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THE HOUSE OF MAGICTHE HOUSE OF MAGIC

The TIFF Kids International Film Festival, returns for its 17th year at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto from April 8 to 21, 2014, with a slate full of premieres of some of the best films from around the world for children aged 3 to 13. The TIFF Kids Festival kicks off on Opening Night with the Canadian premiere of RIO 2, the all-star sequel to the smash-hit 2011 animated adventure, reuniting audiences with Blu and Jewel, voiced by Oscar® nominee Jesse Eisenberg and Oscar® winner Anne Hathaway, and wraps with the Closing Night Film THE HOUSE OF MAGIC, a gorgeously animated 3D feature from Belgium about a young abandoned cat who finds a new home in an enchanted mansion. 

TIFF Kids Festival 2014 features a total of 112 films, comprising 28 features and 84 shorts, hailing from 31 countries, including Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Israel, China, Poland, Russia, and many more. 

FEATURE FILM PRESENTATIONS

TIFF Kids Festival is pleased to present the following 29 feature films:

African Safari, dir. Ben Stassen, Belgium
North American Premiere
Take your seat in our customized hot air balloon and join us on the 3D safari adventure of a lifetime. Our expedition starts in  the desert dunes of Namibia and travels across the entire African continent, through spectacular landscapes including the  Kalahari Desert, Okavango, Victoria Falls, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti heading up to Mt. Kilimanjaro. Soar over herds of  big game and ride in the jeep where you’ll get uncomfortably close to elephants and cheetahs. This is the real wild Africa with no fences! Be sure to close your tent at night…
Recommended for ages 10 and up

AninA, dir. Alfredo Soderguit, Uruguay/Colombia
Toronto Premiere
Anina Yatay Salas is a ten-year-old girl who does not like her name. Each part is a palindrome, which means it reads the same both forwards and backwards. Her schoolmates are always teasing her about this, especially Anina’s arch-enemy Yisel. An unusual punishment for fighting with Yisel gives Anina a different perspective on life both on and off the playground, in this beautifully animated adaptation of the 2003 book by author and illustrator Sergio López Suárez.
Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Antboy, director: Ask Hasselbalch, Denmark
Twelve-year-old Pelle accidentally gets bitten by an ant and develops unimaginable superpowers. With help from his friend, comic-book nerd Wilhelm, Pelle creates a secret identity as the superhero Antboy and becomes a local crimefighter. When a supervillain, The Flea, enters the scene, Antboy must step up to the challenge.
Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Antboy, director: Ask Hasselbalch, Denmark
Twelve-year-old Pelle accidentally gets bitten by an ant and develops unimaginable superpowers. With help from his friend, comic-book nerd Wilhelm, Pelle creates a secret identity as the superhero Antboy and becomes a local crimefighter. When a supervillain, The Flea, enters the scene, Antboy must step up to the challenge.
Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Casper and Emma’s Winter Vacation (Karsten og Petra på vinterferie), dir. Arne Lindtner Næss, Norway
International Premiere
Casper and Emma goes off to a cabin for their winter vacation. They play in the snow and have a great time together — until Peter shows up! Peter is really good at all kinds of things, and Emma thinks he’s just fantastic. Casper does everything he can to prove he’s good at stuff too — but is this the way to win Emma back?
Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, dirs. Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, USA
Following the special Story Mobs event!
Bill Hader, Anna Faris and Andy Samberg lend their voices to this smash-hit animated comedy, about an aspiring inventor whose loony new invention causes food to literally fall from the skies.
Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Felix, dir. Roberta Durrant, South Africa
Toronto Premiere
Thirteen-year-old Felix dreams of becoming a saxophonist like his late father, Zweli, of the famous Bozza Boys band, despite his mother Lindiwe’s disapproval. Felix’s world is turned upside down when he wins a scholarship to a prestigious school. Wanting to prove himself, he auditions for the school concert, but he can’t read music. Two aging ex-Bozza Boys give Felix a crash course on the saxophone and teach him about his musical roots and father’s past—but can his mother come to celebrate Felix’s musical talent?
Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Finn, dir. Frans Weisz, Netherlands
Toronto Premiere
Finn is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his single dad in a small village. One day, Finn hears a stranger playing a violin in an old farmhouse nearby, and he becomes entranced by the beauty of the music. But Finn’s father forbids him from visiting the stranger or playing the instrument.
Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Gabriel, dir. Mikolaj Haremski, Poland
Toronto Premiere
Tom is passionate about cars and spends all his free time in the garage. Under the watchful care of mechanic Raszynski, he discovers the secrets of building cars. One day, Tom decides to find his unknown father and runs away from his grandparents, with whom he has lived since his mother’s death, and sets out on what becomes a dangerous journey. At the beginning of his escapade he gets into trouble, which he overcomes with the help of new friend, Gabriel. Tom begins to learn that Gabriel has supernatural abilities. As their journey continues, Tom gets closer to finally knowing his father, and discovering the mystery of Gabriel.
Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Giraffada, dir. Rani Massalha, France/Germany/Italy/Palestine
A young Palestinian boy and his veterinarian father make an incredible journey to transport a giraffe from Israel to the West Bank’s Qalqilya Zoo, in this inspirational drama based on a true story.
Recommended for ages 10 and up.

I Swan, dir. Kong Sheng, China
Toronto Premiere
Holly, traumatized by her mother’s accidental death, develops a selective mutism. Hoping to help her recover, her father takes her to the natural wetland where he works. Holly befriends a wounded swan and nurtures it back to health. The swan’s company also helps Holly become happy again, and eventually overcome the trauma of her mother’s death.  Unfortunately, a man with evil intentions steals the swan, leading Holly and her father to begin a difficult search for her best friend.
Holly befriends a wounded swan 9 and up

Kick It! (Kule kidz gråter ikke), dir. Katarina Launing, Norway
North American Premiere
Anja loves soccer more than anything else, but when a serious illness forces her off the field she receives help from a very unexpected source.
Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Knight Rusty (Ritter Rost), dir. Thomas Bodenstein, Germany
Canadian Premiere
Knight Rusty is in for the adventure of his life: just as his dream of winning a big tournament comes true, he is falsely accused of theft. Stripped of his knightly honour and his castle, he sets out to redeem himself and to win back the heart of his damsel. Can he also defeat the evil prince and save the kingdom?
Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants (Minuscule – La vallée des fourmis perdues), dirs. Thomas Szabo, Hélène Giraud,
France
Canadian Premiere
In a peaceful forest, the remains of a picnic trigger a ruthless war between rival ant colonies, obsessed with gaining control of the same prize: a box of sugar cubes! Amidst this struggle a young ladybug befriends a black ant and helps him save his people from the horrible red ants…
Recommended for ages 8 and up.

On the Way to School (Sur le chemin de l’école), dir. Pascal Plisson, France
Toronto Premiere
This touching, globe-trotting documentary travels from Kenya to Patagonia, Morocco and India to show the incredible physical obstacles that some children must face every day simply to get to the classroom on time.
Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Pim & Pom, The Big Adventure (Pim & Pom, Het Grote Avontuur), dir. Gioia Smid, The Netherlands
Toronto Premiere
Feline friends Pim & Pom must fend for themselves when they are separated from their beloved owner, in this charming animated adventure based on the long-running Dutch comic strip.
Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Regret! (Spijt!), dir. Dave Schram, The Netherlands
Toronto Premiere
Based on the book by popular Dutch author Carry Slee, this all-too-realistic story about a teenager relentlessly tormented by his peers speaks powerfully to the devastating consequences that can result if young people don’t stand up and speak out against bullying.
Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Rio 2, dir. Carlos Saldanha, USA
Canadian Premiere
Introduction and Q+A with director Carlos Saldanha!
It’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids in Rio 2, after they’re hurtled from that magical city to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all — his father-in-law. All our favorite Rio characters are back, and they’re joined by Oscar® nominee Andy Garcia, Grammy® winner Bruno Mars, Tony® winner Kristin Chenoweth and Oscar/Emmy®/Tony winner Rita Moreno. Rio 2 also features new Brazilian artists and original music by Janelle Monáe and Wondaland.
Recommended for ages 7 and up.

School of Babel (La Cour de Babel), dir. Julie Bertuccelli, France
Canadian Premiere
Shot over one school year at La Grange-aux-Belles secondary school in Paris’ 10th arrondissement, this inspiring documentary follows young newcomers to France as they try to adapt to life in their new country.
Recommended for ages 11 and up.

Side by Side, dir. Arthur Landon, United Kingdom
North American Premiere
When their grandmother’s illness threatens them with separation, a young brother and sister embark on an unforgettable journey through the Scottish wilderness, in this heartfelt adventure tale that celebrates loyalty, perseverance, and the bond between siblings.
Recommended for ages 10 and up.

The Boxcar Children, dirs. Dan Chuba, Mark Dippe, USA
World Premiere
Meet Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny, four orphaned siblings who mysteriously appear in a small town on a warm summer night. No one knows who these young wanderers are or where they have come from. The children make a home for themselves in an old abandoned boxcar in the woods. In this secret place they can keep their family together and safe from the one person who wants to break them apart. A touching tale of family togetherness based on the classic 1920s children’s book by Gertrude Chandler Warner.
Recommended for ages 6 and up.

The Contest (MGP Missionen) dir. Martin Miehe-Renard, Denmark
North American Premiere
When Sawsan’s parents forbid her from performing on the country’s most popular TV singing contest, her best friend Karl hatches a plan to get her to the show’s big finale.
Recommended for ages 11 and up.

The Famous Five 3 (Fünf Freunde 3) director: Mike Marzuk, Germany.
International Premiere
In an old shipwreck, the Famous Five discover a mysterious brass locket. A local girl, Joe, believes that this is the key to a lost pirate treasure. Joe reveals that an investor wants to banish her tribe from their bay to build a tourist resort, and this treasure is her last chance to save her home. Together, the kids must embark on a treasure hunt through the dangerous jungle, and escape from a gangster couple on trail, as well as highly poisonous insects at every turn.
Recommended for ages 11 and up.

The House of Magic, dirs. Ben Stassen, Jérémie Degruson, Belgium
Introduction and Q+A with director Ben Stassen!
Canadian Premiere
Seeking shelter from a storm, an abandoned young cat named Thunder sneaks into a mysterious mansion owned by retired magician Lawrence, a.k.a. “The Illustrious Lorenzo.” Lawrence shares his fairy-tale world with many animals and a dazzling array of automatons and gizmos capable of whipping up breakfast while rolling out a spectacular song-and-dance routine.  He soon makes Thunder feel welcome, but Jack the rabbit and Maggie the mouse start plotting to get him kicked out. When Lawrence ends up in the hospital, his nephew tries to trick him into selling the house, but its ragtag inhabitants develop a spooky strategy to defend their home. They turn their house into a haunted mansion, using Thunder as their secret weapon…
Recommended for ages 8 and up.

The Rooster of St-Victor (Le Coq de St-Victor), dir. Pierre Greco, Canada
Toronto Premiere
Although the annoyingly punctual rooster keeps the town of St-Victor motivated with his ear-splitting morning crow, one group of sleep-deprived citizens has had enough of having their slumber disrupted. But when their plan to rid themselves of the rooster causes the village’s fortunes to spiral, their fellow townspeople must find the fowl before the whole town goes under!
Recommended for ages 7 and up.
Presented in French; no English subtitles.

The Tough Guys (De tøffeste gutta), dir. Christian Lo, Norway
North American Premiere
Considering himself to be a superhero, eleven-year-old Modulf deliberately attracts the attention of the school bullies in order to protect his fellow students; but when his new friend Lise gets in serious trouble after trying to bring the bullies to justice, he’s forced to choose between being a superhero or a good friend.
Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Windstorm (Ostwind), dir. Katja von Garnier, Germany
Toronto Premiere
Having failed her exams, fourteen-year-old city girl Mika is sent off to her grandmother’s country home. At the stables she forms a mystical bond with the untamed stallion Windstorm, and discovers that within her lies the gift of a true horse whisperer.
Recommended for ages 9 and up

Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang (Zipi y Zape y el club de la canica), dir. Óskar Santos, Spain
Naughty twins Zip & Zap are punished and sent to summer school at Hope, a strict re-education center run by Falconetti, who rules with a heavy hand and an eye-patch and forbids all forms of recreation and entertainment. They form the Marble Gang, the children’s resistance, in order to defy the evil headmaster. Guided by intelligence, bravery and unbreakable faith in friendship, they uncover a mysterious secret hidden deep within the school and end up having the most exciting adventure of their lives.
Recommended for ages 9 and up. 

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