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Belmont World Film’s 21st Family Festival

January 13 @ 10:30 am - 5:00 pm

Event Series Event Series (See All)
$8 – $20

Children age 3-12 and their families can embark on an enchanting adventure when Belmont World Film presents its 21st Family Festival, a four-day celebration of international culture from January 13-21, 2024 that guarantees an immersive and culturally rich experience for young audiences. The festival features films from around the world in English and multiple languages, including Chinese, Czech, French, Dutch, Norwegian—even sign language. Most films cannot be seen anywhere else in New England.


The festival kicks off Saturday, January 13, at Apple Cinemas in Cambridge, followed by screenings at West Newton Cinema on Sunday, January 14, the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge on Monday, January 15, in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Day, and the Regent Theatre in Arlington on Sunday, January 21.

Five shorts programs will also be available online from January 20-21.

Subtitles for films in languages other than English will be read aloud through headphones, ensuring an inclusive experience for children with difficulty reading. Many films are making their US or New England premieres; most films are also based on classic and contemporary children’s books, which help reinforce an interest in reading and literature, while supplementing the Massachusetts Public School System’s Curriculum Frameworks.

The lineup includes a carefully curated mix of animated and live-action feature length and short films, offering something for every age group. View the complete schedule at www.belmontworldfilm.org/family-festival. Highlights include:

• YUKU AND THE HIMALAYAN FLOWER (1/13, Apple Cinemas; US premiere): a colorful and adorable animated musical, about a little mouse who goes in search of a rare plant that radiates eternal light to restore her grandmother back to health. With her ukulele and her original bouncy rap tunes, she makes friends along the way during her sometimes-perilous journey. The film premiered at the Annecy Film Festival.

• OKTHANKSBYE (1/14, West Newton, New England premiere): a road movie that follows two hearing impaired pre-teens from Rotterdam to Paris, followed by a discussion with ASL interpretation.

• TONY, SHELLY AND THE MAGIC LIGHT (1/14, West Newton, US premiere): an astounding stop-motion film from the Czech Republic, winner of the Contretemps Award at the prestigious Annecy Film Festival, about an 11-year-old boy who glows.

• TABBY MCTAT (1/14, West Newton; North American premiere): a short, animated film based on the picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s (THE GRUFFALO), about the warm and wonderful friendship between a musical cat and a street busker in London, featuring the voice of Jodi Whittaker (DR. WHO) and comedian Rob Brydon.

• HONORING DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (1/15, Brattle), a short film program based on books about Dr. King and his contemporaries, including the US premiere of I Am Ruby Bridges, written by the civil rights activist who was the first African American child to attend a formerly whites-only elementary school.

• TOTEM (1/21, Regent, New England premiere): a gripping film about a girl whose parents are asylum seekers from Senegal but is raised to feel completely Dutch, and her journey to discover her roots through an extraordinary totem animal. Followed by a discussion about the film and dual cultural identities, led by Ghanaian-American filmmaker Menefese Kudumu-Clavell.

• Intro to Film Camera Techniques Workshop (Sunday, January 21, 10 AM-Noon, Belmont Media Center) for children age 10+, covering fundamental camera techniques, as well as rarely-used ones that define the unique style of foreign films.


January 13
10:30 am - 5:00 pm
$8 – $20
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Belmont World Film
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West Newton Cinema
1296 Washington Street
West Newton, MA United States
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