THE CLUB OF UGLY CHILDREN (Jonathan Elbers)
THE CLUB OF UGLY CHILDREN (Jonathan Elbers)

The Oscar® qualifying New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF), now in its 23rd year, runs February 21 through March 15, 2020, will present a slate of new animated, live action, and documentary features, alongside 10 short film collections, for audiences of all ages, with a dedicated focus for those aged 3-18. Tickets go on sale January 15 for Members and January 22 for the general public.

Many of the films showcased at NYICFF 2020 depict stories of kids determined to make a difference and taking self-guided steps into activism and action: FAHIM, THE LITTLE CHESS PRINCE (Pierre-François Martin-Laval, North American Premiere, 2019, France, Live Action); THE CLUB OF UGLY CHILDREN (Jonathan Elbers, International Premiere, 2019, Netherlands, Live Action); FORWARD: TOMORROW BELONGS TO US (Gilles de Maistre, East Coast Premiere, 2019, France, Documentary); FRITZI: A REVOLUTIONARY TALE (Ralf Kukula, Matthias Bruhn, East Coast Premiere, 2019, Germany/Belgium/Luxembourg/Czech Republic, Animation); TOO FAR AWAY (Sarah Winkenstette, New York Premiere, 2019, Germany, Live Action); ROCCA CHANGES THE WORLD (Katja Benrath, New York Premiere, 2019, Germany, Live Action).

NYICFF programming director Maria-Christina Villaseñor says: “We’re excited that this year’s line-up is filled with brilliant films and filmmakers, and proud that so many of the films reflect what we’ve been seeing out in the world—kids boldly taking the reins and stepping into activist roles with creativity and determination.These multifaceted features allow us to gain inspiration from fictional characters and real kids across borders and time periods, providing our audience with a snapshot of the lives and stories of young people from all around our world. We’re also emphasizing the value of viewing films and having dialogues about them together, as a communal experience in the theater—harnessing the collective power of cinema to inspire and move us, and spark meaningful conversation.”

Features for older audiences highlight the pivotal role that music plays in young people’s self-definition as they grow up, alongside wry coming-of-age stories that speak to all, including: ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND (Kenji Iwaisawa, U.S. Premiere, 2019, Japan); DAYS OF THE BAGNOLD SUMMER (Simon Bird, East Coast Premiere, 2019, U.K., Live Action); BENTO HARASSMENT (Renpei Tsukamoto, East Coast Premiere, 2019, Japan, Live Action).

As always, NYICFF offers the very best in new and highly anticipated international animated films with exclusive theatrical presentations for young and all ages audiences, ranging from the playful to the philosophical: CHILDREN OF THE SEA (Ayumu Watanabe, East Coast Premiere, 2019, Japan, Animation); SAMSAM (Tanguy de Kermel, World Premiere, 2020, France / Belgium, Animation); HILDA (Andy Coyle, World Premiere, 2020, U.K. / U.S. / Canada, Animation); THE PRINCE’S VOYAGE (Jean-François Laguionie and Xavier Picard, 2019, France / Luxembourg / Canada, Animation); A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: FARMAGEDDON (Will Becher, Richard Phelan, East Coast Theatrical Premiere, 2019, U.K., Animation); MOOMINVALLEY (Steve Box, North American Premiere, 2019, Finland / U.K., Animation)

The beauty of the natural world is explored through two Special Preview Screenings from DisneyNature: DOLPHIN REEF (Keith Scholey, 2020, U.S., Documentary); and ELEPHANT (Mark Linfield, 2020, U.S., Documentary).

BENTO HARASSMENT (Renpei Tsukamoto)
BENTO HARASSMENT (Renpei Tsukamoto)

NYICFF 2020 also showcases two countries of focus, Japan and Canada, with three new features and a Festival flashback from Japan: CHILDREN OF THE SEA (Opening Night Film, Ayumu Watanabe, East Coast Premiere, 2019, Japan, Animation); ON-GAKU, OUR SOUND (Kenji Iwaisawa, U.S. Premiere, 2019, Japan, Animation); BENTO HARASSMENT (Renpei Tsukamoto, East Coast Premiere, 2019, Japan, Live Action); MAGIC BOY (Akira Daikuhara and Taiji Yabushita, 1961, Japan, Animation); and a feature length presentation and World Premiere of the much anticipated Season Two of HILDA (Andy Coyle, World Premiere, 2020, U.K. / U.S. / Canada, Animation).

NYICFF 2020 FEATURE FILM SELECTIONS

Children of the Sea
JAPAN—EAST COAST PREMIERE
Ayumu Watanabe, 2019, 111 min.

On-Gaku: Our Sound
JAPAN—US PREMIERE
Kenji Iwaisawa, 2019, 71 min.

Bento Harassment
JAPAN—EAST COAST PREMIERE
Renpei Tsukamoto, 2019, 106 min.

Magic Boy
JAPAN
Akira Daikuhara and Taiji Yabushita, 1961, 83 min

SamSam
FRANCE/BELGIUM—WORLD PREMIERE
Tanguy de Kermel, 2020, 80 min.

Celebrate Aardman!A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
UK—EAST COAST THEATRICAL PREMIERE

HILDA (Andy Coyle)
HILDA (Andy Coyle)

Hilda
UK/US/CANADA—WORLD PREMIERE
Andy Coyle, 2020, 44 min.

MOOMINVALLEY (Steve Box)
MOOMINVALLEY (Steve Box)

Moominvalley
FINLAND/UK—NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Steve Box, 2019, 66 min.

The Prince’s Voyage
FRANCE/LUXEMBOURG/CANADA
Jean-François Laguionie and Xavier Picard, 2019, 77 min.
French with English subtitles

Forward: Tomorrow Belongs to Us
FRANCE—EAST COAST PREMIERE
Gilles de Maistre, 2019, 84 min.

Rocca Changes the World
GERMANY—NEW YORK PREMIERE
Katja Benrath, 2019, 101 min.

Dolphin Reef
US—SPECIAL PREVIEW SCREENING
Keith Scholey, 2020, 77 min.

Elephant
US—SPECIAL PREVIEW SCREENING
Mark Linfield, 2020, 86 min.

Too Far Away
GERMANY—NEW YORK PREMIERE
Sarah Winkenstette, 2019, 89 min.

Fritzi: A Revolutionary Tale
GERMANY/BELGIUM/LUXEMBOURG/CZECH REPUBLIC—EAST COAST PREMIERE
Ralf Kukula, Matthias Bruhn, 2019, 80 min.

Fahim, the Little Chess Prince
FRANCE—NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Pierre-François Martin-Laval, 2019, 107 min.

The Club of Ugly Children
NETHERLANDS—INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
Jonathan Elbers, 2019, 90 min.

DAYS OF THE BAGNOLD SUMMER (Simon Bird)
DAYS OF THE BAGNOLD SUMMER (Simon Bird)

Days of the Bagnold Summer
UK—EAST COAST PREMIERE
Simon Bird, 2019, 86 min.

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