Published on Wednesday 25 March 2020

The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF), a festival that Arts Council Malta takes part in, is working hard to quickly adapt to working, learning, and entertaining yourselves and your kids at home.

To this end, they are planning to share bi-weekly email newsletters of recommendations for feature films, short films, and filmmaking-related activities (entitled Long Takes, Short Takes, and Your Takes, respectively), to keep everyone happy and engaged.

Check out their first batch of suggestions from 2018, 2019 and 2020 Festivals. They have included age recommendations and links to where you can stream them. NYICFF is also working on more lists like this one so subscribe to their mailing list here!

Recommended ages: All Ages

Follow the adventures of bright and fearless blue-haired Hilda, her adorable deer fox Twig, and her artist mom as they travel from their home in a vast magical wilderness full of elves and giants to the bustling city of Trolberg. This Netflix original series is inspired by Luke Pearson’s hugely popular graphic novels. Watch here


A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmaggedon
Recommended ages: 5+

In Farmageddon, an alien named LU-LA crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm. Her magical powers, mischief and galactic sized burps soon have Shaun the Sheep and his flock enchanted. But when Shaun takes his new extraterrestrial friend on the road to find her lost spaceship, little does he know that a sinister alien-hunting agency is on their trail. Now Shaun and the flock must avert Farmageddon before it’s too late. Watch here.


Recommended ages: 5+

Tepulpai’s your average kid—headstrong and a bit naughty. It may seem unusual that he has a pet armadillo and wants to be a shaman, but not if you live in the ancient Peruvian Andes like he and his wise friend Naïra do. The two embark on a young heroes’ quest to locate their community’s stolen treasure and must confront the Inca and newly arrived Spanish to retain their indigenous ways. With a vibrantly-hued palette and Pre-Colombian soundtrack of ancient flutes and condor wings, Pachamama exuberantly celebrates nature, culture, and community. Watch here


Ailo's Journey
Recommended ages: 8+

From the heights of the Arctic poles to the bottom of the temperature scale, Ailo and its panoramic Lapland landscape captivate with cinematic splendour. Follow a young reindeer’s first year at close range, filled with moments of puzzlement, wonder, struggle, and delight as Ailo, guided by his mother, must navigate an icy world. Sharing the terrain with Ailo are a hilariously wiley and ever-wiggly stoat, an endlessly curious red-eared squirrel, and sharp-eyed wolves, in this snowy story fashioned through witty narration and clever cross-cutting. Watch here

Okko's Inn
Recommended ages: 8+

Bright-eyed Okko has joined her grandmother at their family-run, hot springs inn, rolling up her sleeves to learn the traditional ways. Her way to deal with the recent loss of her parents is to work diligently and think of others instead of herself. She does great, though as a city kid the country creatures make her jumpy, as does a surprising new friend she finds “spirited” in more ways than one. Okko’s Inn beautifully addresses themes of loss, altruism, and love, while offering that—even in the face of challenges—compassion and delight can, and will, abound. Watch here


Recommended ages: 8+

Delve into the Irish WWII experience by following a group of determined youngsters who band together for a cause bigger—much bigger—than themselves. When Tom’s father, a veterinarian for the Belfast Zoo, is called away to war, Tom feels its his duty to ensure the well-being of the animals, including its newest addition, a baby elephant. But the impending German air raids and short-sighted decisions of the Zoo staff threaten to endanger the animals, and Tom must act quickly in this inspired-by-true-life tale of family, friendship, and empathy. Watch here. Plus, read up on the history behind the film on our Zoo Fact Sheet.


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Recommended ages: 11+

Oscar-winner Chiwetel Ejiofor directs this inspiring book-to-screen feature following 13-year-old William Kamkwamba, who is thrown out of school when his family can no longer afford the fees. Sneaking back into the school library, he finds a way, using the bones of the bicycle, to build a windmill which then saves his Malawian village from famine. The emotional journey of a father and his exceptional son at its heart, William’s tale captures the incredible determination of a boy whose inquisitive mind overcame every obstacle in his path. Watch here 

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