With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, February 07, 2011

ACF 881: NY Int'l Children's Film Festival runs March 4 to 27, with several Asian films

Image from "Welcome to the Spaceshow"


The festival, which included several films from Asia, runs March 4 to 27 with a fabulous lineup of new features and short films from around the world, plus special events, filmmaker Q&As, workshops, opening and closing parties, audience voting, the NYICFF Awards Ceremony, and more. All events are expected to sell out. Full lineup and a downloadable brochure are now live on the festival website.

To view the complete NYICFF 2011 schedule and purchase tickets click here.

Here's information about four of the films being shown that come from Asian countries:

The Dreams of Jinsha
China, Chen Deming, 2010, 85 min
Recommended Ages: 8 to Adult (Subtitled)

Five years in the making, Chen Deming’s Oscar-shortlisted animated feature blends Chinese history and mythology in a time-travel, fantasy adventure – as a young boy from Beijing hurtles back in time 3,000 years to the Jinsha Kingdom and finds himself at the center of an ancient prophecy.

Entering a world of sweeping hand-drawn landscapes filled with serene rivers, spirit-filled forests, and seas of lotus blossoms, the boy Xiao Long meets a young princess riding a white lion, who escorts him to the palace of the Jinsha king. There he discovers that his arrival has been pre-ordained, and that the pendant that hangs around his neck – a gift from his father – has the power to either bring peace or unleash untold devastation upon the Kingdom and its people. Longing to return home, but also enchanted by his surroundings and newfound friends, Xiao Long faces a difficult choice between leaving the past behind, or staying and risking his life to save Jinsha. The animators clearly drew inspiration from the work of Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli fans will note references to Castle in the Sky, Nausicaa, and The Cat Returns) to create this epic but child-friendly fable about friendship, power, and self-sacrifice.

Sat Mar 5 CANTOR FILM CENTER 11:30 Buy Tickets
Sun Mar 13 IFC CENTER 11:00 Buy Tickets
Sun Mar 20 ASIA SOCIETY 12:00 Buy Tickets

Echoes of the Rainbow
Hong Kong, Alex Law, 2010, 112 min
Recommended Ages: 10 to Adult (Subtitled)

Winner of the Crystal Bear (youth audience award) at the Berlin Film Festival and Hong Kong’s official entry for this year’s Oscars, Echoes of the Rainbow is a graceful and emotionally powerful tale based on the filmmaker’s real-life childhood. It’s the spring of 1969 and the world will have to wait another six months before Neil Armstrong sets foot on the moon – but our young hero “Big Ears” is running through the streets of Hong Kong with a goldfish bowl on his head.

Big brother Desmond (played wonderfully by Cantopop heartthrob, Aarif Lee) is a gold-medal track star and ace student who plays guitar and nurtures a nascent romance with soft-spoken cutie pie Flora. Meanwhile, their parents work their fingers to the bone running a tiny neighborhood shoe store. Their dream is simple: all they want is for their children to have a better life than they did – and this mood of nostalgic optimism and yearning is reflected perfectly by the sappy 60’s pop ballads wafting from big brother’s transistor radio. But the sunny tone soon darkens as the family is beset by a slumping economy, social unrest, and the onset of Hong Kong’s annual typhoons – presaging an even more wrenching family tragedy. This wonderful, bittersweet saga is almost epic in scale, evoking good times and bad times, love and loss, with sincerity, humor, and tenderness.

Comment: Film contains emotionally charged situations and brief but strong images.

Sat Mar 19 ASIA SOCIETY 2:30 Buy Tickets

Time of Eve
Japan, Yasuhiro Yoshiura, 2010, 106 min
Recommended Ages: 11 to Adult (Subtitled)

Covering territory explored by Blade Runner and I, Robot, Time of Eve is an exquisitely drawn, sci-fi allegory that probes questions of artificial intelligence and emotions, while flirting with the moral and personal implications of human-robot romance.

It is the future and household androids are becoming common. Completely lifelike and indistinguishable from humans, androids are programmed to serve with devotion – so it is no wonder that highschooler Rikuo begins to have unsettling feelings towards his android Sammy, feelings heightened when he discovers a curious phrase recorded in her activity log, “Are you enjoying the Time of Eve?” Investigating with his buddy Masaki, they discover an enigmatic underground café, a robot safe-zone, where androids and humans interact as equals – in apparent violation of guidelines set by the all-powerful Robot Ethics Committee. Inside the café distinctions between human and android are blurred and both seem to reveal layers of emotional complexity not apparent in the outside world.

Comment: Film contains mild sexually suggestive situations.

Sat Mar 12 SYMPHONY SPACE 4:00 Buy Tickets
Sat Mar 19 ASIA SOCIETY 6:00 Buy Tickets

Welcome to the Spaceshow
Japan, Koji Masunari, 2010, 136 min
Recommended Ages: 7 to Adult (Subtitled)

With an intergalactic cast of thousands, Kojo Masunari’s colorfully explosive debut feature sets a new high for visual spectacle and sheer inventiveness of character design – in what has to be one of the most gleefully surreal depictions of alien life forms ever portrayed in cinema.

It seems like just another lazy summer is in store for Amane and her older cousin Natsuki. Lolling about the Japanese countryside, the days are blithe and boundless. But boredom quickly vanishes when they find an injured dog in the woods and bring him back to the cabin – only to discover that he is not a dog at all, but Pochi, an alien botanist sent to Earth to track down a rare and powerful plant called Zughaan (better known to Earthlings as wasabi root). Before long, Pochi has whisked the kids away to a space colony on the dark side of the moon, an interstellar melting pot where we experience a non-stop parade of humorous alien creatures, jellyfish spaceships, dragon trains, and – if that weren’t enough – a theme song from UK pop anomaly Susan Boyle. (Really? Yes, really.) The plot twists come fast and furious, and with such a glorious barrage of color and invention washing across the screen, you just want to hit pause and gawk at the wonder of what you are seeing.

Sun Mar 6 SCHOLASTIC THEATER 5:00 Buy tickets
Sat Mar 12 SYMPHONY SPACE 1:00 Buy tickets
Sun Mar 20 ASIA SOCIETY 3:00 Buy tickets

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