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A scene from the documentary CHANDANI: THE DAUGHTER OF THE ELEPHANT WHISPERER, playing at the NY/SF International Children’s Film Festival, October 21 – 23 at San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema and Letterman Digital Arts Center.

The second NY/SF International Children’s Film Festival, a three-day celebration of diverse, enlightening, inspiring and entertaining films for kids and teens ages 3-18 and their families, will run October 21 – 23 at San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema and the Premier Theater, Letterman Digital Arts Center.

“The inaugural Children’s Film Festival in 2010 was such a great success and a testament to the demand for — and appreciation of — high quality international films, from Bay Area kids and families,” said Joanne Parsont, SFFS director of education. “We have been working hard to cultivate those audiences over the last year and are really looking forward to bringing them another fun and festive program in 2011. We are especially pleased to be able to showcase this great slate of films in two of San Francisco’s preeminent theaters, with two 3-D offerings at Lucasfilm’s Premier Theater on Opening Night and a full weekend of films at the new San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema.”

See lineup below.

All programs at San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema, except as noted.

Friday, October 21 Opening Night

Premier Theater, Letterman Digital Arts Center

5:00 pm Sammy’s Adventures: The Secret Passage

Ben Stassen (Belgium 2010)

This delightful eco-adventure is an immersive 3-D experience, taking you on an animated undersea journey with Sammy, a sea turtle embarking on a 50-year odyssey around the world-and a lifetime of adventure. Vibrant visuals are accompanied by a lively soundtrack featuring pop songs by Bruno Mars and Michael Jackson. 85 min. In English. Preceded by short The Deep. Recommended for all ages.

6:00 pm Opening Night Party

Palm Room, San Francisco Film Centre, 39 Mesa Street, The Presidio

A fun-filled party with face painting, butterfly tattoos, shadow puppets, music, kid-friendly food, drinks and complimentary grown-up grape juice that film-and-party ticket holders can attend either after Sammy’s Adventures or before Tales of the Night. Attendees are encouraged to come in costume, like the costume-changing characters in Tales of the Night.

7:30 pm Tales of the Night

Michel Ocelot (Les contes de la nuit, France 2011)

Renowned French animation auteur Michel Ocelot marks his first foray into 3-D animation using his unique shadow puppet style to tell six different fables each unfolding in an exotic locale. History blends with fairy tale in enchanted lands full of dragons, werewolves, sorcerers, captive princesses and brave warriors. 84 min. In French with subtitles. Preceded by short Don’t Go. Recommend for ages seven and up.

Saturday, October 22

10:00 am Tigers and Tattoos – and More

Karla von Bengston (Denmark 2010)

Maj and her tattoo artist uncle Sonny make a hasty escape after she foolishly engraves her own artwork on a burly customer. They embark on an unexpected adventure, discovering a fairy-filled forest and a circus family with a man-eating tiger. In Danish with English voiceover. Preceded by shorts The Happy Duckling, Chicken Cowboy and The Wooden Pirate with the Flesh Leg. Total running time 63 min. Recommended for ages five and up.

12:00 pm Party Mix

This entertaining, thought-provoking and visually stunning collection of animated and live-action short films from around the world includes the NYICFF Grand Prize-winning Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, 2010 Oscar winner The Lost Thing and the Guinness World Record holders for both the smallest and largest stop-motion animation films, Dot and Gulp, produced by multiple-Oscar-winning studio Aardman Animations. Total running time 68 min. Recommended for ages 7-14.

2:15 pm The Storytelling Show

Jean-Chrisophe Roger (France/Luxembourg 2010)

In this hilarious animated comedy, a brother and sister enter their father in a reality TV show contest, where dads compete to tell the best bedtime stories. Inspired by the filmmaker’s childhood memories, it’s a raucous tribute to the joys of imagination and the limitless possibilities of storytelling. 77 min. In French with subtitles. Preceded by short Johnny. Recommended for ages seven and up.

4:15 pm Girls’ POV

This eye-opening and engaging selection of short films celebrates the trials and triumphs of girls from different cultures, countries and backgrounds. Featuring NYICFF jury-award winner Chalk and BAFTA winner I-Do-Air, the program steers through a wide range of issues and emotions from friendship and rivalry to jealousy and love, from arranged marriages to eating disorders. Total running time 82 min. Recommended for ages 9-16.

7:00 pm Echoes of the Rainbow

Alex Law (Hong Kong 2010)

Set in 1960s Hong Kong, this graceful and poignant story about the family of an illiterate shoemaker focuses on his eight-year-old son, nicknamed Big Ears, who idolizes his older brother and dreams of being an astronaut. But when a family tragedy strikes, Big Ears must learn how to deal with love and loss, good times and bad. Written by Alex Law. Photographed by Charlie Lam. With Buzz Chung, Aarif Lee, Simon Yam, Sandra Ng, Ann Hui. 117 min. In Cantonese, Mandarin and French with subtitles. Distributed by Mei Ah Entertainment. Recommended for ages ten and up.

Sunday, October 23

10:00 am Kid Flix Mix

Perfect for youngest audiences, this colorful and musical mix of the best animated films from around the world features chatty birds, beatboxing cats and one very hungry pig. From Slovakia to Spain, filmmakers demonstrate a range of styles, using everything from hand-drawn to computer-generated animation and mixed media collage with characters made from patterned fabrics, burlap and buttons. Total running time 62 min. Recommended for ages 3-6.

12:15 pm Sandman and the Lost Sand of Dreams     

Director in person

Sinem Sakaoglu, Jesper Møller (Germany 2010)

Ever wonder where you go when you sleep? In this fantastical stop-motion adventure, six-year-old Milo is transformed into an animated character and swept into the secret nocturnal Dreamland on a mission to thwart the nefarious schemes of Habumar, creator of nightmares. 80 min. In English. Preceded by short Ormie. Recommended for all ages.

2:45 pm Chandani: The Daughter of the Elephant Whisperer

Arne Birkenstock (Germany/Sri Lanka 2009)

Chandani dreams of following in the footsteps of her father and becoming the first female mahout-a guardian of wild elephants. Set in the Sri Lankan tropics, this documentary is a stunning tale of ambition, tradition, gender bias, familial bonds and playful pachyderms. Photographed by Marcus Winterbauer. 86 min. In English and Sinhalese with subtitles. Preceded by short Dot. Recommended for ages eight and up.

5:30 pm Aurélie Laflamme’s Diary 

Director in person

Christian Laurence (Le journal d’Aurélie Laflamme, Canada 2010)

Aurélie Laflamme suspects she’s an alien. But she’s really just a teenager navigating the strange conventions of adolescence on planet Earth. Facing teachers, tampons, fake tans and first crushes, she’s an endearingly awkward French Canadian version of a Judy Blume character. Written by India Desjardins. Photographed by Martin Leon. With Rose Adam, Valérie Blais, Genevieve Chartrand, Édith Cochrane. 108 min. In French with subtitles) Preceded by short Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. Recommended for ages eight and up.

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