Sheltering At Home, Families Get Creative With Entries For Boston International Kids Film Festival – WBUR

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The Boston Worldwide Children Movie Pageant (BIKFF) usually celebrates movies made by, for, or about youngsters with an annual in-person competition. However this 12 months, as with a lot else, the competition needed to pivot to a digital presentation. The largely quick movies can introduce youngsters to nature, assist them assume critically about race, or see what distant studying appears like in different elements of the world. Some are instructional, some have a message, and lots are simply plain humorous.

The competition was began eight years in the past by the Filmmakers Collaborative, a Melrose-based group that gives assist to media makers. Govt director Laura Azevedo says that numerous members made documentaries “with hopes of stepping into faculties or libraries and hoping younger individuals would see them and focus on them.” BIKFF gave them, and youth filmmakers, an outlet for his or her work. The youth-made movies shortly turned the most well-liked, she says, as a result of youngsters convey plenty of associates and households into the theater.

Although this 12 months the festivities will occur solely on-line from Nov. 20-22, Azevedo nonetheless expects nice attendance over the 10 blocks of movie screenings. Since impartial movies should not rated, BIKFF breaks down viewing in varied methods — by steered viewer age, film type and language. The entire movies with English subtitles stream collectively, for instance, as do the entire student-made movies. At press time, every block will stream as soon as, at a scheduled time, and is adopted by a reside Q&A.

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Opening evening, Block #1 on Friday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m., options the much-lauded 2018 documentary “Greatest Little Farm,” with topic and director John Chester slated to reply questions. The movie tells the story of how one household turns depleted California acreage right into a thriving biodynamic farm. It is a good entry-level, feature-length film for teenagers who need to study concerning the significance of sustainable agriculture.

On Saturday, Nov. 21, in Block #3, the fest showcases a wonderful choose for nature lovers. Screening at midday, “Magnificence on the Wing: The Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly,” will get up shut and private with the exceptional molting, migrating insect. With footage gathered over greater than 10 years, some from her personal again yard, Gloucester’s Kim Smith has turn out to be not only a almost one-woman documentary crew but additionally a vocal Monarch knowledgeable and advocate.

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“Magnificence on the Wing” particularly excels in affected person, excessive close-ups of the caterpillar releasing its exoskeleton, in addition to the butterflies sleeping and mating. Along with its scheduled screening, faculties can signal as much as stream this documentary Nov. 16-Nov. 20 and in addition take part in a Q&A with the director.

The remaining program blocks function 68 quick movies from 17 international locations. In lots of picks, the pandemic performs a recurring although not all the time apparent function. Some of the uplifting indicators comes within the type of wildly inventive shorts made by Boston space households sheltering at house.

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One among my favourite examples, “The Magical Forest and the Issues,” is an imaginative, memorable warning in opposition to overconsumption that audiences of all ages can admire. It options exuberant narration by 6-year-old Calliope Pietrewicz of West Hatfield, Massachusetts. Created whereas on lockdown in what her household calls their “quarantine attic,” Pietrewicz infuses the story’s recent twist on “The Giving Tree” with impish expressions like “private respond-a-billy-dee” (translation: private accountability). Artist and musician Dave Russo animated pen and marker drawings by scanning them into software program. He additionally performed the ukulele for the rating.

“The Magical Forest and the Issues” streams in Block #9, shorts for ages 10 and beneath, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22. The opposite shorts for 10 and beneath, Block #2 at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, features a deadpan Lucille Ball-inspired comedy that, regardless of its identify, has zero to do with crafting. In “Arms On: Crafts With Olivia and Esme, Esme Will get a Job,” real-life sisters Olivia and Esme Cote, ages 10 and 6, pay tribute to Lucy and Ethel.

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The Quincy-based Cote household has been making micro-shorts on Adam Cote’s (Olivia and Esme’s dad) iPhone for years. What began out as artful clips has morphed into all kinds of recorded antics with the household’s kitchen island as a backdrop. (Their IMDb web page goes again to 2016 and consists of 4 seasons; additionally they have a YouTube channel.) This episode modifications up the surroundings and provides grown-up costumes to a witty script a couple of demanding starlet’s resort go to. As with Lucy, come for the adorableness, keep for the slapstick. (Or the opposite approach round.)

Additionally in Block #2 is the animated medieval story “Daisy” directed by Sharon resident Tom Weston. Primarily based on a brief story from Weston’s assortment “Tales from the Inexperienced Dragon Tavern,” Daisy says she’s too small, too gradual and too weak to play with the opposite youngsters. Her wizard father makes a village proclamation. Daisy will turn out to be the most well-liked lady in class. Humor comes within the type of Daisy’s droopy-eyed “Yeah proper, Dad” nonresponses in addition to the narrator’s burly cadence for all characters.

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Pupil-made narratives function in Block #Four on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m., and provide up a robust exhibiting from the Boston space as effectively. The competition’s youngest filmmaker, 11-year-old Tobin Cleary from Winchester, turns in a convincing, succinct commentary on racism with “The Assembly Spot.” In it, two friends meet up at a fancy intersection and expertise troublingly totally different reactions from the white strangers passing by.

The technically spectacular “Closet,” by Shrewsbury’s Deniz Akyurek, makes ample use of sound design, lighting, modifying and results to inform a bodily compact however tension-filled story. Let’s simply say when you’re a bored teen looking at your cellphone, don’t open the kitchen closet door. “Quiet,” by Needham’s Emma Scharf, additionally performs Block #4. The considerably mysterious and magical storyline entails a shy younger mage who needs for an equally quiet household. Or perhaps it’s for a spell to calm the chaos of everybody beneath one pandemic roof.

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Portrayals of lockdown come from midway all over the world, as effectively. “Homeschool” (Block #2) depicts a day within the life of 1 New Zealand household the place the mother has to speak her youngsters into taking part in outdoor. Whereas not essentially pandemic-related, the boldly animated “Kapaemahu” (Block #7 Sunday, Nov. 22 at 10 a.m.) recounts how 4 big boulders on Hawaii’s Waikiki Seashore turned ignored and misunderstood. The boulders characterize therapeutic figures who comprise a combination of female and male in thoughts, physique and spirit. The quick’s animator, Daniel Sousa, has taught at a number of universities in Boston and New England.

With a pointy script, precision appearing and an general Hollywood polish, Boston’s Mark Kiefer takes a jab at local weather change within the comedic “Time Bomb,” taking part in in Block #10, shorts for middle-schoolers and older, on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 4:30 p.m.

With so many choices, youngsters of various pursuits and ages can tune in to BIKFF and discover one thing that matches. Over the competition weekend and all year long, BIKFF hosts stop-motion animation and moviemaking boot camps, too. Who is aware of? It’d encourage one child — or the entire household — to select up a digicam, or pens and paper, and enter their very own movie subsequent 12 months.


Boston Worldwide Children Movie Pageant streams from Nov.20-22. For a full schedule of screening instances, go to the competition’s web site.

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