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24th Annual Kidsfest Kick Off in a month with 225 films!

The CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL (Thursday, October 18 - Sunday, October 28) is set to kick off its 24th year of screening the best children's films in the world. Showcasing 220 films from 41 countries over 11 days, the Festival is the largest and longest running kidsfest in the U.S, and the only children's festival in the world that's recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an "Academy qualifying" festival. CICFF winners in the animated and live action short film categories may go on to compete for Oscars.
Programming age appropriate films of high artistic value, the Festival features family entertainment from six continents including 33 feature films. Germany's answer to "Babe", Rudy, the Return of the Racing Pig (Germany, 2006) will delight children ages 8-11, while Elias and the Royal Yacht (Norway, 2007), a charming CGI animated feature film about a brave little rescue boat is part of the Festival's wildly popular "My First Movies" program for children ages 2-5. At the opposite end of the age scale, the CICFF will screen Crusade (Holland, 2007) an adventure film about a 15 year old boy transported back to the thirteenth century by his mother's time machine, starring Emily Watson (Gosford Park, Breaking the Waves).
New for 2008, the CICFF will highlight five U.S. feature films in screenings that are part of the Festival's new American Showcase ®. "U.S. family films that don't have $40 million marketing campaigns deserve to reach broader audiences. Festivals are the perfect way to make sure that families don't miss these quality films," says Kathleen Beckman, Operations Manager. The 2007 American Showcase includes: America the Beautiful; Her Best Move (Scott Patterson, Gilmore Girls) ; A Plumm Summer (William Baldwin , The Squid and the Whale, and Henry Winkler, Click); Moondance Alexander (Kay Panabaker Nancy Drew, Don Johnson Nash Bridges, Lori Loughlin Summerland) and Labou.
Rounding out the CICFF are the popular Take One! hands-on workshops and "Directors in the Schools" programs. Fun-filled events, include a workshop on Foley art led by Megan Foley, the granddaughter of Jack Foley, for whom the skill was named; and "Take It Away, Maestro" an acting workshop taught by Maestro Harrell (Ali, The Wire), who's also serving as host of CICFF's Opening Night Gala. Teen supermodel Gerren Taylor (starring in America the Beautiful) will go to Chicago Public Schools as well as hosting the Festival's Award Ceremony.
The acclaimed French filmmaking collective, Association Okaou will spend two weeks in a Chicago Public School making an animated film "For Every Problem, A Solution" based on the children's ideas for a better world.
On its first weekend, October 20-21, the CICFF will expand to the Davis Theater (4614 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago), in addition to screenings at Facets. Building on last year's sold-out opening, the CICFF is thrilled to be partnering with Wilmette Theater (1122 Central Ave., Wilmette) on the second weekend of the Festival. As a special Halloween perk, kids who come in costume to screenings in Wilmette will receive a free bag of popcorn!
On weekdays, the Festival expands to the Bronzeville neighborhood's state of the art Harold Washington Cultural Center (4701 S. King Dr., Chicago) with the CICFF Award Ceremony taking place at Columbia College's beautiful Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, 8th Floor. Festival screenings will also be held at Northwestern University's Thorne Auditorium (375 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago); Kerasotes Showplace 14 (2600 N. Western Ave., Chicago); and Facets Multimedia (1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago).

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