Kidflix Festival a Kaleidoscope of Fun

by Lexa Pennington / Mar 02, 2010 /
Lexa Pennington's picture



In just one day kids discover Celtic mythology, listen to the big, bad wolf tell his side of the story, and follow along as children in Japan solve a mystery that took place in Europe over sixty years ago. On Sunday, April 11, KidFlix Festival presents a full-day of exclusive international films with cleverly animated features, an engaging documentary/drama and an exciting series of shorts that will educate and entertain the child in all. The films were carefully chosen by Festival Director Ellen Wedner to offer a rich, multi-cultural experience for kids in our community.

“Each film targets a special age group,” explained Wedner. “Through the genre of film, kids can explore important issues, ideas and lessons while being entertained. KidFlix films are designed to open windows into new worlds, and to stimulate a child’s creativity with exposure to films that he or she may not have another opportunity to see.”

The festival kicks-off with a diverse collection of shorts called Kid Flix Mix, (3-8years) which includes the best work in animation from around the world. Among the dozen films are Spot and Splodge (Sweden) and their adventures in a snowstorm, and The Bridge on the River Zzzeee, (France) starring a team of industrious and innovative ants. The program is presented in English and includes musical and narrative works from Finland, Germany, Latvia, Switzerland and the UK, and offers a spectacular array of traditional and stop motion animation.

Another unique component of the festival is the Springboard program designed to carry the ideas from the screening into age appropriate, post-film activities. “Kids can walk right outside the theater and immediately express what they learned from the film through hand-on activities,” said Wedner. “Springboard offers kids a contemporary global perspective and comfortably presents tools to be learned for a better future. We want families to go home after the KidFlix experience and continue the discussions that hopefully, can lead to greater understanding and acceptance of all.”

The Springboard film, Inside Hana’s Suitcase (11+ years) is a mystery told through the voices of children who live in Japan, Canada and Czechoslovakia. It begins with the delivery of a battered suitcase to Fumiko Ishioka, a passionate and tenacious director of the Tokyo Holocaust Education Resource Center, and follows her quest to find out about Hana Brady, a name painted on the case. As the information unfolds, the young storytellers share their thoughts as they chronicle 60 years of history, and weave the past to the present. The film is based on Karen Levine’s internationally acclaimed book, “Hanaʼ’s Suitcase,” which has been translated into 40 languages, and is ‘a story meant to be told’ about what happens when prejudice and hatred are taken too far.


Inside Hana's Suitcase

Inside Hana's Suitcase


The closing film is The Secret of Kells, (6+yrs.) and offers magic, fantasy and mythology in a sweeping story about the power of imagination and faith to carry humanity through dark times. The main character is Brendan (the voice of Brendan Gleeson Harry Potter, In Bruges) who lives in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids. But a new life of adventure beckons when a celebrated master illuminator arrives from a foreign land carrying an ancient but unfinished book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers. The conflict arises that without saving books, knowledge will perish; but without building protective walls, they'll all perish. With the barbarians closing in, will Brendan's determination and vision illuminate the darkness and show that enlightenment is the best defense against evil? 
 The Secret of Kells (Ireland) has been nominated for Best Animated Feature at this year’s Academy Awards.

Between screenings is the “KidFlix Activity Center” with age-appropriate, hands-on projects presented by Community Partners including the Miami Children’s Museum and The Deering Estate’s Living Classroom.


The University of Miami School of Communications is hosting the event, and all films are at the Bill Cosford Cinema, Sunday, April 11; beginning at 9:30 am until 6pm. Tickets are $5 child, $10 adult. Parking is free. Metrorail stop is the University Station. For more information call 305.573.6477 or log on to