BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Elvis, Clark Kent, the Incredible Hulk, and Queen of the Silver Screen (wearing a film canister as a fascinator)—imagination and fantasy abounded at the BOO! Bash. Facets’ salute to Halloween has become the zaniest and spookiest carnival in town, and surely the source of the best tricks and treats in Chicago.
What a week for Facets Director and world film expert Milos Stehlik! It began at Park West with the BOO! Bash on October 23 and ended with the Premiere of the 33rd Annual Chicago International Film Festival on October 28, with a showing of Dreamworks’ Trolls at the Archlight Cinema. One of the top film festivals for kids in the world, the celebration of kids from age 2 to 17 features 289 films from 45 countries, selected from over 2,500 entries. Funds raised at the BOO! Bash benefitted the festival, running through November 6.
Of the CIFF, Milos commented:
“The Chicago International Film Festival is the oldest and largest festival of films for children in North America, and the first Academy-qualifying children’s film festival in the world, with a track record of 33 Academy Award recommendations and eight Oscar winners.
“These are simply the coolest, smartest, funniest, most creative, and meaningful films, which engage children’s imaginations, make them think, foster empathy and global understanding.”
John Bartlett, Francisco Gonzalez Pulido, Kelly Kaiser, Armeen Siddiqui-Mirza, Victoria York, and Sig Zetouni wrangled contestants for the best costume contest, and served as enthusiastic co-chairs. Suzette Bulley, who conceived of the BOO! Bash, was this year’s honorary chair.
Bacon and eggs, a herd of horses, and a tray of cupcakes, along with a bevy of vampires and ghosts paraded onstage to wild parental applause, as judges weighed the scariest, cleverest and other categories. The best overall costume went to The Queen of the Silver Screen, a clever nod to Facets.
Fiercely independent since 1975, Facets is a nonprofit cultural institution dedicated to creating and sustaining transformative film experiences for people of all ages through the preservation, exhibition, and distribution of independent film and the provision of film-based learning programs among diverse audiences.
Not only can families view fabulous global offerings during the film festival, they are able to participate in Q&As with filmmakers, attend workshops with special guests, and participate in peer-to-peer dialogues.
“The Festival is juried by film professionals in addition to child and youth juries, who present the Festival awards at the closing ceremony November 6. More than anything, it is a unique opportunity for children and their parents to see the very best films produced for children by some of the most creative filmmakers in 41 countries.
“I am personally stunned by the ingenuity, thoughtfulness, and astonishing artistry of so many of these filmmakers. I always feel what an incredible privilege it is to be able to share these amazing films with the next generation. If kids are allowed to grow up on films like these, they can and will save the world.
“It makes me want to be a child again!”
Photo credit: Facets Multimedia
To learn more about Facets and to view the Festival schedule visit: www.facets.org.