Belmont World Film’s 21st Annual Family Festival
Enchanting films from around the world you won’t see anywhere else for children age 3-12!
January 13 – 21, 2024
Embark on an enchanting adventure when Belmont World Film presents its 21st Family Film Festival, a four-day celebration of international culture, featuring a diverse selection of films from around the world—with many based on beloved children’s books and several making their US or New England premieres—ensuring an immersive and culturally rich experience for young audiences.
Children age 3-12 and their families will have the opportunity to enjoy films in English and multiple languages, including Chinese, Czech, French, Dutch, Norwegian, and more, that in most cases can’t be seen anywhere else. Subtitles for films in languages other than English will be read aloud through headphones, ensuring an inclusive experience for children with difficulty reading.
The lineup includes a carefully curated mix of animated and live-action feature length and short films, offering something for every age group.
Schedule of Films
Saturday, January 13, 2024
10:30 AM | Celebrating 70 Years of Weston Woods Studios: In celebration of their 70th year, this program includes a compilation of both their newest, never-before-seen films, as well as some classics that should be part of every child’s upbringing. Age 3-8
11:45 AM | Yuku and the Himalayan Flower (US premiere | Belgium, France): In this spectacularly animated and adorable musical film, the little mouse Yuku goes in search of a rare flower to restore her grandmother back to health. Age 5-12
1:15 PM | Adventures in the Land of Asha (East Coast premiere | Canada): A 9 year-old boy with a rare skin disease meets Asha, a mysterious young indigenous girl in Northern Quebec. Together they venture to the other side of the forest where nature reveals itself full of life and secrets. Age 8+
3:15 PM | Sea Sparkle (East Coast premiere | Belgium/Netherlands): a 12-year-old girl goes in search of a sea monster that she’s convinced is to blame for her North Sea fisherman father goes missing with his crew. The opening film and the winner of two awards at the 2023 Berlinale! Age 10+
Sunday, January 14, 2024
10:30 AM | Another Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo) picture book comes to life in Tabby McTat (North American premiere), about the warm and wonderful friendship between a musical cat and a street busker in London, featuring the voice of Jodi Whittaker (Dr. Who). Shown with 2019’s The Snail and the Whale, featuring the voices of the late Dame Diana Rigg and Oscar-winner Sally Hawkins, a tiny snail goes on an amazing journey by hitching a ride on the tail of a huge humpback whale. Age 3-8
11:45 AM | Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light (US premiere | Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia): An original, stop-motion animated film that won the Contretemps Award at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Festival. An 11-year-old boy, who was born glowing, goes on an adventurous search for the strange, dark creatures that suck the sunshine out of their house. Age 5-12
1:45 PM | Coco Farm (East Coast premiere | Canada): A 12-year-old fast-talking boy moves with his father to the country and comes up with an idea to make money by starting an egg farming business with the help of his cousin and local YouTuber Alice. Age 8+
3:00 PM | OkThanksBye (New England premiere | Netherlands): Two 12-year-old girls at a boarding school for the deaf set off on an unexpected road trip from Rotterdam to Paris, when one of the girl’s deaf grandmothers falls sick. Followed by a discussion with ASL interpretation. Age 10+
Monday, January 15, 2024
10:30 AM | Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Shorts Program: Stories about Dr. King and his contemporaries as interpreted by Weston Woods Studios, including: the US premiere of I Am Ruby Bridges written by the civil rights activist who was the first African American child to attend a formerly whites-only elementary school. Age 5-12
11:45 AM | Titina (New England premiere | Norway): Through the eyes of celebrity dog Titina, the (mostly) true story about explorer Roald Amundsen, who commissioned Italian airship engineer Umberto Nobile to design and build an airship to conquer the North Pole. Along with Titina, the two men set out on an expedition to the last undiscovered place on Earth. Age 5-12
1:15 PM | Dancing Queen (Boston premiere | Norway): An awkward 12 year-old girl challenges herself to take part in a dance competition at school, in part to win the heart of a famous hip hop dancer who moves to her town. With the support of her spirited grandmother, she progresses from an clumsy initial audition to a final show-stopping number. Age 10+
3:15 PM | Kung Fu Lion (East Coast premiere | China/Netherlands): Two rivals from different cultural and family backgrounds are paired together to perform a traditional lion dance that requires Kung Fu skills, mutual respect, and perfect coordination. Age 10+
Sunday, January 21, 2024
10:00 AM-Noon | Intro to Film Camera Techniques Workshop: For children age 10+, covering fundamental camera techniques, as well as rarely-used ones that define the unique style of foreign films. Led by Ghanaian-American Filmmaker Menefese Kudumu-Clavell
Sunday, January 21, 2024
1:00 PM | LOL with Films Based on Mo Willems Books Shorts Program (USA): Children’s book author Mo Willems can make children and adults laugh out loud like no one else! He not only writes and illustrates his own books, but also narrates the animated films that are created by Weston Woods Studios. This program includes Includes some of our favorites. Age 3-8
2:15 PM | International Tales for Young Hearts Shorts Program (Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, UK): A collection of exquisitely animated films from Europe about nature, caring, friendship, and more that will warm everyone’s hearts. Age 5-12
3:30 PM | Totem (New England premiere | Netherlands): A daughter of Senegalese asylum seekers was born and raised in The Netherlands and feels completely Dutch. When she sees her mother and brother get arrested, she sets off in search of her father through Rotterdam in the middle of winter and discovers her roots, thanks to an extraordinary totem animal: a gigantic porcupine.
Followed by a discussion led by Ghanaian-American filmmaker Menefese Kudumu-Clavell. Those with multiple cultural identities are encouraged to join to talk about their experiences with dual identities. Age 8+
“I just wanted you to let you know how much my family and I enjoyed the virtual offerings at Belmont World Film’s Family Festival! We really loved being able to experience movies from other places…Watching the films this way allowed us to read the subtitles aloud to our seven-year-old who is still learning to read. It also allowed us to discuss some things about the movies while we were watching them.” ~ Laura S.