Columbus, Ohio—From classic comedies and a Disney favorite to premiere presentations of international features and shorts, this year’s Zoom: Family Film Festival covers all ages and tastes. Kicking off at the Wexner Center for the Arts on Friday, November 25, with a finale on Thursday, December 8, the 13th edition of Columbus’ only annual celebration of international family entertainment also offers fun, free activities for adults and children to enjoy together.
Included in the 2016 Zoom lineup are films from Palestine, France, the Philippines, India, Mexico, Russia, Japan and other countries. Among the selections are the first five feature films from comedy legends the Marx Brothers, all presented in 4K digital; The Idol, the new film based on an inspiring true story by Hany Abu-Assad (Omar, Paradise Now) that is Palestine’s submission for this year’s Best Foreign Language Academy Award; Seasons, the latest documentary from the creators of the international hit Winged Migration; multi-award-winning Belgian film Birds of Passage; and the 1975 Disney live-action sci-fi feature Escape to Witch Mountain—with free admission for Wexner Center members as part of Member Appreciation Days. Three shorts programs round out the onscreen entertainment, including a free live action program from the 2016 Children’s Film Festival Seattle on Saturday, December 3.
The full schedule of free activities on December 3 also features the annual Cereal and Pajama Party, an Ice Cream Social with free ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, hands-on crafts and activities including jewelry making with Columbus artist Corby Beller, and short, family-friendly gallery tours of the Wexner Center’s current exhibition, Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957.
Jean Pitman, Zoom co-organizer and Wexner Center educator for youth programs, says, “Zoom is an annual local family art event that I cherish; I love to see families coming together to watch thought-provoking films they could not watch together anywhere else! I love overhearing the conversations sprouting as folks are walking out of the theater. Add free Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and the Heirloom Café Saturday morning cereal bar, and it’s the perfect winter holiday event.”
“We’re proud to be back for a 13th year with such a strong program,” says Chris Stults, associate curator of Film/Video and Zoom co-organizer. “Introducing a new generation to the insane genius of the Marx Brothers is a real thrill, but we also love the opportunity to open windows to different cultures and perspectives. When children watch movies made for them from around the globe, they recognize the shared experiences that connect us all.”
Reduced admission will be offered for Zoom screenings, with single tickets priced at just $4, or $3 for Wexner Center members (except where otherwise noted). A bulk purchase of six screening tickets is further discounted to $20 for the public and $15 for members. Tickets are available at wexarts.org or by calling (614) 292-3535. A ticket to any Zoom screening can also be used for free, same-day admission to the center’s galleries. Exhibition entry is always free for students with ID and those under age 18.
Parents who have questions about the films and their content can contact Jean Pitman at (614) 292-4614 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Teachers interested in bringing a class to a Zoom film can call (614) 292-6493 or email email@example.com. Complete film descriptions are available at wexarts.org/zoom.
The full Zoom schedule is below. Go to wexarts.org/zoom for descriptions and complete shorts program listings.
All screenings take place in the Wexner Center Film/Video Theater
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25
Zoom kickoff! Marx Brothers x 5
(Norman Z. McLeod, 1932) | 1 PM
(Norman Z. McLeod, 1931) | 2:20 PM
Ages 8 and up
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1
(Hany Abu-Assad, 2015, Palestine) | 7 PM
Ages 9 and up
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2
(Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, 2016, France) | 7 PM
Ages 5 and up
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3
Kid Flix Mix
Ages 4 and up `
Escape to Witch Mountain
(John Hough, 1975, United States) | 2 PM
Ages 7 and up
Free for Wexner Center members
See the World, Feed Your Mind: Live Action Shorts
Ages 6 and up
Free for all audiences
Marx Brothers x 5: Duck Soup
(Leo McCarey, 1933) | 7 PM
Ages 8 and up
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4
See the World, Feed Your Mind: Animated Shorts
Ages 4 and up
Birds of Passage
(Olivier Ringer, 2015, Belgium) | 3 PM
Ages 8 and up
(Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, 2016, France) | NOON
Encore screening; Ages 5 and up
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8
Marx Brothers x 5
(Victor Heerman, 1930) | 7 PM
(Robert Florey and Joseph Santley, 1929) | 8:45 PM
Ages 8 and up
FREE FAMILY ACTIVITIES ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4
All families are welcome to check out these events during the festival, free of charge.
Cereal and Pajama Party
Wexner Center Café | 9–10 AM
Hands-on Crafts and Activities
Mershon Auditorium lobby | 11 AM–4 PM
Family Gallery Tours of Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957
Meet at the gallery entrance | 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, 3:30 PM
Ice Cream Social with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Mershon Auditorium lobby | 2:30–4 PM
(Image from "Mo's Bows", from "See the World, Feed Your Mind: Live Action Shorts", courtesy of Northwest Film Forum)