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KidsFilmFestival

17th KIDSFILMFEST – 2021

The 2021 Audience Award Winner of the 17th KidsFilmFest is: OLDBOY’S APPLES by BRAD HOCK

Program #1: Ages 3-7

MAGIC GARDEN

Director(s): Svetlana Matrosova

Russian Federation, 2020, 3 min

Trailer

 

 

 

 

I WANNA BE AN EAGLE – A SPARROW’S TALE

Director(s): Joe Petrucelli

United States, 2020, 4 min

Trailer

Synopsis

Petronia is an outgoing sparrow who loves to daydream. She dreams of being an eagle and envisions herself soaring high above and throughout New York City.

Petronia enjoys signing, playing music on her recorder, and making wishes by blowing on dandelion “Wishettes.” Petronia’s struggles with her self image, but through her journey she discovers that — with her own gifts and with the help of her friends and family — she can accomplish anything.

 

 

QUEEN MARLENE’S TOY MUSEUM AND FRIENDS TRAFFIC SAFETY TOYS

Director(s): Angie Hanson

United States, 2020, 9 min

Synopsis

The story follows Queen Marlene, the host, who has a busy day ahead as she prepares to open the Toy Museum The Museum is like the Queen’s early childhood education classroom and the viewer learns, alongside her friends, the important messages she is teaching. Using loveable characters and silly scenes, children will be drawn to the colorful characters and all Queen Marlene’s friends. The show is somewhere between Buckingham Palace meets Mr. Rogers and Broadway.

There are drawn backgrounds and miniature dollhouse dioramas that stand in place of an actual set. The costumes are whimsical and fun! They reflect exactly what children might picture when thinking of a castle, a queen, guards, cooks, butlers and similar. They are exaggerated, but in a charming manner. The castle and its rooms are blocky, colorful pieces that look like a child’s drawing. The music and sound effects are clear and concise, and definitely enhance the story. There is always something new and exciting happening at the Toy Museum.

 

 

BALLAD OF MUSIC NOTES

Director(s): Xi Chengzhuo

China, 2020, 5 min

Synopsis

For every piano player, there is a world of notes in the score book, and every performance is a journey into this world. Books are the carrier of the world. In the same world, the people who enter and the way they play are different. What happens when two different players enter the world

 

 

A HAND TO HOLD

Director(s): Ali Clark & Stacey Davis

United States, 2021, 3 min

Synopsis

Told from alternating points of view, A HAND TO HOLD explores the connective thread of hand holding between parent and child. When mother and child release hands – and enjoy the freedom that comes from letting go – they do so knowing they will always be joined.

“A Hand to Hold” is a 2D animated film created by an all-female production team.

 

 

ON / OFF

Director(s): Nicolas Villarreal

Argentina, 2020, 7 min

Trailer

Synopsis

Endless distractions threaten to destroy creativity.

 

 

POPCORN BOY

Director(s): Line Johansen & Christian Lo

Norway, 2020, 12 min

Synopsis

Tom’s unique ability is quickly discovered by a bankrupt businessman. Sure of success, he buys the boy from his parents to start mass production. The boy becomes world famous, but all resources must end one day.

 

 

QUICK FIX

Director(s): Alexandra Lemay

Canada, 2020, 4 min

Synopsis

Quick Fix is a stop-motion/Live-action hybrid that explores the comedic parallels between our throwaway habits and serial dating. This bittersweet love affair follows a coffee cup who becomes smitten by his drinker.

 

 


Program #2: Ages 8-15

BIFF & ME

Director(s): Nicola Rose

United States, 2020, 15 min

Trailer

Synopsis

Charlotte, 14, is a genius — hotheaded, nerdy, and brilliant.
But what she secretly wants, deep down, is to be a beauty queen.
Biff, 14, is the school bully — big, burly and (seemingly) brainless.
But what he secretly wants, deep down, is to be a beauty queen.

When Charlotte is forced to tutor Biff in math, the pair discover their shared secret, and Biff eagerly helps Charlotte prepare for the upcoming Princess Teen Queen Pageant. There’s only one problem: they have to keep it all a secret from their parents. Charlotte’s folks want her to focus on math and school, not crowns and gowns; and Biff’s oafish dad would never accept a son in sequins. Can the kids’ friendship survive? Can Charlotte risk being who she really is? Can Biff?
A comedy about growing up, being who you are, the power of friendship, and burping.

 

 

ZARA AND THE OTHERS: MISS MISS

Director(s): Nils Lund & Bjørn Sortland

Norway, 2020, 13 min

Trailer

Synopsis

Zara has never heard of a ‘Miss’ Competition, she only knows Patricia says it’s a way to decide who the prettiest girl in class is. When Zara’s dad brings a bucket of moose poop things take an unexpected turn.

 

 

NEVIANSK TOWER

Director(s): Elena Lapshina

Russian Federation, 2020, 5 min

 

 

Synopsis

The plot is based on the history of the Ural landmark, comparable only to the leaning tower of Pisa — the Neviansk tower. In the animated film by Elena Lapshina, the facts about the construction of the tower, the appearance of the unusual shape of the building and, of course, the secrets of the famous structure are presented in a form accessible to modern children and adults. A grandfather, a grandson, a lion and a cat went on a trip to the Ural “celebrity” in the cartoon.

 

 

GOODBYE HOME

Director(s): Jonathan Chong

Australia, 2020, 7 min

Trailer

Synopsis

On a hot summer day, a young boy lounges in a tyre swing hanging from the big branch of an old ghost gum. He peers through binoculars to catch glimpses of a baby koala and its parents living at the top of the gum’s mighty trunk. The surrounding bush vibrates with native animal life. In the distance, plumes of grey smoke rise above the coastal landscape, showering the horizon with ash.

As the boy helps his parents prepare their home for an evacuation, so too do the animals prepare their homes: a wombat clears his burrow of debris, a finch tidies her nest; flocks of birds begin their migrations to safer skies. The boy and his kelpie sit on the porch, watching on with trepidation.

The sun grows a burnt orange; a dusty hue befalls the landscape. A tiny ember drifts in the wind like an orange snowflake. The baby koala sticks its head out from the gumtree for a closer look. He winces and scratches at his nose, burnt by the ember’s seductive glow. Then the wind changes.

The sky turns an ominous black, then a blazing red as the fires race towards the coastal bushland community. A mob of kangaroos bound over fallen branches. The boy’s parents load their car with memories and keepsakes. The boy and his kelpie jump in but the kelpie whines and barks at the commotion outside. Through the smoke, the boy can see the family of koalas trapped between fallen branches. He rushes to their aid. Behind him, his parents approach with boxes.
“A line of cars follow the only road out of town. The boy watches through a rear window as the glowing town becomes distant. He turns forward and takes his seat. His kelpie lays on the floor at his feet. Something shifts inside a box beside him.”

The boy and his parents have brought the koala family in the car with them. Guided by rural firemen, the two families journey to safety. Though they share the same experience of loss, it is their bushland home that unites them.
And home is where they will return, when the bushfires are over.

 

 

BOY SCIENTIST

Director(s): Susan Lim & Samudra Saikia

United States, 2021, 3 min

Synopsis

A brilliant boy scientist meets the girl scientist of his dreams, poised and beautiful, surrounded by flasks and beakers. The best he can do is bottle her image in his flask, so he may serenade and waltz with her in his Quantum Physics Lab.

 

 

OLDBOY’S APPLES

Director(s): Brad Hock

United States, 2020, 7 min

Trailer

Synopsis

Beyond the hedge, beneath the well, ancient spirits sing their song to reawaken the mystery of the hidden apple.

 

 

YUAN YUAN AND THE HOLLOW MONSTER

Director(s): Catherine Chen

United States, 2020, 7 min

Trailer

Synopsis

This is a personal story, with characters based on family members, and memories from Hurricane Katrina, Wilma, Charley, Ivan, and Frances from 2004 – 2005. The film centers the director’s younger sister and their childhood, growing up Chinese American:

Eight-year-old Yuan Yuan (Jackie) is determined to protect her newest pet, a tiny turtle named Lucy, at all costs. Even if it means chasing down a massive hurricane called the Hollow Monster.

 

 

YA HOOTA

Director(s): Latifa Al Darwish & Abdulaziz Yousef

Qatar, 2021, 11 min

Trailer

 

 

____________________________________________________________________

16th KIDSFILMFEST – 2020

Audience Award Winner is CRAMMING by DAN PERLMAN.

Program #1: Ages 3-7


Om Nom Nom…

Director: Minato Matsuda, Haruna Ueno, Tomoko Taiga

Japan, 2019, 3 min

Trailer

 

 

Synopsis

One day, a hungry dinosaur came across a weird jumping egg in the forest. He swallowed it, and then felt some strange rumblings in his tummy. Well, well, well…

This stop-motion animation is essentially a funny short story for kids, but its fanciful visual images may also attract adults. The unique imagery of the dinosaur’s internal organs and nature have been created with a multi-plane camera, by combining fluffy flat puppets (a boy, a dinosaur, and other creatures) with carefully composed pastel drawings.

 


Space Bears:
The Rainbow Space Gem

World Premiere

Director: Mike Schleif

United States, 2019, 15 min

 

 

Synopsis

Poppi and the Poofypuffs are ready for their annual color parade but a broken Rainbow Space Gem has caused all of the color on the planet to vanish! It’s up to Becca and Zoe to help Poppi and the Poofypuffs return color to their planet and save the parade. Introducing a new Space Bear friend, Josie and Robot Computer Friend E.R.I.C.A.!

 


Go Go!

World Premiere

Director: Patradol Kitcharoen

United States, 2019, 5 min

 

Synopsis

Aaron the alligator, who lives his entire life in a tank in an animal theme park, is fascinated by the fireworks that are displayed in the park every night. He has a dream to see the fireworks up close. One day, he accidentally gets loose and makes his way into the park looking for the fireworks. It is up to Sue, the zoo keeper and Harvey the park mascot to get him back into his cage before he gets taken down by the animal control officer.


Hugo & Holger

US Premiere

Director: Teddy Halkier Kristiansen

Denmark, 2019, 14 mins

 

 

Synopsis

The boy Hugo’s biggest wish is to own a dog. Hugo has very poor eyesight. One day his wish comes true, when he finally meets Holger. Holger is in fact a baby elephant, but all Hugo sees is a big lovely puppy dog. It’s all about the eyes that see! A lovely friendship – only being possible by the presence of vast amounts of empathy between the two. Together, that’s how they meet the world – and what the world meet.

 


The Magical Forest and The Things

World Premiere

Director: Dave Russo

United States, 2020, 4 min

Trailer

 

Synopsis

6 year old narrator teams up with illustrator during Covid19 to tell a hand drawn animated story about human consumption and the social reinforcements that effect it.

 


Wear Your Beautiful Life

US Premiere

Director: Nicolas Lesaffre

Hong Kong, 2018, 4 min

 

 


Synopsis

A magic character appears after a young woman ignored several of her dad’s phone calls.
An innovative time machine will make them experience the changes in Hong Kong over the past 30 years and somehow remind us how family is key in our lives.

 


The Amazing Adventures of Awesome

NY Premiere

Director: Allison Brownmoore

United Kingdom, 2019, 6 min

Trailer

 

Synopsis

The Amazing Adventures of Awesome is a hand illustrated animated film about a young autistic girl at the heart of a quiet revolution.

 


Mimi Meets Books

East Coast Premiere

Director: Yih-Fen Chou

Taiwan, 2019, 6 min

 

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Synopsis

Warmly presents how Mimi meets and falls in love with books.

 


Little Thinks

Director: Step Chueng

Hong Kong, 2019, 5 min

 

 

Synopsis

We can see things differently when we see things from different angles.


Program #2: Ages 8-15


The Butterfly Affect

Director: Stephanie Blakey

Canada, 2019, 5 min

Trailer

 

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Synopsis

Growing up, Jesse didn’t think she was any different from her friends- until “The Change”. This is a heartfelt story of insecurity, growth, and self-acceptance told through the eyes of a young worm trying to find her place in a butterfly’s world.

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The Statue

East Coast Premiere

Director: Becca Wolff

United States, 2019, 11 min

Trailer

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Synopsis

A recently immigrated 2nd grader struggles with his new life that only becomes more challenging when his dance teacher casts him in the class play.

 


Daisy

World Premiere

Director: Tom Weston

United States, 2020, 10 min

Trailer

 

 

Synopsis

George uses magic to help a young child named Daisy become the most popular girl in school.

 


Olympian

World Premiere

Director: Cleo Handler

United States, 2019, 6 min

Trailer,

 

Synopsis

Middle school sucks, but math will never leave you.

 


The Lunch Bunch

World Premiere

Director: Toni Dersch

United States, 2019, 12 min

Trailer

 

Synopsis

Someone or something has been stealing the lunches of the students of Harding Middle School. Three students set out to find out who or what, and why. The answer is a lesson in compassion.

 


Curls

World Premiere

Director: Sharon Contillo

United States, 2019, 11 min

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Synopsis

Synopsis

A vulnerable little girl believes that her curly hair makes her ugly and that straight hair is ultimate beauty, must summon the courage to embrace her natural locks and accept her true self in order to be happy.

 


Code Ruth

East Coast Premiere

Director: Caroline Voagen Nelson

United States, 2018, 4 min

Trailer

 

Synopsis

A true love story about a Morse code instructor finding her path during WWII. Code Ruth blends stop motion techniques and archival materials to share a family’s history of connecting through technology.

 


Cramming

World Premiere

Director: Dan Perlman

United States, 2020, 14.5 min

 

 

Synopsis

Close friends Alex and Yan Bo, eighth graders, cram for a test in a prestigious prep school. Once they’re accused of cheating off of one another, their friendship is threatened.