February 27, 2009

Spring break is here and it is time for Festival international de films pour enfants de Montreal (FIFEM) once again. The opening film from France, Mia et le Migou is far from the only animated selection this year, but it is definitely an interesting one. The film's director is Jacques-Remy Girerd, the producer of Tragic Story with Happy Ending and Hungu (recently featured in the NFB Screening Room) and director of delightful La prophétie des grenouilles (Raining Cats and Frogs). Mia was released in France last year, and is proving to be a hit with families.

Another animated feature that recently received accolades, Nocturna, a 2007 feature from Spain, is also screening. In all there are five animated features to keep the kids and their animation-friendly parents interested.

fps favourites Komaneko and Ludovic are back in the Mini-cinephiles program track, geared toward animation for children as young as 2 or 3. Komaneko is a stop-motion cat, who likes to make stop-motion films. Ludovic is a little teddy bear whose educational and inventive tales are also told using stop-motion animation, directed by Co Hoedeman, Oscar winner for the short, Sand Castle. The Ludovic television series is a follow-up to the Four Seasons in the Life of Ludovic shorts.

Even more shorts will screen before feature films, including Konstantin Bronzit's Oscar-nominated short, A Lavatory Lovestory.

Do it for the kids... er, les enfants... all fillms will be screening in French or with French subtitles.

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February 29, 2008
Les Trois Brigands, the French version of German feature Die Drei Rauber, opened today in cinemas across Quebec and in Ottawa, Ontario. While Montreal stopped being a market for limited theatrical releases about ten years ago, it still has the advantage of getting French-language or translated animated features that have not yet been released widely in English.

(Ironically, Quebec is often overlooked for anticipated anime features, despite the diehard interest ingrained in a two generations of Quebecois through French programming, which made it a stronghold for anime fandom long ago, showing you just how clueless major distributors are.)

The timing is perfect, as the Spring Break begins for elementary schools tomorrow, which means it's time for FIFEM. The film is the only animated feature at this year's edition of the children's film fest, and also its opening film.

FIFEM is also screening shorts before each film. Many are animated, and almost half are Hothouse 4 shorts. Hothouser Carla Coma will be present when her stop-motion short, The Squirrel Next Door, is screened on March 4 and March 9.

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March 10, 2007
Sunday is your last chance to see Carte Blanche à Cartoon Club, a selection of European shorts suitable for all ages, with a heavy emphasis on Italian and German animation, compiled by Sabrina Zanetti, artistic director of Cartoon Club, the International Festival of Animated Cinema and Comics in Rimini. The programme is a part of the Festival international de films pour enfants de Montreal (FIFEM).

Selections include works from Bruno Bozzetto and an episode of La Linea by Osvaldo Cavandoli (sadly, Cartoon Brew reported that he died last week).

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