Film fans in the New York area are preparing for the New York International Children’s Film Festival and we are too! Over the past 15 years, the NYICFF has become a huge family event, and a great chance to expose our kids to more than 100 films from 34 countries, that obviously go beyond your usual big box-office fare.

If you’re thinking about going (and make your reservations now, it sells out!), the festival runs from March 2-25. And if you need some help figuring out what to see and what your kids will love, we’ve got the scoop–straight from festival director Eric Beckman.

As he puts it, it is a truly eye-opening and horizon-expanding experience for children.

What advice do you have for a first timer trying to navigate the festival? 

Definitely check out the short film programs for your age category which offer an exciting, varied experience where you get to see wildly different films in different styles, moods, techniques. Plus we have giveaways, prizes, parties… it’s really a ton of fun. 

3 more bits of advice: 

1. Buy your tickets early as many screenings sell out. 
2. Even if a film is sold out in advance, come down early on the day of the show to get on the waitlist. We hold back press and sponsor tickets until show time and in past years pretty much everyone from the waitlist has gotten in.
3. Get on our mailing list at GKIDS.com. This is the only way to find out about added screenings, filmmaker appearances, and special events. 

Children's Film Festival: A Letter to Momo

A lot of our readers have children under five. What are your recommendations on the best film for them?
Children's Film Festival: Lotte and the Moonstone Secret
Lotte and the Moonstone Secret is a fabulous film for younger festival goers. Lotte is a little girl-dog who lives in a crazy place called Gadgetville where everyone is obsessed with inventing crazy Rube Goldberg inventions and going on adventures. It is really sweet and warm-hearted. 

Shorts for Tots – this is a selection of ten short animated films from around the world. Its just a great lineup – you cannot go wrong. 

Chimpanzee is the new upcoming Disney Nature film and is good for younger children as well as elementary age kids. 

And Yellow Submarine is great for youngest children all the way up to grandpas. Can’t go wrong there! 

Children's Film Festival: Cinderella Moon
And what would you recommend for early graders? 

For elementary school kids there is a huge selection. 
I would just check out the age recommendations on the website and make your selections. 

There’s Short Films 1 and 2Cinderella MoonA Monster in ParisLe TableauNinja KidsMonkey King (amazing film, North American premiere, added after the brochure was already printed), A Hard Day’s NightTales of the NightA Letter to MomoToys in the Attic

It is hard to choose “best” when I love all my babies! 

Children's Film Festival: Heebie Jeebies
The best for older kids?
Often my favorite programs are those for older kids, since there are fewer restrictions on the content. The three short programs for older kids are fabulous: Girls’ POVHeebie Jeebies (which is all scary, weird, freaky, bizarre movies), and Flicker Lounge for ages 12+, where we can really take some chances. 

Also we have the phenomenal Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below, a truly phenomenal film for 12+, and which is NOT recommended for younger kids. 

So, w
hat is your motivation for managing such a massive undertaking every year? 

I am motivated first of all by a love of these films and my joy in to sharing them with NYC families. There are so many amazing movies that never make it to the US and this really will be the only opportunity to see them. 

It is a truly eye-opening and horizon-expanding experience for children.

Stephanie M

If you’re in the New York area in March check out the New York International Children’s Film Festival and grab tickets now! Also, they offer film screenings every weekend throughout the year, 11am at IFC Center of Manhattan. Sign up for the mailing list at GKIDS.com to be in the loop.


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