Our family was looking forward to visiting friends in Providence for our first children’s film festival over February break, but the weather didn’t cooperate. While Maine escaped a blizzard, Rhode Island was hit with a big snowstorm and we cancelled the trip. MP was so disappointed. She figured the kids would have to wait until next year for the experience.
Then MP received a note from Portland-based mom, Lauri Boxer-Macomber, detailing the city’s upcoming children’s film festival. The event, now in its 4th year, benefits the East End Community School, a K-5 public school in Portland. According to Lauri, one the festival’s main goals is to create lasting connections within the community through films.
The entirely volunteer-run festival, which begins Wednesday, March 25th and runs through Sunday, March 29th, features everything from animated short films for little ones to documentaries for teens. Each film focuses on a different part of the world in an effort to create a global awareness for young audiences. The films will be shown at several venues around Portland, including Space Gallery, The Portland Museum of Art, and The Portland Public Library, to name a few.
The festival will also feature original student films, which will be on view at the Nickelodeon. Lauri, who has volunteered for the festival since its inception, says this is often her favorite part. “The kids are so excited to see their work in the local movie theater. I love to watch their faces light up when their films are on the big screen.”
MP previewed the films with the kids and we’re hoping to catch On the Way to School, a documentary that follows school children in four remote locations around the world—the Kenyan wilderness, the hills of Patagonia, the Atlas Mountains and the Bay of Bengal —as they travel to attend class in distant schoolhouses. The movie takes place at the Portland Public Library on Friday afternoon and there is no charge for admission.
CP#2 is excited to see Horizon Beautiful, about a 12-year old street kid who hopes to get the attention of an influential soccer promoter, on Friday evening at SPACE. On Saturday morning, MP would like to take the kids to the Portland Museum of Art for the Brazilian film Boy & the World. After the movie, kids are encouraged to check out the Youth Art Month exhibition. Then at 1:00 p.m., side x side—a community arts organization based in Portland— will be leading an art project inspired by the film.
In addition to what we’ve selected here, there are so many more great films to see and interesting talks to attend (including a free chance for teens to watch “I Learn America” and meet the filmmaker at USM). For a full listing of events, visit here.
Hope to see you at the movies!
FMI: Visit the Portland Children’s Film Festival web site. March 25-29, 2015.
PS: For the Portland Museum of Art event, mention you are with the Portland Children’s Film Festival and you’ll receive half-price admission to the museum and art workshop.