Wexner International Center Presents Children’s Second Film Annual Festival Columbus in December

Thu, Nov 10, 2005

Four-Day Film Festival Includes Acclaimed Movies, Live Music, Visiting Filmmakers, Children’s Activities, and More

Featuring four days of critically acclaimed global films for families, the Wexner Center‘s second annual Columbus International Children’s Film Festival will be held December 1–4. This festival, the largest of its kind in Columbus, is organized by the Wexner Center and will be held in the newly remodeled Wexner Center Film/Video Theater, with children’s activities in other parts of the building as well. With films made or set in such countries as Kenya, France, Finland, Canada, and other locales, the festival includes the local premiere of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (introduced by the filmmakers, who made the movie when they were boys); the classic silent film version of Peter Pan, featuring live music; Genesis, a new documentary from France, from the makers of Microcosmos; the documentary Jambo Kenya!; and more. A discussion guide for families will be distributed at the festival.

“After last year’s enormously successful festival, it’s a pleasure to once again offer such a wide array of films to families in the area,” says Chris Stults, co-organizer of the festival and an assistant curator in Wexner Center’s Film/Video department. “We see this event as an opportunity for children to view films they may not otherwise have the chance to see.”

Shelly Casto, co-organizer of the event and Wexner Center Education Director, says, “This festival is a fabulous educational experience for children. We hope these films will spark their interest in other cultures and languages.”

In between films on Saturday and Sunday, families can take part in free art projects or join a tour of the Wexner Center’s current exhibition, Part Object Part Sculpture (tours held Saturday at 1:15 pm and Sunday at 2:45 pm). All weekend long, videos created by young people will screen in The Box, the Wexner Center’s video screening space located in the lower lobby; and the café will be serving family-friendly snacks. Visitors can also browse the children’s section of the Wexner Center Store.

TICKETS and VISITOR INFORMATION: Tickets for each individual film are $3 for the general public and $2 for members. Packages of any six tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for members. The Wexner Center is located at 1871 N. High St. at 15th Ave. at The Ohio State University; the public can call 614 292-3535 or stop into the Wexner Center for advance tickets.

The Columbus International Children’s Film Festival is presented by Fifth Third Foundation.

THE SCHEDULE: Age ranges listed are recommendations only.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 / 7 pm Genesis (Claude Nuridsany, Marie Pérennou, France, 2004)

Age recommendation: 8 and up.


Six years in the making, this astonishingly beautiful new film from the directors of Microcosmos (80 mins.) offers an ultra-close view of the mysteries of the universe and the cycle of life. The stars are the wondrous array of animals filmed in eye-popping detail.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2 / 7 pm Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (Eric Zala, USA, 1982–89)

Age recommendation: 10 and up

Introduced by the film’s director, Eric Zala, and star, Chris Strompolos.

In 1982, three pre-teen boys from the Mississippi Gulf Coast began filming Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (100 mins.), a shot-for-shot remake of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. Over the course of the next seven years the project unfolded and also recorded their transition into teenagers. The result is a film as exciting and inventive as the original, with an even higher “how’d-they-do-that” factor.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 10:30 am: The Red Balloon (Albert Lamorisse, France, 1956), preceded by Lamorisse’s Bim the Little Donkey (1950)

Age recommendation: 4 and up

Free screening; tickets required (can be picked up day of screening)

The largely wordless short The Red Balloon (34 mins.) tells the touching tale of a lonely boy befriended by a big red balloon. This Cannes Film Festival grand prize winner has struck a deep chord for decades. Bim the Little Donkey (30 mins.) is a less-known film by the same director.

12 noon: Pelicanman (Liisa Helminen, Finland, 2004)

Age recommendation: 6 and up

Subtitles read aloud in English in the theater

Pelicanman (89 mins.) tells the story of 10-year-old Emil and his adventures with a pelican who dresses and acts as a human, gets a job, moves into an apartment, and learns to read. The Pelicanman’s slapstick antics provide companionship to Emil as he adjusts to his parent’s separation.

2 pm: Mondo (Tony Gatlif, France, 1996)

Age recommendation: 8 and up

Subtitles read aloud in English in the theater In Mondo (80 mins.), a curious Gypsy boy appears on the streets of Nice, France. Homeless, he hides from the police and charms strangers, bringing out the best in those living on the margins. Tony Gatlif’s poetic filmmaking allows the audience to share the character’s wide-eyed sense of wonder.

4 pm: Jambo Kenya! (Lalita Krishna, Canada, 2005)

Age recommendation: 8 and up

The inspiring documentary Jambo Kenya! (58 mins.) follows the experience of a group of Canadian teenagers as they travel to Kenya, build a new school, and learn much about poverty, cultural difference, and their own potential to enact change.

7 pm: The Secret of Roan Inish (John Sayles, USA, 1995)

Age recommendation: 9 and up

Acclaimed filmmaker John Sayles’ The Secret of Roan Inish (103 mins.) tells the story of Fiona, a young girl sent to live with her fisherfolk grandparents on Ireland’s gorgeous West Coast, as it intertwines with the myth of the selkie, a mythical creature that swims as a seal but becomes human on land.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 / 1 pm Peter Pan (Herbert Brenon, USA, 1924)

Live musical accompaniment by Larry Marotta

Age recommendation: 6 and up

Intertitles will be read aloud in the theater

Starring Betty Bronson as the mischievous Peter, this silent fantasy (102 mins.) offers contemporary audiences a fresh appreciation of the themes of lost innocence so famously explored in J. M. Barrie’s play. Costars are Ernest Torrence as an extravagantly emotional Captain Hook and Anna May Wong as Princess Tiger Lily.


The Columbus International Children’s Film Festival is presented by Fifth Third Foundation.

Major support for film/video season generously provided by Abercrombie & Fitch.

Promotional support for reopening events provided by The Columbus Dispatch, Time Warner Cable, WBNS 10TV, NPR 820 WOSU-AM, and Classical 89.7 WOSU-FM.

Significant contributions made by the Rohauer Collection Foundation.

Additional funding provided by the Corporate Annual Fund of the Wexner Center Foundation and Wexner Center members.


The Wexner Center for the Arts is The Ohio State University’s multidisciplinary, international laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. Through exhibitions, screenings, performances, artist residencies, and educational programs, the Wexner Center acts as a forum where established and emerging artists can test ideas and where diverse audiences can participate in cultural experiences that enhance understanding of the art of our time. In its programs, the Wexner Center balances a commitment to experimentation with a commitment to traditions of innovation and affirms the university’s mission of education, research, and community service.