Film festival features international movies for kids
Around the world in 44 films
Monday, July 16, 2012
From Brazil to Switzerland to India, the International Children's Film Festival is bringing your kids a taste of the world in doses they can handle: three to five minute movies.
The festival, produced by the International Children's Media Center and curated by Executive Director Nicole Dreiske, will be this weekend at University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. It moves
"This is a specialized idea that I've had for a long time," says Dreiske. "The idea was to get the best of the best and distill it into a festival that would be a world-class event for small and mid-size venues, and that's what we've done."
The film fest will showcase films from 19 countries, arranged in two short programs for kids 2-5, one for kids 5-8, and another for kids 8-10. Each short program is focused around a central theme, which Dreiske says creates a "beautiful mosaic of experiences."
With the constant debate surrounding the amount of television children should be watching, a film festival for kids could be deemed controversial. Dreiske, however, argued that the festival actually benefits children because it promotes critical thinking.
"Our goal is to get children to watch mindfully and absorb what they like and don't like, so that they can talk about it afterwards," Dreiske says.
"Giving them the tools to think and talk about what they watch is so important. It jumpstarts the ability to process what they are consuming, and this is one of the most vital 21st century skills we can give our children."
Dreiske and a selection committee as well as multiple focus groups of children viewed each film. "Anywhere between 300 and 400 hours of viewing has gone into the curating of this festival. We've really looked into the impact they will have on children."
There are award-winning, age-appropriate movies in every program that aim to expose children to global cultures.
"Parents care about the quality of what their children are watching," says Dreiske. "And an international film festival is a great way to entertain children while simultaneously opening their minds to the world in new ways."
For a complete schedule, check online at icmediacenter.org/icfilmfest.