FACETS’ 37th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival


The full schedule for FACETS 37th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF37), one of only two Academy Award-qualifying international children’s film festivals in the world, is available. Presented this year from Friday, November 13, through Sunday, November 22, FACETS’ ever-popular signature program will be presented virtually in its entirety due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Ann Vikstrom, Festival Director of FACETS said: “Since FACETS launched the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) in 1984, we have been committed to curating film programs that are breathtaking in their beauty, skill, and innovation. But more importantly, CICFF films give youth the opportunity to watch empathy-driven, international films that speak directly to their experiences. This has always been important, but it is especially important at a time when kids and teens are entering their first full school year since the COVID-19 outbreak. With the 262 films from 52 countries, with 20 features and 242 shorts in 81 shorts programs, the CICFF37 Official Selection will continue this trend, giving Chicago youth, families, and teachers an enriching, entertaining, and safe festival experience.”

One of the Chicago connected films is titled “Make It Soul,” which should turn out to be a favorite. Synopsis: On Chicago’s South Side, during the winter of 1965, The Regal Theater hosts two monuments of Soul music, James Brown and Solomon Burke. Backstage, everyone’s under pressure. But in 1960s America, both men know their music has unexpected powers. The late Herb Kent (the Cool Gent) is featured in this short in animated form.

THE LATE HERB KENT is featured in the “Make It Soul” short in animated form.

Click here for information and a look at the trailer: https://cicff.eventive.org/films/5f85cad1d290380079d0bc5a.

This film is included in a shorts program called “African and African American Stories.” Other films in this slate are “I Never Picked Cotton,” “Esperança,” “Grab My Hand: A Letter To My Dad,” “My Father The Mover” and “The Ice Breakers.”

African and African American Legacies

A historical film that celebrates STEM careers for girls is “Hidden Figures: The True Story Of Four Black Women And The Space Race” (Short Film). Synopsis: Based on the book and narrated by Octavia Spencer, we explore the story of four female African-American mathematicians at NASA. How did these extraordinary, ground-breaking women overcome gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging environment?

For information, click here: https://cicff.eventive.org/welcome.

Other festival highlights in feature films, among others, include: “2040” (Australia, 2018, ages 11+), an imagining of the future of climate change and how it can be addressed and solved; the animation “Dreambuilders” (Denmark, 2020, ages 8+), a look at combined families as a tween enjoying her country life until her father’s fiancée and her daughter move in; and Toronto International Film Festival opener “Our Lady of the Nile” (France/Belgium/Rwanda, 2019, ages 16+), a fictional narrative set in pre-genocide Rwanda that finds teenage girls with the same dreams and concerns concurrent to growing tensions that lead to their lives—and those of a nation’s—changing forever.

Our Lady of the Nile

Festival highlights among shorts programs include: “Finding My Way” (animation; ages 5-8), driving home the fact that family is who you make in unexpected places while living outside of one’s comfort zone; “Everyday Challenges, Everyday Solutions” (animation, live-action, documentary; ages 8-10) proving that one can live normal lives while achieving goals despite physical limitations, including shorts centered around girl empowerment; “Together Time” (animation; ages 8-10), examining family ties, bonds, and traditions across generations; and “Postcards To Myself” (animation; ages 13+), a timely program as it addresses mental well-being and overcoming isolation by finding one’s support system.

Tickets are:

  • $15/Single Public Ticket and $13.50/Facets Member Ticket;
  • $50/Public Pass and $45/FACETS Member Pass (valid to up to four programs);
  • $250/Public Super Pass and $225/FACETS Member Super Pass (grants access to the entire festival).

School group tickets are:

  • $8 each for groups of 12 to 24 students;
  • $5 each for groups of 25 to 99 students;
  • $4.50 each for groups of 100+ students;
  • $100 per group for synchronous media education; the cost includes a virtual media education facilitated by one of FACETS media educators over Zoom.

To maintain its longtime standing as one of the top children’s film festivals in the world, films presented in CICFF37 will be issued awards at its conclusion. CICFF juries are comprised of independent filmmakers, film industry professionals, educators, parents, and kids and teens who have graduated from FACETS Film 101 summer camp.

For more information, visit: https://cicff.eventive.org/welcome.

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