While we’re talking about a new kid-friendly hangout added to Capitol Hill, let’s talk about one of the neighborhood’s greatest ongoing kid events. The Children’s Film Festival Seattle returns to the Northwest Film Forum later this month. Like most things child-oriented in Seattle, parents need to get on the ball early to make sure their wee ones have spots at the pancake table:
The family-friendly extravaganza celebrates the best and brightest in international cinema that is age-appropriate for ages 2-14, and will include 168 films from 55 nations, spanning the globe from North to South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The festival includes animation and live-action shorts, features, and hands-on filmmaking workshops, all crafted with care to appeal to a wide range of age groups.
This year’s festival runs January 25th to February 10th with screenings at NWFF’s 12th Ave theater following an opening night party at the Egyptian.
“We want children to come to the festival not only to be entertained by funny and fantastic films, but also to discover common ground, to build empathy and envision their places in the wider world,” director Elizabeth Shepherd said in this year’s announcement of the 13th year for the film fest.
“Now, more than ever, we see the potential of Seattle youth to become compassionate and proactive global citizens, and we are certain that the films included in our programs will energize and motivate them to make the world a better place.”
In addition to the festival’s pancake breakfast, kids will get to meet many of the filmmakers behind this year’s screenings including Robin Grey, producer of the feature documentary “Purple Dreams.” There are also digital animation, 360, and mobile video workshops planned. Meanwhile, the growth of the festival and the addition of big sponsors like Boeing and Whole Foods has helped it to include kids from a wider spectrum of economic backgrounds with tickets for school and group visits.
NWFF continues to be a center for independent film after undergoing a summer 2016 makeover. In 2015, NWFF celebrated its 20th anniversary. NWFF traces its origin to the 1995 launch of WigglyWorld Studios, a post-production outfit that got its start in the neighborhood. The organization quickly grew into other aspects of film, including teaching and screening. Courtney Sheehan, a one-time college intern with the forum, took over as executive director in 2016 with a mission to create more events that mix film with performances and speakers on 12th Ave.
The Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2018 runs January 25th to February 10th at the Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave. Schedules, special event listings, and tickets are available at childrensfilmfestivalseattle.org.