New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival Announces Complete 2016 Slate
















NEW YORK (January 25, 2016) – Oscar® qualifying New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival has announced the complete lineup for its 2016 event, which runs February 26-March 20 at New York’s Bow Tie ChelseaDGA Theater, IFC Center, Museum of the Moving Image, Scandinavia House, SVA Theatre, and Village East Cinemas. Established in 1997, the Festival is the nation’s largest for children and teens and will present all new animated, live action, documentary and experimental shorts and features from approximately 30 countries. Tickets go on sale Thursday, January 28.


The 2016 edition includes four weeks of groundbreaking and thought-provoking new films for ages 3-18. Highlights include North American feature film premieres of Belle and Sebastian: The Adventure Continues (France), Little Door Gods (China), Long Way North (France/Denmark), and Molly Monster (Germany), US feature film premieres of Beyond Beyond (Denmark), The Idol (various countries), and Phantom Boy (France), six Oscar®-qualifying short film programs, and special screenings of The Boy and the Beast (Japan) and The Little Prince (France/USA). The Festival will culminate with the Closing Night Celebration, which will include the announcement of the 2016 award winners and a special program of the Best of the Fest short films. As an Oscar®-qualifying festival, NYICFF jury winners qualify for consideration for the 2017 Academy Awards® in the Live Action and Animated Short Film categories. This year’s jury includes Sofia Coppola, Geena Davis, Matthew Modine, Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon, Gus Van Sant and Jeffrey Wright.


DATES:                   February 26-March 20 – 

LOCATIONS:          Bow Tie Chelsea, DGA Theater, IFC Center, Museum of the Moving Image, Scandinavia House, and SVA Theatre.



SHORT FILM PROGRAMS – The Festival’s wildly popular short film programs showcase the best short films from around the world, selected from over 1,500 entries. Jury-selected winners will be eligible for Oscar® consideration in animated and live action short film categories. Last year’s Short Film Three program included current Best Animated Short nominee We Can’t Live Without Cosmos (Konstantin Bronzit, Russia), while this year’s edition features current nominee World of Tomorrow (Don Hertzfeldt, USA).


·            Shorts For Tots (Ages 3 to 6)

·Short Films One (Ages 5 to 10)

·Short Films Two (Ages 8 to 14)

·Short Films Three (Ages 12 to adult)

·Heebie Jeebies: Spooky, Freaky & Bizarre (Ages 10 to adult)

·            Girls’ POV (Ages 10 to adult) - Each film in the Girls' POV program features a strong female lead, or an issue faced by girls around the world. This year’s program features some of the most popular Girls' POV short films from the past 10 years. Presented by The Bay and Paul Foundations.



·         THE BOY AND THE BEAST – Special Preview Screening prior to the March 4th national release, Animation, Japan, Mamoru Hosoda; In Japanese with English subtitles; Presented by Funimation

See it before it opens nationwide on March 4th! The latest tale from Mamoru Hosoda is brimming with the striking visuals Festival veterans have come to expect from the director of 2010's Summer Wars and 2013 Audience Award-winner Wolf Children. When Kyuta, a young orphan living on the streets of Shibuya, stumbles into a fantastic world of beasts, he's taken in by Kumatetsu, a gruff, rough-around-the-edges warrior beast who's been searching for the perfect apprentice. Despite their constant bickering, they begin training together and slowly form a makeshift family. When a deep darkness threatens to throw the human and beast worlds into chaos, the strong bond between the unlikely pair is put to the test in a final, epic showdown. Can they work together to combine their strength and courage?

Recommended ages: 8 to adult



·         THE IDOL – US Premiere, Live Action, Various Countries, Hany Abu-Assad; In Arabic with English subtitles

Based on a true story, The Idol chronicles Mohammad Assaf’s remarkable rise from a challenging life in Gaza to worldwide sensation and symbol of hope. Whenever he sings, everyone within earshot stops in awe of Mohammad’s beautiful voice. A lack of money and access to real instruments won’t stop the ten-year-old and his sister, Nour (with whom he shares a deep bond, a tiny bedroom, and an obsession with music), from performing wherever they can with their makeshift band. It’s Nour who recognizes the true potential of her brother’s talent, and makes him promise to share his gift with the world. It isn’t until years later, feeling stuck and with few prospects, that he finally sees his voice as a ticket out. Risking serious consequences, Mohammad ventures on a journey to audition for Arab Idol to pursue his dream and fulfill his promise. 

Recommended ages: 9 to adult



·         THE LITTLE PRINCE – Special Preview Screening, Animation, France/USA, Mark Osborne; In English

One of the world's most beloved stories gets the big screen treatment in this magical adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. The Little Girl's life has been planned to the minute: brief snack breaks and play time dot a rigid schedule designed to take her from prep school to successful adulthood without distraction. But when her new neighbor, The Aviator, literally crashes into her life, studies take a back seat and her imagination takes flight. Her sleek, modern universe is transformed into the beautifully delicate, handcrafted world of The Little Prince as The Aviator shares the story of his curious, planet-hopping friend. It is within these wild worlds where she discovers that what's truly essential can only be seen with the heart.

Rated PG



·         ADAMA – New York Premiere, Animation, France, Simon Rouby; In French with English subtitles

When his headstrong older brother defiantly leaves their West African village and vanishes into the unknown, 12-year-old Adama impulsively decides to chase after him. Adama's bold spirit guides him on a journey that takes him across oceans and borders, eventually finding himself in the midst of World War I's infamous Battle of Verdun. Innovative animation makes use of sand, clay and sculpture to match the mystical elements of the story's magical realism. Seamlessly combining the action with a rarely-seen, fascinating moment in history, Adama injects the classic journey story with high stakes, giving our hero more to overcome and even more to discover. 

Recommended ages: 8 to adult


·         APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD – New York Premiere, Animation, France, Desmares/Ekinci; In French with English subtitles

Paris, 1941. A family of scientists is on the brink of uncovering a powerful longevity serum when they are suddenly abducted by a mysterious force, leaving their young daughter April behind. Ten years later and without any trained scientists, Paris is stuck in the Steam Age. April lives alone with her best friend, a talking cat named Darwin, carrying on her parents' research in secret. Soon she is mixed up in a far-reaching conspiracy and on the run from government agents. Whip-smart and determined, she continues her quest to find her parents and discover the truth behind their disappearance. Extraordinary, indeed, April's world is a steampunk paradise filled with cleverly outlandish inventions and gadgetry, designed by Jacques Tardi in the same simple but stunning style of his iconic graphic novels.

Recommended ages: 8 to adult


·         BEATLES – East Coast Premiere, Live Action, Norway, Peter Flinth; In Norwegian with English subtitles

Considering themselves the Fab Four of Oslo, Kim and his three best friends attempt to harness their devotion to the greatest band in the world — the Beatles — into a band of their own. The change that seemed to embody the sixties is echoed in the boys' own adolescent lives, as complications with girls, parties, protests, family, (did we mention girls?) threaten the bonds of the bandmates. Louis Williams as Kim leads the charming cast of newcomers with as much charisma as Sir Paul himself, while a soundtrack of Beatles songs captures the romance, drama, and playfulness of the times. Based on one of the most beloved novels in Norway and packed with the melodrama synonymous with growing up, BEATLES reminds us that, no matter what form it takes, all you need is love.

Recommended ages: 12 to adult


·         BELLE AND SEBASTIAN: THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES – North American Premiere, Live Action, France, Christian Duguay; In French with English subtitles

The sequel to Festival 2015 Grand Prize winning feature Belle and Sebastian places us back in the sweeping panorama of the French Alps. Sebastian and his best friend, Belle, are on a mission to find Angelina, whose plane crash-landed on her return from the battlefields of WWII. Their bravery is in full force as they partner with a mysterious pilot and a gutsy new kid to take on the countless dangers, obstacles, and secrets they encounter in the expansive terrain. With a wink and a nod to classic family adventure films, Belle and Sebastian: The Adventure Continues is true to its title — bound to satisfy returning fans and win over new ones.

Recommended ages: 7 to adult


·         BEYOND BEYOND – US Premiere, Denmark, Animation, Esben Toft Jacobsen; In English

Inspired by Scandinavian folktales, Beyond Beyond spans epic worlds as it follows young hare Johan on a quest to find his mother after she passes from his world and into the land of the elusive Feather King. To keep them safe from the King's reach, Johan's father has ordered them to life on the high-seas. But when a rocky storm separates them, Johan uses the opportunity to venture to the kingdom in an attempt to bring back his mother. Along the way, he teams up with some unlikely conspirators, and discovers connections between the world he knows and the one he's always questioned. Artful landscapes and exquisitely detailed characters give wonderful dimension to the story, but it's the profound tale of love and loss that guides this ship home.

Recommended ages: 7 to adult


·         BIRDS OF PASSAGE – New York Premiere, Belgium, Live Action, Olivier Ringer; In French with English subtitles

Featuring a breakthrough performance from one adorable duck! Cathy's always known her dad was eccentric, so she's not entirely surprised when he gives her an egg for her birthday (though she got a cell phone from her mom). The duckling inside will think the first thing it sees is his mother, and even though she promises to watch it dutifully, it's Cathy's friend, Margaux, who is there when it hatches. While the friends both think Margaux will make an excellent caretaker, her parents see the wheelchair she's confined to as too great an obstacle, and send the duckling away. So the girls set out on their own to prove them wrong. Refreshingly matter-of-fact, their ensuing search becomes not just for their web-footed friend, but also for friendship, independence, and belonging.

Recommended ages: 9 to adult


·         CASE OF HANA AND ALICE – New York Premiere, Japan, Animation, Shunji Iwai; In Japanese with English subtitles

Case of Hana and Alice defies genres by combining them: part buddy-comedy, part detective story, all wrapped up in a charming coming-of-age tale. Moonstruck Alice is new to a school that she soon discovers is consumed with the mystery of a missing classmate. Her path to make sense of it all leads her right back to her reclusive neighbor, Hana, and the two quickly bond over their desire to close the case. A silly and slapdash investigation ensues, sending the girls all over the city and into the lives of a carousel of quirky characters. As the mysteries unfold, so does a touching friendship between the girls, portrayed with as much authenticity as the photorealistic animation that accompanies it.

Recommended ages: 9 to adult


·         THE IRON GIANT – Newly Restored Edition, USA, Animation, Brad Bird; In English

Iron Giant, the directorial debut by Brad Bird was hailed as an instant classic when it arrived in theaters in 1999. Recently remastered and enhanced with the addition of bonus scenes, the heartfelt adventure remains as captivating as ever. In this animated adaptation of Ted Hughes' Cold War fable, a giant alien robot (Vin Diesel) crash-lands near the small town of Rockwell, Maine, in 1957. Imaginative and head-strong 9-year-old, Hogarth, discovers the robot and soon forms an unlikely friendship with him. But when a paranoid government agent is determined to destroy the iron intruder, Hogarth, the Iron Giant, and their beatnik friend (Harry Connick, Jr) must band together. A captivating animated feature that's part metal, part magic and all heart. 

Rated PG


·         LITTLE DOOR GODS – North American Premiere, China, Animation, Gary Wang; In Mandarin with English subtitles

Door Gods are traditionally placed as ornaments to ward off evil, but in Little Door Gods, these ancient characters come alive in a stunning 3D, cross-dimension adventure. The Spirit World is facing unemployment: with humans caring less and less about the Gods, the currency of belief is dwindling and their world is in disarray. The threat is very real for Door Gods YuLei and Shen Lu, who decide to prove their worth is by entering the human realm. Their unconventional plan leads to some tumultuous — and hilarious — results. While YuLei seeks to conquer a ferocious monster, Shen Lu finds purpose with a small family struggling to keep their delicious noodle shop afloat. The fate of the ancient world (and an ancient soup recipe) is at stake!

Recommended ages: 8 to adult


·         LONG WAY NORTH – North American Premiere, France/Denmark, Animation, Rémi Chayé; In English

Long Way North paints an enchanting portrait of faraway worlds in expansive swaths of pastel. Though she is being groomed for proper Russian aristocracy, Sasha would much rather embark on adventures than attend fancy galas. When her grandfather disappears on his quest to conquer the North Pole, he becomes the laughingstock of St. Petersburg, and Sasha makes it her mission to restore the family legacy. Setting out on her own into uncharted waters, she joins a group of sailors as chilly as the icebergs that surround them. Together they face treacherous terrain and harsh conditions in order to find what's been lost at sea. With unwavering courage and devotion, Sasha honors the path of those that came before her without losing the will to forge her own.

Recommended ages: 7 to adult


·         MOLLY MONSTER – North American Premiere, Germany, Animation, Sieger/Bruhn/Ekbald; In English

Molly Monster is the beloved daughter of Popo and Etna Monster, best friend to windup toy Edison, and is about to add "Big Sister" to the list. But in all the excitement of a monster-on-the-way, her parents forgot to bring the hat she knit for the baby to Egg Island, where all the new monsters are born. With Edison by her side, Molly travels through a technicolor dreamland with an endless assortment of Seussical friendly monsters, unexpected challenges, and even some very whimsical singing. Capturing the inventive, colorful world of Ted Sieger’s popular German TV series,Molly Monster is one big adventure that's perfect for the littlest Festival-goers.

Recommended ages: 3-8


·         MONSTER HUNT – China, Live Action, Raman Hu; In Mandarin with English subtitles

In the fantastical world of Monster Hunt, humans have long been at odds with their monster neighbors. The monsters, equal parts cuddly-cute and creepy-crawly, are on the brink of extinction at the hands of human hunters. When an action-packed escape finds the pregnant Monster Queen crossing paths with hapless young man Tianyin, an accidental gestation migration occurs. Unexpectedly carrying the unborn prince, Tianyin is forced to join the headstrong huntress Xiaolan to protect the monster throne. A monster hit in China, Monster Hunt gleefully combines thrilling action, off-the-wall gags, and clever animation to spawn a brand new genre: the Monster/Fantasy/Martial Arts movie.

Recommended ages: 11 to adult


·         OPPOSITE FIELD – USA, Documentary, Jay Shapiro; In English and Luganda with English subtitles

It's easy to mistake theater seats for bleachers when following this incredible true story of a scrappy baseball team from Uganda as they take on the challenge of becoming the first African team in the Little League World Series. Armed with fierce determination and a deep love for the game, the team's resilience is strong, even as each victory seems to be met with a series of unanticipated setbacks. Life off of the field is just as challenging, and many of the young teammates take on very adult responsibilities. But under the spirited leadership of their coach George and with each other to lean on, the team embodies an infectious spirit that proves undefeatable. Cheering encouraged, and — sports fan or not — likely inevitable.

Recommended ages: 8 to adult


·         PHANTOM BOY – US Premiere, France, Animation, Felicioli/Gagnol; In French with English subtitles

From the directors of Festival 2011 favorite A Cat in Paris comes a new crime thriller set in — well, above — the streets of New York City. Leo has a secret. While most believe his serious illness has confined him to the hospital, he has the power to leave his body and goon urban escapades as a ghostly apparition. Recuperating on the floor below is Alex, a police officer injured while apprehending the Man With the Broken Face, a nefarious bandit who has taken control of the city's power. Together, they must combine detective skills and supernatural powers to stop destruction. A mix of film noir and superhero fantasy, Phantom Boy is both heart-warming and heart-thumping, taking the action to new heights, making Leo a welcome addition to our iconic skyline.

Recommended ages: 8 to adult


·         SHAUN THE SHEEP: THE FARMER’S LLAMAS & OTHERS – Theatrical Premiere, UK, Animation, Jay Grace; No dialogue

On the heels of his first feature (and Festival 2015 Opening Night premiere), comes Shaun the Sheep's latest special! At the County Fair, Shaun steals away with the Farmer and his canine companion, Bitzer. When he spies three crafty Llamas making trouble at an auction, he knows his next great prank will be convincing the Farmer to buy them. But when the new Llama roommates get a bit too comfortable in their new home, things spiral out of control and Shaun is forced to oust the intruders and save the farm. Screening with The Farmer’s Llamas are three new Shaun the Sheep shorts! With adventures both small and large, the only thing that seems to be growing on Mossy Bottom Farm is mischief.

Recommended for all ages




·         John Canemaker – Academy Award®-winning animator (The Moon and the Son)

·         Sofia Coppola – Academy Award®-winning writer, director and producer (Lost In Translation, Somewhere, Marie Antoinette)

·         Geena Davis – Academy Award®-winning actor and Founder, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

·         Lynne McVeigh – Associate Professor of Children’s Media at NYU Tisch School of the Arts

·         Matthew Modine – Award-winning actor (Full Metal Jacket, The Dark Knight Rises)

·         Julianne Moore – NY Times Bestselling author, Academy Award® and Emmy-winning actress 

·         Richard Peña – Director Emeritus New York Film Festival, Columbia University Professor of Film Studies

·         Bill Plympton – Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker (Guard Dog, Idiots and Angels)

·         Dana Points – Editor-in-Chief of Parents magazine

·         Susan Sarandon – Academy Award®-winning actor (Dead Man Walking, Ping Pong Summer)

·         James Schamus – Award-winning filmmaker (Brokeback Mountain, The Ice Storm)

·         Christine Vachon – Award-winning filmmaker (Boys Don’t Cry, Mildred Pierce)

·         Gus Van Sant – Award-winning director (Good Will Hunting, Milk)

·         Taika Waititi – Academy Award®-nominated writer/director (Two Cars One Night, What We Do in the Shadows)

·         Jeffrey Wright – Award-winning actor (Basquiat, The Hunger Games)




New York International Children’s Film Festival was founded in 1997 to support the creation and dissemination of thoughtful, provocative, and intelligent film for children and teens ages 3-18. The Festival experience cultivates an appreciation for the arts, encourages active, discerning viewing, and stimulates lively discussion among peers, families, and the film community. The 2016 event takes place February 26-March 20, with 100+ films from around the world, premieres, filmmaker Q&As, filmmaking workshops, audience voting, and a Closing Night Celebration. New York International Children’s Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, a grant from the New York Council on the Humanities, and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, with support from the New York State Legislature. Korean films at the Festival are supported by Korea Foundation, and Japanese films at the Festival are supported by the Japan-United States Friendship Commission.