rose , Julie Beth / live action & animation / in English)
FLOREANA – On a remote island in the future, people are training for an important mission. Take a look at the mechanics of this training facility and the creatures within. It’s simply otherworldly. (2018 / 4 mins / Denmark / dir Louis Morton / animation / no dialogue)
COVID BACH – This free-flowing stream of consciousness animation is set to J. S. Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. The fully hand-drawn images weave in and out between abstract and nightmarish visions. Then the dream ends . . . but does it? (2020 / 2 mins / Canada / dir Elizabeth Lewis / animation / no dialogue)
NOS QUEREMOS – Charming scribbled animation is set to an original coming of age song portraying the love of two oddball friends. (2020 / 3 mins / USA / dir Steve Mosqueda / animation / in English)
THE 7 KIDS – A wolf hired to babysit lambs. What could possibly go wrong? Who would hire such a babysitter? (2020 / 5 mins / Russia / dir Marina Karpova / animation / in English)
THE BEAUTY – 2021 Global Awareness Short Film Winner! The Beauty is a poetic journey through a fascinating underwater world, where plastic and nature become one. (2019 / 4 mins / Germany, Egypt, France / dir Pascal Schelbli/ animation / no dialogue)
PUMPER’S PARADISE – In a world populated with fitness addicts the biggest challenge they confront can be boring, everyday situations! (2019 / 2 mins / Germany / dir Eddy Hohf / animation / no dialogue)
OM NOM NOM – One day, a hungry dinosaur came across a weird jumping egg in the forest. He swallowed it, and then felt some strange rumblings in his tummy. Maybe it wasn’t such a good egg afterall… (2019 / 3 mins / Japan / dirs Minato Matsuda, Haruna Ueno, Tomoko Taiga / animation / no dialogue)
A TINY TALE – A dog is abandoned on the side of the road. Attached to a street light, he stays alone until the day he meets a young astronaut wannabe and a professional cyclist who keeps on trying to beat her highest score. (2020 / 7 mins / France / dirs Sylvain Cuvillier, Chloé Bourdic, Théophile Coursimault, Noémie Halberstam, Maŷlis Mosny, Zijing Ye/ animation / no dialogue)
THE CHIMAI AND THE STORM – After a great storm, a very old Chimai (spiritual healer) tends to the damage created in the forest and the toppling of a massive tree. She finds an unexpected surprise and a great power is revealed. (2020 / 8 mins / Argentina / dir David Bisbano/ animation / no dialogue)
WILD LEA – Lea is a strong, lonely, and floral cat who discovers the complexity and the perks of friendships after falling from a tree. A very caring ragdoll named Ciro tends to her injuries and introduces Lea to his family of fixed-broken things. Unlike Lea, they have a fear of going anywhere outside the home. The day would come when they would need to overcome that fear to help their friend. Super imaginative animation where forks, toilet paper and napkins come alive! (2019 / 9 mins / Colombia / dir María Teresa Salcedo Montero/ animation / in Spanish w/English subtitles)
ATHELETICUS: Sled – End of the day for the bobsleigh managers. Which means it’s time to party – and stuff yourself with fish. (2019 / 3 mins / France / dir Nicolas Deveaux / animation / no dialogue)
We are delighted to be able to re-present this Festival Flashback from five years ago!
Cathy’s tenth birthday is tough enough without her eccentric father giving her an egg as a gift along with a warning: “Be there when it is born so the bird recognizes YOU as its mother.” After a game of hide-and-seek goes awry, Cathy’s friend Margaux unknowingly becomes the “mother.” Unfortunately for the bird and Margaux, her parents believe Margaux is unable to care for this pet from her wheelchair. It takes a duckling, a great friend, and a temporary flight from home to alter everyone’s understanding of life’s limitations.
Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly is a 56-minute narrated film that unfolds along the shores of Cape Ann to the heart of Mexico’s forested volcanic mountains. Every stage of the butterfly’s life cycle is experienced in vibrant close-up, from mating to egg to caterpillar to adult, and set against the backdrop of sea and forest, sun and wind.
By the millions the intrepid Monarchs journey thousands of miles. The most magical thing is that this migration happens in our midst, unfolding in backyards, farms, meadows, and along the shoreline, wherever milkweed and wildflowers grow.
No other butterflies in the world journey thousands of miles over such a vast area. Monarchs do not see borders, religion, ethnicities, or political differences. They are a symbol of unity, ecologically linking Canada and Mexico, and nearly every region within the United States.
The Monarchs are in great peril. Although the butterfly’s spectacular migration evolved over millennia, the last decades of human activity have put this phenomenon in grave danger. Beauty on the Wing is a film for all ages, created to instill a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between habitats, wildflowers, and pollinators, and the vital role they play in our interconnected ecosystems.
Filmed in Gloucester, Massachusetts and the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserves at Estado de México and Michoacán, the film illuminates how two regions, separated by thousands of miles, are ecologically interconnected.
This futuristic film, with BLADE RUNNER-esque grit, depicts a world where robots are as prolific as cell phones are today. Since his mother passed away, Tibor, age 11, has relied more strongly than ever on his lifelong friend T.I.M. (The Incredible Machine). T.I.M. is in need of a major overhaul, and so Tibor’s father trades T.I.M. in for an upgrade. But how do you upgrade a “friend”? A peril-filled quest, Tibor’s search for T.I.M. puts his friendship to the ultimate test.
No classroom for these kindergarteners: In Switzerland’s Langnau am Albis, a suburb of Zurich, children four to seven years of age go to kindergarten in the woods every day, no matter what the weatherman says. The filmmakers follow the forest kindergarten through the seasons of one school year to make their documentary film “School’s Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten.” This eye-opening film looks into the important question of what it is that children need at that age. There is laughter, beauty and amazement in the process of finding out.
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. Director Michel Ocelot (“Azur & Asmar,” PCFF 2011) blends history with fairytale as viewers are whisked off to animated enchanted lands full of dragons, werewolves, captive princesses, sorcerers and enormous talking bees. 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.
“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 cinema
What if you found something that made you wonder if you really know your 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.
Sometimes a carefully placed kiss on the cheek can stay with you longer than a clumsy vampire’s bite to the neck. This first feature starring Zoe Kazan (“It’s Complicated,” “Revolutionary Road”) is on one level a very simple story: a look at the quiet emotional crises of a 20-year-old college student on spring break. But it has been crafted with such a skilled, subtle hand that it holds our interest without noticing how it’s done.
“The Exploding Girl” confronts the mysteries of everyday life by focusing not on life’s dramatic moments but on the low-key spaces in between. With all of the awkwardness that never makes it into a Hollywood film, this is a great film for teens coming of age to see with Mom or Dad.
“This quietly poetic little gem contains many beautiful things, not least of which is leading lady Zoe Kazan, who lets every scene billow and swirl around her effortlessly.” Joe Neumaier – New York Daily News
“The Exploding Girl” is a lovely, languorous film that does much with little and leaves you feeling like you’ve witnessed some minor miracle. Kazan’s done some good work in supporting roles, but this should put her on the map as the real deal.” Laura Clifford – Reeling Reviews
Travel to the wilds of Africa for a folktale that will enchant the entire family. An elder tribesman spins an epic, fireside tale of tribal history, captivating young listeners from the start with the birth of a white lion named Letsatsi. His white fur sets him apart from the other lions, making him an outcast in his pride and a target for predators. For the Shangaan people, a white lion is legendary, a messenger from the gods. A young Shangaan tribesman named Gisani takes it upon himself to protect Letsatsi at all costs. As he matures, he needs to survive on his own, learning from other lions on his way across the South African plains and into the realm of the most dangerous predator: a human trophy hunter.
Shot on location in South Africa, “The White Lion” inspires awe with its lush scenery and intimacy with its wild subjects. Young audiences will love the beautiful wild animals and dramatic suspense, while older audiences will plumb the depth of a unique coming-of-age story that is creatively told with an appreciation for the natural world.