The New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival lineup includes six animated French films, including ZARAFA, the North American premieres of APPROVED FOR ADOPTION and KIRIKOU AND THE MEN AND THE WOMEN, the U.S. premiere of ERNEST & CELESTINE, the East Coast premiere of THE DAY OF THE CROWS, and the world premiere of the English-language version of THE PAINTING.
NEW YORK, NY – The critically acclaimed New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival will present six animated French films over the next two weekends, including a number of World, North American and US premieres. NYICFF, which kicked off on March 2 with the US premiere of the César Award winning Ernest & Celestine, is slated to show the following animated French films during the weekends of March 8 and March 15:
Approved for Adoption – North American Premiere, Belgium/France/Switzerland, Laurent Boileau/Jung Henin. In this fascinating animated autobiography a series of gorgeously animated, sepia-toned vignettes – some humorous and some poetic – trace filmmaker Jung Henin from the day he is adopted from Korea by a Belgian family, through elementary school, and into his teenage years, when his emerging sense of identity begins to create fissures at home and to inflame the latent biases of his adoptive parents. The filmmaker tells his story using his own animation intercut with snippets of super-8 family footage, archival film, and new footage. The result is an animated memoir like no other: clear-eyed and unflinching, humorous and wry, and above all, inspiring in the capacity of the human heart. In French with English subtitles - Recommended ages 11 to adult.
The Day of the Crow s – East Coast Premiere, Canada/France, Jean-Christophe Dessaint. Raised like an animal since birth and knowing only the ways of the wild, a nameless boy has been forbidden by his father to venture beyond the edge of the forest that is their home. But when his father is injured, the boy goes to a nearby town for help – where he experiences the wonders of human contact and civilized living for the first time. With tips of the hat to the enchanted forest worlds of Hayao Miyazaki and François Truffaut’s The Wild Child, this lushly animated film travels the blurred lines between animal and human, nature and civilization, and the realms of the living and of spirits. In French with English subtitles - Recommended ages 7 to adult.
Ernest & Celestine – US Premiere, Belgium/France, Renner/Patar/Aubier. NYICFF kicked off the 2013 festival with the extraordinary new film from the producers of Kirikou and the Sorceress, Triplets of Belleville and The Secret of Kells. Due to popular demand after the Opening Night premiere, NYICFF has just added a screening of Ernest & Celestine, which joyfully leaps across genres and influences to capture the kinetic, limitless possibilities of animation. Deep below snowy, cobblestone streets and tucked away amongst winding tunnels, lives a civilization of hardworking mice, terrified of the bears who live above ground. Unlike her fellow mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer – and when she nearly ends up as breakfast for grumpy troubadour Ernest, the two form an unlikely bond and are soon living together as outcasts in a winter cottage. Like a gorgeous watercolor painting brought to life, a constantly shifting pastel color palette bursts and drips across the screen, while wonderful storytelling and brilliant comic timing draw up influences as varied as Buster Keaton, Bugs Bunny and the outlaw romanticism of Bonnie and Clyde. In French with English subtitles - Recommended ages 7 to adult.
Kirikou and the Men and the Women – North American Premiere, France, Michel Ocelot. The pint-sized, quick-footed child hero Kirikou returns in the new feature from world-renowned animator/director/storyteller Michel Ocelot, who NYICFF audiences should be well familiar with from Kirikou and the Sorceress, Azur & Asmar, and Tales of the Night. In this third film in the Kirikou trilogy, Ocelot’s almost impossibly vibrant use of color is everywhere on display – as a collection of short form fables are woven together, mixing traditional storytelling and mythology with bits of humor and wit, and backed by an upbeat musical score from Malian, Togolese and French artists. In French with English subtitles - Recommended ages 7 to adult.
The Painting – World Premiere English-Language Version, France, Jean-François Languionie. This breathlessly beautiful tale has received unanimous critical praise since it made its US premiere at NYICFF 2012 (as French title Le Tableau) and NYICFF is thrilled to present the first screening of the new English-language version. In this wryly-inventive parable, the characters from a painting burst through the canvas and find themselves in the Painter’s studio. The abandoned workspace is strewn with paintings, each containing its own animated world – and in a feast for both the eyes and imagination, they explore first one picture and then another, attempting to discover just what the Painter has in mind for his creations. In English - Recommended ages 7 to adult.
Zarafa – France, Remi Benzançon/Jean-Christophe Lie. Inspired by the true story of the first giraffe to visit France, Zarafa is a sumptuously hand-animated and stirring adventure set among sweeping vistas of parched desert, windswept mountains and open skies. Under the cover of night a small boy, Maki, loosens the shackles that bind him and escapes into the desert night. Pursued by slavers across the moon-lit savannah, Maki meets Zarafa, a baby giraffe -- and an orphan, just like him -- and he vows to protect the giraffe. Wandering alone in the desert, the two are taken under the protection of the Bedouin prince Hassan. Hassan brings them to Alexandria for an audience with the Pasha of Egypt, who promptly orders them to deliver the exotic animal as a gift to King Charles of France. In French with English subtitles - Recommended ages 7 to adult.
The New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival runs March 1-24 at seven Manhattan locations. The nation’s largest festival for kids and teens presents four weeks of ground-breaking and thought-provoking new works for ages 3-18, with 100 new films, opening and closing galas, premieres, six short film programs, filmmaker Q&As, filmmaking workshops, A-list jury, audience voting, and the NYICFF Awards Ceremony. NYICFF is an Oscar–qualifying festival –recipients of NYICFF’s jury prizes are eligible for Oscar consideration in the Best Animated and Live Action Short Film categories.
March 1 -- March 24, 2013 – Full schedule available at www.gkids.com or call 212-349-0330
Asia Society and Museum, DGA Theater, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, French Institute Alliance Française, IFC Center, Scholastic Theater, SVA Theatre
Tickets for all events are now on sale at www.gkids.com. As in past years, all screenings are expected to sell out, so advance purchase is highly recommended.
Source: New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.