The Mill Valley Film Festival turns 40 this year and even their Children’s FilmFest is growing up. The  festival, which showcases indie and world cinema, runs from October 5 through the 15th and it will screen nearly 100 feature films, as well as shorts from almost 50 countries, with lots of options for little cinephiles. We have a round up of the flicks not to miss right here.


Change is Part of Growing Up
This year, the Children’s FilmFest has been replaced by a new program called filmHOOD. This program encompasses films that reflect boyhood, girlhood, childhood, as well as adulthood. While there’s no hood in teenage, many of the films focus on the teen years and the intense issues that teenagers face.

There are some films that are great for children, although some of these are foreign films so you might have to whisper the subtitles to the little ones. In some cases, the eye-catching animation speaks for itself.

Some of the top picks are:



Revolting Rhymes (UK 58 min)
Based on the book written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake, Revolting Rhymes are two half-hour films produced by Magic Light Pictures, which ingeniously interweaves five ofDahl’s retellings of classic fairy tales with playful twists and surprising endings. The Narrator Wolf tells the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Snow-White, Three Little Pigs, Jack &the Beanstalk and Cinderella

Ages 7+

Saturday, October 7, 12:00pm at the CinéArts Sequoia

Sunday, October 8, 11:00am at the Lark Theatre


Owls & Mice ((Netherlands, 80 min))
From the Netherlands, this quirky nature tale/kid-rock musical is about a new girl in town, a mouse named Peepeep, the wonders—and heartbreak—of the natural world, and the surprising twists and turns on the road to friendship. A treat for kids who love nature and for families navigating the tender terrain of grade school social life.

Ages 6+

Friday, October 6, 10:00am at the Smith Rafael Film Center

Saturday, October 7, 10:30am at the CinéArts Sequoia


Wendy (Germany)
This movie is about a 12-year-old who has to spend her summer at her grandmother’s run-down horse ranch. Its’ a moving story punctuated with humor about friendship, compassion, and courage as Wendy must find her way back into the saddle after a fall shakes her confidence. An encounter with a special horse pushes her to conquer her fears.

Ages 8+

Saturday, October 14, 2:00pm at the Smith Rafael Film Center

Sunday, October 15, 11:30am at the CinéArts Sequoia


The Mystery of Green Hill (Croatia 2017, 81 min)
A band of clever, kid sleuths faces dark woods and mysterious burglaries in this coming-of-age film that celebrates friendship and the bittersweet reward of doing the right thing even when the answers you find aren’t the ones you sought.

Ages 10+

Sunday, October 8, 1:15pm at the Lark Theatre

Sunday, October 15, 2:45pm at the Smith Rafael Film Center’


Liyana (Swaziland/US, 78 min)
Creative sparks fly when young Swazi orphans are invited to tell their own story, inspired by

harsh life experience and rich imagination. Together they invent Liyana’s dangerous quest to

rescue her twin brothers, which is brought to life by their own backstory, charismatic storytelling,

and gorgeous 3D and 2D animation.

Ages 11+


Friday, October 13, 10:00am at the Lark Theatre

Saturday, October 14, 12:00pm at the Smith Rafael Film Center


Moana (USA, 113 min.)
Definitely in English and definitely good for young kids. The festival hosts a free outdoor screening of the Disney movie in Old Mill Park.


Friday, October 6, 7:00 PM Old Mill Park, Mill Valley


Starring Juliane Moore and Michelle Williams Wonderstruck is based on the bestselling kids’ novel by Brian Selznick about a young boy and girl who both run away to New York City, but 50 years apart. The movie is a highlight of the festival and not part of the FilmHOOD program but kids, as well as adults, are likely to like it. Selznick is the author and illustrator of “Hugo,” “The Houdini Box” and “Frindle”.The Mill Valley Film Festival will be honoring director Todd Haynes who will participate in an onstage conversation and audience Q&A after the screening.

Fri, Oct 13 7:00 PM The Smith Rafael Film Center



This one is also not in the FilmHood series but it could be great for kids. Tree is a multisensory VR installation that gives participants the unique opportunity to grow from seed to full-grown rainforest tree. It’s a fully immersive experience with a powerful narrative, that allows participants to see, feel, hear and smell what it is like to “be” a tree and witness its fate firsthand: With your arms as branches and your body as trunk, you’ll experience the wonder of growth literally from the ground up.

Friday, October 13 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
Saturday, October 14 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday, October 15 | 10:00am – 2:00pm
Outdoor Art Club | Sign-ups beginning October 6th


Movies for parents about kids and movies for teenagers:


Photo by David Appleby. © 2017 Fox Searchlight Pictures

Goodbye Christopher Robin
This PG movie offers a rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie the Pooh. Milne was a veteran of World Wars I and II and was plagued by the horrors he experienced. So probably not that great for young kids, even if they love Winnie the Pooh.


Metamorphosis: Junior Year (US 2017, 75 min)
Created by Palo Alto High School students in collaboration with James Franco and based on a Young Adult novel by Betsy Franco, this coming-of-age tale takes on the themes that define youth: identity, sex, drugs, self-image. Haunted by his sister’s death, Ovid uses mythology and art to understand the world around him while his friends endure high school life.

40th Mill Valley Film Festival
When: Oct. 5-15
Where: Venues in Mill Valley, San Rafael, Corte Madera and Larkspur
Schedule, tickets and more information: (877) 874-6833. ,


How do you think it would go if you took your child to a foreign language film?