The 31st Annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival kicks off on October 24 with more than 270 films from over 50 countries - and our family can't wait! Selected from more than 3,000 entries at venues across the Chicago including the Facets Cinematheque (1517 W. Fullerton) and the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport), these movies always rise above the usual Hollywood kid fare and offer everything from funny to spooooooky films, all with a unique, global perspective. This is your chance to see some of the best movies for kids and families from around the world. My kids, ages 4 and 13, both love watching these quirky, thought-provoking feature length films and shorts.
My Family's Picks
Some of the most memorable movies we've seen as a family have been a part of this wonderful film festival. Try to catch a movie that showcases your family's culture, one that transports you to a dream vacation destination, or perhaps a film that features a language or culture you don't know much about at all. Highlights of this year's festival include a selection of Oscar-winning children's animation from the archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the workshop Stop-Motion Magic with LAIKA Studios that includes a special screening of their new film The Boxtrolls, the popular Halloween-themed movie program "Flick or Treat," and the Festival's unparalleled Oscar-qualifying short film programs. Check out the full weekend and evening schedule at cicff.org.
The movies are screened at some of Chicago's best movie houses and cultural centers, all of which can be easily reached by public transportation. Tickets are less expensive than what you would pay at your local chain movie theater - prices range from $9 for adults to $6 for children (2-18). Your best bet is the $40 Festival Family Pass, which admits up to four (children or adults) to any screening. Visit facets.org or call 773-281-9075 ext. 3011 to order tickets.
Fun for the Kids
In addition to the films themselves, the CICFF encourages families to further connect with the festival by offering post screening Q&As with filmmakers, interactive workshops with special guests, peer-to-peer dialogues, filmmaker-led seminars, and the CICFF Children's and Youth Juries, all of which aim to help children develop an appreciation of film as art. For the full workshop schedule, visit facets.org/kids/workshops.php.