Packed programme of cool family movies at mega film fest
Time Out Dubai Kids staff
If you’re at a loss for what to do with the nippers this season, or your brood are a bunch of mini movie buffs, then what better way to entertain the little monsters, than a trip the silver screen? And this year’s DIFF is perfectly geared towards a younger audience, with some fabulous children’s films making their cinematic debut. There are festive movies for the Christmas season, as well as adventures involving werewolves, long lost princesses, elves and bears. Check out our round-up of the festival's top family movies.
Journey to the Christmas Star A re-make of a well-known Norwegian Christmas adventure, this magical tale follows the story of a brave girl called Sonja, who sets out on a dangerous quest. Tasked with finding the Christmas Star so an evil curse can be lifted from her kingdom, she only has a few days left until Christmas to find the star, and an array of dastardly characters want to stop her accomplishing her mission. Expect lots of adventure, lovely Christmassy scenes and an appearance from Santa himself, too.
Ernest and Celestine Adapted from the classic children’s book of the same name by Belgium author Gabrielle Vincent, Ernest and Celestine tells the story of two characters who challenge conventional notions of friendship. Ernest, a hermit bear and talented musician forges an unlikely friendship with Celestine – a little orphaned mouse, when their paths cross unexpectedly. The two then become inseparable in their woodland world, where bears and mice are not allowed to be friends.
Gattu For those old enough to read subtitles, Gattu is an uplifting Hindi film about a nine-year-old street child determined to realise his dreams. Set in the small town of Roorkee, Uttarakhand, Gattu struggles to survive amid grinding poverty, working for his uncle's recycling business, collecting rubbish to buy food. His town is obsessed with kite flying, and one kite in particular, Kali, dominates the skies. Gattu dreams of becoming a champion kite flyer, and one day climbs onto the roof of a local school to watch Kali from a better vantage point. But in order to spend time there, he must impersonate a student – a tough challenge for a child who cannot read or write.
Fidgety Bram Moving away from the festive theme, Dutch film, Fidgety Bram is the story of a six-year-old boy who just can’t sit still. Everything is fine until he has to go to school, and is faced with the strict classroom regime of Mr Fish the school teacher. Fidgety finds himself being forced to keep still – with a teacher who just doesn’t understand his mobile and unfocussed world. Fidgety’s parents are also faced with trying to help their son fit in – and help him survive the transition without being miserable.
Alfie the little Werewolf What would you do, if you were to wake up on your seventh birthday – only to discover you had turned into a werewolf? This is the dilemma faced by Alfie in this quirky Dutch movie, when his life takes an irreversible turn as he starts to grow sharp claws and white fuzzy hair, and howl at the moon too! All he wants to do is return to being an ordinary boy, but with the help of his loving family, and a mysterious, hairy stranger, Alfie realizes that being different might not be so bad after all.