Always a fun occasion, every year the Irish Film Institute’s Family Festival offers films and activities that are perfect to bring the kids along to and get them an early start in the world of film. With fun films from around the world, plenty of shorts and professionals taking charge of a variety of workshops, it’s a great way for the family to close out the summer and this year’s Family Festival, taking place at the end of August, looks as enticing as ever.
There’s a bit of a zoological theme running through this year’s festival, so if your kids love animals you’re definitely in luck. Talking cats, teaching frogs, racing buffaloes and loyal dogs, fierce wolves and some very big elephants all feature across the various films and short films that are set to be shown at the festival, which takes place at the IFI from August 25 – 27. For the festival’s opening event on the Friday, the IFI will welcome Laureate na nÓg and award-winning poet and author PJ Lynch. As part of Lynch’s Big Picture project as Laureate na nÓG, he’ll be telling stories in pictures and helping visitors to create some fun animal tales themselves.
Workshops have always been one of the standouts of the Family Festival as experts show off their craft to eager young audiences and this year looks like no exception. Paper Panther Productions will be along on Saturday morning, helping kids to create their very own mini puppets to bring home, while Aoife Doyle of Pink Kong Studios will be taking charge of a workshop inspired by her studio’s Urban Tails short Madra Rua, where the participants will learn about the creatures living in our cities before getting a chance to create their very own animated urban tail. On Sunday, the Book Doctors of Children’s Books Ireland will be in for clinic hours, helping to prescribe new books to book lovers of all ages, followed by a workshop that’s perfect for kids with a budding wanderlust, as the Young Film Explorers programme shows different stories from across Europe.
For the films, there’s an international flavour as films from Thailand, the Netherlands, Japan and Australia among the selection. No worries about being able to follow along, as all films in a foreign language will be subtitled, with special guests from RTÉjr popping in to help read along from time to time as well. And fans of classics like The Snowman will not want to miss the beautiful watercolour animation of We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, showing on the Saturday morning.
You can see the full schedule for the Family Festival 2017 and purchase tickets here. Individual tickets for all the films at the festival cost €5, including the opening night event. A family ticket (covering feature films and shorts programmes) is €15.00 for 2 adults and 2 children, or 1 adult and 3 children. Workshops cost €15 – €20 each. Films can be booked via the IFI Box Office on 01-6793477 or via the IFI website. Workshops can only be booked via the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477.