The College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts (CFA) will host “The Best of the New York International Children’s Film Festival” on Sunday, February 3, 2008 from noon to 6:30pm. Tickets are $10 for a single show or $15 for an all-day pass. All tickets include free access to children’s activity stations.

The CFA is proud to be participating in the New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) for two consecutive years. Each year the NYICFF presents an amazingly diverse slate of top-quality films that inform, challenge, excite, and inspire the creative intelligence of young people from filmmakers around the globe.

Short before Feature 1
Williamson Theatre: Screenings at noon and 1:30pm
(United Kingdom), Animation, Siri Melchior, 2002, 3.5 min
The dog and cat live together in the same body, but always in conflict. They learn that only by resolving their differences and working together can they find happiness. The movie draws traditional 2D technique and cubist influence into an emotive and wholly original work. Siri Melchior created the short’s unique aesthetic by scanning hand-drawn and painted illustrations into a 3D space to animate and add texture, light, and shadow.

Feature 1
Williamson Theatre: Screenings at noon and 1:30pm
(Japan), Animation, Hiroyuki Morita, 2002-2005, 75 minutes
Recommended for all ages
Haru is a typical high school student until the day she saves a cat from being hit by a truck on a busy road. The cat turns out to be Lune, Prince of the Cat Kingdom. In return for saving his son’s life, the King of Cats shows up at Haru’s house in a feline motorcade replete with vassals, maidens, and Secret Service cats. In a show of gratitude for saving his son’s life the cat king showers Haru with gifts and decrees that she shall marry the cat prince and live in the secret Kingdom of Cats.

Haru is conducted to a feast at the castle of the Cat Kingdom and she begins to slowly turn into a cat–with tan paws, ears, and whiskers, though still mainly human–so that she will make a suitable bride for the Prince. Now this quiet suburban schoolgirl must find a way to escape the crazed gratitude of the Cat Kingdom, and make her way back home.

The Cat Returns features the voices of Anne Hathaway, Peter Boyle, Elliott Gould, and Tim Curry, among others.

Short before Feature 2
Recital Hall: Screenings at 3:00pm and 4:45pm
(United Kingdom), Animation, Matthew Abbiss, 2004, 3.5 minutes
Deceptively simple, humorous narrative about a father and a child waiting for a bus.

Feature 2
Recital Hall: Screenings at 3:00pm and 4:45pm
(USA/Germany/France/Ireland/U.K./Denmark), Michael Hegner and Karsten Kiilerich, 2006, 90 minutes
Recommended for ages 4-10
Everyone knows the Hans Christian Andersen story about the ugly duckling that changed into a swan–this different take on the classic story explains how a weird-looking little duckling named Ugly overcomes his low self-esteem problem after he’s reluctantly adopted by a city rat named Ratso.

Ratso is a lying, cheating talent manager notorious for leaving his clients in the lurch. Finding himself trapped in a chicken yard and under attack, Ratso attempts to save his life by adopting a large, unhatched egg. A few cracks later and out pops a hideous little chick named Ugly, who buries its head in the rodent’s fur and cries “Mama.” Ratso is initially reluctant to be part of this odd-couple family, until he realizes that Ugly could be his ticket to success and sets about exploiting his awful looks on the carnival circuit. However, a long and difficult journey stands between them and the stage. Big laughs come along with life’s lessons as Ugly struggles to find his place.

Feature 3
Screenings at noon and 3:00pm
Lecture Hall: Screenings at noon and 1:30pm
60 minutes
Recommended for ages 3-10

(Canada), Animation, Marek Colek and Pat Shewchuk, 2006, 5.5 minutes
Montrose Avenue explores the ebb and flow of street life outside of the filmmakers’ windows on a typical summer day in this inner-city neighborhood street in Toronto, Canada. The meticulously tended front gardens, the active porch life on summer evenings, and the annual Portuguese festival all combine to evoke an intimacy that contrasts with the hustle and bustle of nearby downtown as we follow the actions of residents, pedestrians, and local merchants on their daily routines.

(USA), Animation, Bill Plympton, 2005, 7 minutes
The Fan and the Flower is a simply drawn black-and-white story about the ill-fated love between a flower pot and a ceiling fan, featuring the voice of Paul Giamatti. This sweet and quirky premise magically creates a fairy tale ending.

(Israel), Experimental, Maya Tiberman, 2005, 3 minutes
This experimental short portrays a young girl playing a game of marbles. When one gets away, she runs after it and finds herself on a journey that opens her eyes to a living breathing city and a whole new perspective on our everyday surroundings.

(Brazil/Germany), Animation, Rosangela De Araujo, 2003, 6.5 minutes
A little boy plays alone with his toy car and a lime. His imagination unfolds a world full of fantastic characters, joy, and surprises. A daydream carried away by the rhythms and poetry of Brazilian music.

(Germany), Animation, Heydenreich/ Hofmann/Pfeifenberger, 2005, 5 minutes
Inspired by the birds by her window, a lonely little girl decides to test her own wings. They work! She flies down the stairs, out of her house and over the town. However, when Dad refuses to recognize his daughter’s amazing new ability, the spell is broken.

(United Kingdom), Animation, Christopher Sadler, 2006, 7 minutes
A flock of crafty, smelly sheep don’t want to step into their freezing bath, so they outwit their farmer when they plot to fill their bathing pool with hot water from his bath.

(Australia), Live Action, Cherie Knott, 2004, 10.5 minutes
An imaginative six-year-old boy, Gabriel, has developed a close relationship with some ants he’s collected and is keeping in an ant farm. When one of them stops moving, he asks his mother questions about love, life, and death for the first time. He misunderstands her distracted reply, a unique interpretation that leads him to make the first major independent decision of his life. Convinced that the deceased ant must get to heaven, and eager to witness this passage, Gabriel embarks on a self-appointed quest and is rewarded.

(Germany), Animation, Andreas Hykade, 2003, 5 minutes
Another episode in the plight of the popular, bizarrely drawn stick figure Tom, who is obsessed with strawberry jam on bread with honey, and will try anything to get his fix. In this film he approaches the strawberry mouse who grows giant strawberries and has her henchman, the crocodile, stomp on them in a big barrel. Tom must make his way through an unpredictable adventure before his appetite can be satisfied.

(Belgium), Animation, Cecilia Marreiros Marum, 2003, 8.5 minutes
A five-year-old boy creates his own snowman, putting all his energy into his work. However, now he must be brave and inventive to protect his snowman from the changing weather.

Children’s activities are free with admission to any of the festival films and will continue throughout the day. They include:

Red Carpet Walk — How does it feel to be a movie star? Find out on this walk of fame!
Face Painting & Tattoos
Arts & Crafts
Guessing Games
Flat Stanley Pen Pal Table
Door Prize Drawing

* Activities may be subject to change.

The CSI Center for the Arts 2007-2008 season is supported in part with funds from the Richmond County Savings Foundation; a gift by the Carnegie Corporation (made possible by an anonymous donor); the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Office of the Borough President, Hon. James P. Molinaro; the Staten Island Rotary Foundation; the College of Staten Island; and by our many business and individual patrons.

Directions to the Center for the Arts, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314:

By Car: The Center for the Arts is located within a few minutes’ drive from the Verrazano, Goethals, and Bayonne Bridges. Take I-278 (the Staten Island Expressway and exit at Victory Boulevard, proceed to campus parking lots 1 and 2. Parking is free.

By Mass Transit: The Center for the Arts is served by the S62, S61, S93, and S53 buses, which are coordinated with the Staten Island Ferry schedule.