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long take — 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
Documentary, Live Action, Pippa Ehrlich & James Reed, 2020, 85 min
Feature Recommended ages: 5+ | In English
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 take — 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!

Wolfwalkers

Ireland, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, United States
Animation, Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart, 2020, 93 min
Feature Recommended ages: 8+ | In English
In a time of superstition and magic, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn Goodfellowe, journeys to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack.
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 take — 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! Featuring 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
Live Action, Musical, David E. Talbert, 2020, 122 min
Feature Recommended ages: 6+ | In English
A musical adventure and a visual spectacle for the ages, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a wholly fresh and spirited family holiday event. Set in the gloriously vibrant town of Cobbleton, the film follows legendary toymaker Jeronicus Jangle, whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder.
NYICFF Special Event:
Conversation with Jingle Jangle Director
December 11th, 5:30pm 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! Click here to register.

long take — Friday, November 6th, 2020

We’re 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
Animation, Glen Keane, 2020, 100 min
Feature Recommended ages: 6+ | In English
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.
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 UPfor this FREE event today!

short take — Friday, October 2nd, 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

Maestro

France
Animation, Illogic, 2019, 2 min
Short Recommended ages: All Ages | No dialogue
Deep into a forest, a gathering of wild animals perform a nocturnal opera, led by a rather squirrely conductor.

short take — Friday, September 25th, 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.

Superperson

Australia
Animation, Philip Watts, 2017, 2 min
Short 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?
Plus: Check out 8 Ways You Can Make a Difference in the Election—Even if You Can’t Vote from Common Sense Media!

long take — 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.

Grown-up filmmakers and fans can join what promises to be a fascinating and lively discussion about creating community and fostering diversity in the animation industry with Netflix’s free panel on Latino Creatives in Animation this Friday, Sept 17: sign up here.

And everyone can settle in over the weekend to enjoy Jorge’s 2014 groundbreaking feature film, The Book of Life.

The Book of Life

United States
Animation, Jorge Gutiérrez, 2014, 95 min
Feature Recommended ages: 7+ | In English
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 TedTalk, Every Picture Tells a Story. The Book of Life is available to rent on Amazon Prime or YouTube.

long take — Thursday, September 10th, 2020

We know you’ve been hearing all about the new, live action Mulan remake by director Niki Caro. We’re here to share the good news that you can stream her classic Girls’ POV feature Whale Rider for free! An award-winner that garnered a Best Actress Oscar® nomination for young start 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
Girls' POV, Live Action, Niki Caro, 2002, 105 min
Feature Recommended ages: 11+ | In English
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.
Available to stream on Tubi, or to rent on Amazon or iTunes.

long take — Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

The Fungies! (Series)

United States
Series, Stephen P Neary , 2020, 11 min
Feature Recommended ages: 8+ | In English
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. Now streaming on on HBOMax

short take — Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

Audience members often let us know they’d like more of their favorite NYICFF films, and nothing makes us happier than when we can announce that there is more.

Today’s Short Take, The Fancies, brought big laughs to the Festival screen in 2018. Now, to the delight of fungi lovers everywhere, it’s been expanded into a television series called The Fungies!

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!

The Fancies

USA
Animation, Stephen Neary, 2017, 4 min
Short Recommended ages: 8+ |
The Fancies are brainless, peaceful prehistoric fungi with hollow bodies and an ability to "eat" through their feet. They enjoy singing, dancing, and living happily in an isolated place called Fancytown.
In other news of NYICFF shorts evolving, filmmaker 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!

Black Barbie

Ghana
Animation, Comfort Arthur, 2016, 4 min
Short Recommended ages: 9+ |
Confronting limited mainstream media depictions, this artful animation poetically explores the filmmaker’s challenges with self-acceptance growing up.

short take — 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. Either way, 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. Don’t delay—head over to my2020census.gov and get counted! Then reward yourself with these shorts for your little ones!

De La Soul – The Magic Number

United States
Music Video, De La Soul, 1989, 2 min
Short Recommended ages: All Ages | In English
Spoiler alert: The magic number is three!

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

United States
Music Video, Sesame Street, 2008, 2 min
Short Recommended ages: All Ages | In English
Feist loves counting 1, 2, 3, 4 – counting to the number four.
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 take — 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!

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 the classic Pasta with Red Sauce. And we know you’re going to want dessert, so why not enjoy some Chocolate Cake? And check out plenty of neat behind-the-scenes shots on Andrea’s Instagram page.

Cooking with Wool: Breakfast

United States
Stop Motion Animation, Andrea Love, 2019, 1 min
Short Recommended ages: All Ages | No dialogue
Cooking you a high-fiber breakfast.
And starting tomorrow, you can catch Tiny Creatures on Netflix, a new nature doc series where little animals embark on big adventures across the U.S.

Tiny Creatures – Netflix Series

United States
Nature Documentary, Jonathan Jones, 2020, 30 min
Feature Recommended ages: Rated PG | In English
Little animals embark on big adventures across the U.S. in a dramatic nature series that explores their hidden worlds and epic survival stories. Series available to stream on Netflix August 7th

short take — Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

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

Building a Prosthetic Arm With Legos

Andorra
Live Action, Austin Brown, 2018, 3 min
Short Recommended ages: 7+ | In English
A young man’s self-determination and clever engineering shine in this inspiring doc.
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 take — Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

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

Life, Animated

United States
Live Action, Roger Ross Williams, 2016, 91 min
Feature Recommended ages: Rated PG | In English
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.

short take — 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 is perfect for younger viewers outgrowing their cutesy nicknames, and Little Mouse is great for older ones with a competitive edge.

I Am Not a Mouse

United Kingdom
Animation, Evgenia Golubeva, 2015, 2 min
Short Recommended ages: All Ages |
Lucy’s outgrown her nickname. Can she convince her mom to stop calling her “Mouse?”
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! Check out the book filmmaker Evgenia Golubeva made from this short!

Little Mouse

Hungary
Animation, Ervin B. Nagy, 2016, 7 min
Short Recommended ages: 8+ |
Eleven-year-old “Little Mouse” is a naturally gifted swimmer who earned a spot at the Bucharest Youth Championship. Will she have what it takes to out-lap the big kids?
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 space! Check out the art of Little Mouse background designer 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!

short take — Monday, July 13th, 2020

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

Homemade: Unexpected Gift

United Kingdom
Documentary, Live Action, Gurinder Chadha, 2020, 9 min
Short Recommended ages: 9+ | In English
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. Both rated PG13.

short take — Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Driven

United States
Animation, Julie Zammarchi, 2016, 3 min
Short Recommended ages: 8+ | In English
A son remembers what it took for his father–the first African American inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame–to cross the finish line at racetracks in the segregated South.
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 Corps. You can find more films from Story Corp on Vimeo! Recommended ages vary.