Opening Night: Castle in the Sky (CFFS 2018)

Thursday, Jan 25, 2018 @ 7 PM

(Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, animation, 1986, 124 min, in English)
For ages 6+

Gala Opening Night, sponsored by The Boeing Company and co-presented with Seattle International Film Festival, at the Egyptian Theatre

Doors open at 6:30pm for red carpet photos! Come as your favorite character from a Miyazaki film, there will be a costume contest with special prizes!

From the legendary Studio Ghibli and director Hayao Miyazaki comes a rollicking adventure about a young girl with a mysterious crystal pendant who falls out of the sky and into the arms and life of young Pazu. Together they search for a floating island, the site of a long-dead civilization promising enormous wealth and power to those who can unlock its secrets. But greedy pirates, spies, and the army are also all in hot pursuit! As one of Studio Ghibli’s earliest films, and the first to be released officially under the studio’s banner, “Castle in the Sky” quickly established the studio’s reputation for strong heroines, unforgettable storytelling and beautiful artwork. The English-dubbed cast includes the vocal talents of Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill, Mandy Patinkin, Jim Cummings and more.

Please note that this special event is being held at the Egyptian Theater, 805 E. Pine Street




5 Rupees (CFFS 2018)

Sunday, Jan 28 @ 5 PM

(Piyush Panjuani, India, live action, 2017, 82 minutes, in Hindi with English subtitles)
For ages 8+

Co-presented with Tasveer South Asian Film Festival! North American premiere!

Hamid, age 7, lives with his grandmother in a small village, and although they are poor, they are rich in love for each other. And Hamid notices many other treasures around him — flowers, birds and trees that seem to sing and call to him. But the Eid festival approaches, Granny wants to reward Hamid with a gift of five rupees, and Hamid dreams of spending the money at the fair. Will this small dream of his come true, and if so, at what cost? This film is an emotive journey that hope, despair, and the happiness and magic that true innocence can bring.

Content advisory: Some bullying and a beating (not graphically depicted) of a wrongly-accused child.

Special Events (CFFS 2018)


Thursday Jan 25, 2018


Egyptian Theatre, 805 E. Pine St. Doors open at 6:30 for red carpet photos. Costume contest will begin at 6:45

Ages 6+

Sponsored by The Boeing Company and co-presented with Seattle International Film Festival, at the Egyptian Theatre! Come as your favorite character from any Miyazaki film, and compete in a costume contest with special prizes! From the legendary Studio Ghibli and director Hayao Miyazaki, a rollicking adventure about a young girl with a mysterious crystal pendant who falls from the sky. The English-dubbed vocal cast includes Anna Paquin, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill and Mandy Patinkin. Click here to see full description on our features page!

(Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, animation, 1986, 124 min, in English)


Friday Jan 26, 2018


Ages 8+

Inspired by the novels of Jules Verne, this newly restored gem by renowned Czech animator and designer, Karel Zeman, predates the steampunk craze by decades. Will a maniacal mogul succeed in destroying the world with a diabolical machine? Live action combines with innovative and quirky animated imagery based on Victorian steel engravings. The digital restoration of the film “Invention for Destruction” is a part of the project “Restoring The World of Fantasy”. Click here to see full description on our features page!

(Karel Zeman, Czech Republic, live action and animation, 1958, 81 min, in Czech with English subtitles)


Saturday Feb 3, 2018


Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption’s social hall, 1804 13th Avenue

Screenings at 10:30 and 11:00am at Northwest Film Forum

All Ages

Includes breakfast, free four-hour parking in the church lot, and a full film program at 10:30 or 11:00 am! Dance along to down-home music by the John Browne Band! Our all-you-can-eat breakfast of fluffy homemade pancakes and sizzling bacon is fun for the whole family! And of course we’ll have gallons of hot coffee on hand for the grown-ups. After breakfast, come to Northwest Film Forum for a special screening of INTO THE MAGIC, a magical program of new animation from nine countries.

Special ticket pricing: $15 general admission/$55 per family of four. Please note you must choose a screening time in advance when purchasing Pancake Breakfast tickets.



Saturday Feb 10, 2018


Ages 8+

We close out the 2018 festival by screening films made in our workshops, announcing the winners of our Children’s Jury prizes, and celebrating with a surprise selection of outstanding short films made by international filmmakers.



CFFS 2018 Prize-Winners

Congratulations to the 2018 winners of the Children’s Film Festival Prizes decided by youth juries and audience members.

We are very proud that this year’s prizes go to films from the continents of North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, truly reflecting our passion to bring global awareness to youth audiences in Seattle. We want to tear down walls, not build them, and we couldn’t agree more with these decisions:

Audience Favorite Prizes (decided by audience ballots)

Audience Favorite Feature Film
Purple Dreams

Audience Favorite Short Animated Film
Fruits of Clouds (Czech Republic)

Audience Favorite Short Live Action Film
Riceballs (Australia)

Audience Favorite Youth-Made Short
Tick Tock (USA)

PLURAL+ Prize (given in partnership with PLURAL+ Film and Video Festival presented by
the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration)
Can You See the Future (Turkey)

Fantastic Foxes Children’s Jury Prizes (ages 11+)

Best Feature Film
Hero Steps (Colombia)

Best Live Action Short
Game (USA)

Best Live Action Animated Film
The Unicorn (France/Belgium)

Global Zoom Prize for a Feature Film that Promotes Global Awareness

Global Zoom Prize for a Short Film that Promotes Global Awareness
Black Head Cow

Special Prize for Most Creative Film
PythagoraSwitch: The Marble Brothers’ Great Adventure (Japan)

Iron Giants Children’s Jury Prizes (ages 14+)

Best Live Action Feature
Fanny’s Journey (France/Belgium)

Best Documentary Feature
Purple Dreams (USA)

Best Animated Short
The Mountain of SGaana (Canada)

Best Live Action Short
Scrap Dolls (USA)

Best Documentary Short
Chicken for Kimaru (The Netherlands)

Global Zoom Prize for a Short Film that Promotes Global Awareness
My Body, My Life (The Netherlands)

Global Zoom Prize for a Feature Prize that Promotes Global Awareness
Not without Us (Germany)

Best International Youth Short Made by a Filmmaker 25 Years or Younger
Twighead (Philippines)

Special Prize for a Short Film – Best Emerging Filmmaker
Amelia’s Closet (Halima Lucas, USA)

Special Prize for a Feature Film – Best Cinematography
5 Rupees

Workshops, Classes & Hands-On Activities (CFFS 2018)

Don’t just watch great films during the festival — make your own! Festival classes will get you fired up to find out more about the collaborative, magical art of filmmaking. Student films will will screen at the Festival’s Closing Ceremony on Feb. 10 at 5pm. Classes must be registered for in advance. Questions? Email Elizabeth Shepherd at


Drop-in Activity — Dream Fabulous Adventures!

January 26, 7:00pm-9:00pm

January 27-28 and February 3, 12:00pm-5:00pm

All ages


During Children’s Film Festival Seattle, The Northwest Film Forum Lobby will be transformed into a fabulous world where children can actively dream the future. This interactive installation, based on the work of Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman, will be part submarine (with VR periscope!), part film set, part special effects classroom. Created by youth educator Jonah Kozlowski and the NWFF Education and Artist Services team, the installation will focus on experiential learning and filmmaking craft. Children will be able to discover how Zeman made his films using mattes, animation, puppets and inspired production design. A great introduction or post-screening activity after seeing Zeman’s “Invention for Destruction: The Fabulous World of Jules Verne,” on January 26.  Volunteers will be present during selected Festival time slots to guide children through the activities and answer questions.

360 Filmmaking

Saturday Jan 27, 2018

1:30pm – 4:30pm

Ages 11-14

Class size limit: 12

Tuition: $60 (This workshop is SOLD OUT!! Click the Register button to get on the workshop’s waitlist)

In this workshop, students will learn about virtual reality and 360 filmmaking. We will plan, shoot and edit a short 360 film. Students will be able to use the Samsung Gear and Ricoh Theta cameras to explore this exciting new medium, and start dreaming in 360. Taught by Jonah Kozlowski

Mobile Filmmaking

Sunday, Jan 28, 2018

1:30pm – 3:30pm

Ages 8-12

Class size limit: 12

Tuition: $40

Learn how to make films using ipads and smart phones! In this afternoon workshop, kids will learn the basics of movie making magic in a fun and experiment-tastic environment. Working together they will record and combine video, music, and graphics to tell a story, using readily available technology and apps. All equipment provided. Taught by Jonah Kozlowski.


Dream the Future: Studying Digital Animation

Saturday Jan 27, 2018

11:00am – 12:30pm

Ages 14-18

Class size limit: 10

Tuition: FREE! (sign up required)

Animation is everywhere, from the classic Disney fairytale to the quirky Aardman comedy and the dynamic Pixar blockbuster. But how do you make an animated movie? In this talk, you’ll find out how the animation students on the BA (Hons) Animation Production course at the Arts University Bournemouth, UK, learn to do just that. Look at the key aspects of the curriculum and activities that students engage with during their three years on the course, taking them through the process of animation production and culminating in their graduate animation projects. This will be followed by a demonstration of the 2D animation software ToonBoom Harmony, used  in the course. Taught by Anne Terkelson, Production Manager, Arts University Bournemouth. For more info on the school, visit:

No Walls (CFFS 2018)

Sun, Jan 28, 2018 @ 1:30 PM
Wed, Jan 31, 2018 @ 10:30
Sat, Feb 3, 2018 @ 1:30 PM

Ages 12+. 80 min.

In these narrative films from Mexico, Iran, Tanzania, Australia, Spain, and the USA, you’ll meet young people who must transcend expectations that limit them. Meet a basketball player who surpasses the limitations of the game, run away with friends who want to live in a place where feel more at home. Encounter a girl who says no to becoming a child bride, another girl, in Iran, who simply wants to learn to read. This program makes it clear: youth all over the world long for the same things: to laugh, to live, to learn, to live in peace and to be respected for who they are. Many people, both powerful and weak, will try to build walls, but the dreams of the next generation cannot be denied.

Short Films in this Program:



Seattle premiere! A high school sophomore moves to a new school and wants to try out for the reigning state champion boys basketball team. The player goes out and shows extraordinary skill, worthy of making the roster, until the team finds out the student’s biggest secret. Watch the trailer >

(Jeannie Donohoe, USA, live action, 2017, 15 min, English)


Two Australian-Lebanese kids feel displaced in Australia so they run away in search of Lebanon, where they believe their true home to be. Watch the trailer >

(Christian Ghazal, Australia, live action, 2016, 12 min, English)

Far From Home

West coast premiere! When a Japanese girl is left behind by her tourist bus in a small Mexican town, it falls on a teenage boy to take her safety. Along the way, they discover they have everything in common except a language.

(Mayra Veliz, Mexico, live action, 2016, 13 min, Spanish with English subtitles)

From On High

US premiere! A Syrian refugee girl and a European boy combine religious forms to create a kite that represents freedom and peace. Watch the trailer >

(Dawn Westlake USA/Spain, live action, 2017, 8 min, Spanish and French with English subtitles)

Black Head Cow

Seattle premiere! In a remote Maasai village in rural Tanzania, a young primary school girl is suddenly confronted by an arranged marriage. Watch the trailer >

(Elizabeth Nichols, Tanzania, live action, 2016, 12 min, Maasai/Swahili with English subtitles)


World premiere! A young girl who works in the streets, selling flowers to people in cars stopped in traffic, feels a window to the world open when another girl decides to help her learn to read.

(Maryam Abdoli, Iran, live action, 2017, 18 min, Persian with English subtitles)

Content advisory: In “Displaced,” one mildly coarse word is said four times. Other films deal with tough subject matter. “From On High” contains footage of refugee camps, with voiceover of world politicians expressing anti-immigrant rhetoric. “Black Head Cow” is about the plight of a would-be child bride, and “Stars” deals with extreme poverty. Still, this program is an overall uplifting one for ages 12 and older.

World Lens (CFFS 2018)

Saturday, Jan 27, 2018 @ 5:30

Ages 11+. 50 min.

Program curated by Niki Chinamanthur and Julia Berkey! Children’s Film Festival Seattle is proud to be one of more than 50 partners of PLURAL+ — a festival of youth-made films that encourages young people worldwide to share their visions of the world through films about migration, diversity, social inclusion and eliminating xenophobia. The films in this program are recent prizewinners at the PLURAL+ 2017 festival, presented by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration. The festival’s winner of the Children’s Film Festival Seattle Prize, “Can You See the Future,” kicks off the program.

Please visit Kids 4 Peace, who will have a table in the lobby for this screening!

Short Films in this Program:


Can You See the Future?

West Coast premiere and winner of the CFFS Plural+ Prize, for an international film by a filmmaker 25 years or younger! If you look closely, you can see that children are always dreaming of what they will be. This film encourages us all to support those dreams.

(Ismet Kale, Turkey, live action and animation, 2017, 2 min, nonverbal)


In this stop motion animation, made entirely on post-it notes, we follow a figure who moves to a new place after losing their home and faces trouble finding their place in their new home.

(Quinn Darce, New Zealand, animation, 2017, 1 min, Non-verbal)

Child of All Nations

West Coast premiere!After moving to the city for his education, Oki discovers that he is prejudiced against as a member of a Indonesian racial minority.

(Hariz Ghifar, Indonesia, live-action, 2017, 3 min, Bahasa with English subtitles)

Flowers to the Sea

West Coast premiere! Gabriela, a seventeen year old from Sao Paulo, talks about her work helping Syrian refugees in Greece.

(Bruno Tarpani, Brazil, live-action, 2017, 5 min, Portuguese with English subtitles)

My Story

A poetic rumination on the psychological effects of Islamophobia.

(Moiz Khan, Breech Harani, Pakistan, live-action & animation, 2016, 4 min, English)

My Father is Coming

A young girl who’s father must live far away in Africa in order to work discusses the complexities of emotions when her grandfather’s illness means that she can see her father more often.

(Nahyr, Sanjeeta, Kabir, Soumya, Devansh, Khushi, Thanmayee, Renusri, India, live-action & animation, 2017, 2 min, English)

See Actions, Not Colors

Although most people see dogs as nothing more than animals, we can learn a lot about humanity from the way they see the world.

(Joana Vieira, Joana Maria Sousa, Rita Laranjeira, Portugal, live-action, 2017, 1 min, English)


West Coast premiere! Based on the stories of six asylum seeker mothers in Finland, Reflections explores the difficulties these women have gone through and the beauty they are able to create in the world for the sake of their children.

(Saara-Miira Kokkonen and Heta Laiho, Finland, 2017, live-action, 5 min, Finnish with English subtitles)


Seattle Premiere! A mother and daughter use a viewfinder to look at family photos and hold onto the life they left behind when they were forced to flee their home because of the civil war in Syria.

(Ramazzan Kilic, Turkey, 2017, live-action, 3 min, Turkish with English subtitles)


West Coast premiere! In this political and poetic documentary, two young Innu woman make a passionate plea to address the environmental dangers affecting Innu territory and protecting the rivers, the “ancestors’ highways,” which are so important to Aboriginal identity.

(Uapukun Mestokosho, Shanice Mollen-Picard, Canada, 2015, live-action, 6 min, French/Innu)


West Coast Premiere! A mother and daughter who are forced to flee their home face discrimination in their village because of their physical appearance and they endure many hardships before they learn to accept themselves

(Precious Mika Elnah Quilaton, Ace John Quintos, Reuben Perez, Lohan Povenyca, Philipines, 2017, animation, 5 min,  English)

We Are Human

North American premiere! Shot in response to a series of nationwide Afrophobic attacks in South Africa, Africans resist stereotypes and assert our shared humanity as neighbors and humans.

(Louise Kanza and Stuart Williams, South Africa, 2017, live-action, 2 min, English)

The True Impact

When we commit acts of violence, who are we really hurting?

(Babar Ali, Sarah Randolph, Nepal, 2016, live-action, 1 min, English)

The Sisters of Manohara

Living in poverty in Nepal, two young women aspire to gain an education and build a better lives for themselves.

(Aditya Khadka, Nepal, 2017, live-action, 5 min, Nepali)

The Five Senses Meaningless

North American premiere! Our five sense make us see the beautiful vibrant world we live in, but they also show us the ugliness and hardships of life.

(Sofia Marvizon Padilla, Spain, 2017, live-action, 1 min, Spanish)


In war torn Syria, a family tries to hold onto life, hope and happiness in the absence of peace.

(Salih Hasnawi, Syria, 2016, live-action, 2 min, Arabic)

I Am Limitless

A young Muslim woman pushes back against reductive stereotypes and argues for more complex understandings of people.

(Lina Abojaradeh, Jordan, 2017, live-action, 2 min,  English)

Content Advisory: The directors of many of these films are exploring content that is sometimes disturbing, including discrimination, poverty, war, and the difficulties of migration. Still, these films are full of hope for a better world.

Reel World Real Talk

Sat, Jan 27, 2018 @ 11:30 AM
Wed, Jan 31, 2018 @ 3:30 PM

Ages 11+. 80 min.

Get globally aware with documentaries from Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. These films show life as it really is for incredible youth who dream the future while overcoming daunting challenges. This program is for families and kids with deep curiosity about the world, respect and awe of cultures different from their own, and their own determination to make the world a better place.

Short Films in this Program:


When I Hear the Birds Sing

West Coast premiere! Five Ivorian children had to flee when war broke out in the Ivory Coast after the presidential election in 2010. Those children talk about their lives then, and their hopes now.

(Trine Habjorg, Norway, animation, 2016, 8 min, French with English subtitles)

Scent of Geranium

Immigration is a new chapter in one’s life, filled with unexpected events that can take a life down paths different from the one imagined. This autobiographical film is an account of the director’s experience in moving from Iran to the US. Watch the trailer >

(Naghmeh Farzaneh, USA, animation, 2016, 5 min, English)

Tsering on Top of the World

West Coast premiere! Tsering, age 11,  lives in the middle of the Himalayas. He loves nature and wants to become a mountaineer, but first, he must convince his dad.

(André Hörmann, Germany, live action, 2016, 15 min, Nepali with English subtitles)

The World of Kim & Bob

US premiere! A film about the very close and imaginative friendship between a boy and a girl at the end of their early childhood. Will impending adolescence impact their friendship?

(Sanne Rovers, The Netherlands, live action, 2016, 15 min, Dutch with English subtitles)

My Body, My Life

North American premiere! Sabina, age 12, has to be circumcised according to the tradition of the Masai Tribe, but she is fully against it and fights for the rights of the girls in her village. Watch the trailer >

(Els van Driel, The Netherlands, live action, 2017, 15 min, mostly in English with some Swahili)

Ahmad’s Hair

West Coast premiere! Syrian refugee Ahmad, age just arrived in the Netherlands. While he is busy integrating in Dutch society and trying to make new friends, it turns out he’s also on a personal, heart-warming mission. Watch the trailer >

(Susan Koenen, The Netherlands, live action, 2016, 23 min, Dutch and Arabic with English subtitles)

Content advisory: This program includes discussion of the effects of war, life as a refugee and female circumcision. Despite this intense subject matter, this program is uplifting and affirming of youth’s ability to make a difference in their world.

Never Say Never (CFFS 2018)

Sat, Jan 27, 2018 @ 1:30 PM
Wed, Jan 31, 2018 @ 1:30 PM

Ages 10+. 81 min.

Filmmaker Halima Lucas (Amelia’s Closet) in attendance!

The kids in these narrative and documentary films won’t take no for an answer. You’ll meet a championship Hungarian swimmer and an American gymnast, a Kenyan city kid who raises chickens, a boy in Detroit who learns how art can help him heal, and two girls who refuse to be bullied. After meeting these kids, you’ll feel stronger, too!

Short Films in this Program:


Little Mouse

Seattle premiere! In 1986, in Budapest, future Olympic champion swimmer Krisztina Egerszegi is only 12.  Her opponents are stronger and bigger, but she is going to compete with them.

(Ervin B. Nagy, Hungary, animation, 2016, 7 min, Hungarian with English subtitles)

Dempsey the Diabetic Superhero

Meet Dempsey Foxson — a spunky, 10-year-old competitive gymnast who refuses to let her Type 1 Diabetes affect her dreams.

(Greyson Horst, Rocky Pajarito, Kendall Goldberg and Caroline Roffe, USA, live action, 2017, 14 min, English)

Scrap Dolls

Seattle premiere! On the east side of Detroit an 11-year-old boy, grieving over the loss of his best friend, encounters an artist who makes art out of abandoned objects.

(Aude Cuenod, USA, live action, 2016, 14 min, English)

Amelia’s Closet

Seattle premiere! When bullies at school torment 11-year-old Amelia, she retaliates by secretly stealing their belongings and hiding them in her closet. Watch the trailer >

(Halima Lucas, US, live action, 2016, 17 min, English)

Everybody Else is Taken

Meet Mika, a girl who refuses to let her gender define her place in one of the harshest environments on earth – the playground.

(Jessica Grace Smith, New Zealand, live action, 2017, 14 min, English)

Chicken for Kimaru

West Coast premiere! A boy who loves to learn, but has to pay to go to school, Kimaru decides to use the chicken he got from his aunt to earn money, because he loves to learn. Watch the trailer >

(Anne van Campenhout and Eriss Khajira, The Netherlands, live action, 2016, 15 min, English and Swahili with English subtitles)

Content advisory: “Amelia’s Closet” and “Everyone Else is Taken” are both stories about girls who face bullying.A boy in “Scrap Dolls” also faces bullying, while coming to grips with the death of his friend.

Indigenous Showcase (CFFS 2018)

Sat, Jan 27, 2018 @ 7 PM
Sat, Feb 3, 2018 @ 7 PM

Ages 9+. 53 min.

Presented with Longhouse Media! This program tells stories by Indigenous filmmakers throughout North America, including beautifully animated tales, charming traditional tales, and powerful and stirring documentaries.

Short Films in this Program:


The Mountain of SGaana

West Coast premiere! As a young fisherman cruises along a rugged shoreline, a tiny mouse in Haida regalia appears and starts to knit a blanket. A story unfolds on the blanket as it grows longer, illustrating the ancient tale of Haida master sea hunter Naa-Naa-Simgat and his beloved, Kuuga Kuns. Watch the trailer >

(Christopher Auchter, Haida Gwaii/Canada, animation, 2017, 10 min, nonverbal)

Ukaliq and Kalla Go Fishing

A lemming and an Arctic hare, decide to spend the day fishing. The lemming embodies the calm, thoughtful nature of traditional hunters and those who live in the Arctic. The hare, however, is a very impatient fellow.

(Nadia Mike, Canada, animation, 2017, 5 min, English)


In this political and poetic documentary, two young Innu woman make a passionate plea to address the environmental dangers affecting Innu territory and protecting the rivers, the “ancestors’ highways,” which are so important to Aboriginal identity.

(Uapukun Mestokosho, Shanice Mollen-Picard, Canada, 2015, live-action, 6 min, French/Innu)

Thunderbird Strike

US premiere! The ones who come as lightning answer the calls of help from the animals and the people, as a snake that threatens to swallow life whole tightens its grip on lands and waters running from the Alberta Tar Sands to the Great Lakes in North America.

(Elizabeth LaPensée, Anishinaabe/Métis/Canada, 2017, animation, 1:30 min, nonverbal)

My Father’s Tools

In honor of his father, Stephen continues the production of traditional baskets. He thus finds peace in his studio, in connection with the man who taught him the work.

Watch the trailer >

(Heather Condo, Mi’gmaq/Canada, 2016, live-action, 6:23 min, nonverbal)

Dislocation Blues

A portrait of reflections from Standing Rock. Cleo Keahna recounts his experiences entering, being at, and leaving the camp and the difficulties and the reluctance in looking back with a clear and critical eye. Terry Running Wild describes what his camp is like, and what he hopes it will become.

Watch an excerpt >

(Sky Hopinka, Ho-Chunk/USA, 2017, live-action, 19 min, English)

ZAASAAKWE (Shout with Joy)

In this uplifting celebration of life, a young woman calls upon Indigenous people to embrace their history while coming together to strengthen their ties within the community.

(Madison Thomas, Ojibwe/Saulteaux/Canada, 2017, live-action, 5 min, English)