This is a shout-out to you locals and near-locals. The Second Annual Coastline Children’s Film Festival is due to begin on 3 Feb in seven locations in Southwest Michigan (90 minutes from Chicago, 45 from Grand Rapids, 30 from South Bend and Kalamazoo).
The mission of the Coastline Children’s Film Festival is to bring high quality independent films and animation for children and young adults to Berrien County and to present them – on the big screen – as shared theatrical experiences for the whole family and community. Recognizing that film and animation are still among the most accessible and innovative media for the communication of stories and ideas, both historical and contemporary, the CCFF also sees the provision of educational opportunities as central to its mission. Alongside the screening of animated and live action films, features, shorts and documentaries, our festival participants will have the opportunity to learn about the history of the medium, as well as the craft of filmmaking through hands-on workshops and filmmaker presentations.
And: all the films are FREE! Over 50 films (full-length, short, and in-between…animated, documentaries, films) for children aged 2-18…in seven different venues in Berrien County, Michigan: Benton Harbor: ARS Gallery and at the Citadel Dance & Music Center; St. Joseph: Krasl Art Center and at the Box Factory for the Arts; Bridgman: Bridgman Public Library; Three Oaks: Acorn Theatre; and New Buffalo: New Buffalo Performing Arts Center.
Two of the films are quite well aligned with what I try to do here on this blog:
There are workshops, too, for older children: they’ll learn the structure of a story, storyboarding, visual story telling, film vocabulary, writing, directing, cinematography, & editing. They will also learn the vocabulary of each film, as well as different roles in the art of filmmaking, e.g., cast, crew, & director’s roles, etc.
This is all very exciting for us, and for children in general. I will admit to an aversion to most modern movies aimed at kids: every single one seems to have the same plot (bunch of mismatched characters on a mission from point A to B) and the same annoying hypertalkative sidekicks. This film series is a bit of a pushback against the standard fare; perhaps it’s more highbrow, but then again shouldn’t we expect more for our kids? I know I do. So come join us if you can.