CICFF has become a Halloween tradition for our family. We've volunteered for years, and this Halloween morning was no exception. This time, though, we'd like to take our readers where they've never gone before--behind the scenes--with projectionist, Fred, and Manager of Festival Operations, Kathleen.
The Children's Film Fest features film made by adults for kids and films actually made by kids. If you have a budding film maker at home, check out their web site and enter a submission next year, or sign up for film making camp at Facets which includes a chance to judge next years' films and determine which ones make the cut.
We've been raving about how cool it is to be able to choose from 270 films from over 40 countries, right here in Chicago, during one amazing week each year. But the people behind the scenes are pretty amazing, too. Without the projectionists, there would be no scenes to see!
Over at Facets, there are 3 projectionists, Ron, Fred and Emerald. Fred ran the bulk of the daily kids' films while Ron and Emerald took the regular Facets evening showings. When films are shown together in a series of shorts, they need to be spliced together onto a big reel, then cut apart again when the showings are over.
I asked Fred if submissions for the fest came in different formats, since they were coming in from around the world. PAL videos can't play here, and different parts of the world aren't always compatable in media. Interestingly enough, Fred said CICFF has gone to just film or DVDs for submissions for that reason. They used to get Beta submissions, then Digi Beta, but the tapes wouldn't always play. The majority of the Kids' Fest submissions do come in on film.
It's very cool up in the projectionist's booth, and Fred was happy to show Du-Jay and Sagezilla around. The giant reels and projectors are fun to see, and it's a whole different view looking down at the darkened movie theatre through the booth window. Just watch out if you have long hair near the reels!
Kathleen--juggler of parenting and production details for The Chicago International Children's Film Festival. CICFF is the largest and oldest film festival for children in North America. It is the only children's film festival in the world to be designated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an Academy Award qualifying festival.
P is also for parenting! Kathleen is Manager of Festival Operations and a Chicago Mom with a toddler daughter. Since Halloween is always the last day of the fest, and the closing ceremony with the best of the fest clips, her husband takes over on the costume front.
I'm always interested to see how parents juggle their creative work and their parenting. Of course parenting can be some of the most creative work of all, and having kids can influence careers and vice versa. I'm sure with age, her daughter will become as much a fest regular as Du-Jay and Sagezilla are.
Till next year, we'll continue to volunteer at the box office a few times a month as a family. We'll go back to tracking down the good indi films and international stand outs on our own, and try to see if some of the myriad we missed at the fest got released anywhere state side. And we'll eagerly anticipate the 28th annual CICFF next October.
For updates on Facets film camp, periodic screenings, and year round events, "like" CICFF and ChiIL Mama on Facebook.
For more fun posts from places and people around the world, click the link below and check out ABC Wednesday.