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The USA Film Festival announces schedule of events

24th Annual KidFilm® Festival
January 19-20, 2008

The USA Film Festival’s 24th annual KidFilm® Festival announces the schedule of events taking place Saturday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20, 2008 at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas.

KidFilm is the oldest and largest children’s film festival in the United States, featuring an exciting and diverse line-up of new and classic films and videos for both children and adults. Spotlighting a multicultural slate of programs ranging from the French Creole and Native American legends and book-based works to songs that joyfully teach, showcasing animated and live-action works, KidFilm has something for everyone.


SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Salute to Dynamic Duo Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

The award-winning writer and the illustrator of such beloved books as "Duck for President," "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type," and "Giggle, Giggle, Quack," will be honored at KidFilm. Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin will present this special program, featuring some of their favorite stories come to life. Doreen and Betsy will introduce screenings of some of their works (lovingly adapted for the screen by Weston Woods Studios), followed by a book signing with parents and children. The line up includes adaptations of "Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type," "Dooby Dooby Moo," "Duck for President," and "Giggle, Giggle, Quack." Children will receive free books.
(Showtime = Saturday, January 19, 12:30pm.)

Salute to Mallory Lewis and Lambchop

Honoring the legacy of her mother, the legendary Shari Lewis, award-winning children’s entertainer Mallory Lewis brings a new puppet (Giggles) to a new generation – with some help from an old friend -- the beloved Lambchop! Mallory brings learning through music to young audiences through her new Phonics 4 Babies program. KidFilm will feature a live performance by Mallory Lewis and Lambchop, and kids will also receive a free DVD.
(Showtime = Saturday, January 19, 2:30pm.)

Meet The Swingset Mamas

Join the Swingset Mamas – a singer/songwriter duo that includes Dallas native Marlowe Bechmann and Lizzie Swan – for a live musical performance and a preview of their new DVD, Swing, Dance and Sing. Believing that there is “a song in everything,” the Swingset Mamas tap into the fundamental joys and struggles of growing up and parenthood with their signature style – a family-pleasing blend of rock and world music. The Mamas’ original, fun and catchy songs tackle relevant topics such as healthy eating, seatbelt safety, sunburn dangers (their “Sunscreen Dance” song was chosen this year as the official song of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Sunwise program), and more. Marlowe and Lizzie will perform for and sing with kids at KidFilm. Kids will also receive a free Swingset Mamas CD.
(Showtime = Saturday, January 19, 12:30pm.)

Special 20th Anniversary Salute to Barney the Dinosaur

Twenty years ago a former teacher from Dallas created a big purple, singing dinosaur that became a national phenomenon with children, who loved him, and parents who couldn’t get the songs out of their heads. In the world premiere of the new direct-to-DVD release (Barney: Celebrating Around the World), Barney and friends take a magical train ride on Barney’s Imagination Unlimited and, through food, music and dance, explore the different types of festivities around the world in a multi-cultural adventure teaching the value of diversity and friendship. (Barney will be in attendance to greet kids and parents at KidFilm.)
(Showtime = Sunday, January 20, 12:30pm.)

55th Anniversary Screening of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T -- Newly Remastered

Fifty-five years after its release, the “wonder musical of the future” receives a digital remastering courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Bart (Tommy Rettig) wants to play baseball, but his mother (Mary Healy) insists that he practice the piano before his piano teacher, Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried), comes over to give him his lesson. Bart is soon fast asleep at the piano, trapped in a surrealistic nightmare involving the villainous Dr. T, an obsessive piano teacher who has kidnapped 500 children and is forcing them to play the world’s largest piano 24 hours a day! Responsible for frightening a generation of children away from piano lessons, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T is the only feature film scripted by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss). One of the truly great family classics of all time, and one that can be best appreciated on the big screen.
(Showtime = Sunday, January 20, 2:30pm.)

The Red Balloon – Newly Restored

For years, Albert Lamorisse's 1956 enchanting masterpiece The Red Balloon, could only be found stateside on faded 16mm prints or multi-generational VHS tapes. Despite these viewing hardships, The Red Balloon remains one of the most bewitching and beloved children's films of all time. Now available for the first time in almost a decade (from Janus Films), the film has been beautifully restored, finally allowing audiences to view the film in all of its vibrancy. In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon that seems to have a mind of its own. Wandering through the streets of Paris, the two become inseparable, to the surprise of the neighborhood and the envy of other children. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, The Red Balloon has enchanted the young—and the young at heart—for decades.
(Showtime = Saturday, January 19, 2:30pm.)

PROGRAM LISTING (alpha by title)

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T Sunday, January 20, 2:30pm
Newly Remastered 55th Anniversary Screening

Bart (Tommy Rettig) wants to play baseball, but his mother (Mary Healy) insists that he practice the piano before his piano teacher, Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried), comes over to give him his lesson. Bart is soon fast asleep at the piano, trapped in a surrealistic nightmare involving the villainous Dr. T, an obsessive piano teacher who has kidnapped 500 children and is forcing them to play the world’s largest piano 24 hours a day! Responsible for frightening a generation of children away from piano lessons, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T is the only feature film scripted by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), and fifty-five years after its release remains the "wonder musical of the future." One of the truly great family classics of all time. 89 minutes. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Alice Upside Down World Premiere Saturday, January 19, 4:30pm

Alyson Stoner ("The Suite Life of Zack and Cody") gives a knock-out performance as Alice McKinley in this new film, adapted from Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s award-winning book series. Still mourning the death of her mother a few years earlier, Alice finds her life further disrupted when her father (Luke Perry) moves her and her older brother Lester (Lucas Gabreel, High School Musical) to a new town. Alice has a rough time adjusting to her new school, especially after being assigned the stern Mrs. Plotkin (Penny Marshall) as her homeroom teacher. Feeling shy and isolated, Alice frequently escapes into a vivid fantasy life that occasionally gets her into hot water. But with a little help from unexpected places, and the support of her father and her new friends, Alice just may learn that she is stronger than she thought in this smart, funny film for the whole family. 91 minutes. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Alyson Stoner in attendance.

Barney: Celebrating Around the World World Premiere Sunday, January 20, 12:30pm
Special 20th Anniversary Salute to Barney the Dinosaur

Twenty years ago a former teacher from Dallas created a big purple, singing dinosaur that became a national phenomenon with children, who loved him, and parents who couldn’t get the songs out of their heads. In this brand new direct-to-DVD release, Barney and friends take a magical train ride on Barney’s Imagination Unlimited and, through food, music and dance, explore the different types of festivities around the world in a multi-cultural adventure teaching the value of diversity and friendship. Kids can have their picture taken with Barney after the program. 60 minutes. Recommended for ages 2 to 6. Barney in attendance.

Salute to Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin Saturday, January 19, 12:30pm

The award-winning writer and the illustrator of such beloved books as "Duck for President," "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type," and "Giggle, Giggle, Quack," will be our honored guests to present this special program, featuring some of their favorite stories come to life. Doreen and Betsy will introduce screenings of some of their works (lovingly adapted for the screen by Weston Woods Studios), followed by a book signing with parents and kids. The line up includes adaptations of "Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type," "Duck for President," "Giggle, Giggle, Quack," and the World Premiere of “Dooby Dooby Moo." Kids will receive free books! 60 minutes total program length. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Author Doreen Cronin and illustrator Betsy Lewin in attendance.


Labou Regional Premiere Sunday, January 20, 4:30pm

Adventurous Emily (Marissa Cuevas), skeptical Gavin (Darnell Hamilton), and the unruly Toddster (Bryan James Kitto) set out on a journey to find the dreaded ghost of Captain LeRouge, a pirate whose treasure-laden ship was rumored to be lost in the Louisiana bayou over two hundred years ago. What they find is an adventure beyond their wildest imagination including a ghost pirate and the magical swamp creature "Labou," whose whistles, per Louisiana legend, are rumored to be the original inspiration for jazz. With the help of Labou, the three unlikely friends race to stay one step ahead of two zealous southern developers and local politicians to try and discover the long lost treasure in time to save the swamps from destruction. 95 minutes. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Luna: Spirit of the Whale Regional Premiere Sunday, January 20, 2:30pm

In this new family film based on a true story, Luna, a playful orca calf, ignites a global controversy when he becomes separated from his pod and takes up residence in Nootka Sound off Vancouver Island in British Columbia. While the environmentalists and developers feud about what should be done with the orphaned baby, the local Indian community (Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations band) makes their own claim to support Luna in this beautifully crafted film. Starring Adam Beach, Graham Greene and Jason Priestley. 90 minutes. Recommended for ages 6 and up. (Warning for some adult situations and mild language.)

Salute to Mallory Lewis and Lambchop Saturday, January 19, 2:30pm

Honoring the legacy of her mother, the legendary Shari Lewis, award-winning children’s entertainer Mallory Lewis brings a new puppet (Giggles) to a new generation – with some help from an old friend -- the beloved Lambchop! Mallory brings learning through music to young audiences through her new Phonics 4 Babies program. KidFilm will feature a live performance by Mallory Lewis and Lambchop. Kids will also receive a free DVD. 60 minutes total program length. Recommended for ages 3 and up.
Writer/actress/singer/puppeteer Mallory Lewis and Lambchop in attendance.

A Plumm Summer Regional Premiere Saturday, January 19, 4:30pm

Five-year-old Rocky Plumm’s (Owen Pearce) idyllic Montana town is thrown into chaos in the summer of 1968 when beloved TV puppet Froggy Doo is kidnapped and held for ransom. Based on a true-life event, Rocky, along with older brother Elliott (Chris J. Kelly) and their new neighbor Haley Dubois (Morgan Flynn), go head to head with the FBI in order to crack the infamous “frog-napping” case and get their beloved Froggy Doo back on the air, all the while becoming local heroes and best friends. With Henry Winkler, William Baldwin, and Lisa Guerrero. 99 minutes. Recommended for ages 5 and up. (Warning for some adult themes.)

The Prince and the Pauper World Premiere Sunday, January 20, 12:30pm

Mark Twain’s classic story gets a modern twist in this fun-filled, live-action family adventure, starring Cole and Dylan Sprouse ("The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"). Eddie and Tom are two 14-year-olds with only two things in common: they both look exactly alike, and are both unhappy. Movie star Eddie just wants a normal life, while regular kid Tom dreams of a more glamorous life. When the two accidentally meet on the set of Eddie’s new movie, they impulsively switch places for the afternoon, each getting a taste of the life that he only dreamed was possible. But when Eddie’s production company abruptly moves hundreds of miles away, Tom and Eddie soon find themselves in deep double trouble when no one believes who they really are. Co-starring Kay Panabaker, Vincent Spano, Dedee Pfeiffer, and Ed Lauter. 92 minutes. Recommended for ages 5 and up.


Show-Stopping Shorts! Saturday, January 19, 2:30pm

A diverse compilation of great new and classic short films including animation and live action works, book-based works for the youngest viewers and films for all ages. The line-up includes a special preview of Nickelodeon’s hilarious new animated series The Mighty B! (voiced by Saturday Night Live's Amy Poehler), Weston Woods Studios’ adaptation of Mo Willems’s delightful Leonardo the Terrible Monster, two new episodes of Aardman Animation’s mischievous Shaun the Sheep, John Dilworth’s new animated short Garlic Boy, a beautifully restored 35mm print of Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 famous but rarely-seen classic The Red Balloon, and more! Kids at this show will receive free gifts related to some of the films. 60 minutes total program length. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Meet The Swingset Mamas Saturday, January 19, 12:30pm

Join the Swingset Mamas – Dallas native Marlowe Bechmann and Lizzie Swan – for a live musical performance and a preview of their new DVD, "Swing, Dance and Sing"! The Swingset Mamas tap into the fundamental joys and struggles of growing up and parenthood with their signature style – a blend of rock and world music through their original, fun, catchy songs which tackle relevant topics such as healthy eating, seatbelt safety, sunburn dangers, and more. Marlowe and Lizzie will perform for and sing with kids at KidFilm. Kids will have a great time learning some important lessons and receive a free DVD. 60 minutes total program length. Recommended for ages 2 to 6. The Swingset Mamas in attendance.

KidFilm Classics Presents - The Wizard of Oz Sunday, January 20, 4:30pm
In a Special Sing-A-Long Version created just for KidFilm

Based on the novel by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow’s journey down the yellow brick road remains one of the greatest films of all time over sixty years later. A KidFilm big screen tradition, this year we’re putting the lyrics on the screen for those who don’t already know them by heart! Academy Award winner for its unforgettable song and score. Kids are encouraged to come in costume as their favorite character. 101 minutes. Recommended for audiences of all ages.

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