Can any film experience as a grown-up ever quite compare to outings to the cinema we had as children? The Audi Dublin International Film Festival’s Fantastic Flix conjures up that world of cinematic wonder for the next generation in its packed festival of children’s films from around the world, workshops, short film selections, the Fantastic Flix Children’s Jury and special events. Fantastic Flix runs from 10th – 18th Feb 2017 in cinemas across Dublin including the Light House Cinema, Movies@Swords, Movies@Dundrum, Omniplex Rathmines, and The Ark.

Beloved children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s books are full of memorable characters that have resonated in the hearts, minds and imaginations of young readers around the world. As a Fantastic Flix guest curator, she will select three films and present two films Mandy, The Secret Garden that captured her imagination and one adaptation of her work The Illustrated Mum (courtesy of Channel 4) that she’d like to share with her young readers here in Dublin.

Sarah Ahern, Fantastic Flix Programmer said

It is with great excitement that we share this year’s Fantastic Flix with young audiences. I am thrilled to announce Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s visit to Dublin to celebrate her work and the films that have inspired her. From “Tracy Beaker” to “Illustrated Mum” and “Hetty Feather,” Jacqueline has made an unforgettable impression on the childhood of many. Throughout the rest of the programme you will find a host of international cinema from acclaimed animations to adventurous scamps, magical Ice Queens, to friendly beasts. I hope you will find something to keep you entertained. We are also delighted to have our very first Children’s Jury, as well as a range of special events and workshops.

Highlights of the programme for older children include a preview of Michaël Dudok de Wit’s Cannes prize-winning The Red Turtle (10+), a strange and enchanting story of the mysterious visitor to a man on a desert island that is imbued with the distinctive style of co-producers Studio Ghibli; and Kai (10+), the Korean animation that tells the story of young Kai fighting to save his village from the evil snow Queen Hattan.

Treats for youngsters include Snowtime! (4+), a hit Canadian animation that captures the excitement of one village’s massive snowball fight; the brilliant stop-motion animation Louis & Luca – The Big Cheese Race (5+); Zip & Zap and the Captain’s Island (8+), a story of two brothers stuck on a peculiar island where mischief occurs; and Abulele (8+) that tells of one boy discovering an enormous, furry abulele monster of an ancient legend in his own apartment building.

Growing up into adulthood can be an emotional rollercoaster ride for teenagers, the growing pains on the journey to self-discovery are captured brilliantly in weird and wonderfully edgy Australian drama Girl Asleep (15+).

Just nominated for a Golden Globe, My Life as a Courgette (12+) is a terrific new animation about boy negotiating a tough new life in a foster home.

For those wanting to get some hands-on film experience there’s a trio of terrific workshops being presented in collaboration with The Ark; Foley Workshop: Creating Sounds for the Screen delves into the world of sound effects; Brick Flick’s Lego Animation workshops bring the world’s favourite building blocks to life, and The Breadwinner Storyboard Workshop shows how Oscar-nominated animators Cartoon Saloon go about plotting animated features like their new film The Breadwinner.

Fantastic Flix will be presenting the winning entries of the Drugs.ie National Youth Media Awards short Video category. The awards aim to encourage discussion by inviting young people to produce a piece of original content.

Fantastic Flix is introducing a new voice to the festival, the Fantastic Flix Children’s Jury of 11-12 year-olds who will watch, evaluate, and review Fantastic Flix titles from around the world before deciding on one film as the Best Fantastic Flix Film of 2017. Fantastic Flix Children’s Jury is in collaboration with The Ark’s Children’s Council and the Irish Film Classification Office.

The Dublin International Film Festival is sponsored by Audi and funded by The Arts Council and The Irish Film Board. Key partners and funders include hotel partner The Merrion Hotel, print transport partner Wells Cargo, post-production partner Windmill Lane, social listening partners Olytico, official food ordering app Just Eat and media partners Entertainment.ie, 98FM, The Times & The Sunday Times. Fantastic Flix partners include IFCO, Channel 4, The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ireland and The Ark. The Illustrated Mum is a GRANADA MEDIA CHILDREN’S Production for Channel 4 Television. Official Venue Partners include Movies@Swords, Movies@Dundrum, Omniplex Cinema Rathmines and the Ark.

Tickets for Fantastic Flix (10th-18th February 2017) are now on sale at www.diff.ie or call 01 687 7974 for general tickets, groups and school bookings.

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