Belmont World Film Family Festival, Virtual Edition
Belmont World Film’s Family Festival goes virtual in 2021, expanding from its typical four days to ten. The Family Festival provides children age 3-12 and their families in Massachusetts the opportunity to see some of the world’s most remarkable current films for children—films that provide a window into the lives of kids in other cultures, races, and ethnicities—and several workshops, including three sessions on model making for animated films conducted by the senior model maker from Aardman (the Wallace & Gromit films) on Saturday, January 23, and a two-day workshop on film criticism led by Joyce Kulhawik and Boston Globe film critics Ty Burr and Peter Keough representing the Boston Society of Film Critics, on January 16 and 17. Several filmmakers from around the world will also participate in virtual live Q&As. Most film programs will be available for screening for all 10 days, with several films having shorter screening windows. The festival’s 15 film programs, comprised of nearly 50 animated, live action, and documentary feature length and short films in multiple languages with subtitles and in English —many based on children’s books, and several making their US premieres—are from the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK, and the US. There are films about young kids making a difference for the environment (including a 5th grade class in Brooklyn that completely rids their cafeteria of single-use plastics), an asylum-seeking youth chess champion in France, a famous Rembrandt painting that comes to life in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, a youth soccer team in South Africa making it to the finals of the soccer world championship in Gothia, Sweden, and an amazing selection of short film programs, including one honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and another made by 8-10 year olds in Portugal.