The University of Hawaii at Manoa's Outreach College presents a free summer festival for families called Kids First! Film Festival. Now in its sixth year, the award-winning event returns with another summer of quality family fun. KIDS FIRST! gives young people the excitement and thrill of attending a film festival just for them, at an affordable price for all the family -- free!
My family and I attended a couple films in previous summers and enjoyed the experience. There are heaps of other children so if mine got wiggly or loud, nobody gave stink eye. It's in a cool, dark auditorium in the peak of the hot summer months, which is lovely. And it's the right price. I appreciate community outreach like this!
The KIDS FIRST! Film Festival 2012, supported in part by the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust and a project of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media, screens on Sundays, June 3, 10 & 24 and July 8 & 15 at 3:00 pm in the UH Manoa Art Auditorium (follow the balloons on campus; parking is free on Sundays). It partners each year with over 150 venues nationwide, reaching an audience of more than one million people, making it the largest kids' film festival in the world.
Curated locally by UH Manoa's Outreach College to appeal to Hawai‘i audiences, KIDS FIRST! films are free of gratuitous violence; race, gender, or religious bias; inappropriate content; and condescension toward children. Age-appropriate groupings of films entertain through a balance of animation and live action, plus varied themes from different cultures. To add to the festivities, door prizes are awarded at all screenings. Parents, grandparents, friends and neighborhood kids - everyone can enjoy the films because they're juried by kids, parents, teachers, and child advocates nationwide to qualify for the Festival.
This summer's line-up includes films with broad appeal - for toddlers, tweens, teens, and grown-ups too. Programs include feature-length films as well as award-winning shorts. Here are the highlights:
June 3: Animated short about a boy who wants to be a dog with the full-length family film, Miss Minoes, about a cat who turns into a girl. Based on the children's book by Annie M.G. Schmidt, the film was hugely popular when released in 2001 in the Netherlands (this newly released version is dubbed in English), received international awards, and was designated a New York Times Critics' Pick.
June 10: From auteur director Yoichi Sai, based on a true story, feature film Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog will have its US premiere in mid-May, 2012. "A warm-hearted, visually charming, and ultimately thought-provoking tribute to the ways, little and large, that these creatures improve our lives." - Georgia Straight
June 24: Six short films for ages 3-7, including international favorites Hello Kitty and Babar, films from the UK and Australia, and a couple of ecology-minded puppets.
July 8: Award-winning short animated and live-action films for ages 5-12 from Here (locally and mainland produced), There (from Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Iran and Italy) & Beyond (outer space).
July 15: Following instincts or following dreams, the subjects of Ride of the Mergansers and Circus Dreams are highly entertaining and inspiring. Circus Dreams features aerial performer and contortionist Thula Martin from Pahoa, Hawai‘i.
For information, go to the www.summer.hawaii.edu or call 956-9883.