The ever popular ‘Cinema for Children’ segment brings a host of joyous films that are sure to warm the hearts and spark the imagination of cinemagoers young and old at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). This year’s diverse international lineup promises to educate, illuminate and especially entertain.
One of the most highly anticipated films of the year, ‘The Peanuts Movie’ brings Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the gang to the big screen like you’ve never seen them before. Director Steve Martino, presents this film in which Charlie Brown embarks on a life changing quest and the world’s most famous beagle, Snoopy, takes to the skies to take on his nemesis the Red Baron.
Whether you’re someone who grew up with Charles Schultz beloved characters or a child meeting these characters for the first time, this film promises to be a delight.
From director Thale Persen and just in time for the holidays ‘Valley of Knights; Mira’s Magical Christmas,’ set in two separate but connected worlds, the world we see around us and the magical world just beyond our eyes. In the Valley of Knights an evil lord intent on total power steals an enchanted suit of armour and is determined to hunt down the young Queen Eiril who has the final missing piece. But two courageous kids in our world aren’t going to let that happen without a fight and are coming to Eiril’s rescue. That’s if they can find the secret entrance to the kingdom. A beautifully shot family adventure to put everyone in the mood for a magical Christmas.
Director Nagesh Kukunoor brings his endearing film ‘Rainbow’ to DIFF15. Pari and her blind younger brother Chotu are inseparable. With their parents gone and their uncle absent most of the time they have come to rely on each other entirely.
Desperate to fulfill her promise to Chotu – that he would be able to see by his ninth birthday – Pari decides they should embark on journey to the meet the great Shah Rukh Khan, whom Pari believes to be the answer to their prayers. The only problem is that Shah Rukn Khan is 300kms away, across vast uncompromising terrain. Undeterred the siblings will persevere across the harsh yet magical landscape, driven on by their quest, by their sense of adventure and by the irrepressible spirit of childhood.
‘Savva. Heart of the Warrior’ is a family fantasy adventure from first time director Maksim Fadeev in which Savva, our 10 year old hero, must try and save his family and the whole village from the vicious hyenas intent on running the humans out of town.
Savva, in trying to escape the hyena’s wrath, finds himself stumbling through a magical forest where he meets Angee, an enormous white wolf and Puffy a wisecracking little creature that takes a shine to Savva. Together the new friends must make their way to the Magician on the Mountain, the only one capable of making their dreams come true and helping Savva rid his village of the hyena threat. The journey may prove to be the most perilous part of all and the three friends must pull together in order to make it. ‘Savva. Heart of a Warrior’ is full of courage, adventure and action as well as many heartfelt moments, this film is about dreaming big and the strength of true friendship.
Rounding off the programme is the coming of age story ‘Birds of Passage’ that has valuable lessons for people in all stages of life. In Olivier Ringer’s film, Cathy is gifted a duck egg by her eccentric father with the express warning that the baby duck will think that the person it sees first is it’s mother. In this case that person happens to be Margaux. Whilst Cathy doesn’t have a problem with this new arrangement, Margaux’s parents certainly do, believing that their wheelchair bound daughter cannot handle the responsibility of this duckling, they refuse to allow it into house. Margaux and Cathy, desperate for some freedom, run away so that they can look after and love the little duckling away from the prying eyes, only to be pursued by the anxious adults who are desperate to keep their children safe from harm. ‘Birds of Passage’ is a touching film about childhood adventure, friendship, independence and family.
Myrna Maakaron, DIFF’s Cinema for Children programmer said: “This years ‘Cinema for Children’ line up really does stand out from the crowd. The variety in subject matter, style and tone provides the opportunity for everyone to find something to love at this year’s DIFF. All of our films this year are imbued with a sense of genuine wonder at the world that people of all ages can appreciate. So whether you’re reminiscing about the ‘Peanuts’ cartoons you loved years ago, or you’re a child looking for a new hero the ‘Cinema for Children’ program has something for you.”
The Children’s lineup will be showcased at the 12th annual Dubai International Film Festival, December 9 – 16, 2015.