Columbus, Ohio—The Wex’s Zoom: Family Film Festival celebrates a decade of screening terrific all-ages films at incredibly affordable prices—and hosting free family-friendly activities—with four days of movies and more December 5–8, 2013 (plus a bonus Stooge-a-thon “warm up” on November 29).
This year’s extended weekend of movies for families and film fans includes a special program featuring short films by two of the greatest screen comedians ever, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton; an in-person screening and appearance from PES (aka Adam Pesapane), whose 95-second-long Fresh Guacamole was the shortest film ever nominated for an Academy Award; and Mondo, which first screened during Zoom in 2005 and remains one of the festival’s most memorable films (and shows this year for free).
In addition to the screenings, on Saturday, kids and families can visit the café for a free Saturday Morning Cereal and Pajama Party hosted by Heirloom and the Mershon Auditorium Lobby for a free ice cream social featuring Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in the afternoon. The day also includes hands-on activities and docent-led tours of the exhibition Blues for Smoke at 1:30 and 3:30 pm, all at no charge.
Zoom co-organizer Chris Stults, associate curator of film/video notes, “Since its start, Zoom has offered families and filmgoers acclaimed movies of all sorts, from live action to animation, from fiction to documentary, from contemporary works to shorts. While they’re quite different in many respects, they share a commitment to quality and are true alternatives to standard cineplex fare, and we hope families come out to enjoy these works, few of which they could see anywhere else.”
Jean Pitman, co-organizer of the event and the Wexner Center’s educator for youth programs, adds, “In its 10 years, Zoom has made itself a destination for families in search of fun, educational activities. It’s an inexpensive way for families to spend an afternoon—or all four days—with one another, enjoying hands-on activities, free exhibition tours, and a thoughtfully selected lineup of films.”
Parents can contact the Wexner Center education department to discuss any films by calling (614) 292-6493 or emailing email@example.com.
Friday, November 29 (Zoom Warm-Up)
1 pm | Ages 4 and up
Avoid the Black Friday blues with this program of shorts by the slap-happiest team in movie history—the Three Stooges. Includes Three Little Pigskins (1934), False Alarms (1936), From Nurse to Worse (1940), Even as IOU (1942), and Busy Buddies (1944). (app. 85 mins., 35mm)
Thursday, December 5
Silent Comedy Shorts and Cartoons
7 pm | Ages 7 and up
This special evening of silent films delivers laughs at sea from two of the greatest screen comedians ever—Charlie Chaplin, in a new restoration of The Immigrant (1917), and Buster Keaton, in The Love Nest (1923)—plus delightful magic trick films by Georges Méliès and the cartoon antics of Koko the Clown. (app. 70 mins., HD video)
Friday, December 6
An Evening with PES
7 pm | Ages 8 and up
$7 children, members, students, seniors
$9 general public
With his stop-motion animations made from household objects, PES (aka Adam Pesapane) makes the world around us feel like a place full of possibility and play. The artist and filmmaker visits to share many of his inventive short films and commercials (including the Academy Award–nominated Fresh Guacamole) and to talk about his creative process. (app. 80 mins., video)
Saturday, December 7
Kid Flix Mix
10 am | All ages
This lively, perennially crowd-pleasing program brings together animated shorts from the New York International Children’s Film Festival, including an animated poem about Dia de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead, Mexico’s holiday celebrating departed family) and several new Notebook Babies, an ongoing series of brief, quirky educational animations by artist/teacher Tony Dusko. (app. 70 mins., video)
Free for Wexner Center Members
A Letter to Momo (Hiroyuki Okiura, 2012, Japan)
11:30 am | Ages 10 and up
In this celebrated animated film from Japan, the only thing Momo has to remember her father by is an incomplete letter. Moving with her mother from Tokyo to a remote island, she discovers goblins living in her attic. While given to hilarious antics, the trio of spirit creatures assigned to watch over her may hold the key to helping Momo understand just what her father wanted to tell her. In Japanese with English subtitles. (120 mins., video)
International Shorts from Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum
2 pm | Ages 7 and up
This captivating program of short films featured in the 2013 Children’s Film Festival Seattle features children determined to live life to the fullest despite seemingly daunting obstacles, includng a Back to the Future–obsessed girl who sets out to make a hoverboard, a young Jewish boy determined to become a champion break dancer, and others just as adventurous. With films from the US, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, and Iceland. (67 mins., video)
4 pm | Ages 8 and up
This program of funny, thought-provoking, and visually stunning short films features some of the best selections for older kids from this past year’s New York International Children’s Film Festival. Some of the highlights include the entertaining animated film Snack Attack, where an old lady and a teenage boy “share” a box of cookies, and The Vacuum Kid, a delightful documentary about a 12-year-old who loves vacuum cleaners. (app. 70 mins., video)
Ernest & Célestine (Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, 2012, France/Belgium)
7 pm | Ages 8 and up
Little mice are taught to be afraid of bears, but the shabby Ernest proves to be the best friend the open-minded mouse Célestine could dream of. The film’s beautiful watercolor style makes Ernest & Celestine stand out in a world of cookie-cutter 3D animations and so does its poignant story. A favorite with audiences around the world and the latest from the animators of A Town Called Panic, a hit at Zoom in 2009. Dubbed into English. (79 mins., video)
Sunday, December 8
Mondo (Tony Gatlif, 1996, France)
1 pm | Ages 10 and up
For our 10th anniversary, we’re bringing back one of Zoom ’s most memorable films. A curious boy, Mondo appears one day on the streets of Nice, France. Homeless in a paradise of sun and sea, and with an innocence that is contagious, he befriends others on the margins of society, bringing out the best in them. Director Tony Gatlif’s poetic filmmaking endows Mondo with the same wide-eyed sense of wonder as its title character—you’ll leave seeing the world around you in a whole new way.
In French with English subtitles. Feelings of grief over the death of a friend are dramatized, and the death of the main character is indirectly inferred. Brief natural nudity. (80 mins., 35mm)
Free Family Activities
Zoom weekend is also Member Appreciation Days weekend at the Wex. Members receive and free admission to A Letter to Momo (part of Zoom), added discounts in the Wexner Center Store, free gift wrap service, and light refreshments from Heirloom, which will be open from 9 am–4 pm. All families are welcome to check out these events during the festival, free of charge.
Saturday Morning Cereal and Pajama Party
December 7, 9–10 am in the café
Kids can start the weekend by staying in their PJs and heading off to Zoom for free cereal from the Heirloom café before watching Saturday cartoons on the big screen.
Hands-on Crafts and Activities for Everyone
December 7, 11 am–4 pm in the Mershon Auditorium Lobby
This year’s creative fun features a variety of crafting activities for various ages including making buttons, coloring pages, and much more.
Ice Cream Social
December 7, 1:30–3 pm in the Mershon Auditorium Lobby
Families can enjoy an assortment of flavors from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.