2016 Children’s Film Festival is coming to Seattle

The Northwest Film Forum is running its annual Children’s Film Festival from January 21 to 31. Over the course of 12 days viewers will have the opportunity to see some of the best in international cinema for children including live performances, features, shorts, animation and hands on educational workshops.

Each year, over 165 films are selected by the Northwest Film Forum from over 40 countries to be screened at the festival. Beyond the festival, which also tours 15-20 U.S. cities, almost none of the films will be screened regionally or online.

“The festival staff watches films all summer long and into the fall, before making our final decisions. So many of the films are truly beautiful, so we try to be as inclusive as possible. This year, we received over 450 entries and settled on 167 films,” said Festival Director Liz Shepard in an email.

The festival opens tonight with a showing of a rarely seen 1916 silent version of Snow White starring a young Marguerite Clark who is best known for her stage and silent film roles.

For this special event, Northwest Film Forum has commissioned a new score for the film, composed and performed by Seattle Harpist Leslie McMichael with guest violinist Barbara McMichael.

While most of the films are screened at Northwest Film Forum’s cinemas, this year a selection will be screened at Renton’s Carco Theatre. These films will come from a variety of countries including India, Croatia, Colombia, Norway and Taiwan.

“I’m really looking forward to [the festival.] On Saturday, the whole day is dedicated to films from Southeast Asia,” said Cassie Welliver, Carco’s Theatre Manager.

Throughout the day this Saturday January 23, six films will be screened, including India Rising which tells the story of young people growing up in India.

The Crow’s Egg plays at 1:00pm Saturday January 23 at the Carco Theatre

The day will also feature classical Indian dance performances by Port Orchard’s From Within Academy’s dancers. Jot Indian Sweets & Restaurant will offer treats for sale in the theater lobby from 11AM to 2PM.

Welliver says the festival is an important way to expose local audiences to international children’s films. “There are not a lot of these types of things being shown on TV for kids to see how kids in other countries live,” she said.

For show times and tickets visit http://www.childrensfilmfestivalseattle.org/