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Chicago International Festival of Children's Films


This festival of films and videotapes from more than 25 countries continues at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, through Sunday, October 23. Single tickets are $2.50 for adults and children; a pass good for five films is $10. For more information call 929-5437.

Friday, October 21

FLICKERS 9 A rescreening of films shown in previous programs: The Cat Came Back, Step by Step, Huskies Never Freeze, and The Great Race: DeGrassi Jr. High #5. (10:00 am)

WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, CHILDHOOD? Elisabeta Bostan's Rumanian feature about childhood. With the Swedish animated short Little Sister Rabbit. (3:00)

Saturday, October 22

CZABA VARGA'S "AUGUSTA" FILMS Hungarian animator Czaba Varga will appear with all of his "Augusta" films and several others. (10:00 am)

FLICKERS 10 Claudia Weill's American video featurette The Great Love Experiment, with a high school setting, will be shown along with Waltzing Matilda from Australia, Square One TV from the U.S., and The Fly-by-Night from Wales. (10:00 am)

TOMMY TRICKER AND THE STAMP TRAVELLER The best of the children's films that I've previewed for this festival, Michael Rubbo's delightful Canadian fantasy-adventure about stamp-collecting excels in several departments. The acting is first-rate, and the script and direction are unusually good. The fantasy elements occur some distance into the film, but are well worth waiting for. A magic formula permits two young stamp-collecting rivals to become miniaturized and to travel on stamps to the other side of the world in search of a precious stamp album hidden there by a young collector more than half a century ago. One of the rivals gets sent accidentally to Hong Kong, and both of them eventually converge in the Australian outback. It's a film that's clever enough to give us several subjective shots from the viewpoint of postage stamps, and the characters are admirably fleshed out for a film of this genre. Director Rubbo will be present at this screening. (noon)

A WALTZ THROUGH THE HILLS Frank Arnold's Australian video feature, set in 1954, is about two English-born orphans who run away from home and befriend a young aboriginal man. (noon)

MORE ABOUT THE CHILDREN OF BULLERBY VILLAGE This sequel to Lasse Hallstrom's The Children of Bullerby Village continues the story from autumn through spring. On the same program, a Swedish animated short, Black Night Movie. (2:00)

BOOKS ALIVE! 3 Tom Davenport's latest film, Soldier Jack, is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale--about a magic sack and jar--that is translated into an Appalachian folktale. Set in the postwar 40s (apart from an epilogue in the present), this featurette exhibits good, spare story telling, an enjoyable absence of special effects, and a touching simplicity. Davenport's rather personal style features extreme uses of makeup, a studied naivete in the treatment of characters and story, an agreeable pacing, and an uninhibited impulse to embrace the fairy-tale premises of the story without any hint of condescension. On the same program, two repeats of shorts from earlier programs, Henry's Cat and Runaway Ralph. (2:00)

FLICKERS 11 Half a dozen animated shorts: Hermina Tyrlova's Czech Fairy Tale on a String, Luminita Cazacu's Rumanian The Hedgehog, Libuse Ciharova's Czech Fairy Tale Planet, Erling Ericsson's Swedish What's Making That Sound: The Party, Liana Petrutiu's Rumanian The Book That Caught a Cold, and Ron Underwood's American Chuckie. (4:00)

ELSEWHERE Jens Carl Ehlers's video featurette from West Germany concerns a 12-year-old rocket enthusiast who comes across an abandoned rocket base. On the same program, another West German short feature, Vaclav Bedrich's animated The Great Cheese Conspiracy, about three mice who are movie fans. (4:00)

Sunday, October 23

TOMMY TRICKER AND THE STAMP TRAVELLER See Saturday listing. (10:00 am)

DEVIL'S HILL Four children find danger in the Tasmanian bush when they go searching for lost cattle in Esben Storm's Australian video feature. To run with the West German animated video short, Don Martin, directed by Don Martin and Jens Carl Ehlers. (10:00 am)

FLICKERS 12 This program includes two of the better animated shorts that are also playing in the 21st International Tournee of Animation, The Cat Came Back and The Man Who Planted Trees. On the same program, Beth Brickell's American short Summer's End, set in the south in 1948, and Hu Jinqing's animated Scarecrow from the People's Republic of China. (noon)

FLICKERS 13 Shorts from England (the animated Cross Bones and Bridget Appleby's animated The Reluctant Dragon), the U.S. (Alan Ohashi's Kites and Other Tales and 13-year-old Troi Panes animated Mochi Monster), Norway (the live-action Shelter), and the Peoples Republic of China (Pu Jiaziang's animated The Toothless Tiger). (noon)

PETER-NO-TAIL IN AMERICAT Swedish animation about a stump-tailed cat that outwits his rivals to win an appointment as Professor of Feline Philosophy at good ol' Uppsala U. Directed by Stig Lasseby and Jan Gissberg. On the same program, Erling Ericsson's What's Making That Sound: The Kitchen, and Ali Boroni's The Pencil and the Rat, both animated and Swedish. (2:00)

BOOKS ALIVE! 4 Patricia Fitzgerald's Portrait of Mary used the animating talents of 150 Scottish schoolchildren. Carmen Coustaut's American Extra Change is about an underweight girl who learns about self-acceptance. Randy Bradshaw's Canadian Ramona: Siblingitis and Ramona: Mystery Meal are both adapted from books by Beverly Cleary. All four shorts are videos. (2:00)

BEST OF THE FESTIVAL A three-to-four-hour screening of the best films and videos from the festival as selected by the official festival jury and the ballots of children attending the various programs. Video and film selections will be shown concurrently in separate screening rooms. (4:00)

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