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Fun characters in "International Children's Film Carnival 2007"

The remarkable collie Lassie, a sentimental piggy, a shepherdess who falls in love with the sweep, the brave Kirikou, a boy who fights the authorities, a clicking robot and a mermaid are some of the fun characters and animation classics to be featured in the “International Children’s Film Carnival 2007” from July 7 to August 12.

As a contribution to the annual “International Arts Carnival (IAC)” this summer, the “International Children’s Film Carnival 2007” will showcase various outstanding feature films, animations and shorts from around the world.

They include musical feature “Charlotte’s Web”, French animation classic “The King and the Mockingbird”, the popular “Lassie”, the adventurous “Kirikou and the Wild Beasts”, the award-winning films, “We Shall Overcome”, “Paula’s Secret”, “The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar” and the funny “Onni von Sopanen”.

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

“Charlotte’s Web” is a timeless children’s story of friendship, trust and love by E B White, the author of the popular “Stuart Little”. This 1972 animated musical features how a sentimental pig Wilbur escapes from being killed with support from the friendly spider Charlotte, a rat and other barnyard animals.

Since “Lassie” had its premiere in 1943, a number different films about the remarkable collie were made. This screening in the carnival is the 1994 version with young Matt feeling lonely in new surroundings. Fortunately he is protected by the homeless Lassie. The film won the Young Artist Award in 1995.

Adapted from Andersen's “The Shepherdess and The Chimney Sweep”, the French animation classic “The King and the Mockingbird” (1980) by director Paul Grimault inspires many famous Japanese animators. Even the Studio Ghibli of Miyazaki Hayao will release this film in Japan this summer. The film won the Prix Louis Delluc 1979.

For those who enjoy adventure stories, the French animation “Kirikou and the Wild Beasts” (2005) features how the inventive Kirikou becomes a gardener, detective, potter, merchant, traveller and doctor, always the smallest but the bravest hero. The treasure hunting film “The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar” (2006) won the Audience Award at the Amsterdam Cinekid 2006 and the Special Mention of the Children’s Jury at the Hamburg Film Festival 2006.

The Berlin International Film Festival 2006 Crystal Bear winner, “We Shall Overcome” (2006) is based on actual events of a 13-year-old boy who has fallen out of favour with the headmaster. He is influenced by the speech of Martin Luther King and his dreams of a better life. When the headmaster steps over the line in punishment, the boy takes up a fierce battle against the authorities.

What’s the secret in a teenage girl’s diary? The Lucas Award winner at the Lucas 2006 – the 29th International Children’s Film Festival, “Paula’s Secret” features Paula’s dream of her charming prince. When she is robbed in a subway, she needs her classmate’s help to get back the diary so that her deepest secrets can be kept intact.

Not-to-be-missed is the funny “Onni von Sopanen” (2006) from Finland. An 11-year-old boy Onni believes he is living with the wrong family. His sister is stupid, his father drives an embarrassing car, Onni has blue eyes while his family members’ are brown. Is his real father rich and smart like Bill Gates?

“Lassie” and “Charlotte’s Web” are in English with Chinese subtitles. “Kirikou and the Wild Beasts”, “Paula’s Secret” are with English subtitles and live Cantonese interpretation from popular artist Pat Kwok. “The King and the Mockingbird” is in French with Cantonese introduction by professional actress Mandy Yiu. “We Shall Overcome” and “The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar” are in Danish while “Onni von Sopanen” is in Finnish. The four films have English and Chinese subtitles.

Fourteen fascinating animations and shorts from various places including France, Netherlands, Greece, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong are joining the carnival this year in the “World Animation and Shorts” programmes.

Some of the highlights include “Lighthouse Keeper” (2001) which won the Audience Prize at the Seoul International Animation Festival in Korea 2002, “Post-It” (2006) won the 2006 Best Short Film for Supannahongsa in Thailand. Others include “Prasan Ke’” (2005) from Taiwan, “The Thief” (2005) from Greece, “Pizza di Mario” (2004) from The Netherlands, “Little Garuda” (2005) from Thailand and “Cotton” (2006) from Hong Kong.

Most works in the “World Animation and Shorts” series are in their original languages with English and Chinese subtitles together with a Cantonese introduction by Mandy Yiu.

Tickets priced at $40 are available at URBTIX outlets from tomorrow (May 18). 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 booking brochure of “International Children’s Film Carnival 2007” or in the IAC programme brochure at all Leisure and Cultural Services Department 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 17, 2007

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