From Dec. 26 through 31, Coral Gables Art Cinema will host the third annual Miami International Children’s Film Festival. The family-friendly event is the perfect scene for families who want to expose their children to different cultures, themes and stories.
“Children have the opportunity firsthand of visiting, actually visiting, different cultures and seeing how children live in different places all over the globe. It really expands their horizons and their understanding, which they probably wouldn’t get in commercial theaters,” said Midge Blumbridge-Krams, chairwoman of children and family programs at the Coral Gables Art Cinema.
Previously, the festival lasted only a weekend. But after the success of the first two years, the Coral Gables Arts Cinema decided to expand it to a six-day festival.
“I love to go to Coral Gables Cinema because there you can watch great movies and short films. I also donate money for other children. I like it because it is a small theater, not expensive and full of fluffy animals,” said Edgar Padierne, 8, who has attended the film festival before.
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The festival also offers educational opportunities for children, including a stop-motion animation workshop, discussions with directors and a musical instrument building workshop.
The overall purpose of the festival is to not only expose children to independent films, but to also show them that careers in filmmaking are attainable, even if it doesn’t mean going to Hollywood.
“The idea that there’s a Q&A both for their parents as well as for the kids is really interesting and they like them.” said Frank Gladstone of Miami. “In doing so, we may be fostering the next generation of people who grow up and do this for a living.”
Gladstone is the director of The Hero of Color City, a colorful, imaginative film that will be screened during the festival.
Many of the films in the festival’s program are premiering for the first time in Florida. Ben Delgado, associate director of the Coral Gables Arts Cinema, says that this offers a sort of prestige and excitement to the festival.
“It’s a very friendly atmosphere, in fact, we have stuffed animals on every single chair and [the kids] walk in and they pick the chair that they would like to sit and hold the animal. It’s just very joyful for all ages,” Blumbridge-Krams said.
IF YOU GO
▪ What: Miami International Children’s Film Festival
▪ Where: Unless otherwise stated, all events will be held at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave.
▪ When: Dec. 26 through 31
▪ Cost: Opening day is $15 for general admission, $12 for Gables Cinema members and $10 for children ages 12 and under. All other screenings are $7 for general admission, $5 for children up to 12 years old or $50 for a series pass.
▪ More Information: Visit gablescinema.com or facebook.com/gablescinema or call 786-385-9689.
10:30 a.m.: Family Fun on the Plaza, an outdoor event with balloons, face painting and more. Free.
11 a.m.: Film screening, Kids Fix Mix 1. Award-winning short films from 2015 New York International Children’s Film Festival. Free.
1 p.m.: Opening reception with food and drinks.
2 p.m: Film screening, Florida premiere of Mune, 3D film from France for ages 5 and older. The CGI film follows two friends, Mune and Sohone, as they work together to save both of their worlds. Mune is guardian of the moon; Sohone is guardian of the sun.
9:30 a.m.: Family Fun on the Plaza.
10 a.m.: Film screening, Moomins on the Riviera, from Finland for ages 3 and older. To celebrate the 100th birthday of Moomin comic strips, French director Xavier Picard brings the Moomin comic strips to life with beautiful backgrounds and a humorous storyline.
Noon: Film screening, Belle and Sebastian, France for ages 7 and older. The story of a boy and his dog, filmed in the alpine panoramas of the Haute Maurienne-Vanoise region of France, puts their friendship to test as Nazis march into town searching for Jewish refugees.
2 p.m.: Film screening, Enchanted Kingdom, from United Kingdom for ages 3 and older. The film travels through seven distinct realms in Africa to showcase the nuances of the continent.
10 a.m.: Film screening, Anina, from Uruguay for ages 9 and older. Anina was the opening film in the 2013 film festival. Anina, 10, is punished with a suspended detention and has to handle the strange punishment throughout the film.
Noon: Film screening, Florida premiere of Satellite Girl and Milk Cow, from South Korea for ages 9 and older. After a boy turns into a cow, he and a girl have to save the world from a horrible monster.
1 p.m.: Stop-motion animation workshop at Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave. Admission is $25.
2 p.m.: Film screening, Kids Fix Mix 2, from multiple countries for ages 9 and older. A collection of audience favorites and award-winning films from the 2015 New York International Film Festival.
10 a.m.: Film screening, encore of Kids Fix Mix 1.
Noon: Film screening, The King and the Mockingbird, from France for agea 6 and older. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep, the film follows the story of a king who is in love with a painting of a shepherdess, but doesn’t know that she likes someone else.
1 p.m.: Stop-motion animation workshop, Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave. Admission is $25.
2 p.m.: Film screening, Florida premiere of Ballet Boys from Norway for ages 9 and older. By documenting how three friends get accepted into Norway’s prestigious ballet academy, the film shows what life is like for young male dancers.
10 a.m.: Film screening, encore of Kids Fix Mix 2.
Noon: Film screening, Hero of Color City, from USA for ages 3 and older. Overnight, Ben’s crayon box is transported to Color City, a colorful world full of childhood fantasy. There will be a Q&A with the director via Skype.
2 p.m.: Film screening, Landfillharmonic, USA for ages 8 and older. A garbage picker decided to make instruments out of trash for teens who couldn’t afford instruments.
2 and 3 p.m.: Musical instruments workshops at John Martin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, 253 Miracle Mile. Admission is $10.
10 a.m.: Film screening, encore of Moomis on the Riviera.
Noon: Film screening, encore of Belle and Sebastian.
2 p.m.: Film screening, encore of Satellite Girl and Milk Cow.