Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Children’s Film Festival Seattle: ‘Celebrate’ at home or in person

The event runs Feb. 3-12, 2023, and includes more than 150 films from more than 40 countries.

With the theme “Fantasy and Fairy Tale,” Children’s Film Festival Seattle kicks off, once again for 2023, as both an in-person and a virtual event.

The 18th installment of this event runs Feb. 3-12 and includes more than 150 live action, animation and documentary films from more than 40 countries. They’re all centered on the experiences, joy and challenges of childhood.

See event trailer here.

This festival always strives to promote racial equity, diversity, inclusivity, social justice and global awareness through film. This year the festival will introduce blocks of movies for tiny tots (age 2-7), cool kids (age 8-10), and tweens/teens (age 12-18) engaging in a meaningful, entertaining and exciting genre of films.

In-person screenings will be at Northwest Film Forum on Capitol Hill, and all films will be available for at-home screening.

Full schedule and descriptions can be found online.

How to see the films: Festival passes (virtual, in-person or hybrid) are available as well as admission to individual films; all fees are on a sliding scale.

Watch the West Coast premiere of “Journey to Yourland.” Riki, a 10-year-old boy, runs away from home, following a mysterious emergency signal sent by a shiny stone. Available in theaters and online.

Children’s Film Festival highlights

Opening Night: LAIKA Studios’ Missing Link will be premiering at the festival this year, with a special talk writer-director Chris Butler and head of effects, Oliver Jones. Puppet from the show may be available to see as well.

Youth workshops: All-ages offerings available covering topics of experimental film, drawing, documentary filmmaking, puppet making, and storytelling. Full schedule here.

It’s Up to Us: A collection of environmental shorts that emphasizes the importance of making a change for the environment.

Colors of Community: An LGBTQIA+ shorts block celebrating kids who live in their authentic selves.

Teen Night: Join in on February 10 for a special screening with your teen. In partnership with Teen Tix, all tickets will be $5. Enjoy a screen printing workshop too.

Closing Night film: The Washington state premiere of “The Magic Flute.

Watch the film “Pete” in the Colors of our Community Block. A true story about gender identity, baseball and the people who inspire change.

Children’s Film Festival: in-person events

Cake Craft with Cris: Feb 4, 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. – get a lesson on prop making in film. Come away with a delicious looking cake prop…so good you’ll want to eat it (but can’t!). Good for all ages. Under 10 parent/guardian suggested.

Storytime and drawing demo with Jessixa Bagley: Join local author on Feb 4 11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., for a reading of the book “Daisy” and “Courage Hats” followed by a drawing demo. All ages welcome.

Shadow Puppetry Workshop: Feb 11, 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. -The first lesson is a basic overview of shadow puppet history and how-tos, and the second will involve full-body puppetry, decorating large cardboard shadow masks and donning feathers and other repurposed materials to transform ourselves

Event details here.

“The Magic Flute”: Aspiring singer Tim has been dreaming his whole life about attending Mozart All Boys Boarding School. He is ecstatic when he is finally admitted, but his first days at the prestigious school do not turn out as expected.

With so many film options, workshops, and activities this year’s film festival is one that you will not want to miss.

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About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 15-year-old girl.