The Reeler
FESTIVAL CALENDAR

JUNE

--Brooklyn International Film Festival
--Human Rights Watch International Film Festival
--Media That Matters Festival
--NewFest LGBT Film Festival
--Rooftop Films
--Swiss American Film Festival
--Urbanworld

JULY

--Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Films
--NY African Film Festival
--NY Asian Film Festival
--NY Asian American Film Festival
--NY International Latino Film Festival
--Reel Venus Film Festival
--Rooftop Films
--Rural Route Film Festival
--Scanners: The NY Video Festival

AUGUST

--ACE Film Festival
--Central Park Film Festival
--LaCinemaFe Film Festival
--NY Korean Film Festival
--Rooftop Films

SEPTEMBER

--Coney Island Film Festival
--Impact Festival
--IFP Market/Independent Film Week
--NY Brazilian Film Festival
--NYC Midnight Movie Making Madness
--Next Reel International Film Festival

OCTOBER

--Cinekink
--CMJ FilmFest
--DocFest
--E.Vil City Film Festival
--Fordham Law Film Festival
--Hamptons International Film Festival
--Harlem International Film Festival
--NY Film Festival
--NY Bad Films Festival
--NYC Horror Film Festival
--NY Turkish Film Festival
--Pordenone Silent Film Festival Weekend at BAM
--Russian Film Week
--South Asian International Film Festival
--Woodstock Film Festival

NOVEMBER

--African Diaspora Film Festival
--Avignon New York Film Festival
--Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival
-- International Dog Film Festival
--Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival
--Native American Film + Video Festival
--NY International Independent Film and Video Festival
--NY Lesbian & Gay Experimental Film Festival
--Queens International Film Festival

JANUARY

--Explorers Club Documentary Film Festival
--NY Jewish Film Festival

FEBRUARY

--NY Arab and South Asian Film Festival
--Red Shift Festival
--SinCine Fest

MARCH

--Craic Film Fleadh
--Fusion Film Festival
--Harlem Stage on Screen
--Independent Thai Film Festival
--New Directors/New Films
--NY International Children's Film Festival
--NY Underground Film Festival
--Westchester Film Festival

APRIL

--Brooklyn Underground Film Festival
--Gen Art Film Festival
--Havana Film Festival in NY
--NY African Film Festival
--Sprout Film Festival
--Tribeca Film Festival
--Urban Visionaries Film Festival

MAY

--Bicycle Film Festival
--Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival
--NY International Children's Film Festival
--NY Minute Film Festival
--NY Polish Film Festival
--Pacifika: NY Hawaiian Film Festival
--Sundance at BAM
--Be Film / Tribeca Underground Film Festival

ONGOING --Animation Block
--Asbury Shorts of New York
--Caroline's Funny Film Shorts
--First Sundays Comedy Film Festival
--NewFilmmakers

NYC Film Festivals

Children’s Film Fest Brings Brains, Not Barney

By Elena Marinaccio

Who would have thought Pulp Fiction would ever inspire a film festival celebrating, of all things, children’s cinema? Eric Beckman, founder and director of the New York International Children’s Film Festival (launching today and running until March 18), recently told The Reeler how he realized his dream of a kid’s film series that didn’t revolve around the likes of Benji while witnessing the indie-boom of the early nineties.


The title character of Serge Elissalde's "trippy, knowing fairytale" U, the opening-night selection of this year's New York International Children’s Film Festival (Photo: NYICFF)

“Children were just getting the short shrift in terms of the types of media that were being produced for them -- specifically with respect to films," Beckman said. "At that time the indie film thing had really broken through to the mainstream with films like Pulp Fiction, Like Water For Chocolate and Hoop Dreams, with art films and foreign films just readily available to adults. So why is there only one thing being produced for kids? Back then everyone was trying to make Pocahontas over and over again, and nowadays everyone’s trying to make Shrek over and over again, and there’s really no alternative.”

For its 10th anniversary, the NYICFF programmed 109 films (each categorized by age-appropriateness, ranging from 3-18) and several U.S. premieres, including Serge Elissalde’s animated film U, which opens the festival tonight at the Director’s Guild of America Theater. Other events include sound design workshops, an animation retrospective via the National Film Board of Canada, and programs such as Rare Seuss on Film and Girls’ POV. The festival also boasts a celebrity jury with the likes of Gus Van Sant and Susan Sarandon.

“People have this idea of kid’s films," Beckman said. "They automatically think Disney, or the Teddy Bear Picnic, or the Lollipop Parade, or purple dinosaurs dancing around with silly songs, but it’s so not that," Beckman said. “The 12-18 [age] features are not really films that were made for kids at all. They’re just a bunch of cool films that we feel would appeal to our audience. We have a fair number of filmgoers that don’t have kids -- you know, 25 year-olds who are just into cinema and come to see our screenings.”

Beckman has three children of his own who all help out with the festival, from previewing hundreds of films to selling T-shirts. “Yeah, they’ve seen more foreign films than any children their age," he said. "They’re getting a better education in film than I ever got.”

The New York International Children’s Film Festival runs through March 18 at the Directors Guild of America, Symphony Space, Cantor Film Festival and IFC Center. Check its Web site for ticket, program and schedule information.

Posted at March 2, 2007 11:28 AM

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.thereeler.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb-AjOOtIAl.cgi/568

Search The Reeler
Join the Mailing List

RSS Feed

Archives

Send a Tip