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10th Annual Redcat International Children’s Film Festival
Over the weekend, I visited REDCAT in Downtown LA for an event I’ve been meaning to go to for years. And it did not disappoint. In its 10th year, the REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival is three weekends of short films, animated and live action, from all over the world. Sure, they’re meant for children, but the filmmaking, particularly in animation, is sophisticated enough for any movie-lover. (A lot like picture books!)
And with three showtimes each weekend day, that adds up to a lot of wonderful films! I went to one program last Saturday and I just might have to head down again for another, different installment of international shorts.
My favorite of the bunch I saw? Anatole’s Little Saucepan (2014), from France (based on the book, La petite casserole d’anatole).
La petite casserole d’Anatole (extrait) from JPL Films on Vimeo. (The screened films have English subtitles.)
It’s exquisite, inventive, and profound. A boy has a saucepan. He just does, without explanation. The saucepan makes life difficult and makes people view him differently. But he’s artistic and sensitive, this boy. But still, things aren’t easy carrying a saucepan around. You see how the saucepan functions as a metaphor, right? Stick in any number of issues or ailments or differences, and there’s your saucepan.
Plus, things turn out alright for Anatole in the end. He may not be rid of his saucepan (who ever is?), but he learns from someone else how to cope with it. And how to play badminton with it too!
The sound effects, the story, and the sets and handmade characters are all standouts in this one.
Next, Notebook Babies: Someone Who Gets You, was a close second and entirely different in scope and tone! It’s a super funny crowdpleaser:
The creator, Tony Dusko, is a fifth grade teacher who puts up animated shorts on a YouTube channel called Notebook Babies. And they’re fabulous!
So, if you’re in L.A., check out some films like these! Each showing will cost you $5 a ticket. May 9 & 10; May 16 & 17.
And if you’re not in L.A., the trailers are pretty satisfying too!