A teenager runs 800 kilometres to save his sister's life; a sister and her younger brother slide along a moving cable across a raging river to school every day; little Tahaan and his beloved donkey rely on each other; three candidates strive to become class monitor; and two half-brothers compete to rescue the Djinn fairy. All these stories will be featured in the International Children's Film Carnival this summer.
Presented by the Film Programmes Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the International Children's Film Carnival 2010 is part of the annual International Arts Carnival (IAC). A variety of outstanding children's films will be shown this year: 11 feature films from the Netherlands, Poland, China, India, Denmark, France, Norway, Australia and Indonesia, and 21 short films selected from different parts of the world. The screenings will be held from July 10 to August 15 in the Cinema of the Hong Kong Film Archive, and the Lecture Halls at the Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Science Museum.
The selected feature films include: the delightful "Frogs & Toads", the award-winning "The Magic Tree", the animal related "Svein and the Rat", a powerful message of peace, "Tahaan", the touching "Walking to School" and "Wild Horse from Shangri-la", the marvellous "Azur & Asmar", and the hilarious "Please Vote for Me".
Furthermore, two new special sections this year are Special Screenings for Parents and Chinese Animated Films. In Special Screenings for Parents, two films, the playful comedy "Razzle Dazzle" and Indonesian box office hit "The Rainbow Troops", have been specially picked for parents, teachers, social workers and all those concerned with the growth of children. The Special Screenings for Parents will be followed by a discussion session, hosted by a registered social worker from The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, to share parenting tips. Chinese Animated Films will screen a feature film "Monkey King Conquers the Demon" and six short films.
The experienced dubbing artist Pat Kwok Bik-chun, and Cheung Chun-shing, who dubbed the voice of Light Yagami in "Death Note", will provide live Cantonese interpretation in designated films. Also, Kwan Chung-yeung, who has worked in children's drama for more than 10 years, veteran animator and film critic Lam Kee-to, and guest lecturer at the Academy of Film of the Hong Kong Baptist University, Dr Ng Ho, will host film appreciation sessions and/or interactive sessions in Cantonese.
Frogspawn can cure? In order to cure his elder brother, six-year-old Max goes to the gorgeous countryside with his friend Jesse to look for glassy, jelly-like frogspawn. On the way, they explore the wonders of the forest. The delightful children's adventure "Frogs & Toads" (2009) is shot from the viewpoint of a child and entertains with merry songs.
A red chair made from the wood of a magic tree is full of magical powers. "The Magic Tree" (2009) is the movie version of the most famous Polish children's TV series. The magical red chair fulfils its owners' wishes, but also turns their lives upside down. The film won over 20 awards including an Emmy.
Can rats become superstars? In "Svein and the Rat" (2006), Svein trains his rat to win a pet contest even though his rat chews up everything at home and his classmates hate the rodent. Svein learns what friendship between animal and human means.
Stunningly shot in Kashmir, "Tahaan" (2008) is a little boy who is about to lose his beloved donkey, Birbal, unless he has the courage to cross the mountain, then win a donkey race to get back Birbal from a travelling merchant.
Going to school can be scarier than bungee jumping! The touching "Walking to School" (2008) is about a sister and her younger brother living in the mountains in Yunnan and sliding along a moving cable across a raging river to school every day. The film balances tension and tragedy with humour and hope, capturing the breathtaking beauty of the Nujiang Gorge.
To save his sister's life, a Tibetan teenager runs 800 kilometres to Kunming City to compete in a marathon for the prize money. The road movie "Wild Horse from Shangri-la" (2009) is full of exciting adventures and moving encounters with unusual people, capturing the breathtaking scenery of Shangri-la in Yunnan.
In "Azur & Asmar" (2006), two reunited half-brothers compete to rescue the Djinn fairy who lives in their favourite bedtime story. This marvellous family film received a standing ovation when it was screened at Cannes' Directors' Fortnight. Its pictorial style has been described as having "no peer or comparison in modern cinema".
In "Please Vote for Me" (2007), three candidates for class monitor must win popularity through a talent show, a debate and a public speech. This hilarious documentary shows how democracy works in a children's world.
In the Special Screenings for Parents, "Razzle Dazzle" (2007) shows that winning is everything. The Jazzketeers, an Australian junior dance troupe, is preparing for the Sanosafe Troupe Spectacular – the highest honour in dance. Competition among the kids is intense, but even more so among the mothers. There are more surprises before the finals. "The Rainbow Troops" (2008) from Indonesia salutes two noble teachers who struggle to run an elementary school for children from poor families. The touching film shows how real education is measured by love and concern. With charming rural scenes and angelic children, the film was the biggest box office hit in Indonesian history and was invited to over 20 festivals. It won many awards, including the Best Film at the 53rd Asia Pacific Film Festival.
Produced by the Shanghai Animation Film Studio, Chinese Animated Films express Chinese aesthetics through the techniques of Chinese ink-painting, paper-cutting etc. Fans of the Monkey King story should not miss "Monkey King Conquers the Demon" (1985). On their journey to the West, the Monkey King protects his master and companions from the heinous White Bone Demon who can transform into anyone at will. This film is a perfect showpiece for the dynamism of this perennial tale. The Short Films Selection comprises the warm "The Deer's Bell" (1982), a delightful exchange of wits in "Scarecrow" (1985), the joyful "Hedgehog Carries Watermelon" (1979), the fables "Grapple between Snipe and Clam" (1983) and "Mantis Stalking Cicada" (1988), and the humorous "Monkeys Fish Up the Moon" (1981). Short Films Selection provides interactive sessions in Cantonese.
"Frogs & Toads", "The Magic Tree", "Svein and the Rat" and "Tahaan" will have live Cantonese interpretation and English subtitles, while other films (except films with no dialogue) will have Chinese and English subtitles.
This year, the Film Programmes Office has selected 15 animated shorts from China, Sweden, Japan, Hungary, Germany, England, South Korea, Belgium and Denmark for the World Animated Shorts, whose interactive sessions will be hosted by Kwan Chung-yeung in Cantonese.
World Animated Shorts 1 will feature "Hakoinu" (2009), "The Children's Tree" (2008), "Poison Arrow Frogs" (2008), "Tales for Tiny Tots" (2007) and "Today I" (2009); while World Animated Shorts 2 will screen "Nursery Songs" (2008), "Lost and Found" (2008), "Space Monkeys" (2008) and "Big Time Smugglers" (2008).
Tickets priced at $45 are available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessionary tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Discounts from 10% to 20% for purchasing tickets of film programmes or performing arts of the IAC are also available. Programme and discount details can be found in the booking brochure of International Children's Film Carnival 2010 or in the IAC programme brochure at all LCSD performing venues. Reservations can be made by phone on 2734 9009 or via the Internet at www.urbtix.hk . For enquiries, please call 2734 2900 or browse the website at www.lcsd.gov.hk/fp .
Ends/Friday, May 14, 2010
A film still of "Frogs & Toads" (2009).
A film still of "Azur & Asmar" (2006).
A film still of "Monkey King Conquers the Demon" (1985).