The New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival has announced its full slate for the 2014 edition, which runs March 7-30 at five Manhattan locations, and will include 100 new animated and live-action short films for children.
Highlights of the festival’s 17th edition include U.S. and North American feature film premieres of Amazonia (France), Boy in the World (Brazil), Aunt Hilda! (France), Foosball (Argentina), Patema Inverted (Japan). Other events include a live sing-along event featuring 2011’s The Muppets and hosted by Oscar-winning producer and composer Bret McKenzie; and LAIKA: Behind the Magic, a special presentation featuring never-before-seen footage of the studio’s upcoming feature, The Boxtrolls.
The festival will screen at four New York City locations: DGA Theater, IFC Center, Scholastic Theater, SVA Theatre and Village East Cinema.
Here’s the full rundown of the program:
SHORT FILM PROGRAMS
Featured in this year’s lineup are Feral (Daniel Sousa, Heebie Jeebies) and Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz, Short Films Two), both nominated for best animated short film at the 2014 Academy Awards.
- Shorts For Tots – (Ages 3 to 6)
- Short Films One – (Ages 5 to 10)
- Short Films Two – (Ages 8 to 14)
- Flicker Lounge: For Teens & Adults Only – (Ages 12 to adult)
- Heebie Jeebies: Spooky, Freaky & Bizarre – (Ages 10 to adult)
- Girls’ POV – (Ages 10 to adult)
- Amazonia 3D – Opening Night Film, U.S. Premiere, Live Action, France, Thierry Ragobert. Get ready to meet the cutest animal in the entire known universe – a baby capuchin monkey with impossibly huge eyes and impossibly human expressions – on a stunningly photographed 3D adventure into the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Recommended ages: 5 to adult.
- Annie: It’s The Hard Knock Life – Q&A with cast members, Documentary, United States, Joshua Seftel. In 2012, over 5,000 young girls traveled to New York City to vie for a part in the Broadway revival of Annie and a bed in Miss Hannigan’s infamous orphanage. Only eight got a part. Director Joshua Seftel takes us backstage for a behind-the-scenes look at the creative chaos that is putting on a Broadway show – from the first auditions and early choreography, to dress rehearsal calamities and opening night jitters. In English – Recommended ages: 6 to adult.
- Laika: Behind The Magic – A rare behind-the-scenes presentation from LAIKA studios, creators of the Academy Award-nominated Coraline and ParaNorman. LAIKA’s Mark Shapiro will give insights into the intricate stop-motion animation process, using footage of time-lapse production, exclusive clips of LAIKA animators at work, and a demonstration using the actual character models from of the movies. Followed by a complete screening of the film Coraline and an exclusive first look at never-before-seen footage from the upcoming LAIKA feature The Boxtrolls. Recommended ages: 9 to adult.
- Muppets Most Wanted – A special preview screening of the latest adventure from the beloved Muppet gang takes them across the globe as they embark on an international tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations including Berlin, Madrid, Dublin, and London. James Bobin, who (like us) can’t seem to get enough of the Muppets, returns to the directing chair after the 2011 hit The Muppets. Also returning is Oscar-winning songwriter Bret McKenzie, who is a star in his own right as half of the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords. Rated PG.
- The Muppets Sing-along – Join award-winning composer and producer Bret McKenzie and Muppet pal Walter (Peter Linz) in an interactive sing-along screening of the 2011 Disney hit The Muppets, suitable for Muppet lovers of all ages. Rated PG.
- Rio 2 3D – A special preview screening of the latest feature from Oscar-winning Blue Sky Animation Studio. The Rio characters are joined by Oscar nominee Andy Garcia, Grammy winner Bruno Mars, Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth, and Oscar/Emmy/Tony winner Rita Moreno. In English – Recommended: all ages.
NYICFF 2014 FEATURE FILMS
- Anina – Animation, Uruguay, Alfredo Soderguit. With an oddly comforting charm, Anina, is a quirky, warm, simply-but-beautifully animated picture with a look that seems hand crafted from materials gently worn and loved. Subtitled – Recommended ages: 7 to adult (5 to adult for Spanish speaking audiences).
- Aunt Hilda! – North American Premiere, Animation, France, Girerd/ Chieux. Jacques-Remy Girerd, creator of A Cat in Paris and Mia and the Migoo returns to NYICFF with his latest hand-drawn gem, Aunt Hilda!, a glorious throwback to the flower power classics like Yellow Submarine and The Point. Hilda lives high above the city, happily at home with tens of thousands of rare and luscious plants in her palace of a greenhouse. But down below, a new, genetically modified super-grain threatens to disrupt the delicate natural harmony. Hilda must help the Earth save itself from a very colorful biological mayhem. Subtitled – Recommended ages: 7 to adult.
- Boy and the World – U.S. Premiere, Animation, Brazil, Alê Abreu. Brazilian artist Alê Abreu brings to screen a strikingly unique visual style to show the world through the eyes of a young boy. A child, Cuca, lives a life of quiet wonder, exploring all that the countryside has to offer. His cozy life is shattered when his father leaves for the city, prompting him to embark on a quest to reunite his family. Recommended ages: 5 to adult.
- Ernest & Celestine – 2014 Oscar Nominee, Best Animated Feature, Animation, France, Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar, Staphane Aubier. NYICFF 2013 Opening Night film and Grand Prize winner returns as a Best Animated Feature Oscar-nominee! Director Benjamin Renner is our guest for the New York theatrical premiere of the new English language version, featuring Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, and Jeffrey Wright. In English – Recommended ages: 5 to adult.
- Foosball 3D – U.S. Premiere, Animation, Argentina, Juan José Campanella. Oscar-winner Juan José Campanella’s first animated film obliterated box office records in his home country of Argentina and puts Hollywood on notice that high-end CGI is not the exclusive purview of the major U.S. studios with this tale of foosball players come to life. Subtitled – Recommended ages: 7 to adult.
- House of Magic 3D – North American Premiere, Animation, France, Stassen/Degruson. 3-D maestro Ben Stassen (NYICFF 2011’s Sammy’s Adventures) returns with a rollercoaster-ride of a film filled with jack-in-the-box surprises, inventive robotic contraptions, and plenty of swooping and swooshing z-axis movement. In English – Recommended ages: 6 to adult.
- Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart – North American Premiere, Animation, France, Malzieu/Berla. Produced by Luc Besson, who gave us the 2012 opening night A Monster in Paris, this breathtaking gothic musical is the passion project of writer/director/composer Mathias Malzieu, adapted from his best-selling novel and the 2007 concept album from his rock band Dionysos. In English – Recommended ages: 8 to adult.
- Mother, I Love You – New York Premiere, Live Action, Latvia, Janis Nords.
Winner of top prizes at the Berlin and Los Angeles Film Festivals, Janis Nord’s instantly engaging second feature combines coming-of-age drama with slow-burn thriller to tell the story of a boy who is unable to extricate himself from a growing web of lies. Subtitled – Recommended ages: 9 to adult.
- Patema Inverted – North American Premiere, Animation, Japan, Yasuhiro Yoshiura. The new feature from Time of Eve director Yasuhiro Yoshiura is a perspective-twisting sci-fi adventure about two kids separated by opposite gravities. Once they master the art of navigating competing gravitational forces, they set out to evade their respective leaders and discover the secret that keeps their worlds apart. Subtitled – Recommended ages: 9 to adult.
- We are the Best! – Live Action, Sweden, Lukas Moodysson. Lukas Moodysson’s fantastic new picture about trio of 13-year-old schoolgirls trying to form a punk band is overflowing with energy and youthful exuberance. Subtitled – Recommended ages: 13 to adult.
- Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang– New York Premiere, Live Action, Spain, Óskar Santos. Fresh from premieres at Sundance and Toronto, Zip & Zap is one of the most talked about family films on the festival circuit – a classic mystery adventure in the vein of Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and The Goonies. Subtitled – Recommended ages: 7 to adult.
The full schedule for the festival and information on buying tickets can be found online at www.gkids.com.