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What to Watch at Providence Children’s Film Festival 2015

Posted on | February 3, 2015 | Add Comments

The Providence Children’s Film Festival will be getting things started next Thursday. This year marks the six year of the ever-evolving gathering of film geeks, students on vacation, and local families alike. The festival will take place from February 12 to 22. With 18 feature-length films as well as 9 short film compilations, everyone is bound to find something to love in the stellar lineup. To help you navigate through the sometimes overwhelming schedule, we’ve highlighted four films we highly recommend.
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Flack’s Recommendations:

Singin’ in the Rain

Why see the 63-year old musical at the Wheeler School’s Gilder Center when you can easily rent it from the comfort of your own couch? The reasons are countless. There’s the top-notch cast, led by Gene Kelly, with his infectious charm and boundless energy. There’s the story: a movie-about-movies tale from Hollywood’s uneasy transition from silent films to talkies. And then there’s the songs: “Good Morning”, “Moses Supposes”, “Make ’em Laugh”, and the title number. All showstoppers. All deserving of a screen bigger than your television. Post-film tap-dancing only seals the deal.

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The Boy and the World

If the word “animation” brings to mind easily digestible, comfortably conventional, computer-generated junk-food then brace yourself for this bold and beautiful Brazilian film. Without intelligible dialogue and a clear narrative path, director Ale Abreu follows the hand-drawn quest of the titular boy as he journeys deeper and deeper into a fantastical and mysterious world bursting with colorful detours: a vibrant parade, bright nightclubs, and a train that his father travels on. The film is about much more than it’s strikingly gorgeous visuals; there are themes of commercialization, materialism, and global warming. A feast for the eyes and a buffet for the brain.

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Flick’s Recommendations:

Zip & Zap and The Marble Gang

Kicking off the festival on February 12th is this Spanish language adventure starring a pair of two adventurous young brothers. After causing plenty of mischief, the boys find themselves sent a way to an austere summer school ruled with an iron fist by Falconetti, the eye-patched creep making sure no one steps out of line. In order to stand up to the cruel discipline of the headmaster, they form the Marble Gang along with three friends. What follows involves dark secrets, plenty of laughs, lots of adventure, and some serious fun. Adapted from a popular Spanish comic book, the film is 106 minutes of genuine thrills sure to please everyone.
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Side by Side

My personal favorite, Side by Side is a touching film that follows Lauren and Harvey, a brother and sister living with their grandmother. When their grandmother’s illness begins to grow serious, the siblings realize they must be separated. Upset that his sister has reluctantly signed up for a reputable sports program, younger brother Harvey runs away to Scotland searching for the grandfather they’ve never met. Soon enough Lauren chases after her brother and an unforgettable adventure ensues. The entire film is grounded by two sensational performances from Bel Powley and Alfie Field as, respectively, Lauren and Harvey. The film, with it’s grounded humor and brutal honesty, is one that will be sure to stay with you long past the festival’s Awards Ceremony.

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