March 31, 2006

San Diego International Children’s Film Festival

The 3rd Annual San Diego International Children’s Film Festival, showcasing more than 50 short films from around the world made for children, will be held April 7-9 at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.

The festival kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 7, with the San Diego premiere of the new film “Akeelah and the Bee,” the inspirational story of an 11-year-old girl from urban Los Angeles who competes in a series of challenging spelling bees. The film stars Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne and newcomer Keke Palmer. Keke Palmer and director Doug Atchison will attend the opening-night event.

The screening will be followed by an opening-night party at the WorldBeat Center in Balboa Park, with dinner, live music and short films.

From 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday April 8, the festival presents animated and live-action short films from around the world, clustered for different age groups, for ages 1-17 and their families. One-hour morning programs for all ages, including ages 1 and older, will be followed by films for older children. Tickets are $5 adults; $4 ages 17 and younger.

From 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8, The Child-ren’s Film Festival Company, the San Diego Women Film Foundation and the American Film Institute present two short films for teens and college students, and a panel discussion concerning opportunities for women in film, with an emphasis on directing and editing.

Screened will be two short films – “Queen of Cactus Cove” and “Frenching” - directed by Kellie Martin and Anna Christopher, first-time filmmakers trained at the American Film Institute.

Martin, Christopher, the producers of the respective films and Daria Matza of the San Diego Women Film Foundation will then participate in a panel discussion concerning directing and editing opportunities for women in film.

Though the films and discussion are geared toward young women, both genders are encouraged to attend the program – ages 13 and older suggested. The event is free, with a $5-per-person suggested donation.

From 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 9, the festival presents animated and live-action short films from around the world, clustered for different age groups. A 10:30 a.m. morning program for ages 1 and older and their families will be followed by films for older children. Tickets are $5 adults; $4 ages 17 and younger.

Included in the festival are films from the U.S., Mexico, India, Argentina, Canada, Denmark, England, Ecuador and Australia. Highlights include “Moongirl,” the new animated short film from director Henry Selick, director of “James and the Giant Peach” and co-director of “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.”

A one-hour Beginning Animation workshop for ages 3 and older will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 8, followed by a one-hour Make-a-Movie workshop for all ages at 3 p.m., teaching kids the basics of moviemaking, including scripting, story-boarding, filming and performing. The cost for each workshop is $10 per student.

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