Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Sydney Film Festival 2017 / Family Films



image: My Life as a Zucchini
The 64rd Sydney Film Festival (7-18 June) announces six family-friendly films will screen at the Festival in daytime sessions over the weekend.
Even better news - Tickets for under 18s are just $13. If you have older teens in your household, a new Youth Pass will also introduce cheaper tickets to film lovers aged 18-24. Festival films will now cost young people just $72 for a bundle of six-tickets.

Follow our Sydney Film Festival coverage here for younger films and also over at Film in Revolt for coverage from 12 - 18 year olds.  


MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA (Ages 12 or 13+)
Director: Dash Shaw | USA | 2016 | 76mins | In English
Cult comic artist Dash Shaw directs a kooky end-of-the-world disaster movie for Gen Z featuring a host of indie stars and a colourful blend of animation, painting and collageMisanthropic high school journalist Dash discovers that his dysfunctional school is built on a fault line. When an earthquake sends the building floating out to sea, where it begins to inevitably sink, Dash tries to lead his fellow students to safety. It’s a snarky and oddball disaster movie that’s part Titanic and part Ghost World. Featuring the voices of indie heroes Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, John Cameron Mitchell, Reggie Watts and Maya Rudolph, plus Susan Sarandon as Lunch Lady Lorraine, Shaw brings his singular and hilarious POV to teenage angst and activism. With its vibrant handmade and digital animation techniques, My Entire High School… won over audiences at the Toronto and Berlin film festivals.
MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI (Ages 10+)
Director: Claude Barras | Switzerland, France | 2016 | 88 mins | The Festival will screen the English version, plus the French version with English subtitles
An Oscar-nominated Swiss-French stop-motion family animation that’s realistic and life affirming, dealing with real issues in a way that doesn’t patronise or traumatise its audience. When nine-year old Zucchini’s alcoholic mother dies, he is taken to an orphanage filled with misfits who, like himself, have been dealt a rough hand by life. Little does he know, they will soon become his de facto family, from his crush Camille to the gentle father-figure policeman Raymond. Based on a best-selling young adult novel and adapted for the screen by C√©line Sciamma (Tomboy, SFF 2011), My Life as a Zucchini is an unusual, affirming but honest film that calls on its young audience's ability to empathise with lives far tougher than their own. They’ll come out heartened, strengthened and more resilient from the experience – and so will the adults who take them.
PHANTOM BOY (Ages 7+)
Director: Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli | France, Belgium | 2016| In English
From the French team behind the Oscar-nominated A Cat in Paris comes this beautifully animated supernatural crime-fighting adventure, set on the streets of New York. 11-year-old Leo is ill and can’t leave the hospital – but he can leave his body and fly around New York. One night, on one of his excursions, Leo comes across a mobster plotting a crime. The dastardly criminal is called The Man With the Broken Face: he wears a mask resembling a Picasso painting and is followed around by Rufus, his sidekick pup. To use his supernatural powers and become a super hero, Leo must team up with wheelchair-bound detective Alex and fearless journalist Mary to fight the super criminal threatening the city. With distinctive and vibrant animation, Leo’s is a mission of empowerment as he fights the good fight, as well as his own tougher health battles.
RIP TIDE  (Ages 11+)
Director: Rhiannon Bannenberg |Australia|2017|85 mins| English
Disney star Debby Ryan makes her Australian film debut in this perfectly-pitched tween feature about surfing, romance and deciding what to do with your life. There comes a point in everyone’s life when you have to make a decision about the direction you’re going to take. For newly-18 American fashion model Cora (musician and Disney star Debby Ryan, Jessie, 16 Wishes), that time is now. She’s moved to a Australian coastal town to be with her favourite aunt, after a ‘fashion faux pas’ back home. At first she feels isolated, but soon romance and new friendships start to bloom, and Cora must decide between returning to the modelling career driven by her ambitious mother, or staying with the community that has welcomed her in. A great Aussie cast excels in this local feature by talented director Rhiannon Bannenberg, with surf scenes shot on the Illawarra coast.
THE SUN AT MIDNIGHT  (Ages 12+)
Director: Kirsten Carthew | Canada | 2016| 93 mins | English | Australian Premiere
An urban teen encounters a mystical hunter in this charming debut feature shot in Canada’s magnificient, remote Northwest Territory. For teenager Lia (rising star Kawenn√°here Devery Jacobs), the only way to truly find herself is to get lost. Lia's father sends the sullen teen to visit her grandmother in a pocket-sized First Nations community in sub-Arctic Canada. With her pink hair, faux fur coat and a dusting of attitude, Lia is immediately a fish out of water. She runs away, stealing a canoe to try and paddle back to the city, but gets lost in the wilds of her ancestral country. A chance meeting with an older hunter, Alfred (played by Duane Howard, The Revenant) leads to an unusual mentorship. Alfred is obsessed with finding a lost herd of caribou, and Lia joins him on a semi-spiritual journey to find the missing herd – and also herself.
KIDS ANIMATION SHOWCASE
Short animated gems from all over the world, selected for SFF by Guest Programmer Malcolm Turner.  Art, fairytales and folkstories. Felt pens, cotton wool, computers and crayons. Funny, happy, sad, thoughtful and thought-provoking. Creative, silly, serious, strange and curious! The best animation for younger audiences.
The full Sydney Film Festival program will be announced on Wednesday 10 May at 11am.
More details on films mentioned and ticket sales visit www.sff.org.au


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