Photo: From the documentary “Landfill Harmonic.”
Belmont World Film’s “Family Festival” presents “Kid Power!” the 13th edition of its popular festival for children ages 3-12, from Jan. 15 to 18, at the Regent Theatre (7 Medford Street, Arlington), and Belmont’s Studio Cinema at 376 Trapelo Rd.
Twelve programs, featuring some of the world’s top animated and live action films for children, will screen in their native languages with English subtitles, from such diverse countries as Argentina, Canada, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Uganda, and the US. Each day is dedicated to a different theme, including magic, caring for the environment, and a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Martin Luther King Day.
“Belmont World Film’s Family Festival offers filmgoers the opportunity
to hear and understand multiple languages in a fun and natural way while offering an alternative to the standard Hollywood fare typically found at the multiplex,” says Belmont World Film Executive Director Ellen Gitelman.
One of the most anticipated programs is the 10:30 a.m. talk on Saturday, Jan. 16, by Peter Reynolds, author and illustrator of such popular children’s picture books as The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, and The North Star and owner of the Blue Bunny bookstore in Dedham. The program features a screening of animated versions of his books by Weston Woods Studios and a book signing.
Another highlight is the New England premiere of the documentary Landfill Harmonic on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 1:15 p.m. The story is about members of a Paraguayan youth orchestra who live next to one of South America’s largest landfills and whose instruments are made out of garbage found by one of the pickers. When their story goes viral, they realize their dream of performing live with some of their favorite heavy metal bands, including Megadeth, catapulting them into the global spotlight. The film is a beautiful story about the transformative power of music that also highlights two vital issues of our times: poverty and waste pollution (age 6-adult, $9).
The weekend’s other film programs include:
FRIDAY, JAN. 15
- Fantasia, the groundbreaking film released 75 years ago by Walt Disney that ingeniously combined animated imagery with classical music, features Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer’s apprentice, and the music of Beethoven, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and more, orchestrated and conducted by Leopold Stokowski. Presented in honor of the film’s 75th anniversary and as a kick-off to the Regent Theatre’s Through the Decades Classic Film Series, a year-long celebration of the Theatre’s 100th anniversary. Prizes will be given for the best costumes after a parade around the Theatre! (7 p.m., age 4+).
SATURDAY, JAN. 16
- The Amazing Wiplala, a Dutch film in which a 7 year-old boy discovers a tiny man with magical powers in his kitchen cupboard. With his powers on the fritz, he accidentally shrinks the entire family (12:30 PM, age 6+, New England premiere). Presented by Dutch Culture USA
- Song of the Sea, the Oscar-nominated hand-drawn animated film from Ireland about the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past (2:30 PM, age 5+). Co-presented by the Boston Irish Film Festival
SUNDAY, JAN. 17
- It’s Easy Being Green: Short Films about Animals and the Environment featuring award-winning animated and live action shorts followed by a talk by three 12-year old environmentalists Lexington featured in the film Save Tomorrow.
- Landfill Harmonic see above (1:15 p.m., age 8+, New England premiere).
- Birds of Passage, a beautiful story from France about shy 10 year-old Cathy and her friend Margaux who is confined to a wheelchair with myopathy. When the duck egg that Cathy’s overly-enthusiastic father gives her for her birthday hatches and the duckling imprints on Margaux, the two set off on a secret mission to set the duckling free in its natural habitat (3:00 PM, age 6+, East Coast premiere). Co-presented by SMILE Mass.
MONDAY, JAN. 18
- Imba Means Sing follows 8 year-olds Angel, Moses, Nina and the other members of the Grammy-nominated African Children’s Choir from the slums of Kampala, Uganda, a country torn apart by the guerilla war of 1981-86, through their world tour. Although lacking enough resources to even attend the first grade, the film shows how each child processes the joys and challenges of their life-changing opportunity to receive an education to achieve their dreams. (11:45 a.m., age 8+, New England premiere.
- The Outlaw League, about a sensitive 12 year-old boy from Quebec who leads a campaign to rescue the town’s baseball field from becoming the town dump. (1:15 p.m., age 9+, New England premiere). Co-presented by the Quebec Delegation of Boston.
- The Games Maker, about young Ivan Drago’s (David Mazouz, young Bruce Wayne in Gotham) newfound love of board games catapults him into the fantastical and competitive world of game invention, and pits him against the inventor Morodian (Joseph Fiennes), who has long desired to destroy the city of Zyl, founded by Ivan’s grandfather (Ed Asner). To save his family (Tom Cavanaugh) and defeat Morodian, Ivan must come to know what it is to be a true Games Maker (3:00 PM, Age 9+, East Coast premiere)
Festival sponsors include Hammond Real Estate, Dutch Culture USA, Belmont Day School, Solar City and Stellabella Toys. The Family Film Festival is also funded in part by grants from the Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Waltham and Watertown Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Festival partners include the Boston Irish Film Festival, Project Giving Kids, and SMILE Mass.
Individual tickets are $6 for programs for shorts programs and $9 for feature-length films. Full festival passes are $50. Tickets are available in advance online at www.belmontworldfilm.org or in person at either the Studio Cinema or Regent Theatre box offices on
Tickets are available in advance online at www.belmontworldfilm.org or in person at either the Studio Cinema or Regent Theatre box offices on day of show. For full film descriptions and additional information visit www.belmontworldfilm.org or call 617-484-3980.
Belmont World Film is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that promotes cross-cultural understanding through the powerful universal language of film. It presents award-winning feature narrative films, documentaries, animation, and shorts from around the world for both adults and children accompanied by topical speakers, cultural performances and ethnic cuisine.