Barbican Family Film Week (22 – 29 October 2022)

Young people and their families are in for treat this half-term with Family Film Week 2022, an action-packed week of screenings, workshops and events taking place at the Barbican. This year the programme celebrates the joys of adventure and discovery, with some of the best new films from around the world. 

Susie Evans, Cinema Curator comments:

This year’s Family Film Week has been a dream to curate, every film in this programme has made me want to run and share it on the big screen! The stories  open up new perspectives and are full of adventure, comedy and love – but most of all, they are full of joy. The joy of film-making, the joy of sharing and making people laugh, cry and gasp will all up there on the Barbican’s big screen during October half term – and I can’t wait to find out what our audience thinks.

I’m particularly excited about the international titles we’re showing – films like Perlimps, Nahuel and the Magic Book, Franzy’s Soup Kitchen and The Queen of the Foxes to name but a few – as I hope that these rare and wonderful films – and the free workshops – will spark the flame of cinematic discovery for our young viewers and get them thinking ‘what’s next?”

The weekend begins with Spectacular Shorts, a joyous selection of bite-sized film nuggets especially designed to introduce younger audiences to international cinema.

This follows with the feature Minions: Rise of Gru (Dir Kyle Balda) + Flash Film Quiz; the story of one twelve-year-old’s dream to become the world’s greatest ever supervillain and join the notorious Vicious 6. Before the film, Curator Susie Evans will host an in-cinema flash film quiz (with BSL interpretation). 

The fun continues on Sunday with The Black Pharoah, The Savage and The Princess – in Michel Ocelot’s latest intricate animation – in which a storyteller captivates her audience with tales from medieval France, Egypt and Turkey.

Animated Adventures screens on Tue 25 Oct, a curated selection of shorts and features a mix of animated styles, including painting on glass, CGI and 2D, and hand-drawn ink line drawings based on Japanese scrolls. The programme continues with The Sea Beast (Dir Chris Williams), in this film young Maisie stows away on a pirate ship – where she is taken under the wing of legendary sea beast hunter Jacob Holland – and sets off on a quest in unchartered waters.

Further Family Film Week highlights include: a preview of My Father’s Dragon (Dir Nora Twomey), screening at the Barbican before its Netflix release, this is a new animation from the Cartoon Saloon and follows the fortunes of Elmer Elevator, a young boy who travels to a mysterious island to search for an imprisoned dragon; and Perlimps, a sublime, dreamy, multi-coloured animation from Oscar nominated director Ale Abreu; and Nahuel and the Magic Book (Dir German Acuña), a fantasy adventure filled with stunning drawing and feisty characters.

There is also a Family Film Activity sheet designed by Ivonne Vargas which will be available in the foyers every day.  On Fri 28 Oct there are free workshops running all morning for young film-fans to get creative and make their own animations with artists including John Harmer and Shelly Wain. Participants can sign up on site on the day.

On Sat 29 Oct, Family Film Week’s last day Folk Tales, Legends and Fables screens; a curated programme of shorts that explores legends, familiar folk lore characters and moral tales; with spoken word stories (in-between films) by the captivating storyteller Wendy Shearer. Before the film artist Kremena Dimitrova will lead a free drop-in workshop from 10am.  In this workshop children can make characters and scenes from the folk tales they will hear and watch.

The programme closes with the rarely seen Michel Ocelot film Kirikou and the Wild Beasts never theatrically released in the UK. A follow up to Kirikou and the Sorceress, the main storyteller begins to spin new tales about the diminutive hero and his exploits in saving their village.

Tickets are £2.50 for kids and £3.50 for adults. More info and bookings here.

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