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Jan 13 - Jan 21

168 Alewife Brook Park
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-484-3980
https://www.belmontworldfilm.org

PRICE: Tickets are $12 for feature films and $8 for shorts programs; Three shorts programs (Celebrating 70 Years of Weston Woods Studios, LOL with Mo Willems Films, and Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) are also available virtually for $15 per program from January 20–21. The basic film camera techniques workshop is $20 (plus $12 if using an Android phone) and must be purchased in advance. Festival Passes, which include admission to all films are $40. VIP Festival passes are $120 and include all films, the workshop, two t-shirts, and recognition in all of Belmont World Film’s programs for a year. EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare card holder tickets are half price.

PHONE: 617-484-3980

TIME: 10:30 am - 06:00 pm

Categories:  

Description

Children age 3–12 and their families can embark on an enchanting adventure when Belmont World Film presents its 21st Family Festival, a four-day celebration of international culture from January 13–21, 2024 that guarantees an immersive and culturally rich experience for young audiences. The festival features films from around the world in English and multiple languages, including Chinese, Czech, French, Dutch, Norwegian—even sign language. Most films cannot be seen anywhere else in New England.

The festival kicks off Saturday, January 13 at Apple Cinemas in Cambridge (168 Alewife Brook Pkwy.), followed by screenings at West Newton Cinema (1296 Washington St.) on Sunday, January 14; the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge (40 Brattle St.) on Monday, January 15, in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Day; and the Regent Theatre in Arlington (7 Medford St.) on Sunday, January 21. Three shorts programs are also available online from January 20–21, geared to age 3–8.

Subtitles for films in languages other than English are read aloud through headphones, ensuring an inclusive experience for children with difficulty reading. Many films are making their U.S. or New England premieres; most films are also based on classic and contemporary children’s books, which help reinforce an interest in reading and literature, while supplementing the Massachusetts Public School System’s Curriculum Frameworks.

The lineup includes a carefully curated mix of animated and live-action feature length and short films, offering something for every age group. Highlights include (visit the web site for the complete schedule):

  • Yuku and the Himalayan Flower (1/13, Apple Cinemas; U.S. premiere): a colorful and adorable animated musical, about a little mouse who goes in search of a rare plant that radiates eternal light to restore her grandmother back to health. With her ukulele and her original bouncy rap tunes, she makes friends along the way during her sometimes-perilous journey. The film premiered at the Annecy Film Festival.
  • OkThanksBye (1/14, West Newton, New England premiere): a road movie that follows two hearing impaired pre-teens from Rotterdam to Paris, followed by a discussion with ASL interpretation.
  • Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light (1/14, West Newton, U.S. premiere): an astounding stop-motion film from the Czech Republic, winner of the Contretemps Award at the prestigious Annecy Film Festival, about an 11-year-old boy who glows.
  • Tabby McTat (1/14, West Newton; North American premiere): a short, animated film based on the picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo), about the warm and wonderful friendship between a musical cat and a street busker in London, featuring the voice of Jodi Whittaker ("Dr. Who") and comedian Rob Brydon.
  • Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1/15, Brattle), a short film program based on books about Dr. King and his contemporaries, including the U.S. premiere of I Am Ruby Bridges, written by the Civil Rights activist who was the first African American child to attend a formerly whites-only elementary school.
  • Totem (1/21, Regent, New England premiere): a gripping film about a girl whose parents are asylum seekers from Senegal but is raised to feel completely Dutch, and her journey to discover her roots through an extraordinary totem animal. Followed by a discussion about the film and dual cultural identities, led by Ghanaian-American filmmaker Menefese Kudumu-Clavell.

Filmmaker Menefese Kudumu-Clavell also lead a workshop called Basic Film Cameria Techniques for children age 10+, lead a workshop covering fundamental camera techniques, as well as rarely used ones that define the unique style of foreign films. Participants have the opportunity to put theory into practice as well. Born in the U.S. but raised in Ghana, Menefesi Kudumu-Clavell is a filmmaker and co-founder of Ineffable Films, a nonprofit film company that illuminates cultural stories through cinema. The organization’s youth division, Poly-Nation, uses foreign films for its curriculum, with a focus on exploring multicultural identities.

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