KidsBestFest at the Academy of Music During School Vacation Week


All week long, the Academy of Music Theatre  in Northampton is hosting a FREE KidsBestFest-YouthFilm 2016, a film festival of specially-selected children’s films from around the world, and close to home too! Screening Monday, February 15-Friday, February 19 at 1:30pm each day.

The week of movies culminates on Friday, February 19th with YouthFilm. A festival of films made by local youth who are at the beginning of their budding careers, the aspiring filmmakers get together to see their films on the Academy of Music’s large screen.


Monday’s film is Alice in Wonderland (G, 1951), an animated adventure that follows young Alice “down the rabbit hole” into a fantastical world. Full of big questions and allegorical tales, Alice in Wonderland is accessible to people of all ages. Younger children may enjoy comparing any book versions they know with the film adaptation, or practicing empathy by imagining what it might be like to be Alice. Older children can use the film to talk about what it means to belong, what it means to have (and use) power, how to understand and embrace uncertainty and change, and the relationship between one’s mind and one’s heart.


Tuesday’s film is 5@5 Doodlin’ (NR, 2015), a series of 15 animated short films from around the world. All films are nonverbal or in English. These films were selected for their ability to delight children with fanciful ideas, quirky animals, and relatable tales. While their themes may be universal, the unique artistry in each film gives insights into the countries and cultures from which the filmmakers originate.


Wednesday’s film is Shana, The Wolf’s Music (NR, 2014), a coming-of-age story about a Canadian First Nations girl who overcomes many obstacles. This film touches upon themes of connecting with nature, making sense of our heritage, and the role of art/music in our lives. Viewers will be offered a unique perspective on the world and an opportunity to enrich understandings of the differences and similarities between their own cultural group and that of Shana’s.


Thursday’s film is Labyrinth (PG, 1986), a fantasy film about a girl on a quest to save her infant brother, who has been kidnapped by a goblin king. Featuring David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, and many puppets from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, this creative movie addresses themes of fidelity and growing up. Families can discuss questions such as: How do we show our love for our family members? What does it mean when you are angry with someone you love? What it is like to feel as though you are outgrowing your friends?


Friday’s grand finale is a collection of films directed by, crafted by, written by, and starring Pioneer Valley youth, ages 5-18! Celebrate local youth talent with the cast and crew of these films by participating as an audience member, as this special work is shown on the big screen.

The Academy of Music is located at 274 Main Street in downtown Northampton, MA. All films are free, donations welcomed.

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