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23 Mar, Thursday
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Montreal Families

Festival highlights children’s films from around the world

The 26th edition of the Festival international du film pour enfants de Montréal (FIFEM) runs this year from February 25 to March 5, 2023, just in time for some spring break entertainment.

Founded in 1998, the festival celebrates the world’s best in children’s cinema and is dedicated to films for young audiences. For nine days, diverse programming will include features and short films, animated films, and documentaries — some premiering for the first time. The films presented come from around the globe, including Germany, France, Ukraine, Norway and Peru. In total, more than 45 films will be shown in theatres, mainly at Cinéma Beaubien, as well as more than 55 films online on the festival platform fifem.com.

A spotlight on Quebec film

Three feature films from local filmmakers are part of the festival’s program this year. Coco Ferme, directed by Sébastien Gagné will have its world premiere during the opening ceremony at the Imperial Cinema. Jules au pays d’Asha, about a young boy and his voyage through the forest, will also be shown for the first time. And the charming, animated film Katak, le brave béluga will be presented at Cinéma Beaubien. In addition, seven movies and 13 short films from Quebec will be offered free online to allow families to discover the features being made in the province.

Nineteen feature films to discover in theatres and online

This year, the festival is showcasing 19 feature films from France, Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium, Ukraine and Quebec. Eight of these will be accessible in theatres, including the Canadian premiere of Être prof (France), a film tribute to women teachers and the power of the bond that unites them with their students. There is also the North American premiere of L’affaire Tesla (Bulgaria), which follows Tony, a budding young “inventor”, who is convinced that his discovery will solve the global energy crisis.

Online, viewers can watch Les nouvelles aventures de Gulliver (Ukraine), by Ilya Maksimov, and Timescape (Canada), an adventure film where two young strangers discover a mysterious spaceship that catapults them millions of years into the past.

The online program is accessible throughout the festival period, from February 25 to March 5.

Mini cinephile program

FIFEM will also be offering a selection of films for viewers as young as 3. Screening at Cinéma Beaubien, the program offers the feature film Yuku et la fleur de l’Himalaya, a colourful musical story of a little mouse who decides to embark on a quest to find the legendary Himalayan flower. There is also a compilation of eight short films, starting with the story of Guiseppe the little hedgehog who dreams of seeing snow. Stick around to meet his friends the little bear who loves honey, the squirrel who looks for nuts and the pilfering rabbit, through a journey of short films from France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Latvia.

Enjoy family films at the NFB during Spring Break

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and FIFEM have come together to present a program of films for the whole family. On the afternoons of March 1 and 2 during the school break, viewers of all ages can enjoy a carefully curated selection of colourful and fun short films at the NFB’s Alanis Obomsawin Theatre — no reservations needed.

To see the schedule of films, visit fifem.com/projection-speciale-onf/

Jury and prizes

Valérie Roberts, cultural columnist and host of numerous television and radio programs for the past 17 years is this year’s spokesperson. With three children between the ages of 1 and 13, Roberts knows all about films aimed at young audiences and in 2020, she released her first book La blonde de papa.

The jury who will be judging and selecting category winners include Jessica Barker in the head role, as well as Michael Harbauer (Germany), Hélène Singer (New Caledonia) and Andrey Hadjivasilev (Bulgaria). FIFEM has also set up a Children’s Jury made up of five young film lovers aged between 11 and 12 who will participate in the selection of the winners. Prizes include the Grand Prix de Montréal, awarded to the best feature film in the competition, the prize for the best short film, as well as the UDA Interpretation Prize for the best actor in a Quebec film. The Audience Prize will also be awarded to the film that receives the most votes from the public among all the feature films.

FIFEM takes place from February 25 to March 5, 2023


In theatre: Purchase a family passport is $100 which gives you access to 10 tickets or buy individual tickets for $12.
Online movies: A passport is $65 and gives you access to all of the films for the duration of the festival. One-time viewing is $12.

For more information, the full schedule, and to purchase tickets visit www.fifem.com

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