2011 NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Square Eyes is thrilled to again support the FOR ALL AGES section of the New Zealand International Film Festival programme. We hope to see your Square Eyes at screenings in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.



A CAT IN PARIS

Belgium/France, Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
2010, 65 mins
In French with English subtitles
PG - violence, recommended ages 9 to adult

A CAT IN PARIS

By day, Dino is a common house cat, companion to little, lonely seven-year old Zoe, who hasn't uttered a word since her father's recent murder by notorious criminal Victor Costa. After dark, Dino scales the rooftops of Paris as the skillful accomplice to Nico, a clever and big-hearted burglar. On one action-filled night, a thrilling adventure involving, jewels, gangsters, and secret identities unfolds.

An enchanting fable about looking past appearances and cultivating unlikely loyalties in times of need, A CAT IN PARIS is the first feature-length collaboration by the creative team of Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli. Although clearly produced with young viewers in mind, the romantic urban backdrops, the hand-painted animation, the nods to film noir, and the jazz-influenced soundtrack (including a vintage Billie Holiday rendition of I Wished on the Moon) will most certainly captivate fans of felines, animation, mystery, and adventure both young and old.

"Children of all ages will root for the undercats in this droll thriller, while the moody cityscape and a cool retro jazz soundtrack will appeal to their hip elders." San Fransisco International Film Festival

"The hand-drawn A CAT IN PARIS is a wonderful antidote for the mass-produced computer animation constantly dumped into multiplexes. These figures have an idiosyncratic look that deliberately evokes a sophisticated Parisian sensibility. If Toulouse Lautrec were resurrected to craft an animated film, he would probably look up Gagnol and Felicioli." Epoch Times

Please Note: Contains mild language, guns and gangster-related violence.

View the trailer here




ANIMATION FOR KIDS 2011

Various, 2010
59 mins, G cert
Recommended ages 5 to 9

ANIMATION FOR KIDS 2011

A collection of brilliant animation from all over the world, selected to amuse and inspire. These films are appealling for all, but have been especially selected to engage the youngest, most discerning of audiences.




ARRIETTY

Japan, Yonebayashi Hiromasa
2010, 94 mins
In Japanese with English subtitles
G, recommended ages 5 to adult

ARRIETTY

Gentle and charming, and the perfect expression of the beautiful power of hand-drawn animation, Arrietty is the latest and much anticipated delight from the Japanese masters of animation, Studio Ghibli. Based on The Borrowers by British author Mary Norton, ARRIETTY is a tale of tiny people struggling for survival in a world dominated by humans.

14 year-old Arrietty is one of the 'tiny people', living secretly with her parents under the floors of an English-style country house. They survive by 'borrowing' – scavenging food and finding ingenious uses for household objects dropped by its inhabitants. Arrietty forms a touching bond with a new visitor to the house – Sho, a delicate, handsome teenage boy resting before a heart operation, and so the gentle adventure begins.

"Children will enjoy the borrowers’ thrilling forays into the house in search of sustenance; adults can wallow in the exquisite detail of the interior and leafy surroundings. Animation simply doesn’t get any better than Ghibli’s ravishing creation: when you have this much talent, who needs 3D?" The Telegraph

"With vividly intricate animation on display, an original soundtrack and endearing story, ARRIETTY is great film for all ages, which certainly subscribes to the notion of past Ghibli works."iSugoi.com

"ARRIETTY is a beguiling and beautiful film, with both a mind and a soul... not pretentious or lecturing but enjoyable, engaging and yes, magical. No other film, animated or otherwise, will better capture the complex simplicity of childhood this year." Flickeringmyth.com




BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEERS JOURNEY

United States, Constance Marks
2011, 75 mins
Recommended ages 9 to adult

BEING ELMO

Director Constance Marks celebrates the man behind everybody's favourite little red puppet, Kevin Clash's relentless passion, imagination, generosity and talent, and in doing so encourages all of us—no matter what our age—to fulfill our own personal vision in a way that looks to contribute to the world at large.

This charming, inspiring and uplifting award-winning documentary tells the little-known story of Kevin Clash, a man few would ever recognise on the street. Well, perhaps if that street was Sesame Street, as Kevin is the man behind the beloved Muppet Elmo, one of the most recognisable characters in the world.

Kevin is a puppeteer. More specifically, he's a muppeteer, and the 50 year old, deep-voiced, 6 foot man breathes life into the world's best known 3 and a half year old, high-voiced, iconic furry red monster - through which he brings enormous joy into the lives of millions of children worldwide.

Growing up in Baltimore watching Sesame Street and Captain Kangaroo, Kevin dreamed of becoming a puppeteer. He started developing his own puppets as a shy nine-year old and performed shows for neighbourhood kids. Despite his creation’s larger-than-life personalities, Kevin by contrast is extremely humble; a man who through his creativity and generosity of spirit is able to convey a delightful sense of humour, love for life, and a genuine passion for entertaining those around him.

As much as this story outlines Kevin’s journey, it’s also a moving tribute to Jim Henson. Kevin admired the master puppeteer from a young age and dreamed of one day becoming a part of Henson’s world. Constance Marks does a terrific job of weaving Kevin being influenced by the work Jim Henson and Frank Oz and master puppet maker, Kermit Love, with the development of his own puppet making skills and performance craft

Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, and using rare archival footage and interviews from fellow 'muppeteers,' BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER'S JOURNEY is a rare glimpse behind the scenes of a much-loved street, as well as an emotional reminder about how far you can go when you believe anything may be possible.

"Perhaps it is because I am fluent in sarcasm and crankiness, I’ve always favored the more mal-content and ill-tempered muppets. That said, I found this film (which wears it’s tender-hearted nature on it’s furry, shag-fleece sleeve) about a man whose tremendous love for his craft is actually overshadowed by his own ebullient personality – to be completely refreshing. BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER'S JOURNEY is a sincere and disarming film, leaving a sour-puss like me in fits of giggles – and with a newfound appreciation for Elmo." Jane Almirall, SXSW Review

"Watching BEING ELMO, I immediately felt like a five year old again along for a magical ride from the second the film started.  It also served as a dramatic reminder how important children's education is and how valuable shows like Sesame Street are. As funding for Public Television is constant concern, it makes this film all the more important." BIFF

"This inspiring film serves as a tribute to anyone who never gave up on their childhood dreams and worked hard their entire lives to make them come true." James Partridge, Admit One




THE GREAT BEAR

Denmark, Esben Toft Jacobsen
2011, 73 mins
In Danish with English subtitles
PG, recommended ages 9 to adult

GREAT BEAR

Jonathan, 11, usually spends his vacations alone with his grandfather who lives on the edge of a vast forest populated by mythical animals. This year his younger sister Sophie joins him. But it's not that cool to be stuck with a little sister, so Jonathan does what he can to avoid her. He succeeds entirely too well: Sophie is kidnapped by a giant, 1000-year-old bear. Now, Jonathan has to venture into the heart of the forest to confront the strange beings that dwell there and rescue his sister.

The first CGI animated feature produced entirely in Denmark, Esben Toft Jacobsen's debut feature film THE GREAT BEAR is a wonderful tale in the Nordic story telling tradition, populated with compelling deeply realised characters and a beautiful aesthetic. Siblings Jonathan and Sophie display feelings true to those felt between brothers and sisters everywhere, varying between a mixture of jealousy, tenderness, admiration, hate and strongest of all love.

"I wanted to create a Nordic fairy tale, and to me the bear figure embodies something which is very true to that. Something appealing and scary and epic at the same time. I was looking for a magical dimension that lies within nature, in the rocks, forests and animals, and wanted to make this power felt as something tangible and living." Esben Toft Jacobsen

"Eco all-creatures-are-sacred message is duly preached, but without a heavy hand, and there's a refreshingly surreal Hayao Miyazaki-quality about the pic's more whimsical flights of fancy." Variety

Please note: Contains guns, mild violence and suspense which may prove frightening for youngest audiences.

View the trailer here



See our 2010 Film Festivals programme here.
See our 2009 Film Festivals programme here.
See our 2008 Film Festivals programme here.
See our 2007 Film Festivals programme here.
See our 2006 Film Festivals programme here.




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