The Providence Children’s Film Festival has announced a sneak peek of highlighted films and filmmakers featured during its 10th Annual “A Decade of Wonder” film festival from February 15 to 28 in venues across Rhode Island.
More than 140 thoughtfully curated films from 35+ countries will be featured at the Festival, including East Coast premieresFilm School Africa (South Africa), Supa Modo (Kenya) and Los Bando (Norway), 30th Anniversary show of Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service (Japan) and 2019 Sundance Film Festival KIDS film pick, The Witch Hunter (Serbia).
Other highlights include the following local artists and filmmakers:
Two-time Grammy winner, Bill Harley, a resident of Seekonk, Massachusetts, will be in attendance on February 18 for the Magic Carpet Ride show with his short film, “A Walk Around the Block”. This animated adaptation of Harley’s song of the same name tells the story of a boy sent far away – from block to town, to land, to earth, to moon, to outer space – in his father’s quest for a moment of peace. Through his travels, viewers explore the wonders of the world and celebrate the connection between child and parent.
Rhode Island filmmaker Carla Ricci’s documentary about Rhode Island balloon artist Janice Lee Kelly will be featured at the Festival along with a hands-on balloon crafting demonstration with the artist. National recognized, Kelly’s latest series of sculptures demonstrates her love of the medium and balloons.
To commemorate the Festival’s 10th anniversary, PCFF will screen A Decade Of Wonder short film reel featuring audience favorites from the past 10 Festivals. Three of the films made by animators Max Porter and Ru Kawahata include 2009 Festival favorites “Electric Car” and “Davy Crockett” plus last year’s Academy Award-nominated short film “Negative Space”. Recently relocated from Baltimore to Rhode Island, Max now teaches animation at RISD. The creative duo will attend the A Decade of Wonder show with some of their puppets on Sunday, February 24.
Locally-produced short film “Jellyfish”is hitting the international children’s film festival circuit. Rhode Island School of Design professor Marcin Gizycki directed the short filmusing RISD’s Nature Lab as the setting. It stars Tom Roberts, a RISD history professor and long-time Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Executive Director, and actors from Rhode Island’s Big Nazo studio.
The heartwarming and heartbreaking documentary Tre Maison Dasan, by local director Denali Tiller, isan intimate portrait of three boys growing up, each with a parent in prison. Told from the child’s perspective, the film is an exploration of relationships and separation and the added complexities of coming of age in America when a parent is behind bars. Tiller was named one of 110 “filmmakers to watch” by Variety Magazine in 2015 for her short film, “Sons and Daughters of the Incarcerated”, which inspired Tre Maison Dasan. Tiller Tiller will be in attendance for a post-film Q&A during the Festival. Dates and times to be announced.
2019 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL KIDS film selection
On the heels of its US premiere at Sundance, The Witch Hunters is coming to PCFF in 2019. The film is about a 10-year-old boy named Jovan who was born with partial cerebral palsy. Shy and self-conscious, he often escapes in his imagination to a place where he is a crime-fighting superhero. His world shifts when a new girl arrives in his class. Milica, not intimidated by much, enlists Jovan to help free her father from his girlfriend, whom she believes is a witch who has placed her father under a spell. Between school and physical therapy, the new friends hatch a plan to expose the girlfriend and break the spell, which Milica hopes will help reunite her parents. Preoccupied with helping his friend, Jovan begins to enjoy life and overcome many of his insecurities. The Witch Hunters is a portrayal of struggle and acceptance, and how true friendship can lead to undiscovered inner strength.
The award-winning documentary Becoming Who Is Was takes place in the sparsely populated Ladakh region of northern India where an impoverished young boy is discovered to be the reincarnation of a high-ranking Tibetan monk. Filmed over eight years, the directors capture a stirring tale of friendship, devotion and selflessness. This film explores culture, tradition and identity while also capturing universal truths of unconditional love, family and sacrifice. The film has received several awards including: Berlinale 2017- Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury: Best Feature Film; Seattle International Film Festival 2017 – Winner Best Documentary; Moscow International Documentary Film Festival 2017 – Winner Best Documentary; Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival 2018 – Winner Best Documentary; Phoenix International Film Festival 2018 – Winner Best Documentary (World Cinema).
First Kenyan film to play at Cannes:
Award-winning female Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu brings us Rafiki. Banned in Kenya for “legitimizing lesbianism,” this sweet, coming-of-age love story—the first Kenyan film to ever play at Cannes—is a revelation and an inspiration for all ages and genders. “Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” but Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.
The Festival will feature 13 days of film screenings, filmmaking workshops, field trips and activities that help deepen the film-watching experience. The annual Festival represents the best of independent and international children’s cinema to inspire, delight, educate, and connect a diverse community of children and families throughout Rhode Island and New England. Animated, live-action, documentary and youth-made films are selected for their compelling stories with a global perspective that challenge young audiences to better understand the world. Other films to be featured will be announced in January.
Providence Children’s Film Festival (PCFF) is a 501(c)(3) arts and culture nonprofit organization, founded in 2009. Our mission is to present the best of independent and international cinema to inspire, delight, educate, and connect a diverse community of children and families from Rhode Island and beyond. The PCFF FILM HUB connects the community year-round with a collection of resources—including a film directory of past festival films and film guides with discussion questions and activities activity reel—designed to promote film education and access to the best of independent and international children’s cinema. To get involved in the 2019 Festival, interested businesses and organizations can visit www.ProvidenceChildrensFilmFestival.org/Sponsor or contact Alyssa Biolchini, PCFF Operations Manager, at Alyssa@ProvidenceChildrensFilmFestival.org.