The 26th Chicago International Children's Film Festival kicks off Thursday, October 22, at 6 PM with a gala reception and screening at Northwestern University's Thorne Auditorium (375 E. Chicago); tickets are $60 for adults, $25 for children. It continues with screenings every Saturday and Sunday through November 1 at Facets Cinematheque (1517 W. Fullerton) and Bank of America Cinema (4901 W. Irving Park); tickets for these programs are $9, $6 for children. Most are collections of short films, like Nick Park's new 29-minute Wallace and Gromit animation A Matter of Loaf and Death (Sun 10/25, 5 PM, Facets). But there are also several features, including the Austrian-Latvian live-action drama Little Robbers, about a brother and sister who plan a heist to help their laid-off father (Sat 10/24, 3:30 PM, Bank of America Cinema); the German animation Princess Lillifee, in which a fairy princess tries to calm unrest in her kingdom (Sun 10/25, 11:30 AM, Bank of America Cinema); and the Danish live-action story Frogs and Toads, about a boy who ventures into the forest in search of the frog eggs that will restore his brother's voice (Sun 10/25, 3:30 PM, Bank of America Cinema).
In addition to the screenings, the festival offers workshops on acting, animation, and sound design; advance registration is required at cicff.org (where you'll also find a complete schedule) or 773-281-9075, ext. 3011. Tickets for all programs can be purchased online at ticketweb.com or by phone at 866-468-3401.