Kid Flicks for Cineastes (and Kids!)
The Children’s Film Festival Returns to NWFF
Now in its eighth year, Northwest Film Forum’s Children’s Film Festival is offering 120 films from a record 38 countries—Mozambique, Bangladesh, Brazil, the Netherlands (apparently the Netherlands is some sort of children’s film powerhouse), and more. There are bushels of events for you to bring children to (or you can dress up in footie pajamas and go alone; we’re not judging): a pancake breakfast, a pajama party with Caspar Babypants, an animation workshop with British animator Charlotte Blacker, a sound/recording class with Degenerate Art Ensemble member Robb Kunz. There’s a children’s jury judging films, and short works by local geniuses like Drew Christie and Britta Johnson. Opening night brings you the French animated feature Zarafa, which is a beautiful, strange, and partly true story about the first giraffe in the Paris zoo, and which reminds you that children’s fare in other countries is allowed to be quite a bit darker than an American “G” rating (human trafficking, giraffe murder, a man’s steep descent into alcohol-fueled misery after losing everyone he loves and failing at his life’s one true goal, that sort of stuff). If you are not a child and do not possess/have not befriended any children, should you still attend? A resounding YES. Perhaps attend after imbibing your glaucoma medication or, better yet, use your full faculties to appreciate how weird art for children can be. There need be no transitions, nor expected paths of logic, yet there’s a wealth of imagery to stick in your brain—a sand blob and a snow blob falling in love, a giraffe in a hot-air balloon over Alexandria. Bring your hippest kid or your youngest self.