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Auckland Children Set to Get Their Own Film Festival Again

Auckland Children Set to Get Their Own Film Festival Again

Screenies film festival for children is coming back to Auckland for a third time this year. The successful annual three to four-day festival will show a variety of the best high quality short films with a selection of features from New Zealand and around the world.

The festival will be held in Western Spring’s at TAPAC (The Auckland’s Performing Arts Centre) from the 17th to the 20th of May packed with a programme filled with short and feature films, fun workshops and a question and answer session after each screening.

Screenies festival attendees can look forward to viewing New Zealand’s childhood favourite dog, Hairy Maclary come to life in an animated series. There will also be a Thunderbirds Are Go presentation from Director and Production Designer Ben Milsom, where attendees can learn about the Thunderbirds are Go design process and create their own Thunderbirds vehicle. An animation workshop with skilled animator Guy Capper will also be held at the festival where attendees will be introduced to the world of animation. Here they can learn tips and tricks to creating characters and bring their characters to life on screen at the end of the workshop.

Added highlights to the festival are two family feature films. The first feature, Champions of Amsterdam, is an international documentary about a single-elimination street soccer tournament between boys from local primary schools in Amsterdam. Each boy has a dream of becoming a pro football player and the competition is the first step to becoming successful. The second feature, Not Without Us, follows little heroes from around the world and their journeys from home to school. The documentary shows the difference between each journey, their hopes and dreams, hunger for knowledge and how they see the world. The little heroes disclose with viewers their private fear of child labour, prostitution, criminality and their personal worries about environmental destruction and war.

Screenies festival is a fantastic event which offers a choice of wholesome, family friendly films in a safe environment where children can experience different cultures, worlds and story-telling techniques. Screenie’s festival Director Janette Howe, hopes this year’s line-up of films will encourage young people to seek out and experience the positive aspects of other cultures.

“Media today is a challenging environment for kids. Stories are an essential part of growing our imaginative horizons and understanding of each other and a festival is one way to celebrate this”, says Howe.

The festival has been a success in the past and a hit with festival goers. The festival recently expanded its wings down to Napier for the first time this year where comments such as, “Great mix of short movies" and "An excellent event- something different from the ordinary, where kids get to see international content which inspires them to do stuff rather than just watch” are but a few of the high praises about the festival from Napier attendees.

Screenies Children’s Film Festival launched in 2015 to engage children with diverse stories on screen. A New Zealand festival dedicated for children like other children’s film festivals around the world. As well as engaging and entertaining children and families with quality international films made for kids, Screenies also hope to inspire children to become content creators.

For more information about Screenies, the films featuring in the festival and Screenies events, visit or email

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