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FACETS announces the 38th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, November 5 – 14

The Festival includes the launch of Young Adult Program, New Dimensions, In-Person Screenings at FACETS and ChiTown Movies Drive-In with national streaming through the Eventive Platform.

FACETS 38th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF), one of only two Academy Award qualifying international children’s film festivals in the world, announces this year’s tickets are on sale at Presented from Friday, November 5, through Sunday, November 14, FACETS is pleased to offer limited in-person screenings as well as the entire festival available via national streaming.

The in-person screenings will take place at FACETS, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave., and Opening Night will be held at ChiTown Drive-In, 2343 S. Throop St. Also new this year will be the launch of New Dimensions, a program designed for film enthusiasts 18 years old and older. CICFF, traditionally showcasing films for ages 3-18, believes the young adult audience should continue to have the opportunity to experience the best in cinema within this festival that caters to their interests, life-experiences and curiosities.

The program will contain more mature content, new innovative, edgy animation and high-quality shorts, documentaries and feature films. The full schedule for the CICFF is available now. General ticket prices are $10 for in-person and $15 for virtual screening, with festival passes and FACETS’ Members discounts available. Ticket buyers should visit to view all the ticket options and to purchase tickets.

Karen Cardarelli, executive director of FACETS, said, “Through the many phases of programming over the years, none have had as big of an impact as the current global pandemic. Last year, we swiftly shifted the festival to an all-virtual format and we are so pleased to once again be welcoming guests for live screenings from around the world. Our new relationship with ChiTown Movies is one we are extremely excited to offer families as it will bring the thrill of the screen to a safe and outdoor space.

“We are so committed to maintaining quality programming that we are even expanding and offering more films for young adult and college-aged audiences 18 and older. We have named this program New Dimensions, and with its launch we hope to bring back our much-loved audience who may think they have ‘aged out’ of our festival and also those who believe in high quality programming and love experiencing the well-curated cinema in general.”

Every year FACETS’ Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) is proud to present a diverse selection of high-quality films for children and teens from around the world. For the 2021 season, CICFF’s carefully curated selection of shorts and features presents girls and young women who are powerful and determined and young people who struggle, triumph and are free to express joy through all the stages of growing up.

Festival Highlights – FEATURE FILMS (For complete schedule, visit the website).

Any Day Now (Finland); Directed by Hamy Ramezan  • Persian with English Subtitles • 82 Minutes • View Trailer • Recommended for ages 11-14

Ramin is 13 years old and about to start junior high school. He and his Iranian family have been living in a refugee center in Finland. The audience will see their everyday joys, morning rituals before school, parties with friends and how Ramin and his family keep a positive attitude despite the always looming danger of deportation. It is a sweet “coming of age” story caught in the difficult reality of immigration. As families await final news about their asylum applications, Ramin wonders how to approach a girl he likes. “Any Day Now” shows the human side of immigration and provides insight into the experiences, challenges and hopes of youth who await news of their status.

Birta (Iceland); Directed by Bragi Thor Hinrisskon • Icelandic with English subtitles • 85 Minutes • View Trailer • Recommended for ages 8 – 14

Birta, an 11-year-old, overhears her single mom talking about their precarious financial status and determines that Christmas may not happen this year. She decides to take on the responsibility for making Christmas possible for the family and goes on a quest to make enough money before the holidays to help her hard-working mom. Birta is a charming, persuasive, young entrepreneur with amazing problem-solving skills. She enlists the help of her younger sister and best friend to sell everything from cookies to frozen fish. However, not everything goes as planned. It’s not so easy when one is only 11 years old and trying to keep it all a secret. “Birta” is fun, family entertainment that will melt a frozen holiday heart but also has lessons about the true meaning of giving and importance of honesty.

YOUTH VS GOV is an uplifting film that shows the power of youth as they fight for the U.S. government for measures addressing climate change.

Youth v Gov (United States); Directed by Christi Cooper • English • 109 Minutes • View Trailer • Recommended for ages 11+

This inspiring documentary follows the lives of a group of brave, young American citizens from across the country who decide to take on the world’s most powerful government. Twenty-one courageous youth lead a groundbreaking lawsuit against the U.S. government, asserting that it has willfully acted over six decades to create a climate crisis, thus endangering their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property. “Youth v Gov” not only informs but motivates young people to take action. 

Festival Highlights – SHORTS

DỌLÁPỌ̀ IS FACED with decisions as she tries to manage in her world and the world of business.

DỌLÁPỌ̀ IS FINE (United Kingdom); Directed by Ethosheia Hylton • English and Yoruba with English subtitles • 15 Minutes • View Trailer • Recommended for ages 11+

Nigerian teenager, Dọlápọ̀ attends a British boarding school. She is bright, fun and free-spirited but when she tries to find a job in London’s financial center, she is pressured by a Nigerian female mentor to abandon her natural hairstyle, wear a wig and use a nickname that is easier to pronounce. Dọlápọ̀ is faced with questions about her identity and self-image. She must decide if she is willing to change who she is in order to meet the expectations of others.

AN IMAGE FROM the short film Salt
AN IMAGE FROM the short film ‘Salt,’ where Young Sanura learns to find her joy one afternoon through rhythm during the salt harvest, working alongside her mother.

FACETS’ CICFF38 is supported by the Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Comer Family Foundation, NEA Art Works, Illinois Arts Agency (partial support), Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Prince Charitable Trust, Allstate, Conant Family Foundation, Stuart & Jesse Abelson Foundation, Seabury Foundations (New Dimensions program), Sterling Bay, and WTTW.

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