‘The Cinema of Childhood’ season announced

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A curated touring season of films has been announced to tie in with the upcoming Mark Cousins documentary A Story of Children and Film (Dogwoof, released 4 April 2014).

For booking information please contact MarjoleinDen Bakker at FilmHouse: Marjolein.DenBakker@filmhousecinema.com

The Cinema of Childhood – a season curated by Mark Cousins is a touring season of great films with child protagonists from all around the world, curated by the filmmaker Mark Cousins. It’s inspired by his documentary A Story of Children and Film, which explores the depiction of childhood in the movies through 53 films from 25 countries. The season and the documentary will be released alongside each other, in April 2014.

The season includes 14 features and 4 shorter films – all of them masterpieces previously unknown to UK audiences. They show children dealing with war, disability, divorce, absent parents, bullying, but always with resilience, imagination and optimism.  They show children on a quest to fulfil their desires, or to make their world better. The films are both specific to the own time and culture, but also universal in their exploration of childhood emotions, hopes and fears.

The Cinema of Childhood season will launch in April 2014, and the films will tour for up to year around UK cinemas. Edinburgh Filmhouse, BFI Southbank and other key venues will screen the whole season, but we are hoping that smaller groups of films, or even individual titles, will also tour more widely. We are interested in organizing special events around suitable films, targeted at specific interest groups.

The dominant style of the films is naturalism. They depict children behaving naturally within a natural (though perhaps extreme) context. These are not fantastical films set in imaginary worlds.

The following films have currently been announced with more to follow soon:

For all ages

• “Willow and Wind” (Iran, 2000): A boy breaks a school window, and must mend it himself before he’s allowed back into class.

• “Bag of Rice” (Iran, 1998): A little girl must carry a sack of rice all the way across Tehran – but there’s a hole in the bottom.

• “The Boot” (Iran, 1993). A little girl desperately wants a shiny pair of red wellies – but then she loses one.

• “Palle Alone In The World” (Denmark, 1949, 25 mins). A little boy wakes up to find Copenhagen deserted, and it becomes his giant playground.

• “The Little Girl Who Sold The Sun” (Senegal, 1999, 45 mins). A feisty crippled girl tries to improve her life by selling newspapers on the streets of Dakar.

For teenagers/adults

• “Moving” (Japan, 1993). A girl struggles to come to terms with her parents’ divorce.

• “Tomka and his Friends” (Albania, 1977). A group of Albanian boys in WW2 become secret agents for the local Resistance when the Nazis occupy their village.

• “Crows” (Poland, 1993). A neglected 12-year-old girl steals a younger girl to become her surrogate mother.

• “Little Fugitive” (USA, 1953). A slice of realist Americana, about a boy who runs away to the fairground when he’s tricked into thinking he’s killed his older brother.

• “Ten Minutes Older” (Latvia 1978). One shot – 10 minutes – close-up on a little boy’s face as he watches a puppet show.