2013 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival

Friday 25 October - Monday 4 November 2013

Chicago International Children’s Film Festival: the largest festival for kids film in North America! The movie monsters of the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival return October 26-27 and November 1-3. To celebrate the Festival’s 30th anniversary, the Music Box will once again join Facets’ Children’s Programs to showcase over 200 movies from around the world – selected from thousands of entries.

In 1983, Facets founded the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, the first competitive festival of films for children in the U.S. The impetus for the Festival came from a need to introduce new, culturally diverse films for children to American children’s audiences, and to recognize excellence in children’s filmmaking. In addition, the Festival sought to empower children by involving them directly in the jurying process. From its inception, the Festival has had independent juries of children and adult media professionals awarding prizes in multiple categories.

This year, we are proud to present a mix of new release and foreign children’s films, as well as a special presentation by Disney Pixar’s Brian Larsen. Bring your family and have a wonderful time!


Saturday, October 26th, 2013

  • 9:30am: Halloween: Magical Friends
  • 9:45am: Tom the Truant
  • 11:00am: My Mommy is in America, She Met Buffalo Bill
  • 11:15am: Aya of Yop City

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

  • 9:30am: Halloween: Magical Friends
  • 9:45am: Halloween: Treats and Tricks
  • 11:00am: Halloween: Wacky Witches
  • 11:15am: Halloween: Monster Mash

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

  • 9:30am: Casper and Emma - Best Friends
  • 9:45am: Windstorm
  • 11:00am: Frozen Land
  • 11:15am: Dragon Girls

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

  • 9:30am: Knight Rusty
  • 9:45am: Eskil & Trinidad
  • 11:00am: A Horse on the Balcony
  • 11:30am: The Peewees: The Winter That Changed My Life


  • Sat 26 Oct 2013, 9:30am
  • Sun 27 Oct 2013, 9:30am

Halloween: Magical Friends

Fantastic friends and magical places reveal themselves in this animated shorts program. In “Paper Bag Boy,” two Taiwanese schoolmates seem to be hiding something when they wear their disguises to school. What could it be? In “Room on the Broom,” how many quarrelling animals can the kind-hearted witch fit on her broom bound for dangerous derring-do with a dragon? The film features the voice of Gillian Anderson, is based on a Julia Donaldson story, and is from the producers of The Gruffalo. In the last film, Mia must travel to a fantastic fairy world to save the endangered unicorns. With help from magical friends, Halloween is the most thrilling ride yet!
Ages 5+
73 min

Colosse, USA
Monster Symphony, Germany
Paper Bag Boy, Taiwan ROC
Innertommy, Malaysia
Bombus Confusus, Germany
Once I Dreamt: “A Nightmare,” Mexico
Room on the Broom, England
Mia and Me: “The Blossom Tree,” Germany

  • Sat 26 Oct 2013, 9:45am

Tom the Truant (2012)

in French with English subtitles

While on a field trip through an enchanted forest, a class of 5-year-old children gets lost after their school teacher suddenly faints from eating wild berries. Lost in this magical place, they encounter a 14-year-old runaway, Tom the Truant. He strikes a deal with them: he will help them get back to their parents. However, first they must unlearn everything they’ve learned in school! The children team up and come together in ways they were unable to before. A whimsical film full of French flights of fancy and pluck, set in a fantastic forest where imaginations are free to roam.
Screened in French with English subtitles.
Ages 9+
78 min

  • Sat 26 Oct 2013, 11:00am

My Mommy is in America, She Met Buffalo Bill

in French with English subtitles

The highly-anticipated adaptation of the bestselling book is here for the first time in the U.S. Jean lives with his little brother, busy father, and kind nanny, but one thing is missing: where is Mommy? He begins receiving a series of postcards, supposedly from his mom, filled with stories of her adventures in America meeting cowboys, Native Americans, and Buffalo Bill. The truth is slowly revealed, and the world Jean built to protect himself begins to melt away. It makes for a beautifully-moving tale with moments of sheer, simple, childish joy.

Based on the award-winning graphic novel Ma maman est en Amérique, elle a rencontré Buffalo Bill by Jean Regnaud and Emile Bravo.
Screened in French with English subtitles.

  • Sat 26 Oct 2013, 11:15am

Aya of Yop City (2013)

directed by Marguerite Abouet, Clément Oubrerie starring Aïssa Maïga, Tella Kpomahou in French with English subtitles

Aya is a remarkable young adult from Yopougon-Koute (“Yop City”), who unlike other girls her age is not fixated solely on boyfriend problems and social issues. She has a lot of advice to give, for one thing! Based on the hugely-popular and bestselling “bande dessinée” series of French graphic novels, the characters in this 1970s Ivory Coast town jump off the page and onto the screen in this gorgeously-animated film. A sense of West African family life is depicted by the characters in their lively interactions. The adventures of Aya, her friends, and family are all brought to life in this vibrant film – with a groovy soundtrack to match.
Screened in French with English subtitles.
Ages 16+
85 min

  • Sun 27 Oct 2013, 9:45am

Halloween: Treats and Tricks (2013)

Unexpected twists, turns, and treats await in this short film program. Time travelers popping out of the new armoire? Check! Monsters at night who might actually be friends, not foes? Check! Sweet confections and sweeter friendships with new neighbors? Check! All kinds of tricks and treats are in store in this goody bag of short films.
Ages 8+
72 min

Someone Who Gets You, USA
Cootie Contagion, USA
Air Balloon Circus, Canada
Zombie Brothers, USA
The Wardrobe, Australia
The Story of the Boys Who Walked at Night, Brazil
Sweet Love, Netherlands

  • Sun 27 Oct 2013, 11:00am

Halloween: Wacky Witches

In one film, yummy candy houses are deceptive, especially when two famous siblings find a witch waiting inside. In another, a nocturnal world slowly reveals itself to be not nearly as scary as Elephant thinks. The last film, an animated adaptation of a book by Julia Donaldson, is a modern fairy tale with a quirky cast of characters! Come along for fairytales old and new in “Fairytale Magic.”
Ages 8+
56 min

Colosse, USA
Goose Trouble, Germany
Twins in Bakery, Japan
Hansel and Gretel, Germany
The Night of the Elephant, Germany
Room on the Broom, England

  • Sun 27 Oct 2013, 11:15am

Halloween: Monster Mash

Monsters run amok in this collection of short animated and live-action films. In one, a girl thinks that her telekinesis is freakish…until she meets a new set of friends who appreciate her gift. In another film, what can one girl pass on after journeys with her pal, the Giant? And in the last film, revenge might be sweet, but sweeter still is making new friends from old monsters. Come along for the monster mash!
Ages 11+
73 min

Monster Symphony, Germany
Zombie Brothers, USA
Air Balloon Circus, Canada
Changeling, Germany
Cabrito and Chewy, USA
Octopus, Germany
Alien Repair Guy, Norway
The Shell, France
The Giant, Portugal/Spain

  • Sat 2 Nov 2013, 9:30am

Casper and Emma - Best Friends

directed by Arne Lindtner Næss in Norwegian with English subtitles

Casper is a shy four-year-old boy just starting kindergarten. His classmate Emma is a lively soon-to-be five-year-old girl. From the moment they meet at the drawing table in kindergarten, the two become fast friends and share their own special world. But where would Casper and Emma be without their special stuffed animal companions, Lion Cub and Miss Rabbit, now also BFFs? From helping sick animals to building life-sized castles to brave investigations of the local fire station, Casper and Emma discover what it means to be best friends.
Screened in Norwegian, with English subtitles read aloud.
Ages 4+
74 min

  • Sat 2 Nov 2013, 9:45am


directed by Katja von Garnier in German with English subtitles

Mika is a teenage girl who believes she just isn’t good at anything, especially compared to her parents, who are super-smart quantum physicists, or course! After yet another failed test and – whoops – misconduct at school, Mika’s parents are at their wit’s end. Boom! Mika must spend the summer at Grandma’s. Little does she know what awaits her when she discovers Grandma was once an Olympic prize-winning equestrienne. She has her own riding stable where she teaches other young would-be top riders. After spending her first few days in self-exile, missing the city and all her friends, Mika seeks out Windstorm, a beautiful horse that’s also incredibly dangerous. Mika finds a friend in the spirited animal. She falls fearlessly in love with Windstorm and finds that only she can save his life by learning to ride him. Assisted by her newfound neighbors, Mika trains and becomes a rider, discovering not just her true talent, but also an extraordinary passion for horses that impresses her parents more than quantum physics ever could.
Screened in German with English subtitles.
Ages 10+
105 min

  • Sat 2 Nov 2013, 11:00am

Frozen Land

directed by Nancy Florence Savard

Frozen Land is an expansive, visually-stunning adventure that testifies to the power of hope, the strength of friendship, and the value of traditional culture. Markussi is a young Inuit with shamanic powers who has difficulty accepting his talent. One day, the spirits of his ancestors challenge him to save his love Apik, best friend Putulik, and the home of their familial clan. When Markussi’s clan undergoes a severe famine, Markussi and his two friends set out on a journey to find the promised land of Sarila and appease the gods, in the process discovering who they are, their talents, and the bonds of love and friendship that exist among them.
Screened in English – Please note: English-language screening of “The Legend of Sarila”
Ages 9+
81 min

  • Sat 2 Nov 2013, 11:15am

Dragon Girls

directed by Inigo Westmeier in Mandarin with English subtitles

The insightful documentary feature film follows three brave young girls and their studies at the traditional Tagou Martial Arts School: Xin Chenxi, nine, specializes in the art of swords and hopes to make her father proud by winning first place at the national championships; Chen Xi, 15, concentrates on boxing while battling the pain of growing up without her parents; and Huang Luolan, 16, cannot decide whether to remain or to leave her life of kung fu and pursue her passion outside of the walls of Tagou. Each girl must examine what kung fu means to her while overcoming homesickness, pressures at school, and maturing into a young woman.
Screened in Mandarin with English subtitles.
Ages 10+
89 min

  • Sun 3 Nov 2013, 9:30am

Knight Rusty

directed by Thomas Bodenstein

Charge into the enchanted kingdom of Knight Rusty, the wildly-successful animated film from Germany. Our hero, Rusty, is a self-centered robot from Scrapland who dreams of winning the jousting tournament in order to become a real knight. But when he’s framed for wrongdoing, not only does he lose sight of that dream, he also loses one of his closest friends, Damsel Bo. Rusty must prove his worthiness to Scrapland by fighting the bad Prince Novel. While they may not have appreciated one another when they were together, being apart shows Rusty and Damsel Bo how much they mean to each other. Though his misfit friends unite to help save Rusty, in the end it’s Damsel Bo who is the real rescuer!
Screened in English

  • Sun 3 Nov 2013, 9:45am

Eskil & Trinidad

directed by Stephen Apelgren in Swedish with English subtitles

Eleven-year-old Eskil is constantly on the move, relocating schools due to his father’s job. Now in frosty northern Sweden, Eskil misses his mother, who has decided to stay in Denmark for good. He plays in a junior hockey league to please his father, a former player who denies that Eskil’s passion might lie elsewhere. Eskil befriends Trinidad, a woman known in the village as the local eccentric. Trinidad knows about the sea and the Scandinavian art of shipbuilding. Through the time spent with Trinidad, Eskil discovers what he is truly enthusiastic about and comes to experience a healing in his relationship with his father and mother.
Screened in Swedish with English subtitles.

  • Sun 3 Nov 2013, 11:00am

A Horse on the Balcony

directed by Hüseyin Tabak in German with English subtitles

A Horse on the Balcony is an extraordinary tale of friendship. Mika is a 10-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome who feels like he doesn’t belong – he has trouble interacting with people, doesn’t understand jokes, has to follow a specific routine, loves math, and hates surprises. That is, until he sees a horse on his neighbor’s balcony one night! Dana, his neighbor, puts two and two together and introduces Mika to the horse and its owner, Sascha. It turns out to be a valuable racehorse which Sascha won in a raffle. Before long, Mika finds he has unique talents in communicating with the horse. However, Sascha is trying to sell the horse to pay his heavy gambling debt. When thugs kidnap the horse, it’s up to Mika and Dana to rescue their new friend.
Screened in German with English subtitles.

  • Sun 3 Nov 2013, 11:30am

The Peewees: The Winter That Changed My Life

directed by Eric Tessier in English, French with English subtitles

Welcome to the fast-paced world of pee wee hockey! Janeau Trudel is a 12-year-old hockey star who moves to a new town with his dad. His new friend Julie signs him up to play for the Lynxes, the school hockey team. Joey, the team captain, is jealous of Janeau’s talent and starts to compete against him. The rivalry especially becomes a problem since the Lynxes want to win the International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament in Quebec City! Join us for an adventure that demonstrates the importance of perseverance and teamwork.
Screened in French with English subtitles.

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