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FESTIVALS: BAMkids

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  • Young People's Media Network
    SOURCE: New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com Movie heaven for tots, tykes & teens Sunday, February 29th, 2004 If you re looking for alternatives to
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2004
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      SOURCE:

      New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
      Movie heaven for
      tots, tykes & teens

      Sunday, February 29th, 2004

      If you're looking for alternatives to barf-bag teen comedies,
      female-serial-killer dramas and R-rated­ gore fests about ungodly
      2,000-year-old public executions, two children's film festivals bow locally
      this coming weekend. Both expose young minds to quality G-rated movies from
      all over the world.
      Promise: Janet Jackson will not perform.

      The BAMkids Film Festival - a selection of live-action, Claymation and
      animation for children - runs at the BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave.,
      Brooklyn from March 6-7. It features 46 ­international feature-length and
      short films from 22 countries.

      "This is the sixth year of the BAMkids festival," says Suzanne
      Youngerman, education and humanities director at the Brooklyn Academy of
      Music. "After we built four movie screening rooms about eight years ago, the
      people here decided that since we usually do adult programming, we should
      have something for children. So we started this children's film festival and
      it's been a near sellout every year since."

      Youngerman says that Nicole Dreiske of the Chicago International
      Children's Film Festival travels the globe all year and accepts submissions
      for that city's October festival. Then she winnows the films down and
      programs the BAMkids Festival.

      "We get the very top quality because Nicole only gives us what's
      already worked in Chicago," says Youngerman.

      BAMkids tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children, which includes
      a film ­program, face painting, a balloon and coloring books with images
      from the films. Kid-friendly food will be sold in the BAMcafe, where a live
      performance of the Brewery Troupe's "Crowtations," a soul-singing puppet
      rhythm revue, costs an additional $3. Programming is broken into age
      categories of 2-5, 5-8 and 8-13. "Most of the films for the younger kids are
      nonverbal," Youngerman says.

      "Professional actors do voice-over translations for foreign films.
      Most of the older kids can read the subtitles."

      Children also vote BAMy Awards for their favorite films.

      In the ripoff world of kid's entertainment, this makes for a fun,
      reasonably priced and rewarding family day out.

      Disney meets Dali

      Also coming to town is the sixth annual New York International
      Children's Film Festival. Kicking off this Friday, the NYICFF runs through
      May 27. An estimated 18,000 people are expected to attend screening venues
      in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

      "Back in December of 1997, my wife, Emily Shapiro, floated this idea,"
      says Eric Deckman, founder of the NYICFF. "We looked at the film
      entertainment options for young people and saw the $80 million blockbusters
      from Disney and DreamWorks and Saturday morning cartoons and that was pretty
      much it."

      They discussed the many independent film options adults have and
      realized there was no equivalent for youngsters.

      "Kids are not a separate species," says Deckman. "We were angry at the
      dumbing-down of children's film in this country."

      So they scanned the world for well-made independent films for children
      and put together a 100-minute pilot reel that they screened in the Greenwich
      Village Theater.

      It attracted media attention and became a hit. Since then, the NYICFF
      has grown every year, becoming a kind of Sundance Film Festival for kids.
      (The couple's three children help pick the films.)

      Young viewers are able to vote for their favorites, as at BAMkids.
      There's also a Parents' Choice Award.

      This year about 40 films, chosen from 1,000 entries, will be screened;
      ticket prices start at $6.

      The NYICFF kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday at the Director's Guild of
      America ­Theater on W. 57th St., with screenings of the English-language
      "Porco Rosso" by Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki ("Spirited Away") and
      "Destino," a recently completed version of the long-shelved unfinished 1946
      collaboration between surrealist painter Salvador Dali and the Walt Disney
      studio. The latter film, 7 minutes long, is in the running for an Oscar
      tonight.

      The festival also will present a 3-D screening of 1954's "Creature
      From the Black Lagoon" at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (1 and 4 p.m., March
      20).

      One of the most delightful entries for children age 8 and way beyond
      is Francois Truffaut's 1976 "Small Change," which screens at the American
      Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria (6:30 p.m., March 6-7).

      For BAMkids call (718) 636-4100 or get schedules and make reservations
      online at www.bam.org. For the NYICFF schedules, venues, and tickets, call
      (212) 349-0330 or go online at www.gkids.com.


      _______________________________________________

      Chris Schuepp
      Young People's Media Network
      Coordinator

      c/o ecmc
      European Centre for Media Competence
      Bergstrasse 8
      D-45770 Marl
      Germany

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      Email: cschuepp@...
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      The YPMN is supported by UNICEF and hosted by the ECMC.
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