The COVID-19 virus has altered many things that were not only planned by individuals and families, but also for businesses and the like. School, sporting events, concerts, Broadway… it’s all been affected by the pandemic. The Children’s Film Festival Seattle, at Northwest Film Forum, was also cut short in response to the virus, and the need to protect the public during this health crisis.
The virus was not going to keep the festival down. In response to the pandemic, the festival will return for it’s 15th season (May 13-17, 2020), but this time screenings will take place online.
The festival will be showing seven short film programs, showcasing the best and brightest in visual storytelling for children, and an award-winning feature film, “Supa Modo,” from Kenya. In addition, CFFS will also be including 60 animated, live action and documentary films from around the world (27 nations). All of the films and shorts are centered on the joys and challenges of childhood.
In this time of staying safe at home, the programs provide families and youth an expansive window to the greater world, inspiring empathy, understanding, and global awareness. Not only that, these films and shorts will provide hours of quality entertainment for children and their families.
“In this time, we want to reach out with high-quality content that has special meaning and can provide hope to kids and families,” says festival director Elizabeth Shepherd. “What better way to see the world than through the lens of international films that invite kids to use their imaginations and dream of ways to make the world a better place?”
All screenings will come with bonus activities—including coloring pages, discussion guides and links to filmmaking resources—to build upon the topics and fun found in the films. These are fun activities that families can do together.
Here are some highlights for this event;
- Gentle animation for the youngest viewers
- Action-packed fare appropriate for older kids and adults
- A rollicking all-ages collection of films about cats
- A topical program centering on urgent environmental issues
- An all-Spanish-language program from Latin America, for native and student speakers
- The acclaimed Kenyan feature film, “Supa Modo”
“We really look forward to welcoming both young and old to our online festival,” says Shepherd. “It’s a great place to see the world and feed your mind, and we’re aiming to provide screen time’s finest hour with these delightful short film programs and feature film.”
CFFS 2020 Online Festival Feature Film
May 13 to 17, streamable on-demand at nwfilmforum.org
Kenya’s official Oscar entry for Best Foreign Film winner and winner of Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2019 Audience Favorite Feature Film and Iron Giants Children’s Jury Prize for Best Feature Film.
(Likarion Wainaina, Germany & Kenya, 2018, in Swahili, Kikuyu and English, with English subtitles.)
For ages 11+, with a running time of 74 min.
Sometimes it takes a village to make our dreams come true. Jo, a nine-year-old, is obsessed with superheroes and dreams of becoming one to overcome her diagnosis of a terminal illness. Unable to force Jo to spend her remaining days in bed, her town community comes together to support her belief in her superpowers. Not all heroes have capes, but Jo sure does, and her powers are more inspiring than any of today’s superhero-based special effects blockbusters. Winner of more than 20 prizes at international film festivals. You can see the trailer here.
Content advisory: This uplifting film deals with difficult issues, including the impending death of a child. But the film has received acclaim for its hopeful and uplifting message and was recommended for ages 8+ at the Seattle International Film Festival. We believe it is better for older children.
CFFS 2020 [ONLINE] FESTIVAL SHORT FILM PROGRAMS
Icing on the Cake
Wednesday, May 13 — 11am
Saturday, May 16 — 9am
For ages 2+ with a running time of 68 min.
These gentle, colorful animated films — filled with curious animals and adventurous kids — are all about singing, growing up, flying high and celebrating the magic of life, in all its lovely rainbow colors.
Icing on the Cake — Selected trailers
The Cat’s Meow
Thursday, May 14 — 11am
Saturday, May 16 — 11am
Sunday, May 17 — 9am
For all ages, with a running time of 71 min.
This feline-focused (and allergy-free!) animation program is filled with cuddly cats and their adorable antics. Kitties truly make the world go ‘round in this celebration of glorious stop-motion, painted, hand-drawn and CG animation from ten cat-loving countries.
The Cat’s Meow — Selected Trailers
Valiente y Verdadero
Wednesday, May 13 — 1pm
Friday, May 15 — 11am
Sunday, May 17 — 1pm
For ages 6+ with a running time of 74 mins.
This all-Spanish language program is filled with Latin American children who are brave and true, lighting up the lives of everyone they meet. There are also two beautiful animated films from Puerto Rico and Colombia, which remind us to fly high and free in everything we do.
Valiente y Verdadero – Selected Trailers
Home Sweet Home
Thursday, May 14 — 1pm
Saturday, May 16 — 1pm
For ages 7+ with a running time of 68 min.
Home is the center of every kid’s universe, and family is the gravity that keeps their feet on the ground. This eye-popping animation program ends with a short documentary from a personal perspective that shows us why there is no place like home.
Home Sweet Home – Selected Trailers
Wild and Free
Wednesday, May 13 at 3pm
Friday, May 15 at 1pm
Sunday, May 17 at 11am
For ages 8+ with a running time of 70 min.
In these live-action shorts from Europe, South America, India and the USA, you’ll meet kids who navigate all kinds of magical twists and turns in their lives. Time travel with two friends, meet a bike-riding girl who isn’t everything she appears to be and discover how friendships can build a bridge to understanding.
Wild and Free – Selected Trailers
Thursday, May 14 at 3pm
Saturday, May 16 at 3pm
For ages 8+ with a running time of 71 min.
This imaginative collection of animated films is meant to inspire the rising generation to walk gently on the planet and take good care of all the fabulous creatures who call it home. The program’s final live-action short shows how kids can teach important lessons to adults about doing what is right for the earth.
Earthwise – Selected Trailers
Friday, May 15 at 3pm
Sunday, May 17 at 3pm
For ages 9+ with a running time of 71 min.
These stories of adventure will take you to outer space and back, with films showing what it is like to be out on your own, in a world of wild adventure and imagination, making decisions and, ultimately, finding your way back home again.
Lift-Off – Selected Trailers
PRICING & ADMISSION
Admission to online shorts programs are “pay-what-you-can” ($0 to $25) Festival passes for shorts programs are also available. Festival passes for short film programs are available for individuals and groups/families.
Admission is $10 for “Supa Modo.”
*I was not compensated for this post. I am sharing this information for the enjoyment of benefit of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted.