From July 27–August 2, Row House Cinema will present the 2018 Pittsburgh International Children’s Film Festival, a celebration featuring a curated selection of international movies and short films, storytimes, treats, craft activities, and more.
The event includes works from the Czech Republic, Russia, Japan, and 11 other countries, as well as classic and new kid-friendly films.
“This year’s selections include artful and beautiful animation and thoughtful storylines that are engaging for adults and children,” said festival director Brian Mendelssohn in an official press release. “We’re so excited to bring them to Pittsburgh.”
The festival opens with Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the acclaimed documentary about children’s television pioneer and Pittsburgh hero, Fred Rogers. For over 30 years, Rogers, an unassuming minister, puppeteer, writer, and producer, was beamed daily into homes across America. In his beloved television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues, in a simple, direct fashion. In Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom) looks back on the legacy of Rogers, focusing on his radically kind ideas. The screening includes a special guest speaker and Mr. Rogers themed t-shirts from Steel City on sale in the lobby.
The lineup showcases compilations of the best short films from the 2018 New York International Children’s Film Festival, the narration-free insect documentary Microcosmos, and The Oddsockeaters, a Czech film about strange sock-stealing creatures. Also included are the classic 1971 fantasy film Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and the 2018 Disney/Pixar blockbuster Incredibles 2.
The festival will also host the premiere of Joana and the Bad Guys, a 25-minute stop-motion film written, filmed, and produced by kindergarten students at the Kentucky Avenue School in Shadyside.
Row House Cinema will play movies at a lower volume to protect young ears and provide kid-friendly snacks at storytime screenings and sock puppet making. In the spirit of the festival, children are welcome to move around the theater, chat, and just be kids.
Movie tickets can be purchased individually, or a pass is available to see unlimited films for the entire week.