Children's International Film Festival

Film, Family
CHIFF Cloudboy
Photograph: Supplied Cloudboy

A new film festival arrives, especially for kids

Cinema owner Eddie Tamir (the Lido, the Cameo and the Classic) was frustrated at the cinema offerings for kids outside of the blockbusters and, determined to broaden the cultural scope of kids' movie diet, is launching the Children's International Film Festival Melbourne (CHIFF).

All the films in the inaugural CHIFF are Australian premieres sourced from the festivals in Toronto, Berlin and Seattle. "Watching these films brought me surprising joy," Tamir says. "It was thrilling to feel transported back to my early movie matinée excursions."

Announced in the program is I Kill Giantsstarring Zoe Saldana and Imogen Poots and based on a graphic novel series. Cloudboy, meanwhile, is set in the picturesque landscape of northern Sweden, where 12 year-old Niilas is sent to spend a summer with his mother among the indigenous Sami people, and learns how to herd reindeer.

March of the Penguins 2: The Call follows the arduous journey of a new generation of emperor penguins, 12 years after the first Oscar-winning documentary.

Bugsy Malone is a 1970s classic: a gangster film with a cast made up of entirely of children, with flying custard pies, toe-tapping musical numbers and a pint-sized Jodie Foster. The film is a favourite of Tamir.

Another retro screening will be 
three episodes of quintessential Australian TV show, Round the Twist, intended to introduce a new generation of viewers to the magic of Paul Jennings' Twist kids.

Animated films include The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear, the vividly illustrated Colombian feature, Lila's Book, and Gordon & Paddywhich sees Gordon, a frog police chief, and Paddy, a clever mouse, team up to solve the mystery of the missing nuts. 

Special events include the launch of an illustrated children's book, Lucky and Mucky; Gangsters and Flappers dress-up screenings of Bugsy Malone; a March of the Penguins 2 screening on the Lido Rooftop; plus a visit from Phillip Island penguin handlers. 

All non-English films include English subtitles and sessions of Gordon & Paddy, Lila's Book and My Giraffe will be live-dubbed in English for younger viewers – thoughtful!

All tickets are on sale now.

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