ANDkids Musings with Special Guest Dr. Paulette Curtis

By Ricky Herbst, Cinema Program Director for the Browning Cinema, July 27, 2018

[About a 5 MIN read]

As Establishing Shot re-establishes itself for the upcoming academic year, the podcast is moving up and out of its duplex into two separate shacks. (The podcast had a rough game of MASH.) Don’t worry, intrepid listeners! The content will still be the same with the traditional episode being cleaved into two episodes: (1) what’s playing at the Browning Cinema and what Ted and Ricky have been catching in the festival/screener world and (2) the heretofore(ver) un-trademarked Top Three portion of the show.

As it’s both exciting and daunting to be expanding, Ted and Ricky will be enlisting the help of some special guests to help carry the load. This episode, Notre Dame’s own Dr. Paulette Curtis has the onerous job of being the first guest and tasked with schlepping the sofas to the U-Haul (moving houses metaphor still active). She’s on hand to discuss with Ted and Ricky the rundown of Ted’s recent trip to the Munich Film Festival as well as the 10th Annual ANDkids Film Festival, which is upcoming August 1–3 in the Browning Cinema with screenings daily at 11 a.m, 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m. and a Foley Workshop on August 1–2 at 5 p.m.

An annual collaboration between WNIT Public Television and co-presented by the Lauran E. and Justin L. Tuck Endowment for Children’s Programming, ANDkids offers international films for kids of all ages for exactly zero (count ‘em: zero) bucks. The free screenings come from almost every continent (sorry again, Antarctica) with an abundance of languages and cultures and genres and topographies and stories depicted. Kids are given a passport if they intend to attend multiple screenings which can be stamped to show all the amazing places they’ll go via the movies. After each screening, kids can vote for the ANDkids Best of the Fest award.

This year’s festival kicks off with a shorts program called Dig Deep, Fly High with animated shorts from the United States, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Mexico, Slovenia, Argentina, France, Russia, Canada. The shorts are intended for all ages with many dialogue-less shorts and, as with all shorts programs, any subtitles being read aloud for any pre-literate attendees. A live-action shorts program, Dream Catchers, follows with stories from Turkey, Australia, India, The Netherlands, Suriname, Iraq, Lebanon, and the United States featured for audiences roughly of ages 8+. The first feature film screens thereafter, a G-rated animated trio of comic barnyard stories from France dubbed into English called The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales.

Kevin Krizmanich, the Cinema Production Manager and Engineer of this very podcast, leads the Foley Workshop where children are able to create the sound effects for a scene (think: clapping coconuts shells to sound like a horse’s canter). Wednesday closes with a crossover from the Summer Classics series, which is featuring musicals this year, and a sing-a-long of the original 1982 film version of Annie

Thursday begins with a shorts program for all ages about nature called Tall Trees, Big Sky, and Me with offerings from France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. Real World Reel Talk, a documentary shorts program for ages 11+, follows with stories of overcome adversity and unique cultural differences/similarities from Cote d’Ivoire, Iran, Germany, Nepal, the United States, the Netherlands, Syria, and Kenya. We then move to feature films with Lila’s Book, a Colombian animated film in Spanish with English subtitles about a children’s storybook come to life that enters into a Hook storyline of sorts. After another Foley Workshop, Thursday comes to a close with the PG-13-rated Fireworks (a.k.a the rather longwinded Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?) from Japan, a time-bending animated film that has been dubbed into English.

The last day of the festival kicks off with an all-ages sneak peek of an unaired episode of the popular PBS show Splash and Bubbles, which is being presented thanks to the wonderful folks at WNIT Public Television with a big thanks to Steve Funk for all his hard work there. Next, the Force for Good shorts program has its world debut. This exciting new program is curated by Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre Professor Ted Mandell, who created the nationwide call for films shot on cellphones by high school students that depict how they can be a force for good. Our feature films for the day follow with first Mountain from Australia, a documentary rated PG about valleys. Wait wait wait, it’s about gulches. Nah, it’s about mountains, which are gorgeously shot, from all over the world and how they impact the people who live by them and who scale them. (NB: There won’t be a Foley Workshop held on Friday so be sure to catch it Wednesday or Thursday.) The festival will close with Revolting Rhymes, a PG-rated adaptation of British writer Roald Dahl’s irreverent takes on Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, The Three Little Pigs, Jack & the Beanstalk and Cinderella.

After the final screening, a reception with desserts will be held and the results of the voting announced. In turn, Les Saisons, the ANDkids Best of the Fest winner from 2017, will ride into its winter years and hand the crown to this year’s choice.

Closing with a big thanks to the brilliant and longtime ANDkids shorts curator Liz Shepherd of the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, who spends hours stacked on days researching the rich breadth of international children’s shorts and then packaging it into thoughtful, rich programs.