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Vashon Children’s Film Festival to take kids on a trip around the world
A girl who flies away on a paper airplane, a cat that adopts a penguin and a gang of time-traveling friends — these are just a few of the characters that will be on the silver screen at the first-ever Vashon Children’s Film Festival.
The festival, a presentation of the Vashon Film Society, will roll out the red carpet for pint-sized film lovers this weekend, with four short film programs as well as a screening of “Matilda,” a 1996 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book.
Organizer Leslie McMichael is calling the celebration of children’s cinema a “no fast food plastic toy tie-in film festival,” and promises movies from 23 countries.
“Matilda” will open the festival at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 12, and boast two special guests. The film’s screenwriters, the husband and wife team of Robin Swicord and Nicholas Kazan, will attend to introduce the film and answer questions.
Swicord and Kazan, who live part-time on Vashon, are two of Hollywood’s most successful screenwriters.
Swicord was nominated for an Academy Award for her screenplay of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and also penned such blockbusters as “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Little Women.” She directed and wrote “The Jane Austen Book Club.”
Kazan’s scripts include the supernatural thriller “Fallen,” starring Denzel Washington; he was Oscar-nominated for his work on “Reversal of Fortune.”
On Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14, short film programs that recently appeared in Northwest Film Forum’s Children’s Film Festival Seattle will unreel.
First up on Saturday, at 11 a.m., is “What a Wonderful World,” a program for all ages filled with films that are musical, moving, funny and full of adventure.
Saturday’s second show, at 1 p.m., is “Chills and Thrills,” featuring surreal stories and spooky animation.
The 11 a.m. show on Sunday, “Creature Comforts,” is aimed at the festival’s youngest movie-goers, with shorts featuring gentle themes and lots of cuddly animals.
The festival will wrap at 1 p.m. on Sunday with “Totally Tall Tales,” a collection of Greek myths, African fables, Hungarian folk tales and Irish yarns.
Tickets to “Matilda” are $7 for kids and $9 for adults; tickets to the shorts programs are $5 for all ages. A pass to the entire festival costs $20 for kids and $25 for adults. All screenings take place at Vashon Theatre.
— Elizabeth Shepherd is the arts editor of The Beachcomber. She is also the director of Children’s Film Festival Seattle.