Ernest and Celestine. Image courtesy of G Kids.
The Sundance Film Festival takes place in a very family-friendly state, but it's not exactly known for films you'll want to show the kids.
In 2014, that changes with the addition of Sundance Kids.
In partnership with the Utah Film Center's Tumbleweeds program, Sundance Kids includes the world premiere of animated film Ernest and Celestine and the US premiere of Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang.
"The addition of Sundance Kids allows us to engage younger audiences around the power of independent film," says Trevor Groth, Director of Programming, in a press release. "We are excited to collaborate with Tumbleweeds and the Utah Film Center in presenting Sundance Kids."
Here are the descriptions we were sent on the Sundance Kids films:
Ernest and Celestine / France, Belgium, Luxembourg (Directors: Benjamin Renner, Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Screenwriter: Daniel Pennac) - Unlike her fellow mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer. When she nearly ends up as breakfast for a bear named Ernest, the two form an unlikely bond that is quickly challenged by their respective communities. Cast: Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally. Recommended for ages 8+.
Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang / Spain (Director: Oskar Santos, Screenwriters: Francisco Roncal, Jorge Lara, Oskar Santos) - Zip and Zap are punished by being sent to a re-education center. Guided by intelligence, they uncover a mysterious secret hidden deep within the school and end up having the most exciting adventure of their lives. Cast: Javier Gutiérrez, Daniel Cerezo, Raúl Rivas, Claudia Vega, Marcos Ruiz, Fran García. Recommended for ages 9+.
Both films are playing this Sunday at the Salt Lake City Library.
The Tumbleweeds program was launched four years ago with the goal of fostering the next generation of filmmakers and film-goers. Ernest and Celestine is nominated for an Oscar. Check back for our review, along with an interview with director Benjamin Renner.
Click here to read about other 2014 Sundance films.