This is not your Grandparent’s opera by Mozart! The title may sound familiar but that’s where the comparison ends. Take Mozart’s classic opera, mix in contemporary Harry Potter-esque elements, develop a budding love story between two time dimensions and you might be close to describing the narrative of this Magic Flute. Music in both worlds carries the day while Tim/Tamino’s epic quest to save a love in both worlds is put to the test.
A former rapper named Anas takes a job teaching hip hop in an underprivileged neighborhood of Morocco. Despite differences in religion, and politics, Anas encourages his students to bond together and break free from the weight of restrictive traditions to follow their passion and express themselves through the arts. Community resistance soon follows. (Morocco, 2021 / in Arabic w/English subtitles / 102 mins / Ages 13+ for language, crass behavior and smoking)
Reading the title might make you clap hands with your neighbor in time to the well-known chant. This wonderful documentary explores this rhythmic rite of passage, usually between young girls, in the US and around the world. Contemporary and historical footage are intertwined creating what some admiringly refer to as “hand graffiti,” “jazz of the streets” and “percussive poetry.” As it swings between games and interviews with young girls, LET’S GET THE RHYTHM has a beat; its incandescent musicality brings this hand-clapping universe to life!
How do children born into poverty find hope? This documentary follows the lives of a garbage picker, a music teacher and a group of children from Cateura, Paraguay. In this slum, they create musical instruments entirely out of garbage: first out of necessity, but the project became so much more. LANDFILL HARMONIC brings us on their journey from local village orchestra to world traveling (internet fueled) troupe whose trajectory of success is enhanced by their trash-into-music message.
Winner of the 2015 Audience Choice Award SXSW
Winner of the 2015 Audience Choice Award AFI
In this lighthearted German farce, the citizens of Bollersdorf take great pride in being perfectly average in everything: weight, age, household members and more. Bollersdorf is so average, in fact, that a market research company uses the town as a testing ground. Fortunately, a ragtag group of kindergarteners known as the Coati Gang, doesn’t fall for it. With the help of their grandparents, the gang sets out to make its town “extra” ordinary using creativity, pluck and ingenuity. A hilarious and heartwarming live-action adventure.
Thanks to the Hitler-Stalin non-aggression pact, Poltava, Ukraine, in 1941 was still a place where the fruits of civilization—in the case of Wunderkinder, music—flourished. Of course, all that changed when the Nazis invaded, and Marcus O. Rosenmüller’s achievement is to evoke those pre- and post-invasion times through the eyes of three children, all of them gifted musicians.
Pianist Larissa (Imogen Burell) and violinists Abrascha (Elin Kolev) and Hanna (Mathilda Adamik) share a great love of music and a friendship based on the joy they take from constant discovery—all three dream of playing Carnegie Hall one day. When the Nazis invade, the three of them—Larissa and Abrascha are Jewish, Hanna is German—find their friendship torn apart and their worlds collapsing through no fault of their own.
Lovingly directed as a poem to lost innocence, Wunderkinder is not a “children’s film.” It is a film from a child’s perspective that may help some families talk about the loss and destruction of World War II and the horror of the Holocaust.
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
The fifth-grade chorus of PS22 on Staten Island, N.Y., became a YouTube sensation when their teacher started posting videos of them singing. Their rousing renditions of pop songs soon earned them a national legion of fans, as well as the attention of Academy Awards producers. This joyous documentary follows the talented and diverse group of kids and their energetic instructor, as together they tackle creative differences, lost voices, and homesickness on their way to appearing in the finale of the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony. The transformative power of music shines throughout.
The 12-year-old son of the world’s greatest detective embarks on a rollicking adventure to solve the mystery of his long-lost mother’s true identity in this family-friendly, action-packed film. Growing up without knowledge of his mother’s mysterious fate leads Nono, on the eve of his bar mitzvah, on the most significant investigation of his life. “The Zigzag Kid” uses wit and humor to explore the sometimes complicated relationships between right and wrong, and how these inform love and loyalty—in a modern, beautifully filmed tale that speaks frankly to both adults and tweens. Plus, a family film that features Isabella Rosselini!
Lola lives on a houseboat called “The Pea” with her mother, but life isn’t exactly smooth sailing. She misses her long-gone Dad and doesn’t care much for her Mom’s new boyfriend. Things change when she befriends a Turkish schoolmate with problems of his own. Despite the tough subjects in this film LOLA ON THE PEA is also musical, funny, and fast-paced with a believable story that will provide much to talk about after the show.