This summer, the International Children’s and Youth Film Carnival will take place from July 8-August 19 and offer over 50 film screenings of feature films, animations and short films from around the world. The screenings will be at the Hong Kong Film Archive, Hong Kong City Hall, the Hong Kong Science Museum, the Hong Kong Space Museum, the North District Town Hall, and the Emperor Cinemas at The LOHAS in Tseung Kwan O.

Among the 10 feature films selected this year, eight are animations. Oink (2022) tells a hilarious story of surprises and twists after the protagonist receives an adorable little pig from her grandfather with a mysterious background. In Yuku and the Himalayan Flower (2022), a diva mouse embarks on a journey in search of an eternal flower and makes friends through her lovely singing. In The Amazing Maurice (2022), a street smart cat and his swarm of rats always leave scams and hoaxes in their wake, but when they come to a small town, they have to fight against a malicious force. French classic cartoon character Little Nicholas accidentally ventures into the world of his author and illustrator in Little Nicholas – Happy As Can Be (2022).

Another four animated feature films are about growing up while facing adversity. In The Ape Star (2021), orphan Jonna and a loving gorilla overcome hurdles and build a warm and blissful home. A shy flower fairy and an adventurous butterfly in Rosa and the Stone Troll (2023) build a heartfelt friendship by taking a leap of courage together. In Dragon Princess (2021), dragon princess Bristle crosses into the human world and learns about the meaning of friendship and the power of solidarity. Saved by an alien girl, the introverted Little Allan starts a friendship that extends across outer space in Little Allan – The Human Antenna (2022).

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The remaining two feature films centre on friendship. In order to stay together, the protagonist of Little Nicholas’ Treasure (2021) and his friends pull out all the stops to prevent his father from getting a promotion and relocating the whole family. In Tales of Franz (2022), Franz is a boy of small stature who tries to do anything to become bigger, even ignoring the advice of his good friends. He only realises his mistake when one of his friends goes missing.  

The “Youthful Encounter” section’s special feature is Nelly Rapp – Monster Agent (2020). Nelly spends her school holidays at her uncle’s home deep in the wild, only to find out that her uncle is a monster agent, keeping the peace between humans and monsters. She also discovers the secret of her family and herself.  

This year’s “Film Tunnel” section will include a classic dinosaur animation co-produced by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, The Land Before Time (1988). It tells the story of a young brontosaurus, Littlefoot, who loses his mother during a migration. Littlefoot becomes an orphan, makes four supportive friends and embarks on a miraculous journey.

In addition, co-organised with the Hong Kong Space Museum, there will be a special programme, Dome Show and Stargazing Night, where Hazelnuts – In Search of the Perfect Planet (2022), will be screened at the museum’s Space Theatre. The show features little squirrels Nino and Lilli in their exploration of the universe. After the screenings, audiences, with the accompaniment of assistant curators of the museum, can join the stargazing activity at the rooftop as well as star map-making activities, which will be conducted in Cantonese.

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Experienced dubbing artists Yip Ka-man and Kinson Lai will perform live Cantonese dubbing for Oink, The Ape Star, and Rosa and the Stone Troll with no subtitles. Hazelnuts – In Search of the Perfect Planet is in Cantonese, with English and French available for selection in the headphone system, with no subtitles. Other films have Chinese and English subtitles.

There is also an array of animated shorts from around the world in the “World Animation & Shorts” sections. Two of the sections are for audiences aged three or above. There are also short films exploring friendship, mutual understanding and emotion. In addition, there are over 10 short animated films that are a blend of witty, touching and thoughtful pieces targeting audiences aged 6 or above. Professional actor and drama tutor Man Jai (Raymond Chan) will host an introduction in Cantonese during the programmes of “World Animation & Shorts”. 

Tickets for screenings at Leisure and Cultural Services Department venues priced at HK$70 are available at URBTIX from May 19. For screenings at Emperor Cinemas at The LOHAS in Tseung Kwan O, tickets priced at HK$90 are available at Emperor Cinemas at The LOHAS in Tseung Kwan O and on the Emperor Cinemas website.

Header image credits: Leisure and Cultural Services Department

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