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It’s easy to be cynical when it comes to movies for kids, especially during the summer. A succession of safe, loud, obnoxious films are nearly always lined up for the school break months, lingering at the box office until well into September. Even the quality ones with craft and ambition put into them can feel like IP-introductory exercises, maintaining brand awareness in the first two quadrants into infinity and beyond. But be cynical no more! (Maybe get a bit of lunch in and lighten up…)

The IFI Family Film Festival, the Irish Film Institute’s annual event of cinema catered to young viewers, returns in July with a programme of international treats to entertain film fans of all ages, whatever the weather.

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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.

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The BFG: Director: Steven Spielberg Starring: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Witton, Jemaine Clement Running time: 117 minutes

If you’re looking for a film to watch with your kids this summer that will keep them happy but won’t put you to sleep, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG is an excellent option. It tells the story of an unlikely friendship developing between precocious Sophie, an orphan in old-time Britain and the big, friendly Giant, a gentle-hearted deliver of dreams. The film is visually stunning, with rich colours and warm lighting which will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Spielberg has struck an excellent balance here of heart-warming moments between Sophie and the BFG versus the terrifying encounters with the cannibalistic giants who mercilessly bully the BFG. The BFG pulls at our heart strings from start to finish and that is the film’s greatest success as it isn’t easy to keep an audience emotionally engaged for such a long amount of time, especially children. That being said, unfortunately this film really is long and it would have benefited from a tighter edit and shorter runtime.

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