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Feast of fun films in International Children's Film Carnival

The little prince from outer planet, lovely orphan Heidi, grandpa with a strange temper, exciting Red Head, a dog and a fish and an array of fun characters will be all featured in the International Children’s Film Carnival 2006 from July 17 to August 26 in the annual summer extravaganza of “International Arts Carnival” (IAC).

This year’s carnival will showcase many outstanding feature films, animations and shorts from around the world. They include Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “The Little Prince”, children’s classics “Heidi”, “Percy, Buffalo Bill and I” and the animated feature “Fire Ball”.

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

The magical fable, “The Little Prince”(1975) won the Best Original Score at the Golden Globe Awards in 1975. It was also nominated for the Best Song (“The Little Prince”) and Best Scoring: Adaptation at the 1975 Academy Awards. The little prince from planet Asteroid B-612 has planet-hopping journeys in which he meets a king, a businessman, an historian and a general. It isn’t until he comes to the Earth that the little prince learns the secrets of the importance of life from a fox, a snake and the pilot.

The Swiss film “Heidi”(1952) features the lovely orphan who lives happily with her grandfather in the mountain region of the Swiss Alps. She is taken to a rich family in Frankfurt by her aunt and has new friends, but why is she still not very happy?

For FIFA World-Cup buffs, “We are the Champions” (2005) is a must. Former pro-footballer Torben offers to coach his 13-year-old son’s football team which is at the bottom of their league. Yet both the boys and the management seriously doubt Torben’s ability. How can he win his son’s confidence and make a winning team?

In “Oskar and Josefine” (2005), the two Danish kids have an unforgettable summer holiday to travel back in time 400 years. Also on adventure, “Percy, Buffalo Bill and I”(2005) is a classical Scandinavian children’s film based on the autobiographical event of one of Sweden’s most popular children’s authors, Ulf Stark and his family spending the summer at his Grandpa’s farm. Both films have English subtitles with live Cantonese interpretation from popular dubbing artist Ms Pat Kwok.

Adapted from the Chinese mythical tale “Journey to the West”, “Fire Ball”(2005) is a full-length animated feature on the episode when Monk Triptaka and his fairy animal disciples plan to borrow the mighty fan from the Princess to extinguish the flame at the Flame Mountain but are met with ambush by Redhead and traps set by Spider Evil Queen. The film won the Best Animation Award at Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2005. “Fire Ball” will be shown in Mandarin with Chinese subtitles.

“Valo”(2005) is based on the true events of Finnish artist and philosopher Aleksanteri Ahola-Valo. Banished from St Petersburg to a little Finnish town with his father, Valo fights with perseverance for justice and children’s rights. It is a Dickens-like story depicting courage, friendship and the importance of believing in oneself.

Not-to-be-missed is “Innocent Voices”(2004). A courageous story of an 11-year-old boy who has to choose between entering the government army or joining the guerrillas when El Salvador was in the middle of a civil war. Since this film contains war scenes, parents should be especially careful about letting their younger children attend and are encouraged to learn more about the background of the film before taking their children to see it. A social worker will discuss the film with the audience after the screening.

“The Little Prince”, “Heidi” are in English with Chinese subtitles, “Valo”, “We are the Champions” and “Innocent Voices” are in Finnish, Danish and Spanish respectively with both English and Chinese subtitles, “Fire Ball ” is in Mandarin with Chinese subtitles.

Animations and shorts including award winning ones from various countries like Uzbekistan, the United Kingdom, Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Australia and the United States of America are joining the carnival this year.

Some of the highlights include “Birthday Boy”(2004) which won the 1st Prize, Animated Short Film or Video Category at Chicago International Children’s Film Festival 2004 and was nominated for Best Short Film (Animated) at Academy Awards 2005, “A Tale with an Angel”(2004) and “The Fourth King”(2004).

Most works in the “World Animation and Shorts” series are in their original languages with English and Chinese subtitles together with a Cantonese introduction from Mr Ting Yu.

Tickets priced at $40 are available at URBTIX outlets from tomorrow (May 19). 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 more different events.

Programme details can be found in the programme booklet of “International Children’s Film Carnival 2006/Youth in Love with Video Project 2006” or in the IAC programme brochure at all 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 18, 2006
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