The Little Big Shots Film Festival features the best in local and international children’s shorts, animations, documentaries and, amazingly, child-produced films. Entering its 14th year, the festival still stands as Australia’s premiere kids’ film festival event – a niche Australian event, that tours capital cities from June every year, following the LBS Festival at ACMI over the Queen’s B’day long weekend.

Ben Laden has been Festival Director for  7 years and has seen a lot of wonderful films over the past 6 years. We have asked Ben to highlight some of his favourite films for 2018.

LBS Kids’ Jury voted ‘Temptation’ directed by a group of French film students (Camille Canonne, Laura Bouillet, Michael Hoft, Catherine Le Quang, Pauline Raffin, Martin Villert) as the ‘Best International’ film. It’s a rollicking ride though a national park with battles between a hungry, inquisitive, bear and a hardcore, female ranger. They voted local filmmaker, Jonathan Chong’s music harking back to the days of cassette tapes and Walkmans, ‘Opiuo: Quack Fat’ as the ‘Best Australian’ film. Both are heaps of fun.

My favourites are always a bit more esoteric. Norwegian director, Kristin Ulseth’s, ‘Odd is an Egg’ is simply a delight. It’s the first time I’ve felt so strongly about a foreign film for smaller kids that I’ve actually engaged an actor to perform a live translation of the film during screening. It follows the adventures of Odd and Gunn. Just love it.

Another great one for the littler kids that I’ve put in both a 2+ and 5+ session is the Brazilian film, ‘Nimbus the Cloud Catcher’ by Marco Nick. A little moral tale about respecting other people’s (and stars & clouds) feelings.

At the other end of the scale for the bigger kids; ‘The Burden’ by Swedish director, Niki Lindroth von Bahr is hilarious (dancing singing monkeys in a call centre and lonely fish in a hotel). ‘Into the Blue’ by Croatian director, Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic, is a very delicate coming of age tale set against a rock coastline and finally Australian director, John Sheedy gives the heartwarming tale of a young transgender boy’s friendship with a young indigenous boy in the lead up to the school social, ‘Mrs McCutcheon’. These are featured in the 10+ and 12+ categories.

This is the biggest LBS program ever with 124 films from 26 countries!

The Little Big Shots Film Festival can be seen at ACMI from the 6-11 June,
at the Casula Powerhouse for younger kids at WOW Festival in July and then a full festival season in Oct 12-14, and in Darling Harbour in early Jan 2019 with LBS shorts before features for Night Owls kids film festival.
For more information on the film program go to www.littlebigshots.com.au or book your tickets HERE.