From April 7 through 23, TIFF Bell Lightbox welcomes the next generation of film lovers for the 20th anniversary of TIFF Kids, the premier festival for children ages 3 to 13.
The TIFF Kids International Film Festival kicks off on Opening Night with the premiere of Kelly Asbury’s animated film Smurfs: The Lost Village. In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. The festival’s Closing Night screening is the Canadian premiere of the first four episodes of Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, directed by Goro Miyazaki of the acclaimed Studio Ghibli and featuring a lead voiceover performance by Gillian Anderson.
Other highlights include the 15th anniversary screening of the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival People’s Choice Award winner Whale Rider. This year’s shorts consist of 18 diverse programs showcasing over 125 Canadian and international live-action and animated films that address important issues faced by kids such as making new friends, exploring new cultures, and embracing diversity — in both families and circumstances. The films deal with a range of themes including resilience, empathy, exploration, home, and self-discovery.