Feature Films (CFFS 2017)

Jan 28, 2017

3:00pm

Nelly’s Adventure

(Dominik Wessely, Germany, live action, 2016, 97 min, in German and Romanian with English subtitles)

For ages 10+

Seattle premiere! Presented with Portland German Film Festival/ Zeitgeist Northwest! Director in attendance. Thirteen-year-old Nelly’s holiday in Romania takes a very dramatic turn when she accidentally discovers her family’s secret plan to relocate there. Running away to avoid the reality of her fate, she walks straight into the hands of kidnappers! Their leader is an unscrupulous German engineer, plotting to destroy her father’s energy project by forcing the family to leave the country. Nelly, in turn, befriends two young Roma siblings, Tibi and Roxana, who aid her in her adventurous escape. Together, they cross mountains and rivers, flee from a dungeon, board a moving train, “borrow” a car and become the heroes of the day!

Notes to parents: The young characters in the film face danger. There is some drinking by adults, and a few mild swear words.

Shown with:

Hamlet. Comedy. (Eugeniy Fadeyev, Russia, animated, 2016, 5 min, no dialogue) North American premiere! A rowdy class attends a play with their teacher and things quickly get out of hand. Watch the trailer>

Jan 28, 2017

5:00pm

My Parrot Mom

(Martin Musarra, Argentina, live action, 2016, 80 min, in Spanish with English subtitles)

For ages 10+

West coast premiere! Juana, an eleven-year-old girl, is part of a very special family whose members have the incredible ability to turn themselves into animals. She finds this out on the day her mother unexpectedly changes into a parrot! Juana must not only protect her mom but also learn to think of herself in a whole new way. Set on the coast of Argentina and imbued with magical Latin-American realism, this movie invites us to reflect on who we are.

Shown with:

Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Time (Maria Reinhardt-Szyba, Germany, live action, 2015, 4 min, in German with English subtitles) In a surreal scene, one person moves forward in time while the other moves backward.

Jan 29, 2017

1:00pm

Jill and Joy’s Winter

(Sami Keski-Vähälä, Finland, live action, 2015, 77 min, in Finnish with English subtitles)

For ages 7+

North American premiere! Jill and Joy, both 9-year-olds, have lives like other little girls, except that they might be a little happier than most, as they get to live in their own house made just for them. One December evening, a small car, barely the size of a shoebox, pulls up in front their house, and a teensy-weensy family gets out. The McTiny family, having just lost their home, move in with Jill and Joy but soon find out that not all big people have good intentions towards them. Jill and Joy’s Winter is based on a beloved book by the same name by the Finnish writer Marjatta Kurenniemi. Watch the trailer>

Screens with:

Mimi & Liza: Twins from the Cards (Katarína Kerekesová, Slovakia, animated, 2012, 8 min, in Slovak with English subtitles) West coast premiere! Best friends Mimi and Liza enter a world of cloth and find a lonely crocodile.

Jan 29, 2017

3:00pm

Fortune Favors the Brave

(Norbert Lechner, Germany, live action, 2016, 97 min, in German and Vietnamese with English subtitles)

For ages 10+

Seattle premiere! Presented with Portland German Film Festival / Zeitgeist Northwest! Screenwriter Katrin Milhahn in attendance. Vietnamese sisters Lihn (age 11) and Tien (age 9) must keep a dangerous secret — their mother has had to return to Vietnam, and the girls are on their own in Germany. Their family life would fall apart if the truth were known. But can their feisty 11-year-old friend Pauline understand their plight and earn their trust? This film explores the true meaning of family and friendship, while realistically depicting the compromises and uncertainty that immigrant children face on a daily basis.

Notes to parents: The film raises issues about of the ethics of children keeping secrets to protect one another, and there are scenes of conflict and a few coarse words.

Screens with:

The Paints (Sergey Novichkov, United Arab Emirates, live action, 11 min, Russian with English subtitles) North American premiere! Youth made! On her birthday, a girl receives a magical set of paints from her grandmother.

Jan 29, 2017

7:00pm

Mussa

(Anat Goren, Israel, live action, 2015, 60 min, in Hebrew, Arabic, English, and Amharic, with English subtitles)

For ages 11+

This documentary tells the story of 12-year-old Mussa, who won’t speak for reasons that no one understands. He is an African refugee living in Tel Aviv, and for the past five years he’s been bussed from his troubled neighborhood to an upscale private school. Mussa’s Israeli classmates are his best friends, but he chooses to communicate with them only through gestures. In a time when he feels powerless, Mussa takes control by filming and documenting his own experience. This deeply relevant film will leave kids with plenty to talk about.

Notes to parents: This film about family and friendship tells the story of a child who understands four languages, but chooses not to speak any of them. This is his protective defense against almost insurmountable problems: he’s a refugee with undocumented parents who face deportation. The film doesn’t sugarcoat Mussa’s sadness, instead showing how a very real, and ultimately very resilient child copes with a distressing situation. “The School Bag” (which screens with Mussa) deals, in part, with the effects of terrorism.

Screens with:

Fruit (Gerhard Funk, Germany, animated, 2016, 7 min, no dialogue) This entrancing creation story tells of a dialogue between two mythological forces, the West and the East.

The School Bag (Dheeraj Jindal, India, live action, 2016, 15 min, in Urdu with English subtitles) West coast premiere! Young Farooq wants a new school bag for his birthday, but his mother seems unmoved. This film is about surprises we plan, and ones we can’t even imagine.

Feb 02, 2017

7:00pm

The Boy Who Lived Before

(Stephen Anunson, US, live action, 2016, 66 min, in English)

For ages 12+

Director and cast members in attendance! This Seattle-made feature explores the mind of a boy who deeply contemplates his identity, both in terms of who the kind of person he wants to be, and the kind of person he might have already been. Meet Cody, who has memories of a previous life. These memories present themselves in the forms of visions, dreams, and daily routines. In an attempt to understand where he comes from, Cody delves into the online world, eventually attracting the interest of a budding film crew looking for outrageous stories. Cody’s big brother Oliver is his confidant, guide and co-questioner as the pair move through changing Seattle landscapes. Family dynamics, urban life and identity are all in flux.

Notes to parents: This film incorporates elements of documentary and experimental film into a work of fiction, and portrait of a child who deeply questions the nature and purpose of his existence.

Feb 03, 2017

at 7pm & Feb. 04, 2017 at 3pm

Heidi

(Alain Gsponer, Germany/Switzerland, live action, 2015, 105 min, in German and Swiss-German with English subtitles)

For ages 5+.

Seattle Premiere! In this dazzling new film version of the beloved children’s book, the adventuresome five-year-old orphan who lives in the Swiss Alps finds her life turned upside down when she must take care of a sick child, Klara. This refreshing rendition of the classic portrays true friendship and devotion.

Notes to parents: Some slightly coarse language.

Feb 04, 2017

5:00pm

Mr. Frog

(Anna van der Heide, The Netherlands, live action, 2016, 99 min, in Dutch with English subtitles)

For ages 8+

US premiere! Sita adores her schoolteacher Mr. Frans, who sometimes changes in to a frog. But the animal world is not without danger, and Sita soon finds herself in the position of being his protector. This endearing comedy-drama literally humanizes animals and inspires children to stand up against bullying. Mr. Frog is a moving fable with urgent themes for this day and age.

Notes to parents: Children and adults in the film ride bikes without helmets, and the climax of the film includes a scene of danger that may be too intense for the most sensitive young viewers.

Shown with:

Sky (Loes Janssen, The Netherlands, live action, 2015, 15 min, in Dutch) West coast premiere! Sky is hard of hearing and struggles to be understood by his classmates– but does he understand them? Watch the trailer>

Feb 04, 2017

7:00pm

Boxing for Freedom

(Juan Antonio Moreno and Silvia Venegas, Spain, live action, 2015, 74 min, in Dari with English subtitles)

For ages 12+

West coast premiere! This documentary tells the story of a Sadaf, a teenage girl growing up in wartime and facing intense gender discrimination, who deeply feels it is her destiny to become Afghanistan’s best boxer. Sadaf and her sister joined the newly created women’s boxing team after being refugees in Iran and returning to their own country. This film is a powerful true story of a girl who is not only the best female boxer in Afghanistan but the symbol of empowerment for a new generation of Afghan women.

Notes to parents: The film contains brief grainy footage of an execution by the Taliban at a stadium where Sadaf later trains to become a boxer. The scene provides important context for the story.

Shown with:

Diver’s Cloth Lying Empty (Theo Taplitz, US, live action, 2016, 4:24 min, in English) World premiere! A lost boy goes looking for himself between the real world and the world inside his head.

Dream of Kids (Aasal Aata, Iraq, live action/animation, 2015, 2:20 min, in Arabic with English subtitles) Adam, a young victim of ISIS, moves between reality and fantasy and builds his dreams on devastation.

Feb 05, 2017

11:00am

Molly Monster

(Ted Sieger, Michael Ekblad & Matthias Bruhn, Germany/Switzerland/Sweden, animated, 2016, 70 min, in English)

For ages 2+

Seattle Premiere! Molly Monster is the little only-monster of Popo and Etna Monster. She spends her days in familiar surroundings playing with her best friend Edison, a clockwork toy with a life of his own. But when Mama gives birth to an egg (which Papa must hatch), Molly sets out on a journey to find her new place in the family. The journey takes her far away from home and over the Wild Hills to Egg Island, where she is reunited with her Mama and her Papa, and her new mini-monster sibling.

Notes to parents: A timeless film about the journey every child must take when they become a brother or a sister.

Feb 11, 2017

1:00pm

At Eye Level

(Evi Goldbrunner & Joachim Dollhopf, Germany, live action, 2016, 98 min, in German with English subtitles)

For ages 12+

Presented with Portland German Film Festival / Zeitgeist Northwest! US premiere! 11-year-old Michi lives in a children’s home, every day fighting to win the respect of the other kids and dreaming of the day he will find his dad. But then he meets Tom – who happens to be a dwarf — and his fantasies turn into complex reality. When the kids find out, Michi’s life becomes hell and he flees. With nowhere to go, he moves in with Tom, who is new to this fatherhood thing, while Michi tries to hide his embarrassment from his fellow school kids. This forces Tom to confront his difference head-on. As time passes, Tom and Michi discover they have more in common than other sons and fathers. This film teaches us about forgiveness, letting go of friendships, and setting boundaries of trust and respect.

Notes to parents: The film contains a few harsh swear words and scenes of intense bullying.

Screens with:

The Small Grain of Rice (Dirk Böhling, Germany, animated, 2016, 6 min, in German with English subtitles) The true story of the meeting that inspired the first SOS-Children’s Village outside of Europe.

Feb 11, 2017

3:00pm

Jeffrey

(Yanillys Perez, Dominican Republic, live action, 2016, 78 min, in Spanish with English subtitles)

For ages 12+

Seattle Premiere! A hybrid of documentary and narrative film, this film is about a 12-year-old boy who works the streets of Santo Domingo by jumping on cars stopped at red lights, and proceeding to clean their windshields without invitation, in the hopes of obtaining a few pesos’ tip from the drivers inside. He lives in Los Tres Brazos, a poor slum of the capital, far away and upstream from the picturesque tourist ideal of the Zona Colonial on the banks of Rio Ozama. He’s one of nine children being raised by his single mother. But Jeffrey, who christens himself “La Pesadilla” (“The Nightmare”) dreams of being a reggaeton singer, following in the footsteps of one of his older brothers.

Notes to parents: Boys play with guns, and there are depictions of grinding poverty and teenaged parenthood.

Screens with:

Poverty (Dickson Oyugi [Pause N Play], Kenya, live action, 2016, 3:50 min, in English) Young girls in Kenya speak their truth: no one is ever satisfied to be poor.

Feb 01, 2017

7:00pm

In Football We Trust

(Tony Vainuku & Erika Cohn, USA/American Samoa, 2015, 82 min, in English)

Presented with Longhouse Media as part of INDIGENOUS SHOWCASE.

“In Football We Trust” captures a snapshot in time amid the rise of the Pacific Islander presence in the NFL. Presenting a new take on the American immigrant story, this documentary transports viewers deep inside the tightly-knit Polynesian community in Salt Lake City, Utah. With unprecedented access and shot over a four-year time period, the film intimately portrays four young Polynesian men striving to overcome gang violence and near poverty through American high school football. Viewed as the “salvation” for their families, these young players reveal the culture clash they experience as they transform out of their adolescence and into the high stakes world of collegiate recruiting and rigors of societal expectations.

Notes to parents: This version of the film is a “clean version,” completely suitable for mature middle school and high school youth. But there are still a few instances of strong profanity in the locker room, and storylines involving gang violence.