A Film Festival Founded for Kids
By Loren King

The Boston International Kids Film Festival , a new joint effort between Filmmakers Collaborative and Tufts University, runs Nov. 1-3 at the Somerville Theatre. It aims to expose kids 10 and up to a variety of curated features, shorts and documentaries, and to offer workshops in media understanding.

The fest kicks off with “Arcadia,” a coming-of-age story starring Academy Award nominee John Hawkes as a father who takes his three kids on a cross-county trip without their mother.

Another coming-of-age film for all ages, “Amka and the Three Golden Rules,” screens Nov. 2. Set in Mongolia, the film features Ganzorig Telmen as Amka, a poor 10-year-old who lives with his older brother and younger sister. Discovering a gold coin, and what money can provide, leads him into trouble. Director/writer Babar Ahmed edited and shot the film entirely in Mongolia, one of the few films to be produced there.

Also screening on Nov. 2 is the short “The Making of Malala,” about Malala Yousafzai’s transformation from a quiet, deferential 11-year-old living near Pakistan’s tribal areas to a teenage spokeswoman for girls’ education. It will be followed by “Graceland Girls,” a 28-minute documentary that examines the role of education for girls at a private school in Kenya. Filmmaker Jordan Salvatoriello will discuss the film after the screening.

Several workshops will be offered at Tufts on Nov. 2. These include “Cyberbullying 101” (for kids 10 and up), facilitated by Jeannine M. Lenehan.

“The Watsons Go to Birmingham” (screens Nov. 2) is an adaptation of Christopher Paul Curtis’s acclaimed civil rights-themed novel. After the screening, Randy Testa, of Walden Media, which produced the film, will discuss its making.

Filmmaker Signe Taylor presents “Decoding Film Language,” and her documentary “Circus Dreams,” about Circus Smirkus, a traveling youth circus, screens as part of the festival, both on Nov. 3. Go to www.bikff.org .

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