Two orphaned siblings (ten-year-old Pari and her brother, eight-year-old Chotu) leave an abusive aunt in search for medical help to bring back Chotu’s eyesight. In a mystical tale they encounter the best and the worst of Indian society on their search for a Bollywood star who offers financial assistance. During their quest you can feel the heat, smell the curries, enjoy the colors and music from the other side of the world.
Winner BEST FILM Generation KPlus Berlin Crystal Bear 2015
If heights make you nervous, you might want to find another movie! 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.
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).
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
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. To complete a magical illuminated manuscript, young Brendan must overcome his deepest fears on a dangerous quest through an enchanted forest beset by barbarians. Will his determination and artistic vision conquer darkness and show that enlightenment is the best fortification against evil?
Parkour – a movement discipline based on French military obstacle-course training – might be considered controversial, but seeing it is not. Cedric Dahl’s documentary follows five American parkour practitioners who share this passion for movement. Characterized as a physical “type of freedom,” “kind of expression,” and “state of mind,” parkour has influenced the stunts in action films from Bond to Bourne. But there’s much more to it than chasing the bad guy with acrobatic moves. As one practitioner comments, “If you listen to the movement it teaches us to touch the world and interact instead of being sheltered by it.”
Three countries. One passion. Three hundred bodies — climbing, reaching the sky to build a human tower.
In Mumbai, India, a team of men attempt to break the Indian record for biggest human tower at the one-day Dahi Handi Festival. In Vilafranca del Penedès, Spain, a group of castellers ( climbers) formed by men, women and children share their passion with the world following a tradition that goes back 400 years. A legendary coach takes his passion to Santiago, Chile, hoping to empower and help the local groups to improve their performances while unifying them as a community.
The film cuts between the three countries, leading to a major climatic scene that will take your breath away and keep you on the edge of your seat. All it takes is one shaky foot and the human tower falls, sending hundreds of bodies tumbling in the rain or into the mud or onto the crumbling pavement of a forgotten neighborhood. A passion beyond race, borders, and ages. A global story of fearless skills heart-pounding suspense and also of human connection.
Why Make Human Towers? Human towers are medicine for the soul. You risk your life for a moment of sublime camaraderie and community. Trust is paramount. All it takes is one shaky foot and the entire tower falls, sending you and hundreds of others tumbling into the air, onto each other and then onto the pavement. Building human towers is more than a quirky attraction, more than an international sport and more than a refuge for lost youth. It’s more even than a thirst for the glory of winning. A human tower, when done right, represents an unparalleled passion for human connection that goes beyond race, borders and ages. In this sense, the world’s best human tower builders represent all of us — all people, all communities, all nations — in our hope for a better future.
“Gabriel” is a story of friendship and teenage dilemmas, with a touch of both mystery and comedy. A family tragedy left 12-year-old Tomek living with his grandparents from infancy. His desire to meet his father inspires a road trip full of dangerous adventures. A mysterious friend (Gabriel) with impeccable timing keeps the journey alive. The closer Tomek gets to his father, the closer he discovers the secret of Gabriel.
So you know right away, the bears in the title have nothing to do with cuddly, saccharine, anthropomorphic animations. The Swiss Alps provide the backdrop for this intriguing tale that reaches across centuries to unite two girls in a shared quest. Clara, a 13-year-old with an affinity for nature, discovers an ability to see through time when touching certain objects around the farm. She senses the peril of another young girl 200 years before. In working to lift an ages-old curse, Clara bravely attempts to repair both the past and the present.
Played at 2014 PCFF to celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of Japan’s masterpieces of animation.
One of the most endearing and internationally renowned films of all time, a film that Roger Ebert called “one of the five best movies” ever made for children, “My Neighbor Totoro” is a deceptively simple tale of Satsuki and Mei, two young girls who move with their father to the countryside while their mother convalesces in a nearby hospital. They soon discover that the surrounding forests are home to a family of Totoros, gentle but powerful creatures who live in a huge and ancient camphor tree and are seen only by children. Based on Miyazaki’s own childhood imaginings, Totoros look like oversized pandas with bunny ears, the largest of which takes the girls on spinning-top rides through the tree tops, introduces them to a furry, multi-pawed Catbus—a nod to Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat—and ultimately brings the two much closer together as sisters.
Beneath the film’s playfulness and narrative simplicity lie depths of wisdom. As with much of Miyazaki’s work, at its core “My Neighbor Totoro” is about humankind’s relationship to the Earth. The film is infused with an almost spiritual reverence for the power of nature (a philosophy tied to the ancient Shinto belief that every object in nature has a soul). Everything that surrounds us, from light-dappled tree groves, to the marvelous clouds, echoes the density and lusciousness of life. Protected by the Totoros, we know no harm will come to our two heroines in the forest’s sunlit glades and mysterious shadows. The girls may be awed by the power and majesty around them, but they understand instinctively that nature has no malice. The viewer is left with a sense of wonder at the beauty, mystery and preciousness of the world all around us.
Still mourning the death of his mother, gentle nine-year-old Finn also has to struggle with his father’s insistence that he play soccer. When Finn meets a mysterious old man playing a violin at an abandoned farm, the beauty of the music entrances him. Determined to learn how to play, he sneaks away for lessons. Finding comfort and strength in the music, Finn seems to have found his calling…and much more. Pay attention! There are twists in this story that will make you want to see it twice!