CHIFF 2018

Dream, learn and giggle at the Children's International Film Festival (CHIFF) — a brand new, unique Australian film festival with premiere international content especially curated for our youngest film buffs! From intrepid adventures and precious friendships, to giraffes and penguins and giant pears, our curated selection of cinema has something to delight and entertain film-lovers of all ages.

“Jacquet’s slow-motion imagery captures the innate elegance of his subjects, especially during striking underwater sequences” — Variety

Twelve years after its first big splash, March of the Penguins returns in grand form with a delightful dive back into the icy Antarctic waters.
The emperor penguins’ arduous journey is even more urgent in the face of climate change, and more impressive, featuring awe-inspiring imagery made possible by cutting-edge 4K cinematography and underwater camerawork.

Sometimes fuzzy, sometimes sleek, but always devoted, this new generation of black-and-white heroes is ready to heed nature's call to traverse sea and land to ensure the survival of their species.
Cast
Lambert Wilson, Thomas Acda, Sofie Gråbøl
Director
Luc Jacquet
Classification
E, 77 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Some predator-prey violence in nature.
Genre
Documentary
Running Time
77 minutes
“An infectious, emotionally honest film… I found myself engrossed from beginning to end, unable to turn away from their challenges and celebrating their triumphs. I laughed. I cried. I swayed to their music.” — The Independent Critic

An inspiring and uplifting documentary, Purple Dreams follows six disadvantaged high school students on a powerful journey of transformation.
Purple Dreams gives unique access into the lives of these inner-city, at-risk students from Charlotte's Northwest School of the Arts in North Carolina over the course of three years. Talented and driven, the students pursue their passion for musical theatre, triumphantly auditioning, rehearsing, and performing the first ever full-length high school production of Alice Walker's The Color Purple.

Director
Joanne Hock
Classification
E, 72 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Themes of poverty, including homelessness and gang-related violence.
Genre
Kids
Running Time
72 minutes
“To be enjoyed by those well beyond its target audience... it’s a rare treat to unearth such an earnest little film.” — Little White Lies

The forest’s police chief Gordon is about to retire and he needs to find a new assistant. Paddy, a clever mouse with a great sense of smell, seems to be the perfect candidate. Gordon trains Paddy in detective skills, then together they must solve the chief’s last case – the mystery of Squirrel’s missing nuts. Could it be the sinister fox that took them? Gordon and Paddy will soon uncover the truth in this enchanting animation about teamwork and creative thinking.

Please note that an actor will read out the English subtitles for younger audience members during all sessions.
Director
Linda Hamback
Classification
E, 62 mins
Genre
Animation, Kids , Mystery
Running Time
62 minutes
"Young audiences looking for some globe-trotting adventure to the top of the world need look no further... Kids are going to love this lighthearted animated tale.” — thestar.com

Quebec City, 1955. Nelly Maloye is a young apprentice detective, intuitive but disorganised. Simon Picard is an ambitious research assistant in anthropology at the local university, with a methodical and obsessive personality. Somehow their paths cross, and the duo sets off on a wild adventure to prove the existence of the Abominable Snowman. Simon is relying on a lost explorer’s coded diary to lead them to the mythic creature’s lair. Accompanying the two explorers are Tenzig Gombu, an enigmatic young Sherpa guide, and Jazzmin, a talkative mynah bird. The ragtag crew must confront a host of dangers in the heart of the Himalayas on their search for that legendary beast: the Yeti.
Cast
Sylvie Moreau, Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge, Rachid Badouri
Director
Pierre Greco and Nancy Florence Savard
Classification
E, 80 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Some supernatural themes.
Genre
Adventure, Animation, Comedy
Running Time
80 minutes
Screening
Sat 28 Apr 1:50 PM
“A love letter to the power of escapism, a devastating portrayal of grief and a Kenyan family drama that defies stereotypes, Supa Modo serves as an important reminder that even when heroes die, they can continue to inspire others long after they’re gone.” — Little White Lies

Jo, a witty 9 year-old girl, loves films and superheroes. Battling a terminal illness, she dreams of being a superhero, and inspires the other kids in the children’s hospital to act out scenes from action films. One day, her mother Kathryn takes Jo back to her rural village to spend the rest of her short life with her family. Against all odds and battling the time left her, the whole village takes it upon themselves to make Jo’s last wish a reality: to make a film and star in it.

Supa Modo is a deeply moving observation of the comforting nature of imagination in the face of the finiteness of life, directed by Kenyan filmmaker Likarion Wainaina.
Director
Likarion Wainaina
Classification
E, 77 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Reference to ghosts, limited instances of inappropriate greetings from a group of adult males toward a female teenager, acknowledgment of terminal disease and death.
Genre
Festivals, Foreign, Kids
Running Time
77 minutes
Screening
Sat 28 Apr 3:40 PM
Timm Thaler comes from a disadvantaged background, but he laughs a lot, and often. His laughter is so charming and contagious that the diabolical Baron Lefuet wants, at all costs, to have it for himself. And so the world's richest man makes the boy a dubious offer: if Timm agrees to sell him his laugh, he'll win every bet he ever makes in the future. After hesitating at first, Timm signs the contract. Though he can now seemingly fulfill his every wish, without his laugh he is a different person. It’s up to Timm’s friends Ida and Kreschimir to rescue him from the clutches of the baron and, through a clever trick, win back his inimitable laugh.
Director
Andreas Dresen
Classification
E, 102 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Themes of gambling, menacing characters.
Genre
Festivals, Foreign, Kids
Running Time
102 minutes
“A striking coming-of-age movie that blends magical realism with heartbreaking drama.” — Screen Rant

Based on the acclaimed graphic novel, I Kill Giants tells the story of Barbara Thorson, a teenage girl who chooses to escape the realities of school and a drab family life by retreating into her magical world of Titans and Giants. With the help of her new friend Sophia and her school therapist (Zoe Saldana), Barbara will learn to battle her Giants and face her fears – tackling the mean bullies at school, her sister (Imogen Poots), her difficult home life, and eventually her biggest dread of the unknown.
Charming and exciting, this coming-of-age tale celebrates the power of imagination in the face of adversity.
Director
Anders Walter
Classification
E, 104 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Violence and supernatural themes, animated monsters.
Genre
Coming-of-age , Drama
Running Time
104 minutes
The Boxcar Children are back in this new animation based on the second book in the classic series. The Alden kids have settled in with their eccentric grandfather and, when he suggests that they spend the summer on an island, they jump at the idea! Upon arriving, they decide to use their imaginations to transform an abandoned barn into a place that feels just like home. Each day they tend to the garden garden, play in the water, and generally enjoy a relaxing summer until they discover that Joe, the island handyman, is keeping a secret. With surprises around every corner the Aldens must stay on their toes, in this exciting follow-up about family and acceptance.
Cast
Dane DeHaan, Joey King, J.K. Simmons, Martin Sheen, Griffin Gluck, Talitha Bateman, Carter Sand
Classification
E, 82 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Mild animated violence and themes.
Genre
Adventure, Animation
Running Time
82 minutes
12-year-old Wendy is not thrilled when her parents decide to spend the whole summer vacation at her grandmother’s dilapidated equestrian farm. Formerly a successful rider, Wendy has refused to get back on any horses after a serious riding accident left her injured and traumatised. At the farm, Wendy meets a wounded horse named Dixie, who narrowly escaped a grisly fate at the butcher Röttgers. Dixie seems to seek Wendy's company and follows her every step. Between the two loners, a friendship blooms that will change both Wendy’s and Dixie’s lives forever.
Director
Dagmar Seume
Classification
E, 87 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Bullies use cruel words twice, a teenage boy gets drunk, and there are sequences of mild danger and a girl falling off a horse.
Genre
Family, Festivals, Kids
Running Time
87 minutes

Dhh

"Heartwarming and stirring in its tone, uplifting, encouraging, and highly relevant with its message, and simply excellent in its overall execution.” — One Film Fan

Three best friends Gungun, Bajrang, and Vakil prefer to spend their time in school cracking jokes rather than focusing on their studies. One afternoon, the boys skip school to go and see a magician performing in a nearby town. With midterms around the corner, the boys write to the magician asking him for a trick to ace their exams. Days go by and times get tougher with punishments at school and warnings at home. All hope is lost, until one day, the magician replies! His letter arrives with a parcel that claims to hold the key to cracking their exams. Will the magic work?

Dhh is a clever story about perseverance and challenging oneself to exceed expectations.
Director
Manish Saini
Classification
E, 128 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Limited instances of strong language, protagonists are hit by teacher, boy seen urinating in a field from behind.
Genre
Fantasy, Kids
Running Time
128 minutes
Screening
Sun 29 Apr 4:20 PM
"The songs and set pieces are still fresh and infectious and most of the child cast are mesmerisingly good. I defy anyone not to be caught up in the charm and nostalgia." — Empire

Alan Parker’s classic musical set in 1929 New York tells the story of one of the most notorious American gangsters—with a cast made up entirely of child actors! The story centres around a war raging between two rival gangsters, Fat Sam and Dandy Dan. Dan is in possession of a new and deadly weapon, the dreaded ‘splurge gun’. As the custard pies fly, Bugsy Malone, an all-round nice guy falls for Blousey Brown, a singer at Fat Sam’s speakeasy. His designs on her are disrupted by the seductive songstress Tallulah, who wants Bugsy for herself. How is Bugsy to get the girl and help Fat Sam defend his business against the deadly Dan and his dastardly tricks?
Cast
Scott Baio, Jodie Foster, Florrie Dugger, John Cassisi, Martin Lev
Director
Alan Parker
Classification
E, 93 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Some violence with conseqence, as well as sexualisation of female characters
Genre
Crime, Musical
Running Time
93 minutes
Screening
Sun 29 Apr 6:25 PM
"My hope is to encourage children to believe in themself, to dare live their 'wild' self – something every child should get the chance to discover." – Director Meikeminne Clinckspoor

Niilas has spent most of his 12 years with his father in Belgium, now, against his will, he must spend the summer with his long lost mother and her new family in rural northern Sweden, where they live among the indigenous Sami people as reindeer herders. Uncomfortable around the reindeer and his new stepfamily, Niilas retreats inwards.

When a reindeer under his care goes missing, he must search for it with the help of his step-siblings Niilas soon experiences an adventure through the wilderness that will change his life.

Set in the majestic countryside of Lapland, “Cloudboy” explores the delicate balance that can be achieved between humans, animals, and the environment when proper respect and care are taken.
Director
Mekeminne Clinckspoor
Classification
E, 78 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Deals with issues of divorce and attachment, scenes with animals being herded and sequences of slight danger.
Genre
Adventure, Coming-of-age
Running Time
78 minutes

Zoo

In Ireland during World War II a group of determined youngsters band together for a cause bigger—much bigger—than themselves. When Tom’s father, a veterinarian for the Belfast Zoo, is called away to war, Tom feels it’s his duty to ensure the well-being of the animals, including its newest addition, a baby elephant. But the impending German air raids and short-sighted decisions of the Zoo staff threaten to endanger the animals, and Tom must act quickly to ensure the survival of the Zoo’s inhabitants. A tale of family, friendship, and empathy inspired by true life.
Director
Colin McIvor
Classification
E, 96 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Man is referred to as drunk, soldiers seen with large guns, implied killing of animals, gas masks shown during school drill, dead rabbit shown on screen, some strong language.
Genre
Family, Festivals, Kids
Running Time
96 minutes
Screening
Sat 5 May 10:30 AM
“Bright, bouncy and busy from start to finish... a likeable, broadly amusing and engaging adventure that also doubles as an ode to loyalty and ingenuity.” — Screen Daily

Life passes by peacefully in Sunnytown until one day when Mitcho and Sebastian find a bottle washed up by the harbour. Inside it is a message from the missing Mayor of Sunnytown, who vanished without a trace, and a seed that grows into a giant pear overnight. The pear turns into a sailboat, and soon the anxious Sebastian and hydrophobic Mitcho find themselves in the middle of the ocean with a mad professor. The trio embarks on a great journey to save the Mayor and bring him home.

This fast-paced, magical animation is based on the picture book by Jakob Martin Strid.
Cast
Alfred Bjerre Larsen, Liva Elvira Magnussen, Peter Frödin
Director
Philip Einstein Lipski, Jørgen Lerdam, Amalie Næsby Fick
Classification
E, 80 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Fantastical themes, dangerous waves and storm, animated monsters.
Genre
Animation
Running Time
80 minutes
Screening
Sat 5 May 12:20 PM
Patterson is a small boy with a big best friend: Raf the giraffe. They were born on the same day, live next door to each other, and are inseparable. When they reach school age, they are both very excited. However, they soon find out that animals aren’t allowed to come to school. Patterson gradually learns to enjoy school and even makes a new friend. But Raf feels left out. That’s when Patterson comes up with a brilliant plan to bring his giraffe to school and enjoy the company of both his best friends!

Inspired by one of Holland’s most beloved nursery rhymes, My Giraffe is an imaginative story about value and flux in an unusual friendship.

Please note that an actor will read out the English subtitles for younger audience members during all sessions.
Cast
Liam de Vries, Martijn Fischer, Dolores Leeuwin
Director
Barbara Bredero
Classification
E, 75 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Themes of loneliness, mild slapstick violence.
Genre
Family
Running Time
75 minutes
Screening
Sun 6 May 10:30 AM
A remastered version of the 2001 Finish claymation series "Turilas & Jääräa". Tootletubs & Jyro is a warm and playful series about two eccentric bugs who meet, become friends and go on odd adventures while searching for food. Jyro is a witty inventor and Tootletubs is an easy-going gourmet, and together they love to find new ways to use objects abandoned by human beings. The message of the shows: respect your environment and fellow creatures.
Director
Ismo Virtanen and Mariko Härkönen
Classification
E, 65 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Mild Slapstick Violence
Genre
Festivals, Foreign, Kids
Running Time
65 minutes
Screening
Sun 6 May 12:05 PM
The Little Witch has a big problem: she is only 127 years old. That makes her too young to dance with the other witches at the most important event in a witch’s annual social calendar: Walpurgis Night. So, she decides she’ll just sneak in! But of course, she gets caught. As punishment, she has to learn all the spells from the great magic book within a year and prove to everyone that she is a good witch. Unfortunately, concentration and ambition are not really her strengths. Together with her talking raven, Abraxas, the Little Witch sets off to discover what it really means to be a good witch—putting the entire witches’ world to the test in the process.
Cast
Karoline Herfurth, Axel Prahl, Luis Vorbach
Director
Michael Schaerer
Classification
E, 103 mins
Consumer Advice
Parental Guidance: Fantastical themes, magic, acknowledgment of evil.
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Family
Running Time
103 minutes
Screening
Sun 6 May 2:15 PM
The border that divides storybooks from everyday life dissolves in Colombian writer-director Marcela Rincón González’s marvellous animated adventure about a very special girl trying to find her way home.

Lila is a character from a children’s book who suddenly finds herself caught in the world of her readers. The only person who can help Lila return to her rightful place is Ramón, the book’s owner, but he’s grown up now, and has lost interest in reading. Lila and her new pal Manuela are determined to convince Ramón of Lila’s plight, but in order to retrieve Lila’s book they must first travel across the treacherous Desert of Lost Memories.

Lila’s Book is a tale of faith, memory and mystery, moving between worlds to discover the beauty of friendship and the comforts of coming home.

Please note that an actor will read out the English subtitles for younger audience members during all sessions.
Cast
Leonor González Mina, Jorge Herrera
Director
Marcela Rincón González
Classification
E, 76 mins
Consumer Advice
Contains a mildly depicted death of a mother, fairytale style villainous characters, scary birds and dramatically menacing music.
Genre
Adventure, Animation, Fantasy
Running Time
76 minutes
Screening
Sun 6 May 6:00 PM
“You really won’t find a more enjoyable, absurd or well put together twenty-five minutes in many other places.” — Den of Geek

When the Twist kids – Pete, Linda and Bronson – and their Dad leave the city for a quiet life in the coastal town of Port Niranda, they get more than they bargained for. The lighthouse they move into is haunted, and Port Niranda is a town where the weird and unexpected regularly occurs.

CHIFF presents three classic episodes:

Lucky Lips
Pete becomes irresistible to women with the help of some magic lipstick.

The Copy
The Twist children discover a cloning machine, yielding some potentially dangerous results.

Little Squirt
The villainous Mr Gribble plans to build an aquatic wonderworld on a beautiful stretch of the coastline, but is challenged by a ‘water spirit’.
Director
Esben Storm
Classification
E, 72 mins
Genre
Festivals, Kids
Running Time
72 minutes