Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Toronto – TIFF has announced the Opening Night and Feature Film Presentations that will enrich, engage and entertain young audiences at the 16th annual TIFF Kids International Film Festival™. The Festival’s opening night film, The Legend of Sarila (La légende de Sarila), is Canada’s first 3D animated feature, a gorgeous-looking adventure inspired by various Inuit legends and featuring the voice of Oscar-winner Christopher Plummer. This year’s Closing Night Film is the International Premiere of the German film Famous Five 2 (Fünf Freunde 2), an adaptation of the Enid Blyton classic.TIFF Kids ®, the only film festival for children aged 3-13 in Toronto, takes place at TIFF Bell Lightbox from April 9 through April 21, 2013.
“We’re thrilled to be opening TIFF Kids 2013 with Canada’s first 3D animated film, The Legend of Sarila, exploring themes offriendship, hope, perseverance and self acceptance,” said Elizabeth Muskala, Director, TIFF Kids. “Other highlights from this year’s programme include our Closing Night Film Famous Five 2, the sequel to last year’s TIFF Kids Audience Award-winner Famous Five; the award-winning Mother, I Love You from Latvia; and everyone’s favourite little white bunny finally up on the big screen with Miffy the Movie, from the Netherlands. This year’s programming line-up features the absolute best in world cinema that will both inspire and delight TIFF Kids audiences.”
“We are proud to have directed and produced our first feature film as a 100 per cent Canadian 3D animated film, an original story aimed at children that reveals an exotic corner of our country," said The Legend of Sarila director Nancy Florence Savard and producer Marie-Claude Beauchamp. "It was an experience as unforgettable as The Legend of Sarila itself. And being picked as the opening film for TIFF Kids is just the cherry on top."
“This year’s TIFF Kids line-up will inspire and empower a new generation of film-goers,” said Shane Smith, Director of Public Programmes, TIFF. “This Festival offers children an opportunity to see some of the best films from around the world, as they should be seen: on the big screen.”
TIFF Kids 2013 features 117 films - 29 Features and 88 Shorts - representing 40 countries. Audiences can explore the world through high quality, youth-oriented films from the following countries: Germany, Australia, India, China, The Netherlands, Norway, Iran, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Azerbaijan and many more. As a further engagement element to the films themselves, TIFF Kids presentations often feature in-person appearances by filmmakers and special guests who introduce their films and answer questions from the audience following the screening. Guests for 2013 include The Legend of Sarila director Nancy Florence Savard and producer Marie-Claude Beauchamp who will engage with audiences at the screening of their film on TIFF Kids opening night.
The TIFF Kids International Film Festival takes place at TIFF Bell Lightbox from April 9 through April 21. Tickets for the TIFF Kids public programme go on sale to TIFF Members today (March 5) and to the general public on March 9. TIFF Members and the general public may also purchase tickets to school programme screenings subject to availability, beginning March 26. Prices range from Adult $12, Student/Senior $9.50 and Children (12 and under) $8.50. Opening Night $25.00 and Closing Night $15.00 per person. TIFF Kids 10 packs are available for $75.00 (valid for digiPlaySpace and film tickets). Entry to the TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace is $8 or $5 with paid screening ticket to the TIFF Kids International Film Festival and Comic Book Heroes programme, discounts apply for TIFF Members.
Some activities are free. For more information on screenings and activities, or to purchase tickets, please visit tiff.net/kids call 416-599-TIFF (8433) or 1-800-599-TIFF, or visit the Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
FEATURE FILM PRESENTATIONS
TIFF Kids is pleased to present the following 29 feature films:
The Legend of Sarila (La légende de Sarila), director: Nancy Florence Savard, Canada. Both English and French language
OPENING NIGHT FILM!
Canada's first 3D animated feature is about three Inuit youths living on the Arctic tundra who go in search of Sarila, a promised land, hoping to save their clan from famine. It is also the story of a fight to the death between two shamans, the young Markussi, who finds his destiny on the journey to the mythical Sarila, and the aged Croolik who feels his power threatened by the young shaman. Voice actors include Academy Award-winner Christopher Plummer as well as rising Canadian talents Dustin Milligan and Rachelle Lefevre. Age recommendation 8 and up.
Famous Five 2 (Fünf Freunde 2), director: Mike Marzuk, Germany. German with English subtitles.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM!
The world’s favourite crew of young detectives is back in this sequel to last year’s TIFF Kids Audience Choice Award winner. On their first camping trip without their parents, the Famous Five gang runs into trouble when their teammate Dick is kidnapped by a band of crooks who believe he can lead them to the Green Eye, the most valuable jewel in the world. The Famous Five are determined to stop at nothing to protect the precious jewel and bring their friend back safe and sound. Age recommendation 9 and up.
A Horse on the Balcony (Das Pferd auf dem Balkon), director: Hüseyin Tabak, Austria. German with English subtitles.
Mika, a 10-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, has no idea how his life will change when he hears a strange sound outside his building one night and discovers a racehorse on the balcony of his housing project apartment. He and his friend Dana form a remarkable bond with the horse and together they make a bold plan to keep their new friend. Age recommendation 8 and up.
A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape From Paradise, director: Ben Stassen, Belgium. English.
Sammy and Ray, leatherback turtles and friends forever, are enjoying life in their tropical paradise, shepherding new hatchlings Ricky and Ella out to sea. Suddenly, a poacher swoops in and ships the turtles off to be part of a spectacular aquarium show for tourists in Dubai. The kingpin of the place, a seahorse named Big D, enlists them in his plans for a great escape. But with their new friends, Sammy and Ray hatch breakout plans of their own. After a series of thrilling adventures and narrow escapes, our heroes head south to meet up with Shelly, Sammy’s first and only love.
Believe, director: David Scheinmann, United Kingdom. English.
Set in 1984 and inspired by true events, Believe is a tale about the legendary Manchester United football manager Sir Matt Busby, who helps a wayward boy fulfill his dream. An act of petty crime by 11-year-old Georgie becomes a collision of fate as Sir Matt tracks him down, only to discover that the boy is an extraordinarily gifted footballer and captain of a team of unruly talents. Age recommendation 10 and up.
Buta, director: Ilgar Najaf, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani with English subtitles.
Self-confident young dreamer Buta –whose name derives from the Azerbaijani term for the pattern known as paisley-lives with his elderly grandmother in a remote mountain village, where she supports them by weaving beautiful and intricate rugs. Befriended and inspired by an old man who dreams of restoring the old mill in the village, Buta becomes determined to create his own buta pattern on a mountaintop with stones dragged from a local river, despite being harassed and bullied by a group of local boys. Age recommendation 11 and up.
Casper and Emma – Best Friends (Karsten og Petra blir bestevenner), director: Arne Lindtner Næss, Norway. Norwegian with English subtitles.
North American Premiere
Emma is just days away from celebrating her fifth birthday, what she wants more than anything is a dog, but her mom says she must be a little older to look after a pet. Emma meets Casper on his first day at a new kindergarten; both have their favourite stuffed animals, Miss Rabbit and Lion Cub, and from that day on Casper and Emma are best friends. Emma soon enlists Casper’s help in attempting to convince her mom that she is now old enough to take care of the new dog she wants. Age recommendation 6 and up.
Cinnamon (Canela), director: Jordi Mariscal, Mexico. Spanish with English subtitles.
El Molcajete is a traditional Mexican food restaurant in downtown Mexico City owned by Maria’s grandmother Tere, and run by Chef Rosi. After her daughter’s death, Tere lost her passion for cooking and stopped working at El Molcajete. Meanwhile, Chef Rosi has introduced new dishes to the menu, in an effort to make it trendier. But neither Maria nor Tere will let their beloved traditional flavours and cooking secrets fall into oblivion. Age recommendation 9 and up.
Echo Planet (Echo-Jew-Kong-Lok), director: Kompin Kemgumnird, Thailand. Thai (dubbed in English).
Join Jorpe and Norva, a brother and sister from a distant Karen village, on an adventure to the metropolis of Capital City. The two children and their new friend Sam - the son of the Capital State President - desperately try to find a way to stop an oncoming natural global disaster using ancient Karen knowledge, or it will mean the end of all human life! Age recommendation 9 and up.
Ella and Friends (Ella ja kaverit), director: Taneli Mustonen, Finland. Finnish with English subtitles
Ella and her friends find out that their much-loved neighbourhood school will be shut down, and all the kids will be relocated to a massive central school. The group discovers that their own school is scheduled to be demolished and replaced with a Formula One race track. Ella and her friends decide to team up with the teacher to fight for their old school. Age recommendation 7 and up.
Elmo's Alphabet Challenge, director: Joey Mazzarino, USA. English.
Are you up for an alphabet challenge? Abby shows off her new Fairy Fly Pad, but accidentally traps her friends inside the video game world! To get back to Sesame Street, Elmo, Telly and Abby must beat challenges that test their alphabet knowledge. Bonus: Special guest to introduce the film! Age recommendation 2 and up.
Ernest & Celestine (Ernest et Célestine), directors: Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier,
France/Belgium/Luxembourg. French with English subtitles.
Giant bears and tiny mice don’t tend to mingle much, but when Ernest and Celestine cross paths, the two become inseparable friends and embark on an adventure of a lifetime in this animated film based on the children's books by Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent. Age recommendation 8 and up.
Eskil & Trinidad, director: Stephan Apelgren, Sweden. Swedish with English subtitles.
North American Premiere
Eskil is torn between loyalties to his father up in the north of Sweden with his ice hockey ambitions, and his desire to meet his mother down in Copenhagen. When he encounters Trinidad, an unusual character who's building a boat to sail to the Caribbean, new and unexpected possibilities begin to open up. Age recommendation 9 and up.
Fame High, director: Scott Hamilton Kennedy, USA. English.
From the nail-biting freshman auditions to the spectacular graduation performance, Fame High captures the in-class and at-home drama, competition, heartbreak, and triumph of a single year as it follows a group of struggling freshmen and seniors at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Here, both underprivileged and privileged teenagers reach for their dreams of becoming actors, singers, dancers, and musicians. Fame High is where intensely devoted teachers and highly motivated students go about the business of making the best better. But all that talent means a lot of pressure when students are competing for the same roles, the same teachers’ favours, and the same career opportunities, and the favour of the same teachers. They are also struggling with grades, family and young love, while defying complications of race, culture, and economic challenges at every turn. Age recommendation 12 and up.
Igor & the Cranes' Journey (Igor VeMasa Ha'Agurim), director: Evgeny Ruman, Israel/Poland/Germany. Hebrew, Russian with English subtitles.
During his move from Russia to Israel, 11-year-old Igor faces challenges that are not unlike those of the baby crane that he observed hatching while he was visiting with his ornithologist father. Tracking the cranes’ migration from Russia to Africa via a classmate’s website, Igor is lead on a great adventure that will reunite him with his dad. Age recommendation: 10 and up.
Know My Name (Siirt'in Sirri), directors: Kristen Stevens and Inan Temelkuran, Turkey. Turkish, Kurdish, with English subtitles.
North American Premiere
Surviving discrimination and violence in Turkey's poor southeast, 15-year-old Evin trains to be a top international wrestler and support her Kurdish family of 13. One of 150,000 girls in Turkey who choose fighting as a path to university and independence, she is one fight away from a title of her own. Age recommendation 12 and up.
Miffy the Movie (Nijntje de film), director: Hans Perk, The Netherlands. English.
North American Premiere
Miffy, her friends Melanie and Grunty and her dog Snuffy set out on a treasure hunt through the zoo. Father and Mother Bunny give them five riddles through a Treasure Hunt Song, about a colour, a shape, a movement, a number and a sound. While discovering animals that answer to the riddles, Miffy and her friends learn how to work together, find creative ways to collaborate and to reward each other for a job well done. And in the end, they are rewarded with a big surprise. Age recommendation 2 and up.
Mother, I Love You (Mammu, es tevi milu), director: Janis Nords, Latvia. Latvian with English subtitles.
North American Premiere
Mother, I Love You is the adventurous and touching story of Raimonds, a misunderstood adolescent who, while trying to reconcile with his mother, stumbles into a world of trouble and petty crime. Age recommendation: 10 and up.
Once in a Lullaby, director: Jonathan Kalafer, USA. English.
The PS22 chorus from Staten Island became world famous after their YouTube videos went viral. This documentary follows them to their biggest performance yet, as the closing act at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, where creative differences, lost voices and homesickness threaten their performance. Age recommendation 9 and up.
Rafiki (Bestevenner), director: Christian Lo, Norway. Norwegian with English subtitles.
TIFF Kids Festival Favourite
Julie, Mette and Naisha are best friends. They have snowball fights with the boys, race down steep hills on sleds, and are looking forward to Christmas. One day, Naisha suddenly vanishes, and no one knows where she and her mother have disappeared to. With no clues other than an address written in invisible ink, Julie and Mette sneak onto the night train bound for Oslo. Will they manage to get their best friend back? Age recommendation: 8 and up.Satellite Boy, director: Catriona McKenzie, Australia. English. Pete lives with his grandfather in an old abandoned outdoor cinema in the Australian desert. When the old drive-in is threatened with demolition, ten-year-old Pete takes off to the city with his best mate Kamlain to save his home. Age recommendation 12 and up.
Stepping on the Flying Grass (Cita Citaku Setinggi Tanah), director: Eugene Panji, Indonesia. Indonesian with English subtitles.
North American Premiere
Assigned by their teacher to write an essay about their most cherished dream, four young friends in rural Indonesia each take a different approach to their assignment, and one of them sets out to make his dream come true. Age recommendation 8 and up.
The Diary of Summer, director: Chen Jing, China. Mandarin with English subtitles.
North American Premiere
When troublemaker Ma Xiaopang is caught lying on his latest homework assignment, which was to do a good deed and write about it, his teacher punishes him by ordering him to complete ten good deeds and write them down over the summer holidays. Worse, xhe appoints Xiaopang’s classmate and nemesis, Wang Xiaohu, to supervise him. Age recommendation: 8 and up.
The Pee-Wee 3D: The Winter That Changed My Life (Les Pee-Wee 3D: l'hiver qui a changé ma vie), director: Éric Tessier,
Canada. French with English subtitles.
A team of young hockey players living in a small Québec village are preparing to play the most exciting hockey season of their lives. They will be fighting for a spot in the most prestigious minor hockey tournament in world: The Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. Age recommendation 10 and up.
The Rooster Trademark Paper (Kaghaze Khoroos Neshan) director: Maryam Milani, Iran. Farsi with English subtitles.
In 1971 Iran, Amir is a young boy who lives with his mother and sister and sells newspapers to help his family. When he sees an advertisement for a visual arts competition in the newspaper, he is eager to enter, but must first find money for the costly Rooster Trademark paper in order to qualify. Age recommendation: 8 and up.
The Zigzag Kid (Nono, Het Zigzag Kind) director: Vincent Bal, Netherlands/Belgium. Dutch, French with English subtitles.
Nono wants to be like his father — the best police inspector of the world — but he gets into trouble all the time. Two days before his Bar Mitzvah, he’s sent away to his uncle Sjmoel in order to stay on the right track. During the train ride, however, Nono gets one last chance to prove himself as a detective. Along with master burglar Felix Glick, an old acquaintance of his father’s, he enters a world of disguises, chases, and French chansons—and meets Zohara, a mysterious lady whose secrets will change Nono’s life forever. Age recommendation: 10 and up.
Vampire Sisters (Die Vampirschwestern) director: Wolfgang Groos, Germany. German with English subtitles.
North American Premiere
Dakaria and Silvania are 12-year-old half-vampire sisters, with a vampire father and a human mother, who move from Transylvania to Germany, where they try to become accustomed to the conditions of human daily life. They go to school during the day, using a lot of sun block, and fly during nighttime hours only. But the hardest part is making friends, as they need to be careful with whom they share their secret. Age recommendation: 9 and up.
Victor and the Secret of The Crocodile Mansion (Das Haus Der Krokodile) directors: Philipp Stennert and Cyrill Boss, Germany.
German with English subtitles.
Eleven-year-old Victor is both thrilled and mystified when his family moves into his grand-uncle’s mansion filled with African masks, taxidermy crocodile mounts, and a dark secret: Four decades ago, his grand-uncle’s daughter, Cecilia, died at age 11 under mysterious circumstances. Convinced that the elaborate drawings in his cousin’s diary contain clues to a long-lost treasure, Victor becomes obsessed with deciphering them and finally uncovering the secret buried deep within his ancestral home. Age recommendation: 10 and up.
Waves (Alegalu) director: Prithvi Konanur, India. Kannada with English subtitles.
North American Premiere
Putta and Basu are unlikely friends who live in a small fishing village. While Putta does well in school and loves being out on the water in his boat, Basu struggles in class and has a fear of the ocean. When both boys get into trouble they decide to try and solve their problems by sailing Putta’s boat out to the nearby island, where legend has it that if you leave something behind for the island spirit Panjurli, your wishes will come true. But when their journey takes an unexpected turn, Putta and Basu quickly learn that they cannot escape their responsibilities as easily as they had thought. Age recommendation 9 and up.
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $170 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation, Major Sponsor and official bank RBC, and BlackBerry. For more information, visit tiff.net.