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Chicago children’s film fest is suitable for all ages

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Updated: November 26, 2013 9:34AM



For 30 years the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival has been bringing the best children’s films from around the world to Chicago with a week of screenings, workshops, special events and opportunities for children to meet animators and filmmakers.

This year’s Chicago International Children’s Film Festival runs through Sunday and features over 250 films from 40 countries. The film genres include live action, animation and stop action and documentary films, plus collections of short films. Though the films are targeted to audiences aged 2 to 13, these innovative and thought-provoking films have plenty to offer older siblings and parents.

Screenings this weekend include: “Frozen Land,” an adventure animation set in the Arctic and in the culture of the native Inuit; an anime film, “Children Who Chase Lost Voices”; “Dragon Girls,” a documentary about girls at a martial arts boarding school in China; “A Horse on a Balcony” about a special relationship of a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome and a horse; and a collection of short movies made by filmmakers age 10 and under.

There will be workshops this weekend spanning an interesting range of subjects and offered for ages 10 to young adult. These include: a stop-motion animation class taught by the makers of the films “ParaNorman” and “Coraline”; an introduction to comedy improvisation by Second City members; a computer animation class; and a discussion of gender representation in films with the director of “Girls’ POV: Girls, Sexuality and the Media.”

Tickets to individual screenings are $6 for children ages 2 to 18 and $9 for adults and can be purchased in advance. A family pass costs $40 and is good for admission for up to four people to all regular screenings. Workshops cost $30. Note that many programs sell out but workshop and screening tickets can be purchased in advance.

A complete schedule of films, workshops and special events, links to film trailers and the addresses of the theaters can be obtained on the festival’s website at www.facets.org/kids/..

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican tradition that blends aspects of ancient traditions with the Christian All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days, and Halloween-like contemporary art. This tradition honors the dead through remembrances, family gatherings, food, music and decorations.

Several Day of the Dead events are happening this weekend in Chicago.

Tomorrow is a special community night commemorating Day of the Dead Night at the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St. in Chicago, phone (312) 738-1503.

The museum’s Day of the Dead 2013 exhibit pays homage to the 100th anniversary of the death of José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), the Mexican artist and print maker who created the La Catrina skeleton which has become an iconic image for the holiday.

The exhibit runs through Dec. 15. Museum admission is free. Details can be found online at www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org/.

Tomorrow’s free event is from 6 to 8 p.m. and will include a special evening viewing of the exhibit, plus music and hands-on art activities.

The annual Dia de los Muertos Altar Walk in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood will take place on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m., with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m.

Past Altar Walks have had memorial altars ranging from simple tributes by the home owner to elaborate art installations in historic homes beautifully decorated for both Dia de los Muertos and Halloween.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door in this benefit for programs in Pullman. Tickets and maps will be available at the Pullman State Historic Site Factory Complex, 11057 S. Cottage Grove in Chicago, about one mile west of Interstate 94 at 111th Street.

The Chicago Sinfonietta strives to “form unique cultural connections through the universal language of symphonic music”. The Sinfonietta will offer a Dia de los Muertos program at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11 in Chicago’s Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

This unique program will combine beautiful orchestral music and vocals in Mozart’s “Requiem” and several Latino works with visual artistry by the Redmoon Theater, and with specially selected wine pairings.

Tickets prices range from $10 to $54, and can be purchased online at www.chicagosinfonietta.org.



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