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French Films at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival

Still from "Storytellers and Story Keepers"

The 35th annual Festival runs from November 1—November 9, 2018 at eight Chicago-area venues and presents on average 250 new films from 40 countries including from France.

This year’s Festival theme BUILD focuses on empowering kids and teens to “Build a new world” by constructing bridges across divides, engaging with empathy-driven storytelling, and using creative problem solving to build confidence. 

The Festival is presented by Facets, a nonprofit that connects over 30,000 people annually to independent ideas through transformative film experiences.

Supported by Kids Trail, a program of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the FACE Foundation dedicated to children and families.

French Films


Looney Foodz 
Nov. 4 | 9:30am | Facets Theatre 1

Join the friends and family members in this shorts program dedicated to celebrations, food explorations, and all things yummy. Languages: English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Hakka Chinese, German, Czech, Dutch, nonverbal

Makers and Shakers
November 3 | 9:30am | Facets Theatre 1 

These game changers are getting it done! In one film, an ant is the rogue in the colony and is definitely not staying on the beaten path. Languages: English, French, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, nonverbal

Tales with Tails
November 4 | 9:30am | Wilmette Theatre 1 
This collection of films stars curious critters who love going on fun adventures. Language: English, French 

The Highway Rat
November 4 | 12:30pm | Gorton Community Center

For fans of the beloved books from Scottish author Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo), the latest animated version to hit the screen is here. Languages: English, French, Japanese, nonverbal

Animation Station
November 4 | 5:00pm | Gorton Community Center

The animated short films from around the world in this collection have piqued the interest of our Festival tween focus group! Languages: English, Guaraní, nonverbal

Best Laid Plans
November 3 | 9:30am | Wilmette Theatre 1 
November 3 | 10:00am | Davis Theatre 2

What does one do when plans go awry? The quirky characters in this collection of animated shorts come up with totally brilliant plans, of course! Languages: English, French, nonverbal 

Family Ties
November 3 | 7:00pm | Facets Theatre 1

Love and connections with family members are what’s important to the characters in this collection of short films. Languages: French, English, Armenian, nonverbal 

A Little Savoir-Faire
November 7 | 9:45am | Alliance Française 
November 8 | 10:00am | Alliance Française
November 9 |10:00am | Alliance Française 

This French-language collection of animated shorts contains lessons and tales, both old and new. These are school screenings but are open to the public. Language: English, French, Nonverbal

No More Copycat
November 3 | 9:45am | Facets Theatre 2

What can we rely on to be a source of good information? What are the rules for “borrowing” someone else’s hard work? Languages: French, German, Mandarin 

Out and About
November 3 | 11:00am | Wilmette Theatre 1
November 4 | 3:00pm | Gorton Community Center 

These adventurous folktales are full of giants, barnyard misfits, and excitement. Languages: English, French 

Storytellers and Story Keepers
November 3 | 3:00pm | Logan Center for the Arts 

From France to the Congo, these tales are filled with magic and life lessons, featuring a new version of Arabian Nights. Languages: English, French, Lingala, Guaraní, Arabic 

Courts du Collège 
November 4 | 1:30pm | Facets Theatre 2

From folklore about magical tortoises to long standing rivalries between the Big Bad Fox and Wolf, these French-language films are full of curious critters and adventure. Languages: English, French, nonverbal

Straight and Narrow
November 3 | 3:00pm | Facets Theatre 1

The characters in this collection of shorts have to listen to their inner voices when it comes time to make decisions. Languages: English, French, Spanish, Norwegian, Estonian, Russian, nonverbal

Edgy Animation 1
November 3 | 3:15pm | Facets Theatre 2
November 8 | 8:30pm | Facets Theatre 1

Edgy Animation 1 presents the freshest, most interesting international animated films. This program features the best in animation’s varied approaches and style. Languages: English, French, Mandarin Chinese, nonverbal

Edgy Animation 2
November 2 | 7:00pm | Facets Theatre 1
November 3 | 9:00pm | Facets Theatre 1

Films in this second installment of the best out-there animations were inspired by Neil Gaiman and Hieronymus Bosch. Content Advisory: Strobe warning. Languages: English, French, nonverbal

Journeys and Generations
November 4 | 5:00pm | Facets Theatre 1

Family connections sustain the characters in this collection through thick and thin. Languages: English, French, Portuguese, Hebrew, Albanian 


French Language Film

Dreamers Only, Please
November 3 | 5:00pm | Facets Theatre 1

The dreamers and adventurers in this collection of short films follow their passions. In one film, a resourceful Chilean boy takes a side job to earn money and might get more than he thought. Languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Fulah, Wolof, French, nonverbal


Films Co-Produced by France

Girl Boss: Rearview Mirrors
November 8 | 7:00pm | Facets Theatre 1

The teens in this collection of short films reflect on identity, friendships, and female empowerment. Languages: Portuguese, English, German, nonverbal 


For a full list of films featured at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival, download the 2018 Schedule

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