One of the world’s best film festivals for kids happens right here in our city. The TIFF Kids International Film Festival (April 8 to 24, 2016) is the 19th annual celebration of the best cinema from around the world. This year’s festival features a total of 139 films, comprising of 28 features and 111 shorts from 35 countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Philippines, France, India, South Korea, USA and many more.
Families will have the chance to see some films that will host premieres here in Toronto. Other films have yet to have a wide-release and there are titles that may not even be viewed in our country again.
Like TIFF, there will be opportunities to gain more insight into a few of the films as producers, directors and even celebrities ascend to the stage before and after screenings. Here, audience members have opportunities to ask questions…and trust me, the kids often have better questions than the adults!
Aside from screenings, there are also lots of special events planned. The Opening Night party is always a blast! And who knows who will show up! My kids and I have had a few surprise encounters while attending films over the past years including meeting filmmaker Carlos Saldanha of Rio 2 as well as Bill Wallauer who was on hand to explain how his team got up close and personal with Chimpanzees in the Disneynature’s film. They’ve all openly commented about how much they love being in the audience while kids view their work and getting immediate and unfiltered feedback.
All are screened at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Check out the full schedule of films as well as a few special events and free screenings at www.tiff.net
Here are a few titles that have caught our attention already:
ODDBALL & Opening Night Party (April 8): kicks off festival and join in the party prior to the screening of Oddball, includes fun activities, food, entry into digiPlaySpace. Then head into the theatre for the Toronto premiere of Oddball, a heartwarming and funny film based on a true story about a chicken farmer, his granddaughter and their mischievous dog who save “fairy penguins” from extinction in an Australian seaside town.
THE BEST SOUND IN THE WORLD: (directed by Pedro Paulo De Andrade, Brazil) in a 13 minute short film, we follow young Vinicius who collects sounds on his tape recorder who is on a quest to find “the best sound in the world”.
CODEGIRL: (directed by Lesley Chilcott, USA): This documentary follows teams of high-school students from around the world who are competing in the Technovation Challenge, which encourages girls to become developers in the male-dominated app industry. Along the way, they are trying to better their communities through technology but also develop skills in critical thinking, creative problem-solving and innovation.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY: (directed by Anjuli Shukla, India, International Premiere) Kaku and Vicky are determined to save money for Mother’s Day, which is a new occasion in their town, but the young siblings soon learn that their love for their mother can’t be measured by the price of a gift.
LITTLE DOOR GODS (Closing Night film): an animated 3D film from first time feature director Gary Wang that was inspired by Chinese Folklore.
THE SECRET SOCIETY OF SOUPTOWN: (directed by Margus Paju, Estonia/Finland) In their most important mission yet, Souptown’s team of budding young detectives must consult an ancient notebook to reverse a mysterious curse that has all the town’s adults acting like little kids.
See more about TIFF Kids Film Fest on their website.