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NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL

February 8 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm MST

NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES ITS 27TH COMPLETE FEATURE SLATE

With 7 U.S. & International Premieres and 6 NY Premieres from Around the Globe, Highlights Include: Oscar Nominee and Love Letter to NYC Pablo Berger’s ROBOT DREAMS, Cannes Darling and Cesar Nominee CHICKEN FOR LINDA!, the Latest from Anime Stalwart Yoshimi Itazu THE CONCIERGE, Highly anticipated French Fantasy SIROCCO AND THE KINGDOM OF WINDS and Many More! The Festival Runs March 2-17, 2024.

Complete Short Film Lineup, Jury, and Special Events To Be Announced!

*Tickets On Sale Now for Members, Public Tickets on Sale Monday February 12

The Oscar-qualifying New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) announces its complete feature film slate for 2024. Ringing in its 27th year, NYICFF is North America’s largest and most prestigious film festival for young audiences. The festival begins Saturday, March 2nd and will run weekends through March 17th in New York City. With venues across Manhattan and Brooklyn, hosts include: IFC Center, SVA Theatre, Film Forum, DCTV’s Firehouse Cinema, Scandinavia House, and Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn. Renowned independent cinema The Jacob Burns Film Center in Westchester, NY will host additional screenings on March 2 & 3, while Sag Harbor Cinema will once again host screenings on final weekend of March 16th & 17th.

For more information please visit: https://nyicff.org/
COMPLETE FEATURE SLATE:Centrepiece Spotlight:

CHICKEN FOR LINDA!
Linda veut du poulet!
France — East Coast Premiere
Sébastien Laudenbach & Chiara Malta, Animation, 2023, 76 min.
Recommended ages 7+
In French with English subtitles

This keenly observed, artful story—fresh from Cannes—has all the makings of a classic: mother-daughter drama, sneezing truck drivers, and a full-scale, community-wide search for a chicken. Our cheeky young protagonist, Linda, likes to push the limit. To be fair, she, like many kids, feels like she’s always getting blamed for things she didn’t do. When Linda’s mom finally see things from her perspective, she vows to make up for her misjudgement by preparing her favorite meal. Yet one simple request—her late father’s famous chicken—is no easy task with the entire town on strike and not a chicken in sight. And so begins a madcap dash with mother and daughter flying from henhouse to watermelon truck, eventually enlisting the whole neighborhood on their quest for the elusive ingredient. Painted in bold colors expressively animated, Chicken for Linda reminds us that with a little love and patience, even the most unexpected ingredients can make life more delicious.

COCO FARM
Coco Ferme
Canada — New York Premiere
Sébastien Gagné, Live Action, 2023, 89 min.
Recommended ages 8+
In French with English subtitles
This hilarious film about an enterprising 12-year-old and his egg farm venture is sure to delight young eco-entrepreneurs, social media mavens, and farmer’s market fanatics alike. Max, an enterprising 12-year-old, is crestfallen when he must close up shop on his garage-based “business” and move to the countryside. Though he’s now closer to his cousins, the bustling life of a farm family is a shock to his quiet, city-kid existence. But not all hope is lost: when he discovers free range chickens in his cousin Charles’ abandoned barn, a new business plan is born. With the help of their social media savvy neighbor, Alice, their animal-friendly egg farm takes off and brings the whole community together. Yet just when the three partners are hitting their stride, each bringing their own talents to the table, their small-scale business is faced with some large-scale roadblocks.

THE CONCIERGE
北極百貨店のコンシェルジュさん
Japan — New York Premiere
Yoshimi Itazu, Animation, 2023, 70 min.
Recommended Ages 9+
In Japanese with English subtitles
The word “no” does not exist in the concierge’s dictionary! So says trainee Akino, who caters to the every whim of her exclusively animal clientele in this characteristically zany anime from the legendary Production IG. Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my…do they know how to shop! They also have demanding tastes, especially when they walk into the Arctic Department Store, a unique, grand-scale shop that caters exclusively to animal clientele. Akino, a dedicated concierge trainee, is tasked with making sure shoppers are treated as the most welcomed guests. The trouble? As a human, handling her clients’ gruff manners isn’t exactly in her nature. A cheetah’s nose knows when a perfume is an imposter, and it’s not so easy to find the perfect gift when constantly hounded by a fox. But even under the—literal—eagle eyes of her clients and supervisors, Akino’s determined to rise to the challenge with grace and wit in Crunchyroll’s charming adaptation of the popular manga by Tsuchika Nishimura.

Double Bill: MAGIC CANDIES + THE KLUTZY WITCH
Japan
Animation, 2023, 86 min.
Recommended ages 8+
In Japanese with English subtitles

MAGIC CANDIES
AMEDAMA (あめだま)
Japan — World Premiere
Daisuke Nishio, Animation, 2023, 21 min.
Recommended Ages 8+
In Japanese with English subtitles

A completely odd and wholly heartfelt story about compassion and finding your voice. Trust us, you’ll rethink how you treat the objects, and others, in your life. Renowned Toei anime master Daisuke Nishio, of Dragon Ball Z fame, brings a beloved picture book to life in a visually striking, magical realist 3D CGI style. The other kids at the park never ask Dong-Dong to play. That’s ok. He’s fine just playing marbles on his own. One day, he buys a bag of colorful candies instead of new marbles. The first time he pops one of them into his mouth, his old sofa starts talking to him! The two share an unexpected conversation before the sweet melts away. As it happens, the people, animals, and objects in Dong-Dong’s life have a lot to say. With each candy, he discovers new voices and perspectives, including his own. Heartfelt and totally strange, Magic Candies will have you rethinking how you treat the objects, and others, in your life.

THE KLUTZY WITCH: FUKA AND THE WITCH OF DARKNESS
劇場アニメらくだい魔女 フウカと闇の魔女
Japan — North American Premiere
Takayuki Hamana, Animation, 2023, 59 min.
Recommended Ages 8+
In Japanese with English subtitles

Fuka is a loveable but clumsy apprentice witch and princess of the Silver Castle who, unlike her classmates, still needs some practice with her beginner spells. Despite her lack of natural majesty, she aspires to be just like her mother, the Silver Queen, legendary master of all things magic. When she accidentally breaks the seal of darkness and is transported to a spooky amusement park, nervous Fuka will have to complete a series of tests in order to defeat an evil witch. Luckily for Fuka, childhood friends Karin, gentle princess of the Green Castle, and cheeky Chitose, prince of the Blue Castle, are there to help. But in the face of danger, hot-headed Chitose and stubborn Fukka can’t seem to keep it together. It’s up to patient Karin to find a path to harmony so the trio can go from clumsy to clever. From award-winning anime studio Production IG. and veteran director Takayuki Hamana.

DOUNIA – THE GREAT WHITE NORTH
Canada — US Premiere
André Kadi & Marya Zarif, Animation, 2023, 51 min.
Recommended Ages 7+
In French with English subtitles. It’s the return of Dounia, the little Syrian girl with big hair, in a new tale of love, resilience, cultural understanding, and multi-generational connection. Audiences might recognize the little girl with the big hair who made her way from Syria to Canada in NYICFF 2023’s poignant Dounia and the Princess of Aleppo. Now settled, Dounia and her grandparents slowly get to know Canada, the new home that welcomed them: its intense seasons, its special foods, its languages (three and counting!). Dounia’s grandparents are sure to keep their Syrian traditions alive at home, while her new friends share traditions of their own, like Rosalie’s French-Canadian lifestyle or Miguizou’s vast indigenous folklore. So while she still misses her dad who stayed back in Aleppo, Dounia now has new ways to keep him with her. It’s when Kukum, Miguizo’s grandmother, teaches Dounia to call her father with all of her heart, that he just might find his way back to her.

FRYBREAD FACE AND ME
United States
Billy Luther, Live Action, 2023, 83 min.
Recommended ages 10+
In English and Navajo with English subtitles

This hilarious and touching slice-of-life story, executive produced by NYICFF alum Taika Waititi, is a warm portrait of cultural awakening and the adolescent summers that stay with us not because of what happened, but because of what they made us feel. It’s the summer of 1990 and Benny has been unceremoniously shipped from San Diego to his grandma’s on the Navajo Nation. Instead of seeing Fleetwood Mac with his mom, he’s thrust into the dusty daily life of sheep herding. Between insults from his uncle and unintelligible conversations with Grandma (she only speaks Navajo), he charts his escape back home. That’s until Frybread Face, his bossy cousin Dawn, is similarly ditched on the rez. Unlike Benny, Fry’s familiar with the ways of Diné, and what starts out as leeriness toward her city cousin soon gives way to genuine affection. And when it’s time for Benny to head back home, he’s bringing with him a proud connection to his cousin and his culture. Note: like many tweens who consider themselves wise beyond their years, characters use some harsh language, and one out-of-touch uncle uses a homophobic slur.

INSOMNIACS AFTER SCHOOL
君は放課後インソムニア
Japan — East Coast Premiere
Chihiro Ikeda, Live Action, 2023, 112 min.
Recommended Ages 10+
In Japanese with English subtitles

In this adaptation of Makoto Ojiro’s popular manga about the trials and triumphs of high school, a budding friendship is truly written in the stars. No one seems to understand Nakami. His nights are restless, his days sleepy, and his time at school is isolating. Yet all that seems to change when he encounters his carefree classmate, Magari, dozing off in their high school’s abandoned observatory. Not only is Magari friendly, she’s also a closet insomniac. Together they find solidarity in their shared condition, using the observatory to nap as needed. When their unsanctioned use of the space is discovered, the only way to save their refuge is to revive the school’s long defunct astronomy club. As they work together and get to know each other, their bond grows ever stronger, but hidden truths threaten to cut their budding friendship shot. An adolescent drama in the vein of My Girl or The Fault in Our Stars, Insomniacs After School is a tender look at how unbreakable bonds are formed.

KENSUKE’S KINGDOM
United Kingdom, Luxembourg, France — New York Premiere
Neil Boyle & Kirk Hendry, Live Action, 2023, 84 min.
Recommended ages 8+
In English

A gorgeously animated adaptation of the beloved, Robinson Crusoe-style chapter book about loss and friendship. When a violent storm befalls his family’s sailing trip, Michael and his dog, Stella, are swept overboard. They awake dazed on a beautiful remote island where they must quickly find their wits and the resources to survive—a challenge no less steep for all the island’s beauty. Upon their return from an unsuccessful expedition, they may not be alone; someone has left water near their camp. Soon he meets his mysterious benefactor: an ornery Japanese man named Kensuke, who has been the island’s sole inhabitant since World War II. Despite Kensuke’s rigid boundaries and rules for the island, a friendship begins to form. It couldn’t come at a more fortuitous time, as dangerous invaders begin to threaten their secret world and they must work together to preserve their fragile paradise.

KUNG FU LION
Kung Fu Leeuw
China, Netherlands — North American Premiere
Froukje Tan, Live Action, 2023, 85 min.
Recommended Ages 9+
In Dutch and Mandarin with English subtitles

This Chinese and Dutch co-production uses Rotterdam as a vibrant urban backdrop to a story about adolescent rivalries, martial arts, and the challenges of growing up. Fourteen-year-old Jimmy is the star kung fu student at his school. Naturally, he’s a shoo-in for head of the lion in this year’s lion dance. So, naturally, he is shocked when his sifu, or teacher, announces that talented newcomer Li Jié wil helm the new crew. In his quest to prove himself as worthy of the lead, Jimmy must defeat neighborhood bullies, convince the sifu of his qualities, and, most importantly, overcome his own ego. Now he’s faced with the ultimate battle of might vs. right. Can he curb his temper and learn to work together with his new nemesis? Kung Fu Lion provides a cross-cultural look at the challenges of growing up, which are a little easier with the wisdom of the martial arts.

LIONESS
Leeuwin
Netherlands — New York Premiere
Raymond Grimbergen, Live Action, 2023, 86 min.
Recommended Ages 9+
In Dutch with English subtitles

Soccer is the sport that brings people together—and possibly tears them apart—in this winning fish-out-of-water story about friendship, belonging, acceptance, and resilience. Rosi’s life is great: she spends her days dominating the soccer pitch in lush, sun-drenched Suriname. So she’s understandably crushed when her family moves to the Netherlands, leaving the life she knows behind. But her soccer skills might be what saves her from loneliness when she’s befriended by Jitte, a fellow footballer at her new school. On the school’s soccer team, Rosi proves her mettle, quickly making new friends and thriving. Just as Rosi’s feelings of isolation disappear, her obvious talent sparks the envy of her teammates, especially when Jitte is benched to give her more playing time. Then, a family tragedy has Rosi questioning her commitment to soccer altogether. With the interscholastic championships on the horizon and her relationship with her best friend unreconciled, Rosi will have to dig deep to find the confidence and courage to bring out her inner champion.

MOOMINVALLEY
United Kingdom — North American Theatrical Premiere
Jay Grace, Darren Robbie, Animation, 2022, 66 min.
Recommended ages 6+
In English

You may not have heard of the Moomins before (well, unless you’ve been to NYICFF in the past 6 years), but these adorable trolls and their whimsy have inspired movies, TV shows, operas, and even their own theme park around the world. You may not have heard of the Moomins before (well, unless you’ve been to NYICFF in the past 6 years), but these adorable trolls and their whimsical yet harebrained adventures are absolutely huge overseas. They’re back once again with three all new stories to satisfy your every Moomindesire. In Homecoming, the moomins find the community at odds and under the spell of a charismatic leader denouncing all rules. The road to friendship is not always the straightest route when Moomintroll tries to help the valley’s latest resident, Snork (new character alert!), make friends in Inventing Snork. Finally, when Moomintroll learns of Moominmamma’s love of hot air ballooning, he’s determined to see her wildest dreams take flight in Moominmamma’s Flying Dream. Featuring the voices of Rosamund Pike, Matt Berry, Warwick Davis, Rhys Darby, and Bel Powley.

PUFFIN ROCK AND THE NEW FRIENDS
Ireland — North American Premiere
Jeremy Purcell, Animation, 2023, 80 min.
Recommended Ages 3+
In English

This new story from our friends at Cartoon Saloon (the Oscar® nominated geniuses behind The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea) is perfect for our youngest audiences, complete with puffin friends, on—what else?—an enchanting Irish isle. Puffin Rock, a charming gem off of the coast of Ireland, is a warm community and beautiful habitat for all creatures big and small. It makes for an especially calm respite in the storm of migration, and it’s where we find puffin Oona, who looks after her baby brother, Baba, shielding him from any possible dangers the gorgeous flora or fauna may pose. When Puffin Isabelle and her step-brother Phoenix arrive on the Rock, Oona knows all the things to do and games to play to help fend off their homesickness. But there are still serious matters at hand, like protecting a puffin egg that brings the promise of a new generation. Their pals Flynn the Fox, May the Rabbit, and Mossy the hard-working Shrew are on the job, even when Isabelle makes a misstep and has a hard time coming clean.

ROBOT DREAMS
SPAIN, FRANCE
Pablo Berger, Animation, 2023, 103 min.
Recommended Ages 8+
No dialogue

Even without dialogue, this hand-drawn story about a dog and his robot captures all the sweetness that can span a friendship, whether it lasts for a reason or for a season. New York City, 1980s. Dog lives an unassuming life among the bustle of the East Village. Feeling lonely, he orders Robot from a TV ad. Once assembled, Robot instantly becomes Dog’s most steadfast friend. Together, they explore the city, rollerskating and roaming to a near-constant thrum of Earth, Wind, & Fire’s “September.” When the Coney Island seawater leaves Robot’s joints rusted stiff, Dog has no choice but to leave him behind. As the year wears on, their lives take different paths, but they’ll always hold each other in their hearts. City kids will appreciate the familiar sights and sounds of this animal-populated NYC—Subway drummers! Hot dogs in Central Park! A trip to the Strand!—only it’s an octopus rocking the buckets and a llama checking out books. Parents will appreciate they way Dog watches Robot experience it all for the first time. Sentimental audiences of all ages may want to bring tissues.

ROSA AND THE STONE TROLL
Roselil og stentrolden
Denmark — New York Premiere
Karla Nor Holmbäck, Animation, 2023, 75 min.
Recommended ages 6+
In English

The fantastical tale of a flower fairy in a super-Scandi, Marimekko-inspired world as she learns to fight her fears. Rosa is an adorably lovely flower fairy who plays by the rules in her brightly colored, Marimekko-inspired world. She happily gets by in her little rosebush, but she’s also eager to spread her wings. And while she dreams of having a friend, going farther afield can be a little scary. Traversing the Summerland? A very tall order. One day, she crosses paths with the adventurous butterfly, Silk. Despite their very different dispositions—Silk is as cheeky and curious as Rosa is timid and cautious—they hit it off immediately. Silk wants to go on adventures in the Summerland and Rosa just wants to stay in her safe bush. But when Silk is kidnapped by an evil Stone Troll, Rosa has to let go of her fears and set out on a dangerous journey to save her new best friend.

SIROCCO AND THE KINGDOM OF WINDS
Sirocco et le royaume des courants d’air
France, Belgium — World Premiere English Language Version
Benoît Chieux, Animation, 2024, 80 min.
Recommended ages 7+
In English

This skyward flight of fancy follows two sisters as they travel through their favorite story, where they meet a cast of characters in a Wizard of Oz meets Yellow Submarine fantasy land. The meta-story begins when sisters Juliette and Carmen are sent to spend the weekend with Agnès, a talented story writer. But Agnès has a lot on her plate and, though she loves them dearly, decides to take a nap, leaving the girls to their own devices. So they seek adventure within the pages of their favorite story—literally. A curious figurine from the story springs to life and lures them into the fantastical Kingdom of the Winds. As they’re thrust into this fantasy world, they encounter a slew of its colorful inhabitants, including an operatic duck diva and the brooding King Sirocco, who controls the wind. With imagination and courage on their side, the girls must charm the sour king in order to make their way back home. Directed by three-time NYICFF alum Benoît Chieux (Mia and the Migoo, Aunt Hilda!, Tigers Tied Up in One Rope) and co-written by three-time NYICFF alum Alain Gagnol (A Cat in Paris, Phantom Boy, One Hell of a Plan).

STORY AND PICTURES BY
United States — New York City Premiere
Joanna Rudnick, Live Action, 2023, 85 min.
Recommended Ages 10+
In English

One of our earliest introductions to storytelling comes in the form of picture books. This joyful doc follows emerging authors as they change the game by expanding the stories they tell—and the idea of who gets to tell them. One of our earliest introductions to storytelling comes in the form of picture books, the art of pairing stories and illustrations so seemingly simple but deeply resonant. This joyful doc turns our eyes to three emerging authors and how they are changing the game by expanding the kinds of stories they tell and the very idea of who gets to tell them. Follow Christian Robinson (Last Stop on Market Street), Yuyi Morales (Viva Frida), and Mac Barnett (Sam & Dave Dig a Hole) as they push boundaries to lead the new golden age of kid lit. Charming animation and rare archival footage revisit timeless classics like Where the Wild Things Are and Goodnight Moon and shine a new light on the history of this enchanting artform, all while providing a look ahead into its boundless future.

TOBY ALONE
Tobi Lolness
France, Germany, Belgium — North American premiere
Camille-Elvis Théry & Florian Thouret, Animation, 2023, 68 min.
Recommended Ages 7+
In English

At only 1.5 millimeters tall, Toby Lolness might be tiny, but don’t count him out just yet: he’s here to prove that no one’s too small to fight for their environment—or become the most wanted person in the world. Toby Lolness is 13 years old and only 1.5 millimeters tall, living in The Great Oak Tree. Sim, Toby’s father, is Treetop Village’s most promising inventor. When Sim discovers he can use the tree’s sap to power his latest contraption, he vows to keep it a secret in order to protect their beloved home. But word gets out, and wealthy bigwig Joe Mitch wants to get his hands on this valuable technology. He uses his influence to imprison Toby’s parents and send Toby running for the Lower Branches, banished by his own people. Joe vows to capture Toby, but the Lolness family turns out to be more inventive than he can imagine. Awash in beautiful water color foliage and based on the novel by Timothée de Fombelle, Toby Alone reminds us it’s the little ones who can protect our planet.

WHERE IS ANNE FRANK
Belgium, France, Israel, Luxembourg, Netherlands
Ari Folman, Animation, 2021, 99 min.
Recommended Ages 10+
In English

ICYMI: We’re bringing back this inventive spin on an oft-told story, first screened at NYICFF 2022. One night Kitty, the most famous imaginary friend in history, suddenly materializes as a fully fledged girl from the ink-filled pages of Anne Frank’s diary. She doesn’t understand where her old friend has gone (or why, for that matter, their former home has become a tourist attraction). Kitty leaves behind her 1940s dress and sets out to solve the mystery. Aided by a resourceful pickpocket and befriending a group of young refugees seeking safe homes and community like anyone else, Kitty criss-crosses through time and takes us from the streets of contemporary, colorful Amsterdam through to gray war-era Germany and back. While Anne’s now ever-present name has been reverently affixed to bridges and schools and hospitals, Kitty fears her friend’s true legacy is being forgotten. An urgent and poignant detective story and anthem for social justice from award-winning filmmaker Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir).ABOUT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL (NYICFF)
Established in 1997, NYICFF’s mission is rooted in the belief of film as a path for young people to understand themselves and others. All programs are designed to celebrate the beauty and power of film, spark the inherent capacity of children to connect with complex, nuanced art, and encourage the creation of intelligent films that represent and celebrate unique, diverse, and historically excluded voices. NYICFF serves children, students, families, educators, filmmakers, and media arts professionals through its three core activities: the annual, Oscar®-qualifying NYC film festival and national touring program; FilmEd, a media arts and literacy program; and Toward an Inclusive Future, an annual industry forum. NYICFF is 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support Kathy Hochul, and the New York State Legislature, and additional support from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

Details

Date:
February 8
Time:
8:00 am - 5:00 pm MST
Event Categories:
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Organizer

NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL (NYICFF)
View Organizer Website

Venue

New York
New York City, NY United States + Google Map


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