If the idea of taking your kiddos to the movies makes you a little nervous (think: snack bar demands, whisper-talking, and multiple toilet trips)—we’ve got the perfect solution. This March, the 9th annual Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival once again joins forces with Oakland’s Chabot Space Center to showcase 41 family films from all around the globe. With movies ranging from animated to live action and shorts to features, plus plenty of kid-friendly extras, this is the perfect setting for your mini movie buffs.

kikoriki2_11-1Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon – Courtesy BAICFF

Opening Night
The festival kicks off on Friday night with a sure to inspire panel discussion called BRAVE: Women Breaking the Mold.  It features leading female artists in film, animation, and video game design on the topic of pushing boundaries in media.

Now Showing
Saturday and Sunday are broken down into two sets of films: morning and afternoon.  The morning movies are great for kids of all ages (and attention spans), while the afternoon films are recommended for older kids ages 7 and up. The line-up includes the animated UK film I Am Not a Mouse, where every time Lucy is called ‘Mouse’ by her Mum—she turns into a real mouse; a feature film from Russia called Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon, where the simple residents of a peaceful island are thrown kicking and screaming into big adventure; and Octopus News!, which features journalism and reporting by kids from Taiwan.  For the full 2017 program, click here.

Five-years-old Miles Scott, from Tulelake, Calif., is dressed in a Batman costume in San Francisco, Friday, November 15, 2013. Miles, who wants to be a Batman, will embark on a series of crime-solving adventures when San Francisco is converted into “Gotham City” as part of a Make-A-Wish Foundation event. He is in a fight on his own in his battle against leukemia since he was a year old. He is now in remission. (Photo: Make-A-Wish Foundation/PaulSakuma.com)Bat Kid – Courtesy BAICFF

Director’s Chair
For all of your pint-sized auteurs-in-training, the festival offers totally hands-on workshops in clay puppets, pixilation, found objects, and (new for this year) how to be a kid critic. The best part? Students get to see their hard work shown on the big screen! Workshop descriptions and registration info can be found here.

Behind the Scenes
Museum parking is… free! Snacking options include the museum café and a few food vendors.  For non-Chabot members, the price of your admission also includes museum entry—so take advantage of all the cool museum exhibits before and after the movies.

1Courtesy BAICFF

Box Office Details
When:  Friday, March 10 (7 p.m. – 9 p.m.); Saturday, March 11 (10 a.m.–8 p.m.); Sunday, March 12 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Where: Chabot Space & Science Center: 10000 Skyline Blvd. Oakland, Ca
AdmissionOpening Night:  March 10 tickets are limited; $12/Adult; $6/Child;  One-Day Pass: March 11 or March 12 (includes one day full of films and activities at Chabot). Non-Chabot Members: $25/Adult, $14/Youth; Chabot Members: $15/Adult, $7/Youth.  Weekend Pass: March 11 + March 12 (includes two full days of films and activities at Chabot). Non-Chabot Members: $65 (up to 2 adults & 2 children), Members: $35 (up to 2 adults and 2 children).Workshops: Prices range from $15 – $30; details here.
Online:  baicff.com

Have you been to this festival?  What was your family’s favorite part?

—Mae Respicio Koerner