Belmont World Film's 11th Annual Family Festival

    Fri, Jan 17 - Mon, Jan 20, 2014

    Times: Jan. 17: 7 PM, January 18-20: 10:30 AM, 12:00 PM & 1:30 PM

    Venue: Studio Cinema

    376 Trapelo Road, Belmont, MA 02478

    Contact:

    elleng@americangraphiti.com

    617-426-6668

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    Belmont World Film, which has exhibited the best in international films from around the globe since 2001, presents the 11th edition of its popular Family Festival for people of all ages from January 17-20 with a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at the Studio Cinema Belmont (376 Trapelo Road) and the Arlington Regent Theatre (5 Medford Street). The four day event features ten animated and live action programs featuring both feature length films and shorts--many of them US or New England premieres--from South Africa, the Netherlands, Ghana, Canada, France, the UK, the US, and more. Opening night at 7:00 PM at the Regent Theatre features Birmingham, Alabama native and current Watertown resident Sandy Jaffe's "Our Mockingbird," which follows students at two different high schools--one black, one white--just outside of Birmingham, who collaborate on a life-changing theatrical version of "To Kill A Mockingbird." Through interviews with such individuals as Mary Badham and Phillip Alford (who played Scout and Jem, respectively, in the original film version), Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree, Pulitzer Prize winning writers and journalists Diane McWhorter and Rick Bragg, Congressman John Lewis, judges, teachers, and students, the film illustrates how this story about racial injustice in small town Alabama can be a lens for looking at past and current issues of race, class, gender, and justice. Jaffe will answer questions after the screening (recommended for teens and adults). The remainder of the programs take place at the Studio Cinema. Each morning at 10:30 AM features a different selection of animated best loved children's books from Weston Woods Studios (ages 3-10): a Mo Willems retrospective (Sat., January 18); a collection of classics featuring stories such as "Where the Wild Things Are," "Strega Nona," and "Doctor DeSoto" (Sun., January 19); and a group of films connected to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Mon., January 20). Other programs include: � The New England premiere of "My Mommy Is in American and She Met Buffalo Bill," about six year old Jean, who lives with his little brother, busy father, and kind nanny, but one thing is missing: where is his Mommy? Based on the award-winning graphic novel from France by Jean Regnaud and Emile Bravo and in French with English subtitles (Sat., January 18, 12:00 PM; age 5 and up). � The New England premiere of "Felix," a heartwarming coming-of-age story about Felix Xaba, a 13-year-old from a poor township in South Africa who dreams of becoming a saxophonist like his late father, despite his mother's protestations. When he leaves his friends in Cape Town after receiving a scholarship at an elitist private school, he defies his mother and turns to two aging members of his father's old band to help him prepare for the school jazz concert. The film addresses serious issues, such as racism and family conflicts, in a humorous and age-appropriate way. It has won best film at numerous children's film festivals throughout the world, including the Durban International Film Festival where it had its world premiere (Sat., January 18, 1:30 PM; age 7 and up). � "Big Top Without Borders" by "Boston Globe" reporter Linda Matchan about two dynamic men--one from a tiny Inuit community in the Canadian Arctic called Igloolik ("Place of One Igloo") and the other from Conakry, Guinea, West Africa--who meet as acrobats in Montreal's acclaimed Cirque Eloize. They come together and discover they share a common dream: to help their struggling communities the only way they know how: by creating a circus. Director Linda Matchan and producer Susan Gray will answer questions after the film (Sun., January 19, 12:00 PM; age 8 and up). � An encore screening of the Dutch film "The Zigzag Kid" starring Isabella Rossellini, a coming of age story that follows a 12 year-old boy during his bar mitzvah year trip that turns into an amazing adventure, co-presented by the Boston Jewish Film Festival. The boy not only finds himself befriending a notorious criminal and a great actress, but also confronts the great mystery of his own identity. In Dutch, French, and English (Sun. , January 19, 1:30 PM; age 7 and up). � It's Easy Being Green: Animated Shorts about Animals and the Environment, shorts program co-presented by "E" Inc.'s Environmental Film Festival. The highlight of the program is "Lost and Found" from the UK, winner of more than 40 international awards. It tells the story of a little boy who finds a penguin on the doorstep of his house one morning. Although at first he is unsure about what to do, the boy becomes determined to help the penguin find his way back home, even if that means rowing a small boat all the way to the South Pole (Mon., January 20, 12:00 PM; age 4 and up). � Focus on Quebec: Animated Shorts from the National Film Board of Canada sponsored by the Quebec Delegation of Boston and featuring a selection of exciting new, as well as classic animated short films from Quebec and other parts of Canada, including the east coast premieres of "It's a Dog's Life," an urban fable about a dog on a human scale, and "The Fox and the Chickadee," a clever battle of wits between two wild animals told in the style of Aesop's fables (Mon. , January 20, 1:30 PM; age 4 and up). Festival sponsors include the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the International School of Boston, Belmont Day School, the Quebec Delegation of Boston, and Cambridge Reprographics.

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