While the pandemic is keeping families at home this year, the Kiddomatic Film Festival aims to give children an insight into life in other cultures and countries.
“It’s like traveling, even though we’re in this virtual land,” said Carrie Richer, director of film festivals at the Roxy Theater in Missoula.
The nearly 40 films that Richer and a colleague selected have selected different genres and styles. Some are only 2 minutes, others 90 minutes. With a $ 20 pass, families have access to all movies until November 30th – as often as they want.
The 1995 feature “Gumby: The Movie” is on the program; “Heatwave”, an 8-minute stop-motion film from Greece; “Kamali” about the only female skateboarder in an Indian fishing village; and the documentary “Water Flows Together” on recognizing indigenous areas in outdoor recreation.
“The Snail and the Whale” is based on a picture book of the same name. Richer says it has been a popular choice among viewers and has a great message about the power of reading and writing.
As a parent, Richer finds “The Fox and the Bird” particularly moving. It’s a great story with magical animation, she said, about a fox raising a little bird.
“And then the bird just flies away and is a really successful bird. … So the fox can’t hang out with the bird anymore because he can fly, but it’s a really great, magical film. “
All films are marked with the recommended age. And for families who want to go beyond the movies, Kiddomatic has educational videos, lessons, and activities. For example, third through fifth grades are about sound effects and how to create your own.
“Then you can watch these animated films that are really about sound effects in telling the stories,” said Richer.
But the films can also just be a break for families. “It’s simple, fun content that you can trust and know will be really fun conversations with your kids,” she said.
One of Richer’s favorite films on the program is the French classic “The Red Balloon”.
“It was shot in 1956, but it’s such a fun, visual, and simple story that I think anyone of any age can look at it and see what Paris is like and feel like traveling and feeling like a kid again,” she said.
“I think we all need some of this joy and ease now.”
The complete Kiddomatic programming can be found at kiddomatic.org.