The International Children's Film Fest, the first touring festival of world-class children's film programs, launches the 2014 festival season at the Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center.
Seven screenings run between Friday, March 14, and Sunday, March 16, and include programs tailored for children ages 2-10, showcasing a total of 44 short films from 22 countries.
Four lively short programs feature films as diverse as "Colored Pencils," a Brazilian film about a boy's magical drawings; "Monarch," a beautiful Mexican film about migrating butterflies; "Flap Crashers" from Denmark about a colorful bird who must overcome his fear of flying; and "One Shoe Blues" from the United States, starring legendary blues man B.B. King.
The ICFilm Film Festival is curated by Nicole Dreiske and presented by The Round Lake Beach Cultural Civic Center Foundation in collaboration with the International Children's Media Center.
"The ICMC has culled some of the best of the best films made internationally to bring a truly exciting international film festival to families in Round Lake Beach and Lake County," center Director Monica Marr said.
"We know that parents care about the quality of what their kids watch," Marr said. "A film festival is a great way to entertain children while opening their minds to the world in new ways."
Children can vote for their favorite films immediately following each program. Their participation determines the winner of the "Best of the ICFilmFest," to be awarded to the film that receives the greatest number of votes.
"Watching movies shouldn't be a passive experience for children, and at the ICFilmFest, it isn't," ICMC Executive Director Nicole Dreiske said. "Lively discussions and voting is designed to make the experience memorable and interactive for all the movie lovers in the family."
In addition to the short films, families can also enjoy the "Cultural Kids Zone," where they can learn and play with artists and organizations from the diverse community. Families are also welcome to bring their own picnic lunches or snacks.
Tickets are $5 per screening per person for all ages. If you purchase your tickets at the center by March 13 you will receive one free ticket per family.
Call (847) 201-9032 or visit www.rlbciviccenter.org. The Cultural & Civic Center is at 2007 Civic Center Way, off Hook Drive behind the Home Depot on Route 83 and behind Regal Cinema on Rollins Road.
The ICFilmFest is supported by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and by Howard and Pam Conant.
Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center ICFilmFest 2014 Schedule:
• "Touch of Genius," 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 14. For ages 8 and older; 69 minutes.
There's something special in every one of us. But like the characters in these clever films, we have to find that special something and cherish it. Jam along with B.B. King and some quirky sock puppets ("One Shoe Blues," U.S.), stay one step ahead of colorful rain forest predators ("Amazonia," U.S.), and discover how to escape the mysterious Kingdom of Cats ("The Kingdom of Cats," Russia).
Catch all 12 live action and animated films from 10 countries, including: "Mouse for Sale" (Belgium), "Lexdysia" (Poland), "Percuissons" (France), "What Makes Me Happy?: Tung's Film" (Vietnam), "Love Bug" (U.S.), "Flap Crashers" (Denmark), "Monarch" (Mexico), "Lizard" (Australia) and "Papa's Boy" (Poland).
• "Circle of Friends," 11 a.m. Saturday, March 15, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 16. For ages 2-5; 60 minutes.
Whether it's reaching for the stars or a cup of hot cocoa, friends are there to give the extra boost that makes everything worthwhile. Watch as a kind moon sees a little boy safely home, giggle at Molly Monster's special circus, and take a seat with Spot and Splodge as they learn the dentist isn't so scary after all.
"Circle of Friends" features 12 films from 10 countries: "Ballet of Unhatched Chicks" (U.S.), "Knitting Girl: The Bridge" (Taiwan), "Snow" (U.S.), "Pim & Pom: Around the World" (Netherlands), "Obetomo School: Magnet" (Japan), "Violoncello" (Russia), "Molly Monster: Circus" (Germany/Switzerland/Sweden), "Shoelace" (Australia), "Rainy Day Friends" (Taiwan), "Kind Moon" (Iran), "The Red Hen" (U.S.) and "Spot and Splodge: At the Dentist" (Sweden).
• "Creative Critters, Clever Kids," 11:45 a.m. Saturday, March 15, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 16. For ages 5 and older; 67 minutes.
From the musical to the practical, inspiration strikes these characters when they need it most. Laugh with Superdad and Pelé on an unexpected day off, fly with Mama Crow as she shields her nest from a greedy fox, and root for Fly Guy as he competes for the title of Best Pet Ever.
"Creative Critters, Clever Kids features" 11 films from nine countries: "There's Bliss in the Kiss" (Germany/Singapore), "Collective Consciousness #6" (Brazil), "Most Scary Animal" (Russia), "Chopin's Drawings" (Poland), "Edeltraud & Theodor" (Germany), "Hi! Fly Guy" (U.S.), "Mama Crow and the Fox" (Iran), "kosher" (UK), "Nully & Preisemuth -- Different Dinners" (Germany), "Superdad & Pelé" (Norway), and "The Princess' Painting" (Germany).
• "Maybe It's Magic," 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 16. For ages 8 and older; 78 minutes.
The characters in this shorts program invite viewers to take a closer look and notice the magic in moments both simple and sublime. Explore dazzling ice caverns with Nokomi and hold your breath as a shy girl brings compassion to the playground in "In a Heartbeat." Then celebrate Claudio's creativity in "Colored Pencils," and control the mysteries of time at the "Tick Tock Emporium."
"Maybe It's Magic" includes nine films from eight countries: "pl.nk!" (Norway/Poland), "The Toboggan" (Canada), "Play Lunch" (Australia), "Luminaris" (Argentina), "In a Heartbeat" (Iceland), "Nokomi" (France), "Colored Pencils" (Brazil), "Eyes on the Stars" (U.S.), and "Tick Tock Emporium" (U.S.).