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First Boston International Kids Film Festival starts Friday

Posted by Your Town  October 31, 2013 09:01 AM

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The first-ever Boston International Kids Film Festival will be taking place Friday, November 1 through November 3 at the Somerville Theatre and Tufts University.

The festival, which highlights independent films by, for, and about children, will feature about 50 films from around the world as well as provide workshops and classes for children and parents about their role in today’s media.

Filmmakers Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that provides financial and professional support in the independent media community, is producing and presenting the festival in conjunction with Tufts University. Their goal is to combine filmmaking and education by bringing together leaders from both industries.

Melrose-based Laura Azevedo—the festival co-director with Kathryn Dietz of Needham—said she is excited to bring this festival to the area. She said that in today’s society, it is important to realize the contributions of young people to the media.

“The whole landscape of the media has been changing so quickly over the past years in terms of what’s digital and what people are doing with their films,” Azevedo said. “We realized it’s the kids today and the filmmakers of tomorrow that are doing things that 25 years ago people couldn’t even imagine.”

Azevedo said that in this changing landscape, young people are becoming an increasing presence in the media and that people are finding their voices have more power and the ability to reach a large audience than ever before. In presenting this festival, Azevedo said they hope to exhibit and highlight the contributions children can have to influence society.

“It’s really important that kids learn to acknowledge the power of the media and the role it plays in everything they do,” Azevedo said. “There’s such power in it, if you start using the media to make a difference.”

Participants will be exposed to thought-provoking films from around the world that are by, for, or about children while concurrently having the opportunity to attend classes and workshops that teach media skills and literacy. Azevedo hopes the educational and inspirational components of the festival will encourage more innovation when it comes to children making films.

“It’s a celebration of how far we’ve come in the work of what children are able to do and how they’re able to make a difference through the media they use on a daily basis. It’s a big showcase for that,” Azevedo said.

Azevedo said that there are films that will be presented from countries around the world, including Singapore, Australia, Hungary, Turkey, the UK, and Canada. She said there are also multiple local films, including films from students at Boston University and Tufts University.

While the festival is appropriate for all ages, Azevedo said the films and workshops are mainly targeted for children over the age of 10, as well as their caregivers and anyone interested in issues around children. She said that everyone should take advantage of this festival and see what is changing and how children are affecting the landscape of media.

“It’s a weekend full of family friendly activities. No matter what workshop you walk into or film you walk into, you can feel good that your child is going to learn something when they leave and be entertained,” Azevedo said. “They will hopefully walk away with the desire to make their own movies.”

The Boston International Kids Film Festival will take place November 1 through November 3 at the Somerville Theatre and Tufts University. Films will run Friday from 3p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre. Workshops and classes tailored to both children and adults will be offered during the same times at Tufts University.

Movie tickets are $7 and a workshop tickets are $10. They are available online and at the door. For a schedule of film screenings and workshops, visit the festival’s website.

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The festival will kick off on November 1, 2013 at the Somerville Theater in Davis Square with the opening of ARCADIA, coming-of-age story set in a cross country landscape starring Academy Award nominee John Hawkes.

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