October 22, 2010

Move over, Pixar: International kid's movies get their due at Children's Film Fest

Although it may seem that Disney and Pixar monopolize the children’s film industry, the 27th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival shows that even kid’s movies can have indie cred. Boasting over 250 award-winning films from 40 countries worldwide, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is coming to Max Palevsky Cinema.

From Sunday, October 24th to Wednesday, October 27th, Doc Films will be hosting a series of award-winning children’s films. The Max Palvesky Cinema holds the distinction of being one of only six theaters citywide that will be screening a part of this ten-day event.

The film festival targets children of all ages and backgrounds. They have films geared toward both younger and older kids, with themes and stories appropriate for all. Genres vary widely—some films are serious and show the importance of self-discovery, hard work, and triumph, while others are just downright silly and fun.

Proud to Be Me: Stories of African and African American Children follows a native Brooklyn boy back to his roots in Mozambique, where he rediscovers his true identity through teamwork and the staple of every young man’s life—soccer.

If a good mystery adventure tickles your fancy, then the Finnish musical Ricky Rapper and the Bicycle Thief will have kids dancing and guessing until the very end. Whatever a child’s (or your) taste may be, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival has a movie to suit all interests.

Kids get a chance to see a great movie, have an adventure, and share in a few laughs, but are they also learning something in the process? The Festival is tied to a larger curriculum that promotes language and fine arts, social sciences, and foreign language for students. At such an impressionable age, children are exposed to character building, and problem solving in films that promote media literacy, and most important, global and cross-cultural understanding.

Besides having a fun time at the movies, children at this age will not soon forget a foreign film that appeals to their thoughts and emotions, showing them (and proving to parents) that kids across the world act and feel just as kids at home do, and that cultural diversity is something to be celebrated. And that is the best lesson of all.