The Kids Beat

Family Flicks

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Calling all film-loving families! The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival has added a prequel. The day before the 4th annual festival opens, Kids & Family Day will give cinephiles of all ages the chance to screen three family-friendly films and participate in kid-focused programming. The festivities, based at downtown Middlebury's Marquis Theatre, begin at 9 a.m., with a flip-book making workshop led by Middlebury College's Animation Studio. That will prime the audience for the 10 a.m. showing of The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales, an animated film about barnyard animals. Geared toward ages 6 and up, the flick is in French with English subtitles, but the fast-paced, action-driven plot makes it easy to follow, said festival producer Lloyd Komesar. At 1 p.m., documentary film Through the Windmill, recommended for ages 8 and up, tells the story of miniature golf in America. And at 4 p.m., Science Fair, geared toward kids 12 and up, chronicles the journey of nine high school students as they compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Face painting, balloon-animal making and tabletop games will be ongoing throughout the day, while the Marquis' Southwest Café will offer a special kids menu. Film festivals often attract an older audience, said Komesar, and this special day devoted to families is a way to reach younger viewers, while keeping in the spirit of the event — celebrating movies made by first- and second-time directors.

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival's Kids & Family Day takes place on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Tickets to each screening are $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 8-18 and free for kids under 8. Seating is first come, first served, and tickets cannot be purchased in advance. Find more information at middfilmfest.org.

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