A scene from the French animated film MIA AND THE MIGOO, playing at the NY/SF International Children’s Film Festival, September 24 – 26 at Landmark’s Embarcadero Center Cinema.

The San Francisco Film Society and the New York International Children’s Film Festival present the first NY/SF International Children’s Film Festival, a three-day celebration of diverse, enlightening, inspiring and entertaining films for kids ages 3 – 18 and their families, September 24 – 26 at Landmark’s Embarcadero Center Cinema. NY/SFICFF features short, feature, animated and documentary films from around the world with filmmaker guests in attendance, a special Opening Night party and an interactive director’s workshop.

“We are thrilled to be presenting the Film Society’s first International Children’s Film Festival in San Francisco,” said Director of Programming Rachel Rosen. “The Film Society has been showing great films to young people through Youth Education school outreach programs for the past 20 years, and it is exciting to now offer outstanding programming to kids and their families. We are particularly pleased to be partnering with the NY International Children’s Film Festival, who have established a stellar track record of offering fresh, high-quality, vibrant programming to great success for the past 14 years and who believe as we do that kids deserve and appreciate thought-provoking films.”

Eric Beckman, director of the New York International Children’s Film Festival, said of this new venture saying, “As a former San Francisco resident, I am thrilled to be creating a bicoastal footprint for NYICFF with the launch of NY/SFICFF. SFFS is a perfect partner for us, not just because of their prestige, expertise and audience, but also because they absolutely share our vision of more provocative, eye-opening film for young people.  We are excited to be working with SFFS to bring these wonderful films to Bay Area families.”

Friday, September 24    Opening Night
4:00 pm Party Mix
A highly creative and often comical collection of short film styles and stories featuring Academy Award nominees Oktapodi, French Roast and the latest Wallace and Gromit adventure from Aardman Animations’ stop-motion maestro Nick Park. Recommended for ages 8 – 16. Total running time 72 min. In English and other languages with subtitles.

5:00 pm Opening Night Party
A fun-filled party at the Punch Line Comedy Club with kid-friendly entertainment, snacks and beverages that film-and-party ticket holders can attend either after Party Mix or before Sounds Like Teen Spirit.

6:45 pm Sounds Like Teen Spirit    Director in Person
Jamie J. Johnson (England 2008)
Youthful exuberance, burgeoning talent and dreams of fame collide in this highly entertaining documentary about the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, where aspiring young performers from all over Europe sing their hearts out for a chance at international stardom. Preceded by short Western Spaghetti. Recommended for all ages. 89 min. In English and other languages with subtitles.

9:20 pm Flicker Lounge
A series of shorts for teens and adults offering an eye-opening and entertaining variety of clever, kung fu-kicking, cross-genre, mixed media, mind-bending moments, including New Zealand Sundance-winner The Six Dollar Fifty Man. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Total running time 77 min. In English and other languages with subtitles.

Saturday, September 25
10:30 am Kid Flix Mix
A colorful, musical mix of animation and live-action films from around the world with stories of stones, bunnies, mermaids, hedgehogs, horses and a beautifully rendered adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ award-winning book Lost and Found. Recommended for ages 3 – 8. Total running time 66 min. In English and other languages with subtitles.

12:15 pm Eleanor’s Secret
Dominique Monfery (France 2009)
A boy’s ability to read not only sets his imagination free, but also saves the day in this beautifully animated adventure for younger audiences. When Nat inherits a magical library in which the fairytale characters come to life, he embarks on an urgent mission to keep the characters alive for future generations. Preceded by short Hedgehug. Recommended for all ages. 76 min. In English.

2:15 pm Oblivion Island
Shinsuke Sato (Japan 2009)
A dazzling animated adventure in which young Haruka stumbles upon a portal to a subterranean world where creatures collect childhood trinkets abandoned by humans as they grow up. With the help of unexpected friends, Haruka struggles to find a lost mirror and rediscover forgotten moments of childhood love and friendship. Preceded by short Oktapodi. Recommended for ages 8 – 16. 98 min. In Japanese with subtitles.

4:30 pm Little White Lies
Marcus Rosenmüller (Germany 2009)
Set in 1931 Germany, this gripping, darkly atmospheric film centers on Alexander, a student who tells a seemingly harmless lie that becomes the basis for a hate campaign. A thought-provoking parable about how lies can create unexpected consequences. Note: Scenes of bullying and a brief implied sexual situation. Preceded by short Nature of Battle. Recommended for ages ten and up. 100 min. In German with subtitles.

7:00 pm Summer Wars
Mamoru Hosoda (Japan 2009)
This intriguing, intelligent cyberpunk/sci-fi story is a visual tour de force. A teen prodigy solves a math riddle sent to his cell phone and unwittingly breaches the security code protecting a globe-spanning virtual world, and must race against time to set things right. Note: Contains some violence and mild language. Preceded by short Hitchhiker’s Choice. Recommended for ages 11 and up. 114 min. In Japanese with subtitles.

Sunday, September 26
10:30 am Turtle: The Incredible Journey
Nick Stringer (England 2009)
This awe-inspiring nature film follows the personal story of a single loggerhead turtle as she grows into a strong-willed adult, braving the 6,000-mile journey that has been the species’ perilous ritual for millions of years. A thrilling survival adventure on par with March of the Penguins. Preceded by short Electric Car. Recommended for all ages. 81 min. In English.

12:30 pm Tahaan
Santosh Sivan (India 2008)
Set in scenic but strife-ridden Kashmir, this fable-like story of an eight-year-old boy trying to gain back his beloved pet donkey leads to a heart-thumping final climax. The film offers breathtaking views of Kashmir’s snow-covered mountain passes and shimmering lakes, while mystic Sufi singers provide a compellingly exotic musical beat. Preceded by short Fuggy Fuggy. Recommended for ages eight and up. 105 min. In Hindi with subtitles.

3:00 pm The Secret of Kells Director’s Workshop    Director in Person
Interactive presentation and post-screening Q&A with director Tomm Moore.
Tomm Moore (Ireland 2009)
Magic, fantasy and Celtic mythology come together in vivid color in this 2010 Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature, a sweeping story about the power of imagination and faith to carry humanity through dark times. Note: Viking attacks and mythic monsters may be scary for younger children. Preceded by short Bigbox Singsong John. Recommended for ages eight and up. 75 min. In English.

5:45 pm Mia & the Migoo    Director in Person
Jacques-Rémy Girerd (France 2008)
Named Best Animated Feature at the European Film Awards and created from 500,000 hand-painted frames of animation, this beautiful and thrilling eco-adventure pits a plucky, wild-haired young girl against profit-hungry land developers, with the future of life on Earth in the balance. Preceded by short Don’t Let It All Unravel. Recommended for ages 8 – 16. 92 min. In French with subtitles.

Audience members will be invited to vote for the best feature and best short film of the Festival.

On September 23 and 24 the Film Society’s Youth Education program will presentfour weekday matinee screenings of select Festival films for elementary, middle and high school classes. Admission for these screenings is free and available exclusively to Bay Area educators and students. Teachers will receive schedule information by email, and reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis by Youth Education Manager Keith Zwölfer at 415-561-5040 or kzwolfer@sffs.org.

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