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LONG TAKES - Friday, April 16th, 2021

Get back into the Festival spirit with a family viewing experience of our favorite Oc Doc, My Octopus Teacher, by pairing the stunning underwater exploration with 6 pages of beautiful illustrations. Part nature doc, part unlikely-friendship story, My Octopus Teacher follows diver Craig Foster as he develops an unusual bond with a Common Octopus. Deeply moving, this film has already won a slew of awards—and our hearts. Download the coloring book here.

My Octopus Teacher

South Africa, In English
Documentary, Live Action, Pippa Ehrlich & James Reed, 2020, 85 min.

Recommended ages: 5+

For nearly a decade, Craig went diving daily in the icy cold waters, ditching wetsuit and scuba rig in one of the most predator dense places on earth. The octopus he met and tracked became first his subject, then his teacher, showing him things no human had ever witnessed.

LONG TAKES - Friday, December 11th, 2020

From the studio that created NYICFF favorites, The Secret of Kells (ages 9+), Song of the Sea (ages 7+), and The Breadwinner (ages 11+) comes the highly anticipated and beautifully illustrated film that’s bursting with adventure, folklore, friendship, and wolves!


Ireland, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, United States, In English
Animation, Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart, 2020, 93 min.

Recommended ages: 8+

WOLFWALKERS Virtual Q&A poster

We’re hosting a special Wolfwalkers Q&A with directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart with guest appearances by the voice cast and more!! We’ll share the link to the interview on December 18th at 5:30 pm EST.
SIGN UP for the Q&A and send your questions to the directors! 

LONG TAKES - Friday, December 4th, 2020

Prepare for the holiday season with Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey a dazzling new film from director David E. Talbert, this action-packed journey will keep you feeling warm and cozy long after the movie ends! Jingle Jangle has a stellar cast and musicians Forest Whittaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Madalen Mills, Ricky Martin, John Legend, and more!

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

United States, In English
Live Action, Musical, David E. Talbert, 2020, 122 min.

Recommended ages: 6+

NYICFF Special Event:
Conversation with JINGLE JANGLE Director

December 11th, 5:30 pm EST

Multifaceted writer, director, and producer David E. Talbert and Producer Lyn Sisson-Talbert will be joining us for a virtual conversation about the holiday film everyone’s been talking about!
Join us for a live discussion to chat about the making of this adventurous film, give us a peek behind the scenes, and answer YOUR questions!

SIGN UP HERE to join us next Friday, December 11th, for this special event!

LONG TAKES - Friday, November 6th, 2020

We are celebrating the premiere of Over the Moon directed by Glen Keane. Fueled with determination and a passion for science, a bright young girl builds a rocket ship to the moon to prove the existence of a legendary Moon Goddess. There she ends up on an unexpected quest and discovers a whimsical land of fantastical creatures. Snuggle up the weekend with an incredible musical adventure!

Over the Moon

China, United States, In English
Animation, Glen Keane, 2020, 100 min.

Recommended ages: 6+

NYICFF Special Event: Conversation with OVER THE MOON Cast & Crew
November 13th, 5:30 pm EST 

Join us for a behind the scenes look at Over the Moon. Animation legend Glen Keane (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) will join us, along with voice actor Cathy Ang and producers Peilin Chou and Gennie Rim, to chat about the making of this beautiful film and answer YOUR questions!

Capacity is limited so SIGN UP for this FREE event today!

SHORT TAKES - Thursday, October 1st, 2020

Filmmakers, producers, distributors, and creators of the world! We want to see your masterpiece! And now you’ve got a little extra time to share it, we’re extending our regular short film submissions deadline to Monday, October 5th!
Submit your film now on FilmFreeway, and while it uploads, watch this week’s Short Take film recommendation: Maestro


France, No dialogue
Animation, Illogic, 2019, 2 min.

Recommended ages: All Ages

Deep into a forest, a gathering of wild animals perform a nocturnal opera, led by a rather squirrely conductor.

SHORT TAKES - Thursday, September 24th, 2020

In honor of this week’s National Voter Registration Day, we are sharing resources for everyone, big AND small, to be a superperson in this year’s election process.

Did you know that in many states you can be a poll worker even if you’re not yet of voting age? (Here in New York state, you can serve if you’re 17 or older!) Check out Poll Hero for more details wherever you may be; they make doing your civic duty fun by offering points and prizes as you get more and more involved!

And for this week’s film rec, we bring you, Superperson by Philip Watts! Because we all need a superperson (or a few, actually) in our lives right now.


Animation, Philip Watts, 2017, 2 min.

Recommended ages: 7+

A citizen needs rescuing. Luckily, there’s a superhero on hand who just needs somewhere to get into costume…

Talking Points: 
– Did anything surprise you about the short film Superperson? If so, why did you find this to be surprising?
– What are some ways that you could be a superperson in your community, even if you don’t have special powers?
– Why do you think the filmmaker might have chosen the title Superperson for this film?

Check out “8 Ways You Can Make a Difference in the Election—Even if You Can’t Vote,” from Common Sense Media!

LONG TAKES - Thursday, September 17th, 2020

We’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a spotlight on Jorge Gutiérrez, NYICFF juror and acclaimed animator! We’ve got recs for kids and grown-ups alike.
For grown-up filmmakers and film fans, join what promises to be a fascinating and lively discussion about creating community and fostering diversity in the animation industry through Friday’s free Netflix panel on Latino Creatives in Animation (Sept 17). Sign up here!
And for kids and families, settle in over the weekend to enjoy Jorge’s 2014 groundbreaking feature film The Book of Life.

The Book of Life

US, In English
Animation, Jorge Gutiérrez, 2014, 95 min.

Recommended ages: 7+

Manolo, torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest challenges.
Plus! Hear Jorge Gutiérrez’s inspiring talk on creativity and the making of the film in this ten-minute Ted Talk titled Every Picture Tells a Story.

Available to rent on Amazon Prime or YouTube.

LONG TAKES - Thursday, September 10th, 2020

We know you’ve been hearing all about the new Mulan remake by director Niki Caro. And we’re here to share the good news that you can stream her classic Girls’ POV film Whale Rider for FREE!
An award-winner that garnered a Best Actress Oscar nomination for young star Keisha Castle-Hughes, Whale Rider is an inspiring and visually stunning film about Maori culture, family, tradition, and both embracing and challenging expectations.

Whale Rider

New Zealand, In English
Girls' POV, Live Action, Niki Caro, 2002, 105 min.

Recommended ages: 11+

Available to stream on Tubi, or to rent on Amazon or iTunes.

In a small village of coastal New Zealand, by tradition only a male heir to the Maori Chief can be named Whale Rider. Pai, at 12 years old, is the only available heir, but the Chief refuses to acknowledge her. Pai must summon both grit and grace in order to claim her destiny.

LONG TAKES - Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

The Fungies! (Series)

US, In English
Series, Stephen P Neary , 2020, 11 min.

Recommended ages: 8+

Series available to stream on HBO Max
In prehistoric Fungietown, elementary school student Seth loves science and sharing his discoveries with all his friends; in his search for the ultimate scientific adventure, Seth often stirs up trouble for Fungietown’s colorful inhabitants.

SHORT TAKES - Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

Often audience members let us know they’d like MORE of favorite films they’ve seen at NYICFF. And we love it when we have news to share that there IS more!
Today’s Short Take, The Fancies, brought big laughs to the Festival screen in 2018. And to the delight of fungi lovers everywhere, it has been expanded into a television series called The Fungies!
And in other news of NYICFF shorts evolving, Comfort Arthur has just released a wonderful book based on her short film Black Barbie (NYICFF 2018) which we highlighted in our newsletter just a few weeks ago!

The Fancies

Animation, Stephen Neary, 2017, 4 min.

Recommended ages: 8+

The Fancies are prehistoric fungi with an ability to “eat” through their feet. They enjoy singing, dancing, and living happily in an isolated place called Fancytown.

Get Creative: Follow Seth’s lead and create a map of your neighborhood or an imaginary neighborhood. Mark the important places and give someone a tour!
Plus! Read an in-depth interview with Stephen Neary about The Fancies and about creating the TV show, The Fungies!

SHORT TAKES - Thursday, August 27th, 2020

We know a lot of folks are out of town. And we know a lot of folks can’t get out of town. And we want you ALL to take this moment to be counted, to stand up for our beloved cities and places across the US to ensure everyone gets the resources they need. So please don’t delay and head to to be counted!
And enjoy these Short Takes with your little ones ONCE you are done!

De La Soul – The Magic Number

De La Soul - The Magic Number

USA, In English
Music Video, De La Soul, 1989, 2 min.

Recommended ages: All Ages

Talking Points: 
– Can you think of any other songs about numbers?
– Listen to the songs again and try to find sets of three and four in your home!
For example, you might have three ripe peaches on your kitchen counter.

Get Creative: Pick a number, any number, and write your own song about it!

Sesame Street: Feist Sings 1,2,3,4

Sesame Street: Feist Sings 1,2,3,4

USA, In English
Music Video, Sesame Street, 2008, 2 min.

Recommended ages: All Ages

Talking Points: 
– Can you think of any other songs about numbers?
– Listen to the songs again and try to find sets of three and four in your home!
For example, you might have three ripe peaches on your kitchen counter.

Get Creative: Pick a number, any number, and write your own song about it!

LONG TAKES - Thursday, August 6th, 2020

We’re rolling out a whole lotta little things that will charm your eyes and hearts this week. For starters, check out the talented Andrea Love and her amazing mini-series, Cooking with Wool. Sweet!
And starting tomorrow, you can catch the new Tiny Creatures on Netflix, a nature doc series where little animals embark on big adventures across the U.S.

Tiny Creatures – Netflix Series

USA, In English
Nature Documentary, Jonathan Jones, 2020, 30 min.

Recommended ages: Rated PG

Little animals embark on big adventures across the U.S. in a dramatic nature series that explores their hidden worlds and epic survival stories.

SHORT TAKES - Thursday, August 6th, 2020

We’re rolling out a whole lotta little things that will charm your eyes and hearts this week. For starters, check out the talented Andrea Love and her amazing mini-series, Cooking with Wool. Sweet!
And starting tomorrow, you can catch the new Tiny Creatures on Netflix, a nature doc series where little animals embark on big adventures across the U.S.

Cooking with Wool: Breakfast

USA, No dialogue
Stop Motion Animation, Andrea Love, 2019, 1 min.

Recommended ages: All Ages

Get Creative: Use clay, paper, felt or other materials to make a tiny version of your kitchen! Take it to the next level and bring your kitchen to life, using this stop motion animation tutorial.

Plus! If you liked Breakfast, you’ll love this classic, Pasta with Red Sauce. And we know you’re going to want dessert so how about some Chocolate Cake? Plus, check out plenty of neat behind-the-scenes shots on Andrea’s Instagram page.

SHORT TAKES - Thursday, July 30th, 2020

Building a Prosthetic Arm With Legos

Andorra, In English
Live Action, Austin Brown, 2018, 3 min.

Recommended ages: 7+

Talking Points
– David Aguilar used a simple tool, Lego, to create something unexpected and amazing. What are some other uses you can think of for some of the toys or objects in your home?
– If you could interview David, what would you like to ask him?
Get Creative: Draw a design for something you’d like to invent out of Lego or other household items.

LONG TAKES - Thursday, July 30th, 2020

We are celebrating abilities of all kinds this week, and recognizing the 30-year-anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, with some superb film recommendations from near and far.

Life, Animated

USA, In English
Live Action, Roger Ross Williams, 2016, 91 min.

Recommended ages: Rated PG

The story of Owen Suskind, a young man who couldn’t speak as a child until he discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing himself in the world of Disney animated films.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime and other rental services

SHORT TAKES - Thursday, July 16th, 2020

Today we are sharing two relatable tales about girls, and not mice, despite what their titles suggest!
I am not a Mouse, for younger viewers outgrowing their cutesy nicknames, and Little Mouse for older ones with a competitive edge.

I Am Not a Mouse

United Kingdom
Animation, Evgenia Golubeva, 2015, 2 min.

Recommended ages: All Ages

Talking Points
  • Why doesn’t Lucy like her nickname? What did you see in the film that makes you think that?
  • Have you ever had a nickname that you didn’t like? What did you do about it?
Get Creative: Think of a nickname for someone in your family and draw a picture of them inspired by the nickname!
Plus! The filmmaker, Evgenia Golubeva, turned her film in to a book!

Little Mouse

Animation, Ervin B. Nagy, 2016, 7 min.

Recommended ages: 8+

Talking Points
  • Little Mouse is based on a true story and a real person, Krisztina Egerszegi. Were there any clues that helped you understand that this was a true story?
  • What advice do you think Little Mouse might give to someone interested in competitive sports?
Get Creative: One of the most important roles in creating an animated film is the Background Designer. Without backgrounds, we would just have characters walking around an empty white space! Check out the art of the background designer of Little Mouse, Sofia Laszlovszky, here! Try designing a background for a story or character from your imagination.
Plus! Krisztina Egerszegi is currently the only female swimmer to have won five individual Olympic gold medals! Learn more about her here!

SHORT TAKES - Monday, July 13th, 2020

Our homes are creative command central, and so with summer downtime, we hope to give you renewed inspiration! Made during lockdown with her family, Gurinder Chadha’s short film Homemade: Unexpected Gift is just the ticket! (And we also highly recommend Chadha’s fantastic feature films Bend it Like Beckham and Blinded by the Light).

Homemade: Unexpected Gift

UK, In English
Documentary, Live Action, Gurinder Chadha, 2020, 9 min.

Recommended ages: 9+

Talking Points
  • How is this family’s experience in quarantine similar to or different from your experience?
  • What does the film tell you about what it might be like to live with a film director?
Get Creative: Make a documentary about your quarantine experience! This can be a quick project that you create in a day, or you can start filming now and edit your footage together later in the year.
Plus! Stream feature films by Gurinder Chadha: Bend it Like Beckham and Blinded by the Light on YouTube or Amazon. Rated PG13.

LONG TAKES - Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

We’re gearing up for the 4th of July holiday, and we know you’ve already heard lots  about this highly anticipated release, but… may we suggest a little historical perspective and a whole lot of genius entertainment with the debut of Hamilton? It launches this Friday, July 3rd so you can start your weekend plans strong!


USA, In English
Live Action, Thomas Kail, 2020, 160 min.

Recommended ages: 13+

PG13, Available to stream July 3rd on Disney+

The much-anticipated filmed version of the original Broadway production about America’s founding fathers. Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote and stars in the hip-hop-inspired musical.

SHORT TAKES - Tuesday, June 30th, 2020


United States, In English
Animation, Julie Zammarchi, 2016, 3 min.

Recommended ages: 8+

Talking Points
– What adjectives would you use to describe Wendell Scott?
– What are the challenges that Wendell Scott faced in his racing career?
– The narrator of the story is Wendell Scott’s son, Frank, who was interviewed for this film. What do you think the interviewers would ask Mr. Scott if he were still alive today? What would you want to ask him?
Get Creative: Interview someone in your life. Ask them to talk about someone they admire.
Plus! This film is based on an interview conducted by Story Corp. Find more films from Story Corp on Vimeo here! Age recommendations are varied.

SHORT TAKES - Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

This week we’re sharing a longtime NYICFF favorite, Lilou, by Iraqi-Lebanese director and Animators All Around alum Rawan Rahim.
A tale of empathy and kindness, Lilou is guaranteed to warm your heart.


France, Lebanon
Animation, Rawan Rahim, 2015, 8 min.

Recommended ages: 8+

Talking Points
  • How has Lilou changed by the end of the film?
  • Even though the characters don’t speak, how were you able to understand what they were feeling or thinking?
  • We often suggest watching a film more than once. Watch Lilou again but this time pay extra attention to the music. How does it change as the story goes on?
Get Creative: Does Lilou’s experience with the man at the cafe remind you of anything you have experienced? Think about someone you’ve encountered and write them a letter (you don’t have to send it). Explain how you felt, what thoughts you had and what questions you might ask if you could talk to them.
Plus! For a peek behind the scenes, check out this interview with the filmmaker, where she explains her inspiration for the film, and then see some of the character designs here.

SHORT TAKES - Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

This week we’re sharing a beloved short from our 2018 Shorts for Tots program.
Henriyeti, the little Yeti with a big heart, collects mismatched socks while singing “You don’t have to be the same to be a perfect pair.” We couldn’t agree more.

Henriyeti: Sock it to Me, Yeti!

Animation, Greg Walter, 2017, 2 min.

Recommended ages: 3-7

Henriyeti—a little bit girl and a little bit Yeti—demonstrates that great matches go beyond appearances. It’s just about teaming up and putting one fearless foot in front of the other.

Talking Points
– What do you think it is like for Henriyeti to be part of this family?
– What does her love of mismatched socks tell you about her?
Get Creative: Imagine your family members as socks and draw a sock-family portrait!
Plus! If you can’t get enough of Henriyeti, find full episodes on YouTube here!

LONG TAKES - Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Our Film Recs this week are meant to amplify Black voices and examine systemic racism, and provide FREE resources to help you discuss these issues with the children in your lives.

Just Mercy

Live Action, Destin Daniel Cretton, 2019, 76 min.

Recommended ages: 13+

Based on civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson’s memoir, this true-to-life film powerfully addresses systemic racism with Michael B. Jordan in the lead performance.

Watch: Just Mercy is available to rent or stream for free during the month of June through a variety of services including Apple TVFandangoNowGoogle PlayAmazon Prime VideoRedbox, the PlayStation Store, VuduMicrosoft, and YouTube.
Learn More: Learn about the real Bryan Stevenson, the goals of his organization Equal Justice Initiative, and the book that inspired the film here:

SHORT TAKES - Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Our Film Recs this week are meant to amplify Black voices and examine systemic racism, and provide FREE resources to help you discuss these issues with the children in your lives.

Black Barbie

Animation, Comfort Arthur, 2016, 4 min.

Recommended ages: 9+


This artful animation poetically explores the filmmaker’s challenges with societal expectations and self-acceptance growing up.

Watch: Black Barbie, featured in NYICFF 2018, is available to stream for free as part of the We Are One film festival on YouTube.
Learn more: Hear directly from the filmmaker in this interview about what inspired her and the impact of her film Black Barbie.

SHORT TAKES - Thursday, May 28th, 2020

If you’ve been sitting around your house, staring at the ceiling wondering how lightbulbs are made, this brilliant short, Luminaris will surely illuminate you!

Luminaris holds the Guinness world record for short film with the most festival awards – so you won’t want to miss it!


Animation, Juan Pablo Zaramella, 2010, 7 min.

Recommended ages: All Ages

In a world controlled and timed by light, one man has a plan that could change destiny.

Talking Points:  
– We’ve shared some other films in our newsletter that utilize stop motion animation. Luminaris is made with a kind of stop motion animation called PIXILATION. Pixilation is stop motion that uses humans instead of puppets! How do you think a film like this is made?
– Pick a scene and think about how the fimmaker animated it. What do you think may have been challenging? What creative problem solving did the filmmaker use?
Get Creative: TED-Ed made a great video explaining how pixilation works! Check it out here and then make your own pixilation film! The video is made by three NYICFF alumni so you know it’s going to be good!
Plus! Read an interview with the filmmaker here!

YOUR TAKES - Thursday, May 21st, 2020

Make your own stop motion films!

Now that you’ve created a character, try bringing it to life!
Use this tutorial for the free app Stop Motion Studio to get started.
Download the app: Apple iOSGoogle Play
Catch our stop motion tutorial from a few weeks ago here.

SHORT TAKES - Thursday, May 21st, 2020

One of the definitions of “animate” is to bring to life, and Ainslie Henderson beautifully demonstrates this through his found-object puppets and stop motion animation in the short film Stems.


United Kingdom
Documentary, Ainslie Henderson, 2015, 2 min.

Recommended ages: All Ages

“I stick and sculpt … and then suddenly what was just stuff becomes this character staring back at you.”

Talking Points:
– Like many short films, if you watch Stems a second or third time, you’re bound to notice something new and find fresh meaning. Watch the film again and see if you can guess what the different puppets are made out of.
– The filmmaker describes the puppets as tiny actors that only ever have one role to play. Pick a character from this film or from another film, and think of a new role in a new story for them to play. What is their name? Where are they from and what are their goals?

Get Creative: The puppets in Stems were made using found objects. Find some things in your own home to create a character! It can be flat or 3-dimensional. Tip: use pipe cleaners, twist ties, clay or rubber bands to hold things together.

Plus! Watch another short by Ainslie Henderson, winner of the NYICFF 2012 Festival Grand Prize, I am Tom Moody (recommended ages 9+) and the Making of I am Tom Moody behind the scenes video (note: some strong language).

SHORT TAKES - Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

Eagle Blue

United Kingdom
Animation, Will Rose, 2016, 4 min.

Recommended ages: All Ages

A bold palette and a swaying beat bolster Eagle Blue high above the mountaintop, but she must swoop in and provide a proper meal for her hungry chicks.

Talking Points  
– In his film, the music is just as impressive as the beautiful artwork. You can enjoy Eagle Blue from your couch or desk chair, but it’s even more fun to get up and dance while you watch!
– The film begins in the morning and ends at night. What else has changed by the end of the film?
– Often when we watch a film, we are focused on the story. Slow down and pause the film a few times while watching and look closely. What details do you notice?
Get Creative: The filmmaker uses just two colors and a very simple shape to bring the eagle to life. Pick a bird and draw it using just one or two colors and basic shapes.
Plus! Check out this interview with the filmmaker, including some of his early concept drawings for Eagle Blue!

LONG TAKES - Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

We know that nothing can replace the experience of seeing a film in a theater.
But until we can all be together again, NYICFF is bringing you the next best thing – a Virtual Cinema Experience!

What: NYICFF’s Kid Flicks Short Film Programs featuring the best films from the 2019 Festival
When: May 8 – 17
Where: Your living room!

Click below to screen NYICFF Kid Flicks today!

SHORT TAKES - Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

First off, watch UKA, the lovely stop motion tale of a young artist who discovers a new way to light up her world and give it some color.


Animation, Valle Comba Canales, 2016, 3 min.

Recommended ages: All Ages

Life for Uka is grey and dull until she finds a way of changing how she sees the world.

Talking Points
– How does Uka feel in the begining of the film? How does she feel in the end? What changed?
– How does the filmmaker use color to help tell this story?

Get Creative: Uka uses broken bottles, which would have been considered trash, to make her art. What can you find in your home that could be reused to make a work of art? (We do not recommend using broken glass!)

Plus! Check out the end credits of the film to see the character design sketches for UKA!

SHORT TAKES - Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

For this week’s Short Takes, we’d like to share a charming give-back to brighten your day, courtesy of talented filmmaker Ignas Meilunas: Mr. Night Has a Day Off.

Mr. Night Has a Day Off

Animation, Ignas Meilunas, 2016, 2 min.

Recommended ages: All Ages

Why is the night changing the day? Well, when you don’t like something, you change it.

Talking Points:
– What is Mr. Night’s goal? Does he accomplish it? How?
– If you watched our Short Take Outdoor Cinema, you might notice that the filmmakers used a similar technique of animating characters over photography of real settings. Can you think of a fun way to sketch or collage over photos?

Get Creative: Learn how to draw Mr. Night by following these steps. You can add him to any image you want!