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Children’s film festival coming

Screenies, Auckland, 1 September 2015: A four day film festival for children is coming to Auckland and the director of the event says it is designed to provide more quality on screen content for kids.

The Screenies International Film and Media Festival will run from October 22-25 and will be held at The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC) in Motions Road, Western Springs.

The festival’s programme includes the 2014 Academy Award movie Mr Hublot, animated Dutch film Pim and Pom-The Big Adventure, German feature My Friend Raffi and Canadian film Shana: The Wolf’s Music.

It is the first time the event has been staged and is for children between 3
and 15 years of age. Festival director Janette Howe says she came up with the idea for the event about two years ago after setting up Kidsonscreen, an organisation which advocates for quality on screen content for children.

The Titirangi resident soon realised that there was a lack of New Zealand made films for Kiwi kids so she started researching some of the children’s film festivals from around the world.

And it wasn’t long until she was on a plane heading to Australia for the 2013 Little Big Shots International Film Festival for Kids.

She says the annual event has been an ongoing success for a number of years and she’s keen to see the Auckland based event make similar in roads in New Zealand.

“I’m planning to use some of the curated film packages from Little Big Shots as a launching pad for the Screenies International Film and Media Festival,” Howe says.

“They have been curating these films from various international film festivals for Australian audiences for 11 years and I think they will appeal to Kiwi kids as well.”

Howe says getting the films in time for the fledgling event in October is a bit of coup. But she says it also illustrates the lack of locally produced movies for kids.

“We don’t have a lot of local content for children, but we need to be bringing more stories like these to the big screen,” she says.

“Media has an influence on the development of our children’s identity and sense of place. Focusing on the quality of media is focusing on the quality of life of our children.”

The Screenies International Film and Media Festival is being staged by the Pipikids International Film and Media Festival Trust and will be sponsored by Foundation North, the Native Council, the New Zealand Film Commission and the Waitemata Local Board.

For more information go to screenies.nz

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