film by Julia Sarantis January 29, 2019
Running on its 22nd year, the New York International Children’s Film Festival continues to bring the best talent in the field of animation from around the world to the screens of NYC.
Representing over 30 countries in 15 languages, over four weekends, February 22 to March 17, 2019, the NYICFF presents the best new animation, live action, documentary, and experimental film from across the globe.
With all-age-spanning narratives that draw on themes of youth, the NYICFF invites audiences, to join the colorful on-screen characters for fun, exciting and daring adventures — expanding worldviews, exploring new territory and igniting our imagination.
The New York premiere of Juan Antin’s animated indigenous story and adventure quest, Pachamama follows the story of a boy living in a small village in the Andes Mountains and who dreams of becoming a shaman.
The newest feature from renowned French writer and animation director, Michel Ocelot, Dilili in Paris, will have its U.S. premiere at the festival. Ocelot’s latest animation follows the story of two friends investigating the disappearance of girls.
The festival will also host the World Theatrical Premiere of the Finnish-British animated family drama fantasy series, Moominvalley. The series is a brand new adaptation of the much-loved Moomin stories of Finnish-Swedish writer and artist Tove Jansson. Her books have been translated into over 50 languages.
The series utilizes brand-new techniques in CGI. The innovative style combines state-of-the-art 3D with classical illustrative aesthetics. It also features the voice of British actresses Kate Winslet, Rosamund Pike, and Jennifer Saunders.
For all you anime fans: The festival will screen the World Premiere English-language version Okko’s Inn, by Kitarō Kōsaka as well as Penguin Highway, the first feature from the new Japanese animation start-up studio spun off from Miyazaki’s stable of younger animators.
The opening night of NYCIFF will screen Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. The film follows the inspiring true story of 13-year-old William Kamkwamba, who is thrown out of the school he loves when his family can no longer afford the fees.
Sneaking back into the school library, he finds a way, using the bones of the bicycle belonging to his father Trywell (Ejiofor), to build a windmill which then saves his Malawian village from famine. The film recently screened at Sundance and the Berlinale and will be available on Netflix on Mar. 1.
In 2011 New York International Children’s Film Festival became an Oscar-qualifying event. Winners of the festival’s juried prizes are eligible for Academy consideration in the categories of Best Live Action and Best Animated Short Film.
This year’s jury racks up to a talented and star-studded list of directors, producers, writers and actors including; Sofia Coppola, Gus Van Sant, Geena Davis, John Canemaker, Julianna Margulies, Hope Davis, Uma Thurman, Zoe Saldana, Christine Vachon, and more.
Programming Director Maria-Christina Villaseñor says,
“We are thrilled to showcase the diversity of outstanding filmmaking from around the world at NYICFF 2019 and demonstrate that multidimensional storytelling and artful approaches know no boundaries in terms of age range, genre or country. Kids and families are as hungry for artful, meaningful stories as adult audiences, whether told through live action, documentary, or animation, and all will be richly rewarded through an impressive slate of international titles at NYICFF 2019.”
LOCATIONS of NYICFF: Alamo Drafthouse City Point, Cinépolis Chelsea, IFC Center, Museum of the Moving Image, Quad Cinema, Scandinavia House, and SVA Theatre