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The Chicago International Children's Film Festival

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The Chicago International Children's Film Festival, now in its 14th year, concludes this weekend Friday through Sunday, October 17 through 19, at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets are $4 for children and adults, but various discounts are available to those buying four or more tickets. For more information call 773-281-9075.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17

Friendship's Field

U.S. feature about the friendship between a farmer's daughter and a young migrant worker. (9:30 am)

Animation Celebration

Videos from the U.S., the UK, Germany, Canada, and the Czech Republic. (9:30 am)

Vive la Difference

Short films about cultural diversity, from the U.S., Canada, Finland, Israel, and Sweden. (11:30 am)

Green Screen: Videos That Celebrate the Earth

Short videos from Australia, Sweden, Iceland, and the U.S. (11:30 am)

Fiesta

Two Venezuelan videos about Juana the iguana. (2:00)

Fleas Bark Too, Don't They?

A Danish feature about a disabled teenage girl. (4:00)

Never Cry Wolf

Carroll Ballard's 1983 follow-up to The Black Stallion is a superior family film, though it doesn't have the visual and emotional richness of the earlier work. It's hamstrung by a semirealistic story of a government researcher (Charles Martin Smith) living among the arctic wolves--though it's a realism that allows wolf cubs to be born in the fall. There isn't much amplitude in Smith's character, and his mission, after an elaborate, sinister buildup, turns out to be disappointingly prosaic. Worst of all, Ballard doesn't demonstrate the epic sense of time and space needed to give grandeur to the changing of the seasons and the spread of the landscape. But the film is still memorable for its compassion, commitment, and unexpected humor, qualities that go a long way toward tempering the ecological didacticism of the screenplay. With Brian Dennehy. (DK) Showing with a collection of Ballard's short films. (4:00)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18

Oliver Twist

A new American version of the Dickens classic, starring Richard Dreyfuss and Elijah Wood. (10:00 am)

Vive la Difference

Short films about cultural diversity, from Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Israel, and Sweden. (Noon)

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Short fantasy videos about animals, from the U.S., Poland, and Germany. (Noon)

Fly Away Home

At a time when so few American movies believe in anything, it's cheering and satisfying to see one that believes in geese. Carroll Ballard (The Black Stallion) directed this 1996 story, based on the autobiography of Bill Lishman, about a father and daughter (Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin) bonding after a long separation as they teach an orphaned flock of geese first how to fly and then to migrate; the digitally created spectacle of the birds in flight is glorious to behold. Written by Robert Rodat and Vince McKewin; with Dana Delany (as the father's girlfriend), Terry Kinney, Holter Graham, and Jeremy Ratchford. (JR) (2:00)

Books Come Alive

American and British videos based on children's books. (2:00)

Einstein: Light to the

Power of Two

A Canadian feature about a young African-American girl in the 50s who overcomes her feelings of racial inferiority after meeting Albert Einstein. On the same program, short films from Brazil, Germany, Canada, and the UK. (4:30)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19

Weird and Scary Stuff: Stories for Halloween

Short films from Canada, Hungary, the U.S., the Slovak Republic, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Poland. (10:00 am)

The Legend of the Ladybird

A video feature from the Czech Republic about the friendship between a 12-year-old girl and an eccentric man. (10:00 am)

Chasing the Kidneystone

A Norwegian feature about a boy taking a magical journey to fight his grandfather's kidneystone. (Noon)

Did You Ever Wonder?

Short videos about childhood problems, from Sweden, Norway, Poland, Belgium, and the UK. (Noon)

Friendship's Field

See listing under Friday, October 17. (2:00)

Furry Fun

Short videos about animals, from the U.S., the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. (2:00)

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Just a Little Red Dot (See Viva la Difference).

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