New York children’s film festival
The New York International Children’s Film Festival opens this year with the Dutch animation films Knor and Where is Anne Frank? † In addition, the animated series Kop op! its world premiere at the festival starting on March 4.
The feature film Knor had its world premiere earlier this month at the Berlin International Film Festival. There the film was the opener of the competitive youth program Generation Kplus.
Now Knor opens another major film festival.
This year’s New York International Children’s Film Festival will take a hybrid form with both physical and digital screenings.
The screenings of Knor , Where is Anne Frank? and head up! can be physically visited. The festival lasts from 4 to 19 March.
tickets now on sale! @ nyicff
The 2022 Festival marks our 25th anniversary, and it takes place March 4 – 19, 2022
Tickets Now On Sale!
For information on the Festival and the safety measures we are taking to keep our audience healthy, click here.
OPENING NIGHT: WHERE IS ANNE FRANK
SCREENINGS (new york children’s film festival)
IN-PERSON Friday, March 4th6:30pm SVA Theatre
Belgium, France, Israel, Luxembourg, Netherlands | East Coast PremiereAri Folman, 2021, 95 minSpecial ProgramRecommended ages: 9+Animation
Kitty is the most famous imaginary friend in history, created in the ink-filled pages of Anne Frank’s diary. When she suddenly materializes in the near future as a fully-fledged girl, she can neither find her friend nor understand why her home is now a tourist attraction. Aided by a resourceful pickpocket, a group of young refugees, and modern jeans and sneakers, Kitty sets out to solve the mystery.
OPENING NIGHT: OINK (new york children’s film festival)
Belgium, Netherlands Mascha Halberstad; 2022, 73 minIn Dutch, with English subtitlesRecommended ages: 7+ ..
March 4th 6:00pm SVA Theatre
Belgium, NetherlandsMascha Halberstad, 2022, 73 minFeatureRecommended ages: 7+Animation
Babs’ grandfather, an American with a curiously rootin tootin’ cowboy accent, suddenly appears on the scene, he just may be the key to her perfect pet. Instead, he finds Oink, a lovable if constantly, er, digesting, pig, whom he gifts to Babs.
OPENING SPOTLIGHT: GAGARINE
France | New York Festival Theatrical PremiereFanny Liatard & Jérémy Trouilh; 2021, 102 minIn French, with English subtitles Recommended ages: 13+ >>>
France | New York Festival Theatrical PremiereFanny Liatard & Jérémy Trouilh, 2021, 102 minSpecial ProgramRecommended ages: 13+Live Action
From the heights of his apartment, Yuri dreams of becoming an astronaut, while on the ground he utilizes his engineering know-how to keep his home base humming. But when plans to demolish his community’s home are leaked, Yuri joins the resistance.
CENTERPIECE SPOTLIGHT: TURNING RED
United States | Special Theatrical Presentation Domee Shi; 2022, 99 min In English Recommended ages: Rated PG
United States | Special Theatrical PresentationDomee Shi, 2022, 99 minSpecial ProgramRecommended ages: Rated PGAnimation
Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda!
new york children’s film festival
CLOSING NIGHT: APOLLO 10½: A SPACE AGE CHILDHOOD
Saturday, March 19th6:15pm
United States | East Coast PremiereRichard Linklater; 2022, 95 minIn EnglishRecommended ages: 13+Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood tells the story of the first moon landing in the summer of 1969 from two interwoven perspectives – the astronaut and mission control view of the triumphant moment, and through the eyes of a kid growing up in Houston, Texas who has intergalactic dreams of his own.
Taking inspiration from Academy Award-nominated® filmmaker Richard Linklater’s own life, this snapshot of American life in the 1960s is part coming-of-age, part societal commentary, and part out-of-this-world adventure.
Note: this film is rated PG-13 by the MPAA
THE APE STAR (new york children’s film festival)
Denmark, Norway, SwedenLinda Hambäck; 2021, 73 minIn English Recommended ages: 6+
Saturday, March 5th4:30pm
Though Jonna’s home is filled with wonderful kids and a caring guardian, she can’t help but pin her hopes on one day being adopted. When that long-awaited day finally arrives, she learns that love comes in all shapes, sizes, and, er, creatures…like the enormous ape with the equally enormous heart who wants to take Jonna home.
Director Linda Hämback (NYICFF 2019’s Gordon and Paddy) uses her own experience as an adoptee to share this hilarious and moving story through a powerful, nuanced lens. A warm, fuzzy, feel-good tale of love over greed, the joy in the things that make us different, and the life-changing magic of sometimes letting things get a little messy, The Ape Star is sure to win hearts.
BEST BIRTHDAY EVER
Beginning Friday, March 4th
Germany, Netherlands, Sweden | New York PremiereMichael Ekblad; 2021, 82 minIn EnglishRecommended ages: 3-5Little Charlie is a small rabbit who lives with his loving family and pets in a house at the edge of town. Like many five-year-olds, he goes to a kindergarten and plays with his friends in the neighborhood, basking in the delight of his parents’ complete attention.
But all of that changes with the arrival of his baby sister, Clara. When the chance for adventure with his best friend, Monica, arises, Little Charlie—eager to make his own mark and maybe a little jealous—hops to it.
Belgium, Canada, France | New York Premiere Tahir Rana & Eric Warin; 2021, 89 min In English Recommended ages: 14+
Charlotte is a testament to the power of art to endure, affront, and thrive, even in the face of impossible circumstances. This beautifully animated saga is based on the life of Charlotte Salomon, an aspiring painter living in Germany during the Nazi rise to power. As hard as it is to gain acceptance to the art academy as a girl, Charlotte’s Jewish background makes achieving her dream even harder, and soon her entire community’s existence is threatened.
Eventually she is forced into exile with her difficult, emotionally distant grandparents before finding safe, loving harbor in the South of France. Charlotte’s new host wholeheartedly encourages her artmaking. The result is a decades-spanning, boldly ambitious visual autobiography that confronts the perils of war, a family legacy of mental illness, and dashed dreams. Featuring the voice of Keira Knightly, Charlotte paints the legacy of a little-known artist whose impact lasts long beyond her brief life.
I AM WHAT I AM (new york children’s film festival)
China | East CoastHaipeng Sun; 2021, 95 minIn Chinese, with English subtitlesRecommended ages: 9+Prepare yourself for the hallmarks of all the classic genres: I Am What I Am is a buddy film, a road movie, an underdog heartstring-puller, and even a little bit of a romcom.
Our hero Gyun is a hard working kid with even harder working parents. While his parents toil away in the big city of Guangzhou, Gyun is left to his own devices in his small village, where he stumbles upon the transfixing Lion Dance Competition. Beneath the extraordinary costume is a powerful girl who gifts him with her stunning headdress and encourages him to pursue his newfound aspirations.
Soon, Gyun and his buddies are traversing the enormity of the vast Chinese countryside as their own ragtag troupe. With hard work, athleticism, and a reluctant dance-champ-turned-fishmonger Sifu to coach them, they begin to outwit their competitors by harnessing their perceived weaknesses. The eye-poppingly bold and realistic CG animation that breathes fierce light into this rags to riches story will have you bouncing to the beat of the Lion’s drum.
IT’S A SUMMER FILM
Sunday, March 6th3:30pm
JapanSoushi Matsumoto; 2020, 97 minIn Japanese, with English subtitlesRecommended ages: 10+Infatuated with sword-slinging samurai films, Barefoot and her two best friends, Blue Hawaii and Kickboard, study every scene, honing their directorial chops like another martial art.
When Barefoot gets the chance to produce her own screenplay for a high school project, it’s both a dream come true and an enormous challenge especially with all of the support and attention going to a competing student’s cheesy, soft-focus romcom.
So Barefoot mobilizes a crew to shoot the film in one summer, guerilla-style. But just as production hits its stride, the sudden appearance of a mysterious, equally samurai-obsessed student brings dismal news of the future of movies. It’s a Summer Film is a love letter to cinema of all stripes, with an exhilarating mix of time travel, swordplay, and girls-behind-the-camera action that will keep you cheering from “Action!” to “Roll credits!”
KIDS CUP (new york children’s film festival)
Sunday, March 6th1:30pm
Denmark, Finland, Norway | New York PremiereLine Hatland; 2021, 90 minArabic, Chinese, In English, Norwegian, Portugese, with English subtitlesRecommended ages: 10+The Norway Cup is the world’s biggest soccer tournament for kids, and tough teams overcome enormous challenges—on and off the pitch—to play in it. Tenacious Afnan worries about the fighting back home in Palestine, while introspective American Khalidi navigates showing respect for his Tanzanian father, even when they don’t see eye to eye.
Yu from China misses her father, and Fred from Brazil dreams of getting off of the bench. Their goal is the same: to win, of course. But along with the distinct challenges they bring from abroad, they also meet new ones: unfair referees, bland cafeteria food (and lots of fish!), homesickness, and the sting of a missed penalty shot.
But there are wonders, too: for some, it’s teen flirtation, for others, it’s the marvels of the bounty at the candy shop, and for some, it’s even the running water in the locker room. Above all, Kids Cup is about teamwork, friendship, and discovering that today’s goal is a new generation’s to define. Note: film contains mild language and sexual references
THE LAST GLACIERS
Saturday, March 19th11:30am AMC 34th Street 14
United States | World PremiereCraig Leeson, Malcolm Wood; 2022, 40 minIn EnglishRecommended ages: 10+IMAX presents The Last Glaciers, a global adventure following filmmaker Craig Leeson and United Nations Mountain Hero & Entrepreneur, Malcolm Wood as they push the limits of extreme sports using para-alpinism to explore the causes and effects of climate change.
From Antarctica to the Himalaya, the Alps, and the Andes, IMAX immerses you in an extraordinary journey to the top of Earth’s glaciers as Leeson and Wood risk their lives to show how rapidly the glaciers are disappearing. Hear from leading scientists and impacted communities about the imminent dangers we face if we fail to protect what’s left of these critical natural water reservoirs.
A compelling story of caution and hope, the documentary captures the fragility of the natural world, and the impact humans have on the planet’s life support systems. The film brings forward a call to action from the next generation determined to reverse our climate crisis for their own future. Featuring original music composed by Grammy®-nominated Above & Beyond.
Sunday, March 6th10:30am
Finland, United Kingdom | North American PremiereSteve Box; 2022, 66 minIn EnglishRecommended ages: 6+Tove Jansson’s delightful universe is back, premiering exclusively at NYICFF with all the Moomincapers you could ever wish for in three new episodes.
It’s a battle to decide who’s in charge in Brisk and Breezy when camper and notorious mischief-maker Little My runs Mr. Brisk through a series of tests to prove his mettle. Next, leave it to Moomintroll to get into a muddle inadvertently following valley rogue Stinky down a foul path to thievery, only getting into more rot when trying to make things right.
Finally, the Moominfamily must postpone their winter hibernation while Moominmomma (voiced by Rosamund Pike) keeps something under wraps in Winter Secrets.
DISNEYNATURE’S POLAR BEAR
Sunday, March 13th1:30pm
United StatesAlastair Fothergill & Jeff Wilson; 2022, 95 minIn EnglishRecommended ages: Rated PGNarrated by two-time Academy Award® nominee Catherine Keener (Capote, Being John Malkovich), Disneynature’s Polar Bear tells the story of a new mother whose memories of her own youth prepare her to navigate motherhood in the increasingly challenging world that polar bears face today.
POMPO THE CINEPHILE (new york children’s film festival)
Saturday, March 12th6:45pm
JapanTakayuki Hirao; 2021, 94 minIn EnglishRecommended ages: 9+If you’re reading this, chances are you like movies. You’ll feel right at home with Pompo, the talented and gutsy producer whose love of cinema is unflinching and unapologetic. One day, Pompo turns her uncanny eye for talent to her movie-loving but apprehensive assistant Gene, selecting him to make his directorial debut with her latest script.
But gene has his work cut out for him with a young starlet looking for her first big break and a legendary, aging, Brando-like superstar in front of the camera.
It’s not an action movie, but Pompo’s breakneck pace combined with the high stakes of creative fulfillment pack in as much excitement as standard superhero fare. Add to that a slew of insider movie references and countless winks and nods to the filmmaking process, this hilarious and heartful dramedy has what it takes to fulfill even your wildest celluloid dreams.
POUPELLE OF CHIMNEY TOWN
Saturday, March 12th3:00pm
NetherlandsJob, Joris & Marieke; 2022, 60 minIn Dutch, with English subtitlesRecommended ages: 7+Based on the beloved, Emmy and NYICFF award-winning short Heads Together, this new series follows three wacky friends Sef, Wesley, and Marjory. One day, they discover an abandoned washing machine with mysterious powers: it lets you swap heads with someone else! This presents the three BFFs with a range of amazing possibilities…and side-splitting challenges.
As they take turns trying on each other’s heads, they literally see the world through new eyes. Will their new perspectives help them discover a whole new world of possibilities, or get them into a mess? Well, the sayings tell us there are many sides to every story and two heads are better than one.
Run, don’t walk (but please hold onto your head) to the slapstick silliness of SWOP.
TO THE BRIGHT SIDE (new york children’s film festival)
ChinaXiya Lan, Nianze Li, Yi Zhao, Kun Yu, Gaoxiang Liu, Maoning Liu, & Chen Chen; 2021, 83 minIn Mandarin, with English subtitlesRecommended ages: 7+Hop on this delightful omnibus of a film, composed of seven stunningly animated short films, and you’ll travel to China past and present, urban and rural, in realistic contemporary settings or fantastic mythical realms.
Though the protagonists range from a family of rabbits, a boy doing his homework at his parents’ restaurant, or a child and his grandmother in the countryside, all tell a unique stories of love, challenges, and maturing to the beat of your own drum.
The distinctive styles of each short equally captivate, beautifully hand illustrated through rich colors, ink painting, paper-cutting, watercolor, collages, and more to create affectionate interpretations of life, love and growth as seen through these gifted Chinese filmmakers’ viewpoints.
THE STRANGEST GIRL IN THE WORLD
ArgentinaMariano Cattaneo; 2021, 89 minIn Spanish with English subtitlesRecommended ages: 9+The colorful world of high school, with its cool kids, chaos, and excitement, is just a pale backdrop for Melién.
For her, true thrills aren’t found in dances, crushes, or acing exams, but in the mysteries she reads and horror stories she writes that transport her far beyond the tame walls of her bedroom.
When she finds that the worlds she can conjure in her sketchbook start to become a little too real, she’ll have to learn to rely on some collective teamwork to slay some demons—of both the fantasy and mean-girl variety—who’ve tagged her ‘the strangest girl in the world.”
Sunday, March 6th11:00am
United StatesThomas Verrette; 2021, 74 minIn EnglishRecommended ages: 8+Think your assignments are hard? Imagine if your work was checked in space—by astronauts! That’s the case for the real students of the ISS Finals Tournament who are tasked with creating code for satellites aboard the International Space Station.
Zero Gravity follows three middle school innovators and their first-time coach as they learn to navigate the complexities of NASA technology and life as a pre-teen. Gorgeous footage of outer space adds to the grandeur of their task, but the most compelling stories happen here on Earth, where the students support each other with teamwork and compassion, and their own hidden figure: the Mexican-American grandfather of their instructor whose experience at NASA sheds new light on the history of science and flight.