Honolulu (KHON2) – The popular free UH KIDS FIRST! Film Festival returns for its 13th year July 7th and runs every Sunday throughout the month at the UH Manoa Art Auditorium.
Films are programmed in age appropriate groupings – theyʻve been juried and evaluated to make it easier for parents to know what to bring their kids to. There’s a group of films for toddlers age 3 and up, another group for 5+, and 7+ — the last set of films under the title of Do All the Good has varied levels of maturity. Adults even regularly come to the Festival without kids!
The Festival screens programming from studios, independent filmmakers, and some student filmmakers. Featured films have often won multiple awards at national and international film festivals. There are all different types of animation, live-action comedy and drama, some documentary. This year, you can choose from 40 shorts from 18 countries, including Singapore, South Africa, the Congo, France, Canada, Australia, Germany, Iran, the UK and, of course, the US.
The best part? Films are shown free of charge so entire families can come without breaking the bank. Because films are juried, parents can feel assured that thereʻs no gratuitous violence, or race, religion or gender bias and before every screening there are door prizes!
The festival begins on July 7 (All-Stars & Originals) with sweet shorts for ages 3 and above, including familiar characters to toddlers: Llama Llama, the Octonauts, Munki and Trunk, and Floogals. In addition, PigTails celebrates uniqueness, and Balance and Polar Opposites illustrate that sharing is fun.
Stories & Shenanigans on July 14 for ages 5+ includes a Native American legend in Story Time! and a fable from the Congo in The Little Fish and the Crocodile; the silly artistry of the Bum family of young cousins from Calgary in Lilly Hits the Road; and a cathlete in the Pyeongmeow Olympics in Team MeowSA.
More animals star in animated and live-action films on July 21 (Hooman and Tail Tales), for ages 8+, plus themes that touch on bullying, Hero Complex; inclusion in Blue Toes; time travel, All in Good Time; and the contribution of cute cat videos and donuts to the decline of civilization in Donut Thieves from Argon V (a sassy, student-made film).
The program on July 28 showcases films for varied ages and maturity, with the theme Do All the Good. This program seeks to empower children, recognizing that kids have rich emotional lives with the potential to have a direct, positive impact on their social environment. Make a Difference about inclusiveness was made by middle school students; Change for Chimpsdocuments a young girlʻs fundraising efforts for Dr. Jane Goodall; Skyfall addresses pollution; Educate Girls highlights advocacy for girls in India; The Adventures of Zack and Mollyexplores the fragility of ocean habitats; Chika, The Dog in the Ghetto tells a heartwarming story in the Jewish ghetto in Poland through animation; and Are you Volleyball?! pits asylum seekers and soldiers in a peaceful volleyball game across a border fence.
For the full lineup, visit http://www.summer.hawaii.edu/kidsfirst/