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Belmont World Film Family Festival: Days 1 and 3
January 18, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 10:30 am, repeating until January 19, 2019
An event every day that begins at 10:30 am, repeating until January 20, 2019
An event every day that begins at 10:30 am, repeating until January 21, 2019
Belmont World Film‘s 16th Annual Family Festival, “Where Stories Come Alive,” offers nearly four full days of some of the world’s best films for children and adults, as well as a live concert on opening night accompanying the silent films of George Méliès (the subject of
Martin Scorcese’s Hugo) and a live version of WBUR’s “Circle Round,” which sold out last year at the Regent. Films are screened in English or their native language with subtitles, most of which will be read aloud via headphones for young readers, and many are being screened in the US for the first time. It might even be your only time to see them in New England.
Each day revolves around a different theme: Saturday’s Day 2 (STUDIO CINEMA, 376 Trapelo Road, Belmont) is devoted to nature; Sunday (REGENT THEATRE, Arlington) to kids not limited by their disabilities; and Monday (BRATTLE THEATRE, Cambridge) to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many films are based on international children’s literature and include stories about birds, nature, a swashbuckling rat, a magical train, a winning lacrosse team, and more.
Opening Night: January 18 (Regent Theatre, Arlington)
A feast for the eyes as well as the ears. Filmmaker George Méliès, famously depicted in Martin Scorcese’s “Hugo,” is considered the inventor of cinema by France’s Lumiere brothers, and the undisputed father of special effects. Two of his descendants, Marie-Hélène Lehérissey (Méliès’ great granddaughter) and Lawrence Lehérissey (her son), will provide piano improvisation and narration to accompany an exclusive selection of his most famous silent films. Age 5-Adult
Day 2: January 19 (Studio Cinema, Belmont)
10:30 AM – WHAT’S NEW FROM WESTON WOODS STUDIOS
New England premiere | USA | 2018 | 60 mins. | English
For nearly 70 years Scholastic/Weston Woods Studios has created the highest quality films from best loved children’s picture books. This program offers some of their newest films that are not available to the public yet, including: Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems; Du Iz Tak by Carson Ellis; We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen; Mary McScary by R.L. Stine; The Water Princess by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter Reynolds; and Sea Bones by Bob Barner. Age 3-8
12:00 – TITO AND THE BIRDS
New England premiere | Brazil | 2018 | 73 mins. | Portuguese with subtitles read aloud (via headphones)
An animated feast for the eyes that uses oil paintings, digital drawings, and graphic animation to tell a timely story about fear in contemporary society and how to overcome it. When a father’s latest invention–a machine that can understand birdsong–injures his 10 year-old son Tito, his mom decides to send the father away. Later when people start falling ill due to an epidemic thought to be caused by fear, Tito recalls his father’s research and determines that the cure lies in understanding birdsong. In order to save others, Tito must resist falling victim to his own fear and sets out to find his father and complete the research before it’s too late. One of this year’s submissions to Oscar’s Best Animated Film category. Age 8+
1:45 PM – ZOOks
East Coast premiere | Belgium | 2018 | 90 mins. | Dutch with English subtitles read aloud (via headphones)
In a kingdom where nature is banned by a power-hungry ruler, 10-year-old Robin runs off into a forbidden forest where she meets Wolf, the true heir to the throne. Robin, Wolf, and some unexpected allies set in motion an adventure which will topple the evil king and restore the balance between man and nature. Age 8+
3:30 PM – ROSIE AND MOUSSA
US premiere | Belgium | 2018 | 90 mins. | Dutch with subtitles
When Rosie moves with her brother and mother to an apartment in Brussels, she meets her cool neighbor Moussa. Although she is initially distrustful of Moussa, after he shows her some special neighborhood places, the two become close friends. Together they stand up to Rosie’s mother and search for her father, who hasn’t been home in some time. Age 10+
Day 3: January 20 (Regent Theatre, Arlington)
10:30 AM – WBUR PRESENTS “CIRCLE ROUND” LIVE
A live performance of WBUR’s storytelling podcast for kids and the young at heart, featuring folktales from around the world with an eye toward inclusiveness. Hear great stories, dance along to live music, and learn the secrets behind radio sound effects in this celebration of traditional storytelling. Includes DOLLARS AND SCENTS, about a greedy baker who learns to share; and a sneak peek at the previously unreleased THE WOMAN IN THE MOON, an Alaskan native tale about the Moon’s new bride, who proves a little patience can go a long way (Age 4-10).
12:15 PM – LAUGH OUT LOUD WITH MO WILLEMS
Perhaps no children’s book author is as popular as Mo Willems, who also narrates his books’ animated versions produced by Weston Woods Studios. This program includes: the never-before-seen Nanette’s Baguette; Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale; Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus; Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed; Leonardo the Terrible Monster; Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator; and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. (Age 3-8). Tickets
1:30 PM – CHUSKIT
US premiere | India | 90 min. | Ladakhi with subtitles read aloud through headphones | 2018
To chase her dream of going to school in her remote Himalayan village in India, a feisty girl, who lost use of her legs in an accident, locks horns with her tradition-bound grandfather. Based in part on a true story (Age 8+).
3:15 PM – THE WITCH HUNTERS
US premiere | Serbia| 90 min. | Serbian with subtitles read aloud through headphones | 2018
A 10 year-old boy with cerebral palsy often retreats to the fantasy world he’s built where he imagines himself to be a superhero. His life changes when he befriends a new classmate and the adventure to hunt her ‘witch’ stepmother begins. Best Film winner at the Toronto International Film Festival for Kids (Age 8+).
5:00 PM – BALLAD FROM TIBET
New England premiere | China | 73 min. | Chinese & Tibetan with subtitles read aloud through headphones | 2017
Based on the true story of students from a school for the blind in the Tibetan Himalayas who walk from Gyangzê to Shenzen, China to fulfill their dream of singing on a famous reality TV show. One of the students, who has partial eyesight, acts as their guide through the mountainous terrain, but they must all work together to arrive in time for the show. Facing numerous challenges along the way, they demonstrate strength of character as they set out to prove they are more capable than people give them credit (Age 8+).
Day 4: January 21 (Brattle Theatre, Cambridge)
10:30 AM – HONORING DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: ANIMATED CHILDREN’S BOOKS FROM WESTON WOODS STUDIOS
USA | 60 mins. | English
The ideals, people, and music connected to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as interpreted by Scholastic/Weston Woods Studios, including: MARTIN’S BIG WORDS by Doreen Rappaport and narrated by Michael Clarke Duncan; MARCH ON! THE DAY MY BROTHER MARTIN CHANGED THE WORLD, a personal, stirring account by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sister, Christine; ROSA by Nikki Giovanni, about how Rosa Parks boarded a Montgomery, Alabama city bus and refused to give up her seat to a white man; and SHE PERSISTED: 13 AMERICAN WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD by Chelsea Clinton, featuring stories about Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, and Sonia Sotomayor. Age 5-12
12:00 – THE HIGHWAY RAT
New England premiere | UK | 2017 | 25 mins. | English
Shown with THE GRUFFALO | UK | 2009 | 25 mins. | English
Based on the popular book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and featuring the voices of David Tennant and Rob Brydon, The Highway Rat is the swashbuckling animated tale of a greedy rat who craves buns, biscuits and candies. He rides through the countryside feasting on all the other animals’ food, until one clever duck figures out how to stop him.Donaldson and Scheffler’s The Gruffalo, about a cunning mouse who goes for a walk in the forest and outwits a succession of predators, features the voices of Helena Bonham Carter, James Corden, Rob Brydon, Tom Wilkinson, Robbie Coltrane and John Hurt. Age 4-8
1:15 PM – JIM BUTTON AND LUKE THE ENGINE DRIVER
East Coast premiere | Germany | 2018 | 105 mins. | German with subtitles read aloud (via headphones)
Based on the beloved German children’s book by Michael Ende (The Neverending Story). When an orphaned baby is mysteriously delivered to a tiny island, its four inhabitants raise him as their own and name him Jim. When he turns ten, he yearns to uncover his true origins and sets out with his friend Luke on a magical train named Emma—across seas, deserts, forests, mountains, and even volcanoes. In the magical town of Mandala they learn that the emperor’s daughter has been captured by pirates, and the two decide to risk it all to save her. Features breathtaking special effects and offers an entertaining epic about family, friendship and self-discovery. Age 5-8
3:15 PM – CROSSROADS, followed by a Q&A
Massachusetts premiere | USA | 2018 | 77 mins. | English
A group of at-risk African American teenagers at a North Carolina charter school who fight through the pain and adversity of childhood trauma to find salvation through lacrosse, a sport traditionally played by white athletes. The documentary follows them as they transform from awkward neophytes to state finalists in just three seasons. Age 8+. Followed by a Q&A with Emmy-winning director Ron Yassen, the team’s coach Bobby Selkin, and player Brandon Duncan moderated by WBUR Sport Reporter Shira Springer.