The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

KidsBestFest 2021: Virtual Edition

KidsBestFest is a movie festival for kids and their adults with free admission held during the winter school break. Traditionally shown on the big screen at the Academy of Music Theatre, this year’s KidsBestFest will be a virtual broadcast on the internet. You will be able to watch all of the films from the comfort of your own space and on the screen of your choice. KidsBestFest, a part of the Four Sundays in February winter arts series, is presented by the Northampton Arts Council. We kick off the free virtual movie festival on Monday February 15th with Woolworld (2019) by Joanna Polak, followed on Tuesday Feb 16 with “The Arctic Camels.” On Wednesday Feb 17 we will show Opertura shorts Fearless Woman, The Problem with Link Think, and The Jane Bone Adventures. Thursday Feb 18 the feature presentation is “My Name is Pedro,” with the festival wrapping up on Friday Feb 19 with “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you're a girl).” IMPORTANT: The movie will be available to stream for 24 hours on the day it is shown. If you would like to watch the movies selections, sign up to receive the movie link and the password.

When: Monday February 15th - Friday February 19th
How Much: Free!
Where: All movies are password protected, sign up to receive the movie link and the password
Tickets: Donate here
RSVP: Here

Monday Feb 15 Available for 24 hours - Wooldworld (2019) by Joanna Polak (10 min, English, Trailer)

Have you ever wondered what life would be in a world made of wool? In Woolworld, people, animals and everything that surrounds them is made of wool and all is closely tied together. The only person capable of making sure that Woolworld functions smoothly is Mr. Wooly. He is, however, old and tired and he wants his life to change. Unfortunately... his wish gets granted.

Tuesday Feb 16 Available for 24 hours - The Arctic Camels (2019) by Karl Emil Rikardsen (75 min, Norweigen, Mongolian, English Subtitles, Trailer)

When Torarin and his sister Svalin want a horse for riding, their parents buy two Bactrian camels. The family soon discovers that camel training is not for amateurs. Therefore, they take on an expedition to Mongolia, hoping to find a professional camel trainer who will accept an invitation to train their camels in the Arctic Norway. And deep into the Goby desert, they actually find a candidate. But they are not prepared for the Mongolian training methods.

Wednesday Feb 17 Available for 24 hours - Selected animated shorts by 

Fearless Woman (2020); Music Video for Pat Robitaille, for his song, Fearless Woman.Shino travels the land with her old friend Manta researching patterns. Sometimes her research is fruitful while other times it has lasting consequences.

The Problem with Link Think (2018); Music video for BUNNIES, for their song, The Problem with Link Think, off their album, Transportation to Mind Transformation. Twins Reona and Oscar bide their time at their favorite snack shop waiting for more takoyaki and are lured to an alternate dimension. Will they be back in time for their takoyaki???

The Jane Bone Adventures (2017); Music video for Juana Molina, with her song, In the Lassa, off the album Halo. Jane Bone escapes from her human's body and embarks on a journey to gain power across a variety of environments in a classic side scrolling video game environment.

Thursday Feb 18 Available for 24 hours - My Name is Pedro (2017) by Lillian LaSalle (87 min, English, Trailer)

This award-winning film, from first time director Lillian LaSalle, explores the seemingly impossible journey of South Bronx Latino educator and maverick, Pedro Santana, a former "special ed" student, whose mantra is - every kid can learn despite their circumstances. . A New York Times profile of his "Out Of The Box" teaching techniques, thrusts him into the spotlight, which creates great opportunities for change but also has its downside - public school politics which, despite the cries of students and parents alike, threaten to take him down. A documentary with unpredictable twists and turns, it harnesses a compelling message of optimism, hope and tragedy.

Winner: Best Documentary, Golden Door International Film Festival
Winner: Spotlight on Documentary Award, St. Louis International Film Festival
Winner: Audience Award, Chicago Latino International Film Festival
Winner: Audience Award, Brooklyn Film Festival
Winner: Award of Merit, Impact Docs
Winner: Honorable Mention, Woodstock Film Festival
Official Selection: Women’s Filmmaker Showcase, BAFF
Official Selection: San Diego Latino International Film Festival

Friday Feb 19 Available for 24 hours - Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you're a girl) by Carol Dysinger (2019) (39 min, English subtitles, Trailer)

In Afghanistan, many young girls are not able to participate in sports. Cultural and religious norms, along with other factors such as safety concerns and years of warfare, have resulted in limited athletic and recreational opportunities for women and girls, especially those who come from impoverished neighborhoods. But there is a new generation of Afghan girls who believe they can do anything. LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL) tells the story of young Afghan girls learning to read, write—and skateboard—in Kabul. The film follows a class of girls at Skateistan, a nonprofit that began as a skate school in Kabul in 2007 and grew into a multinational educational initiative. Skateistan focuses on recruiting girls from impoverished neighborhoods to not only teach them to skateboard, but to help educate them so they can join—or return to—the public school system. Over the course of the school year, the girls grow and become empowered through the joy of skateboarding and the warmth and inspiration of the women who teach them. For the girls in our film, the chance to skateboard presents a unique experience—to compete, to play, to learn their strengths, and to gain courage and life skills that will transcend skateboarding and the classroom to help the girls adapt and thrive with the changing opportunities newly available to them.

Winner: 2020 Academy Award®
Documentary (Short Subject)
Winner: 2020 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards
British Short Film
Winner: 2019 IDA Documentary Awards
Best Short
Winner: 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Juried Awards
Best Documentary Short

Poster by James Hindle

Headline Sponsors: Greenfield Savings Bank, Northampton Open Media, A2Z Science & Learning Store

Four Sundays Series Sponsor: UMASSFIVE College Federal Credit Union
Media Sponsors: Northampton Open Media, Daily Hampshire Gazette, The Republican, New England Public Media, 93.9 FM The River, WHMP 101.5 FM, Pure Oldies 96.9 FM, Rewind 94.3 FM
Organizational Support: City of Northampton, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Northampton Arts Council
Gold Sponsors: Commonwealth Registry of Nurses, Delap Real Estate, National Grid, Gage Wiley
Silver Sponsors: Greenfield Northampton Cooperative Bank, Fitzwilly's, Pinch!, State Senator Jo Comerford, Wohl Family Dentistry, Florence Bank, Marisa Labozzetta and Martin Wohl

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