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text and reviews by Virginia Carolfi and Rael Montecucco

2022 marks the beginning of a project that Concorto Film Festival, now in its 21st edition (August 20-27, 2022), has long aimed to realize, something that is being carried out experimentally, so as to broaden the activities offered in the years to come.

We are talking about Concorto Kids, namely several events the festival has organized for children. This idea was inspired by two principles: the desire to offer quality cinema, moving away from stereotyped animations and mass video products, and the intention to connect the screenings with a network of cultural projects, such as workshops for younger and older audiences.

Concorto Kids is targeted at children between 3 and 10 years old, a wide but not too broad range that allows us to offer consistent films and activities.

In this 21st edition, our Piacenza-based short film festival will therefore be engaged in an image education effort targeting all children living nearby, aiming to involve and create networks of excellence in our national reality, to promote the project, and to create joint activities of mutual value.

One important goal of the Concorto Kids project is to promote quality cinema for children, moving away from mainstream approaches and standardized content, and to give parents, educators, and teachers practical tools to learn how to use cinema as educational content.

Concorto Kids is curated by Enrica Carini, Virginia Carolfi, Rael Montecucco, Daniele Signaroldi.

Programme and details click here.

The selected shorts

curated by Rael Montecucco and Virginia Carolfi

Der kleine Vogel und die Bienen (The Little Bird And The Bees), Lena von Döhren, 2020, Switzerland

Dove il sasso cadrà, Beatrice Pucci, 2021, Italy

Du iz tak?, Galen Fott, 2018, USA

Fuchs für Edgar (Fox for Edgar), Pauline Kortmann, 2021, Germany

Fundamentals of art, David Payne, Leo Bruges, 2021, Czech Republic

Hello Stranger,  Julia Ocker, 2021, Germany

Histoire pour 2 trompettes, Amandine Meyer, 2021, France

I am sorry whale, Veronika Kocourková, 2021, Slovakia

Le mutande di orso bianco, AVISCO Ets, 2016, Italy

Omar & Pincette, Julien Sulser, 2022, Switzerland

Reven og Nissen (The tomten and the fox), Are Austnes, Yaprak Morali,  2019, Norway

Saka sy Vorona (Cat and bird), Franka Sachse, 2021, Germany

Snejinka (Snowflake), Natalia Chernysheva, 2012, Russia

Sono io il più forte!, AVISCO Ets, 2016, Italy

Sounds Between The Crowns, Filip Diviak, 2020, Czech Republic

The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Robin Shaw, 2019, UK

Wei xiao de yu (A fish with a smile), C. Jay Shih, Poliang Lin, Alan Tuan, 2005, Taiwan

Der kleine Vogel und die Bienen (The Little Bird And The Bees), Lena von Döhren, 2020, Switzerland

An animation film with simple and delightful drawings. It describes in a delicately humorous way a day of ordinary wonder in a small wood, just like the one we can find just a few miles from home. 

Where the stone will fall

Due to a spell, princess Gerda is turned into a frog and she waits in her pond for a prince who will love her for who she is… A fairy tale with an ancient flavor but with a message that is always relevant: the power of love that breaks down every barrier and cancels all diversity. Beatrice Pucci’s stop motion animation is as always delicate and visually stunning. 

Fuchs für Edgar

Little Edgar loves nature and in particular a small fox, with which he is close friends. His parents, lost in their adult world of technology and smartphones, are now distant from their son’s world. Until one day Edgar decides not to return home and stay in the woods with his fox friend. A thought-provoking movie about how we pay less and less attention to other people because of our addiction to cell phones and social media. The solution is there at hand: just turn off the screens and look around to rediscover what beautiful things life has to offer, including family affections and nature.

Fundamentals of art

Natalie loves to paint, but she sees art in her own way and does not want to bend to the rigid rules dictated by her professor. The Bruges/Payne pair presents us with a heart-filled short movie about the importance of believing in oneself and the need to have total freedom in the artistic field. 

Hello Stranger

An astronaut lands on an unknown planet and gradually gets to learn its secrets and inhabitants. A little animated gem about discovering life, full of color and quirky moments.

Histoire pour 2 trompettes

An intimate, autobiographical movie in which author Amandine Meyer recounts the course of her life (artistic and not) through a journey into a fantastic, magical, and colorful world. An author’s gem. 

Omar & Pincette

The complicated love story between Omar, a crab-clawed man who works in a circus, and Pincette, a mermaid who has been torn away from her sea and forced to live in captivity. Will the two be able to escape from the circus life headed towards a finally free life together? A wonderful, lively fairy tale full of color and sentiment, almost a for kids version of The Shape of Water. 

Du iz tak?, Galen Fott, 2018, USA

Inspired by Carson Ellis’ brilliant book, Du iz tak? is narrated in the mysterious language of insects and shows big and little happenings that are hidden in the microcosm of a garden.

I am sorry whale, Veronika Kocourková, 2021, Slovakia

How is it possible to tell about marine pollution in less than 2 minutes? Well, Veronika Kocourková succeeds in doing this thanks to an effective as fulminous animation film.

Le mutande di orso bianco (White bear’s underpants), AVISCO Ets, 2016, Italy

The white bear has lost his underpants! That’s embarrassing for sure, but search will lead to new friendships and to the consciousness that everyone wears a pair of underpants and loses it as well. Inspired by Tupera Tupera’s homonymous book.

Reven og Nissen (The tomten and the fox), Are Austnes, Yaprak Morali,  2019, Norway

A winter night, a hungry fox and an attentive Tomten, a small fairytale creature that protects Scandinavian farms. It is a delightful story full of instincts, friendship and mutual trust. Based on a book by Astrid Lindgren, “mother” of Pippi Longstocking. 

Saka sy Vorona (Cat and bird), Franka Sachse, 2021, Germany

A black cat, a white bird: two worlds that gather, collide, mingle and compare. A jewel of disarming simplicity. 

Snejinka (Snowflake), Natalia Chernysheva, 2012, Russia

An African child receives a snowflake as a gift from his pen friend. Oh gosh, what a beautiful surprise! Savanna covered in snow is a blast, but not everybody agrees with that and it’s even pretty cold. 

 Sono io il più forte! (I’m the strongest!), AVISCO Ets, 2016, Italia

A wolf prowls in the woods to reap acclaim on his strength and prowess, but what if it is exaggerating? Thank goodness a little dragon has a plan. Based on Mario Ramos’ book, an essential story about the importance of humility. 

The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Robin Shaw, 2019, UK

The world-famous book by Judith Kerr is now a long-awaited short film displaying a hungry tiger that shows up at Sophie’s house for tea. The cupboard got plundered but the apparently inconvenient fact becomes a great excuse to unexpectedly dine out in a pub. British masterpiece.

Wei xiao de yu (A fish with a smile), C. Jay Shih, Poliang Lin, Alan Tuan, 2005, Taiwan

How to convey the value of empathy? Surely enough, fishes are not the living creatures with whom it is easiest to empathize, but this short film, taken from Jimmy Liao’s book, shows how putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes is enough to understand their happiness wishes.

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