Film festivals aren't just for adults anymore.
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The Maryland International Kids FilmFest will be held for the third year Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick. It will feature more than 50 short films and an evening screening of two Oscar-winning films —Nick Parks' Wallace and Gromit films, "A Grand Day Out" and "A Matter of Loaf and Death."
"I think this is a great way to spend a Saturday in the winter," said Walter Chalkley, director of the Frederick Film Festival and organizer of the kids film festival.
The Frederick Film Festival shows a few children's offerings, but they were so popular that the idea for the standalone children's festival was born. Chalkley hopes it will expose children to new experiences and new storytelling and film techniques.
"It's sort of our mission to show that it's not all Disney and Pixar — there are lots of different points of view out there," Chalkley said.
And though the films are aimed at audiences of children, Chalkley said their quality is so good that adults will appreciate them as well. Some of the films screened at the kids festival will be re-screened at the Frederick Film Festival in June.
To bring in different perspectives, the festival is partnering with two other festivals in selecting films to be shown. The Los Angeles International Children's Film Festival selects most of the programming, and the VAFI Animation Festival in Varazdin, Croatia, is presenting the 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. portion of the festival.
Some of the films, which include animation, live action and documentary, are even made by children and teens, Chalkley said.
Attendees at the festival can also learn a little bit about film making. Rowland Cooney, a local sculptor, will be offering workshops on stop-motion animation. In that type of animation, animators use dolls, clay or puppets instead of computer models. The figures are placed in poses and moved slightly and still photographs taken of them show the stages of motion necessary for animation.
Cooney will show the children how to make a flip book and then allow children to practice stop motion animation with Legos and digital cameras.
Cooney also teaches a course on stop motion animation at Frederick Community College through the Kids on Campus Program. He offered the workshops at last year's kids film festival.
"They seemed to really enjoy themselves and they had a great time," Cooney said.
The featured films of the festival — with Wallace and Gromit — are premiere examples of stop-motion animation. One second of film constitutes 24 separate frames of film and the daily production speed on the films is about 30 frames per day of production, according to a press release by the Maryland International Kids FilmFest. A 30-minute film requires more than 43,000 frames of film.
Nick Parks' films are known for their dry humor, detailed scenes, and the use of stop-motion animation.
The Maryland International Kids FilmFest is a nonprofit event and is presented by the Frederick Film Festival through a partnership with the Weinberg Center for the Arts and CinemArts, a Frederick-based independent film organization.
If you go ...
WHAT: Maryland International Kids FilmFest
WHEN: Saturday Jan. 19. From 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. blocks of short films will be shown. The Wallace and Gromit films will begin at 4:30 p.m. Also, animation workshops will be held at 12:30 for ages 9 to 12 and at 3 p.m. for children ages 8 and younger. Workshop seating is limited.
WHERE: Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., downtown Frederick
COST: Tickets are $10 for a day pass, with tickets for individual blocks of film available as well.
CONTACT: Visit the Weinberg box office at 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, or call 301-600-2828, or buy tickets online at www.weinbergcenter.org. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.mikff.com. Students interested in attending the animation workshop should email email@example.com as soon as possible, as space is limited.