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Children’s Film Fests

By Jackie Burrell
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 at 6:42 am in Family Entertainment, Movies.

"Dot" at the Bay Area International Children’s Festival Forget all the fuss about violent flicks and too-scary PG-13 rated movies at the cineplex. If you want to see some cool, truly family-friendly movies, here are two options – and they start in just a few days…

This weekend, the Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival kicks off with a quirky mix of 43 animated shorts, award-winning documentaries and hilarious little films. Among the offerings, Jenny Mackenzie’s “Kick Like a Girl,” about a girls’ soccer team competing in the guys’ league, and showing them what it really means to kick like a girl. We’re also smitten by “Dot” (pictured), Will Studd and Ed Patterson’s teeny tiny stop-motion character who wakes up one morning to discover her world caving in. How tiny? They had to use a microscope and tweezers to move the 9 mm figure around for the camera. Dot rescues herself through sheer ingenuity, with a little help from some handy pencil shavings, pennies and pins. It all goes down this weekend — films, animation workshops and more, Jan. 29-30, in the art deco theater at Michaan’s Auctions, 2700 Saratoga St., Alameda. Tickets are $10 for a half-day pass, $15 for a full day and $20 for the weekend. Visit for details.

Meanwhile, over in Moraga, the 2011 California Independent Film Festival hits the silver screen at the Rheem Theatre, and the lineup includes a whole list of children’s films. Among them: “Inka Bola,” an animated French short about an irresponsible guard, whose babysitting gig for a slightly wild, young Mayan prince go terribly awry; and the charming German short “Bob,” about a hamster, who chases the love of his life around the world in, yes, a hamster wheel. Check out the line-up here.

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