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'Oz' classic part of International Children's Film Carnival 2005

An array of fun characters including homesick Dorothy, curious Cheburashka, Tobi the canine TV star, naughty Martha, a magic lion and a romantic frog will all be featured in the International Children's Film Carnival 2005 from July 16 to August 21 in the annual summer extravaganza of "International Arts Carnival" (IAC).

This year's carnival will showcase many outstanding feature films as well as animated films and shorts from around the world. They include the much-loved Hollywood family classic, "The Wizard of Oz", and the popular Russian animated series, "The Adventures of Cheburashka & Friends".

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the screenings will take place at the Theatre of the Hong Kong City Hall, the Lecture Halls of the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Hong Kong Science Museum, and the Cinema of the Hong Kong Film Archive.

"The Wizard of Oz" is still one of the most loved family classics over more than half a century. The digitally restored version enhances the quality of the film even more. Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land by a tornado. She meets the scarecrow, the tin man and the lion, who accompany her on the quest to find the wizard to bring her home. The film won "Best Music (Original Score)" and "Best Music (Song)" (Over the Rainbow) in the 12th Annual Academy Awards.

From the popular animated series, "The Adventures of Cheburashka & Friends", in Russia, Cheburashka was also the official mascot for the Russian Olympic Team in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Cheburashka is found by a fruit vendor. Rejected by the Moscow zoo because he is an unknown species, he starts his adventurous journey and on the way meets Gena the crocodile, who can play an accordion and the capricious old lady, Shapoklyak.

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Danish fairy tale master Hans Christian Andersen, three remarkable fairy tales including "Hans the Clopper", "The Tinderbox" and "The Snow Queen" will be screened.

In "My Brother is a Dog", 10-year old Marietta doesn't want a brother but a dog, so she turns her brother into a dog with a magic stone. When the dog Tobi becomes a TV star, Marietta begins to miss her real brother.

"Waterbomb for the Fat Tomcat" features the relationship between naughty Martha and her unmarried aunt Una. Martha and Linda’s parents ask Una to look after the girls during their absence. Is the strict aunt able to get along with the naughty girls? The film won Certificate of Excellence, Live-Action Feature Film or Video in Chicago International Children’s Film Festival 2004.

Not-to-be-missed is "Immediate Boarding". Julia and Martin look alike and meet by accident at the airport on the way to their respective divorced parents. They swap identities to escape from the trip.

"The Wizard of Oz" is in English with Chinese subtitles. "The Adventures of Cheburashka & Friends", "Malabar Princess", "Immediate Boarding", "Three Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales" and "Little Big Mouse" are in Russian, French, Swedish and Danish respectively with both English and Chinese subtitles. "My Brother is a Dog" and "Waterbomb for the Fat Tomcat" have English subtitles and Ms Pat Kwok, a professional dubbing artist will conduct live Cantonese interpretation.

Animated films and shorts from various countries like Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, South Korea and selected award-winning local animated shorts are joining the carnival this year.

Some of the highlights include "A Slippery Tale", which is a story of great romance about a frog that falls in love with a velvet frog, and grandpa's childhood during the war in "Through My Thick Glasses".

All works in the "World Animation and Shorts 1, 2, and 3" series are in their original languages with English and Chinese subtitles together with a Cantonese introduction.

Tickets priced at $40 are available at all URBTIX outlets from tomorrow (May 20). Half-price concessionary tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. There will be a 10% discount for each purchase of three to four different events of IAC and 15% discount for five different events or more.

Programme details can be found in the programme booklets of "International Children's Film Carnival 2005/Youth in Love with Video Project 2005" or in the IAC programme brochures at all the LCSD’s performing venues. Reservations can be made by phone on 2734 9009 or on the Internet at .

For information call 2734 2900 or browse the website at .

Ends/Thursday, May 19, 2005

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