Children’s and Family films often get short shrift from the professional film community. They are shunted to a special section. But at some festivals, they get their due. Panama International Film Festival is one of Latin America’s best stages to show these films.
Andrés Waissbluth’s “Elephant, the Horse” is inspired by the lives of Lalo and Roberto Parra. 80’, Chile/Mexico/Colombia, 2016. World Premiere.
Lalo wants nothing more than to grow up to be a valiant adventurer, just like his grandfather was. Grandpa who is on his deathbed—for the third time— charges Lalo and his brother Roberto with a task of great importance: the boys must promise to look after Grandpa’s beloved horse Elephant, that has been abducted by a traveling circus. Lalo and Roberto set out to rescue Elephant, but wind up involved in an even bigger quest than either could have imagined. Blending live-action with an alluring animation style that resembles a comic book come to life, “Elephant, the Horse” is fun, suspenseful, and light-hearted even when dealing with more serious plot developments. Chilean-American director Andrés Waissbluth’s delightful third feature fuses fantasy with stories taken from the childhoods of Lalo and Roberto Parra, the brothers of Chile’s legendary singer Violeta Parra.
“Caroline and the Magic Potion” is Virginia Curiá’s feature debut. Brazil/Spain, 78’, 2015. ISA: Latido. USA: Viva.
Everyone in the neighborhood turns to Caroline’s grandmother for sure-fire home remedies. But for Caroline, being a healer’s apprentice, learning about what cream to apply to what allergy, can get dull. Caroline is a restless girl. She would rather fly through the air than fiddle with herbs—and she gets her chance to do just that when she discovers a magic potion amongst her granny’s cache of cures. As it happens, Caroline starts to master her new power just in time: a nefarious cosmetic company has kidnapped Granny with the hope of stealing her recipes. With her umbrella-turned-flying broomstick and mischievous pet cat in tow, Caroline is determined to come to the rescue. Fun, witty and bursting with surprises, “Caroline and the Magic Potion” is an animated adventure set in a rapidly changing world, where witchy powers and high-tech gizmos come into conflict, but in the end it’s a combination of smarts, courage and love that provide our heroine with her best chance at defeating her foes. “Caroline and the Magic Potion” is Galician Virginia Curiá’s feature debut.
“Boy & the World” by Alê Abreu was an Oscar-Nominee this year for Best Animated Feature Film Brazil, 80’, 2013. ISA: Elo. USA: GKIds
Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 88th Academy Awards, Alê Abreu’s “Boy & the World” will be screened at IFF Panama’s Family Corner. This dialogue-free, picaresque film about a country boy searching for his father fuses endearingly primitive, crayon-like visual elements with highly sophisticated imagery. Equal parts dread and wonder, Alê Abreu’s powerful feature warns against the corruption and contamination that threaten our world while retaining a stubborn belief in some fundamental goodness that can keep our hope alive.