Passionate Pursuits 2021

Director(s): multiple directors
Country: Multi-national
Language: In English or w/English subtitles
Multiple Film Types | 2021 | 85 mins
Recommended for ages 10+ (Parental Guidance: Age recommendation is based on crass behavior, intense pressure to compete, and the need to read subtitled films.)

People with a passion so strong they live, practice, or focus more effort towards their goal than anything else they know. Seeing their stories might get you inspired to do stuff! The stories told on this reel include a documentary about kids discussing the joy (and agony) of playing chess, a doc about a group of young women who find empowerment with mastering a slackline, and another film where an entire family joins a traveling circus every year. What’s your passionate pursuit?! (Most films are either no-dialogue or in English. Otherwise, they have w/English subtitles.)

THE MAGIC OF CHESS – Filmed at the 2019 Elementary Chess Championships at the Nashville Opryland resort, a group of children share their uninhibited insights about the benefits of chess.  (2019 / 5 mins / USA / dir. Jenny Schweitzer Bell / documentary / in English / all ages)

THE SHOES OF A LITTLE GIRL  (Junu Ko Jutta) – Junu, a 5-year-old girl who has trouble learning left from right is often asked by elders around her to wear her shoes correctly. After constantly trying she finally comes up with a new way to decode her confusion. (2019 / 13 mins / Nepal / dir. Kedar Shrestha / live-action / in Nepali w/English subtitles / ages 8+)

THE SLACK SISTERS – Four female slack-liners share their thoughts about the art and sport of highlining and the wisdom each has gained from the line. (2020 / 4 mins / USA / dirs. Kelly Greenheart, Jefe Greenheart / documentary / in English / ages 8+)

MY TAGALONG – A story about two Gemini brothers’ journey on the earth. The older brother wants some “alone time” but his younger brother always finds him out. It’s annoying until the younger brother’s valiant act puts him in a new light. (2020 / 7 mins / Canada / dir. Jerry Wang / animation / no dialogue / ages 8+)

TINA TIMES TWO – Tina Times Two is a surreal coming-of-age fable about a lonely girl whose wish comes true when she gains a magical friend; an exact double of herself! But the dream turns into a nightmare when her double wants to live her own life. (2020 / 15 mins / Ireland / dir. Bonnie Dempsey / live-action / in English / ages 10+)

STEPHANIE – After winning her first international title, an 11-year-old gymnast experiences both new pressures and a new degree of self-awareness. The more recognition she gets, the more she realizes that the game only has begun. (2020 / 15 mins / Belgium / dir. Leonardo van Dijl / live-action / in Dutch w/English subtitles / ages 10+)

MAGICLAND – Magicland stars the fabulous Jenny Mayers, the first black woman to be invited into the Magic Circle, the world’s premier magic society. Playful, charming and bursting with colour, this short film recreates Jenny’s enchanted home. We watch her show unfold, complete with plate-spinning, balloon-modelling, juggling and magic, as well as a special guest appearance from Jenny’s protégé, her 6 year-old granddaughter Napthalia. Magicland is a celebration of personality, magic and the happiness that performance can spread. Fall in love with Jenny, just as audiences have done over the last thirty years.  (2019 / 2.5 mins / United Kingdom / dirs. Celia Willis, Emily Stein / live-action / in English / all ages)

SLEEP MODE – Hypno, the sandman, tries to fulfil his nightly duties of putting people to sleep. This is interrupted by a particularly determined coder who is staying up to meet a deadline. Hypno tries everything in his power to get the coder to sleep, to no avail. Just as all hope is lost, he succeeds in an unexpected way. (2019 / 4.5 mins / South Africa / dir. Giulia Vanzini / animation / no dialogue / all ages)

MY FAMILY IS A CIRCUS (Circus zonder tent) – Romy (10) has to say goodbye to her classmates because she’s going to France. She’s not going on holiday; she’s going to France to work. Her family’s traveling circus will set up camp in an amusement park for a few months. Romy’s days are filled with activity. In addition to performing, she must also do homework and practice new circus tricks. Luckily, she also finds some time to relax! There’s nothing that Romy and Quintin enjoy more than running around the amusement park after it has closed. In a letter to her classmates, Romy talks about the ups and downs of her life as a circus artist and about her big dreams. (2020 / 15.5 mins / Belgium, France / dir. Nina Landau / documentary / in Dutch w/English subtitles / ages 8+)

ATHLETICUS: Mogul Skiing – Just another story of two kangaroos competing to be mogul ski champions. (2019 / 3 mins / France / dir. Nicolas Deveaux / animation / no dialogue / all ages)