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Children’s film festival to launch in Okinawa

by Sang Woo Kim

Staff Writer

Films are always more memorable when seen on the big screen at the cinema, but they can be an even more enjoyable experience when seen as part of a film festival. So what better way to introduce kids to cinema than to teach them about the fun of film festivals and about how they are organized.

Kinder International Film Festival in Okinawa (KIFFO) is a new teen-film gala in Naha that is planned to run annually in November or December. To celebrate its kickoff, 25 youths from local elementary, middle and high schools are participating in a pre-festival event, for which they have already designed a handmade carpet and created a promotional video that can be watched on YouTube.

Modeled after the Berlin International Film Festival’s “Generation Section,” whose juries include 11 children and seven teenagers, KIFFO is the first children’s film festival in Okinawa and the third in Japan, following others in Tokyo and Kyoto.

For this pre-event, the Dutch film “The Zigzag Kid” (2012) will be screened after the opening ceremony and lunch break. The award-winning movie of the Kyoto Kinder Movie Festival last year, “The Zigzag Kid” follows Nono, the mischievous 13-year old son of a top police inspector in the Netherlands, who encounters a master-burglar and is led into an adventure that ultimately involves uncovering family secrets.

After the screening, KIFFO’s new mascot, chosen from a design contest held in Okinawa, will also be announced.

The KIFFO event takes place on March 2 at the Okinawa Youth Hall. It’s free to enter but prior reservation is required via the website. This year, KIFFO is a one-day pre-event, but in the future it will be held annually and will include various films and workshops.

The KIFFO event takes place on March 2 at the Okinawa Youth Hall. It’s free to enter but prior reservation is required via the website. This year, KIFFO is a one-day pre-event, but in the future it will be held annually and will include various films and workshops. For more information, visit www.kiffo.kukuruvision.com/English.