The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, now in its 12th year, runs from Friday, October 6, through Sunday, October 15, at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton (except for the opening-night screening at the Chicago Cultural Center). Individual admissions are $4 for children and adults; but various discounts are available to those who purchase four or more tickets, and an unlimited pass for a family of four can be purchased for $100. The opening-night gala at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, costs $25 per person, which includes a reception. For more information call 281-9075.


Over the Rainbow

Shorts from the U.S., Canada, England, Ireland, Denmark, and New Zealand. (Chicago Cultural Center, 7:30)


Into the Garden With Beatrix Potter

Three half-hour shorts from England. (10:00 am)

Short Films 1

Films from Norway, Canada, France, the U.S., and England. (Noon)

Short Videos 1

Four videos from England and the U.S. (Noon)

Black Beauty

The 1994 version of Anna Sewell’s children’s classic about a horse, told from the horse’s viewpoint, written and directed by Caroline Thompson (whose previous writing credits include Edward Scissorhands and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey). With Sean Bean, David Thewlis, Jim Carter, Peter Davison, Andrew Knott, and Eleanor Bron; Danny Elfman composed the music. Thompson will conduct a workshop about her films at 3:30. (2:00)

Short Videos 2

Short videos from Bolivia, Romania, Poland, Australia, England, and Austria. (2:00)

Brothers in Luohe Town

A feature from the People’s Republic of China, directed by Su Zhou, about two brothers who are switched at birth in a maternity ward. (4:00)

Ecological Videos

Short videos with ecological themes from the U.S., Australia, and France. (4:00)


Animated Shorts 1

Animated short films from Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Poland, Norway, Finland, and Wales. (10:00 am)

Rosa the Guardian Ghost

A video screening of a feature from the Czech Republic, directed by Jaroslav Hykl, about a little girl befriended by a ghost, to be shown with a short film from India. (10:00 am)

Tick Tack

A feature from Iran directed by Mohammad-Ali Talebi about two boys competing for a school award. (Noon)

Animated Videos 1

Videos from Canada, Hungary, Finland, Germany, and England. (Noon)

Short Films 2

Short films from Mexico, Uruguay, and Cuba. (2:00)


A feature-length video from Canada, directed by Will Dixon, about a father, a son, and a guitar. (2:00)

A Little Princess

I’m not sure whether this sensitive adaptation of a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett (author of The Secret Garden) is quite the miracle that some of my colleagues have been claiming it to be, but there’s no question that this exceptional and affecting children’s movie from Warners easily blows current Disney productions out of the water and is enjoyable for grown-ups as well. Set during World War I, it follows the adventures of an imaginative and resourceful little girl (Liesel Matthews) raised in India and then deposited by her father (Liam Cunningham) at an exclusive New York boarding school, where she soon becomes the victim of a very mean headmistress (Eleanor Bron). Directed by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron in his American debut and scripted by Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King) and Amy Ephron, the film ingeniously uses studio resources to create an entrancing world both in New York and in the heroine’s fantasies about India. The virtues on display are very much those of the heroine: generosity, imagination, charm, and the capacity to keep audiences mesmerized with a good story. Actress Matthews, the festival’s “honorary cochair,” will lead a short question and answer session after the screening. (4:00)

Short Videos 3

Short videos from Canada, Austria, Bolivia, and the U.S. (4:00)


Short Films 3

Short films from Switzerland, Norway, and the U.S. (10:00 am)

Animated Videos 2

Animated videos from England, the U.S., Hungary, France, and Germany. (10:00 am)

The Purse Snatcher

A Dutch feature directed by Maria Peters, winner of the children’s jury prize at this year’s Berlin international children’s film festival. (Noon)

Short Videos 4

Short videos from Canada, Belgium, Poland, England, and Iceland. (Noon)

The Sky Palace

An Icelandic feature about a boy and a dog, directed by Thorsteinn Jonsson. (2:00)

The Riddle

A feature-length video from Syria directed by Layali Bader about two mysterious strangers and a group of friends. (2:00)

Abel in the Wild Forest

A Hungarian feature about a teenage boy living a alone in the Transylvanian forest and a stray dog named Flea, directed by Sandor Mihalyf. One the same program, a Hungarian animated short film. (4:00)

Short Videos 5

Videos from Australia, the U.S., and Spain. (4:00)


Short Films 4

Films from Mexico, Japan, Norway, and Wales. (9:30 am)

Campfire: Tales From Africa

Videos from Ghana, Mali, Burundi, Senegal, and the U.S. (9:30 am)

Short Films 5

Short films exploring issues of right and wrong, from the U.S., Canada, and England. (11:30 am)

Short Videos 6

Short videos from England, Canada, and Australia. (11:30 am)

The Wild Horse

A Norwegian feature about a shy girl and an untamed horse in the mountains of western Norway, directed by Morten Kolsad. (4:00)

Le magique

An autobiographical first feature from Tunisia by Azdine Melliti Fazai, who will be present at the screening, about a village boy whose life is transformed by going to the movies for the first time and seeing Spartacus. (7:00)


Animated Shorts 2

Short films from Norway, the U.S., Canada, Wales, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. (9:30 am)

It Will Be Fine Tomorrow

A feature from Japan about a teacher and her students, directed by Setsuo Nakayama; to be shown on video. (9:30 am)

Willie’s War

An English feature about a Cockney boy who moves in with an upper-class family in the country, directed by Colin Finbow; to be shown with a short film from the U.S. (11:30 am)

Videos by Children

Videos by kids from Chicago, Philadelphia, Burundi, and England. (11:30 am)

The TV Adventures

An ordinary-looking TV set turns into a time machine and transports a ten-year-old boy back to the Ming dynasty in a feature from the People’s Repubic of China, directed by Wu Meng Chen. To be shown on video. (4:00)


Short Films 6

Short films from Norway, Canada, France, Senegal, Japan, and the U.S.; the American film is Zeinabu Irene Davis’s Mother of the River, an ambitious narrative in black and white about slavery. Davis and Mansour Sora Wade, director of the French-Senegalese Little Bird, will be present. (9:30 am)

Short Videos 7

Three English videos with boy heroes about time travel. (9:30 am)

Animated Shorts 3

Animated short films from Hungary, Latvia, England, the U.S., and New Zealand. (11:30 am)

Animated Videos 3

Animated videos from Hungary, England, Canada, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, and France. (11:30 am)

The Horse

A feature-length video from India about a boy and a horse, directed by Shyam Rahjankar. (4:00)