Fantastic Flix launches its exciting festival of children’s films alongside a very special visit from Jacqueline Wilson.

Can any film experience as a grown-up ever quite compare to outings to the cinema we had as children? The Audi Dublin International Film Festival’s Fantastic Flix conjures up that world of cinematic wonder for the next generation in its packed festival of children’s films from around the world, workshops, short film selections, the Fantastic Flix Children’s Jury and special events. Fantastic Flix runs from 10th – 18th February, 2017 in cinemas across Dublin including the Light House Cinema, Movies@Swords, Movies@Dundrum, Omniplex Cinema Rathmines, and The Ark.

Beloved children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s books are full of memorable characters that have resonated in the hearts, minds and imaginations of young readers around the world. As a Fantastic Flix guest curator, she will select three films and present two films Mandy, and The Secret Garden that captured her imagination, and one adaptation of her work The Illustrated Mum (courtesy of Channel 4) that she’d like to share with her young readers here in Dublin.

Jacqueline Wilson photo © James Jordan

Sarah Ahern, Fantastic Flix Programmer said “It is with great excitement that we share this year’s Fantastic Flix with young audiences. I am thrilled to announce Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s visit to Dublin to celebrate her work and the films that have inspired her. From “Tracy Beaker” to “Illustrated Mum” and “Hetty Feather,” Jacqueline has made an unforgettable impression on the childhood of many. Throughout the rest of the programme you will find a host of international cinema from acclaimed animations to adventurous scamps, magical Ice Queens, to friendly beasts. I hope you will find something to keep you entertained. We are also delighted to have our very first Children’s Jury, as well as a range of special events and workshops.”

Looking ahead to the Festival, Jacqueline Wilson said “I’m very much looking forward to returning to Dublin in February to present three of my favourite films. I’ll be introducing the excellent film adaptation of my own book The Illustrated Mum, directed by Cilla Ware, followed by a Q & A with me. I will also introduce Mandy, a black and white film about a little deaf girl, which made an enormous impression on me as a child, and The Secret Garden, directed by Agnieszka Holland, a truly magical film. It will be a lovely opportunity to meet lots of you!”

Highlights of the programme for older children include a preview of Michaël Dudok de Wit’s Cannes prize-winning The Red Turtle (10+), a strange and enchanting story of the mysterious visitor to a man on a desert island that is imbued with the distinctive style of co-producers Studio Ghibli; and Kai (10+), the Korean animation that tells the story of young Kai fighting to save his village from the evil snow Queen Hattan.

Treats for youngsters include Snowtime! (4+), a hit Canadian animation that captures the excitement of one village’s massive snowball fight; the brilliant stop-motion animation Louis & Luca – The Big Cheese Race (5+); Zip & Zap and the Captain’s Island (8+), a story of two brothers stuck on a peculiar island where mischief occurs; and Abulele (8+) that tells of one boy discovering an enormous, furry abulele monster of an ancient legend in his own apartment building.

Growing up into adulthood can be an emotional rollercoaster ride for teenagers, the growing pains on the journey to self-discovery are captured brilliantly in weird and wonderfully edgy Australian drama Girl Asleep (15+).

For those wanting to get some hands-on film experience there’s a trio of terrific workshops being presented in collaboration with The Ark; Foley Workshop: Creating Sounds for the Screen delves into the world of sound effects; Brick Flick’s Lego Animation workshops bring the world’s favourite building blocks to life, and The Breadwinner Storyboard Workshop shows how Oscar-nominated animators Cartoon Saloon go about plotting animated features like their new film The Breadwinner.

Lego workshop @ ADIFF

Fantastic Flix will be presenting the winning entries of the National Youth Media Awards Short Video category. The awards aim to encourage discussion by inviting young people to produce a piece of original content.

Fantastic Flix is introducing a new voice to the festival, the Fantastic Flix Children’s Jury of 11-12 year-olds who will watch, evaluate, and review Fantastic Flix titles from around the world before deciding on one film as the Best Fantastic Flix Film of 2017. Fantastic Flix Children’s Jury is in collaboration with The Ark’s Children’s Council and the Irish Film Classification Office.

The Dublin International Film Festival is sponsored by Audi and funded by The Arts Council and The Irish Film Board. Tickets for Fantastic Flix (10th-18th February, 2017) are now on sale online or by calling 01 687 7974 for general tickets, groups and school bookings.

Fantastic Flix Schedule

Make sure to check the DIFF website for further updates in the run up to the festival.

The Red Turtle
18.30 Friday 10th Feb – Omniplex Cinema Rathmines

The Illustrated Mum (with post-screening Q&A with Jacqueline Wilson)
12.00 Sat 11th Feb, Movies@Dundrum

Secret Garden screening @ ADIFF

The Secret Garden (with intro from Jacqueline Wilson)
12.00 Sun 12th Feb, Light House Cinema

Mandy (with intro from Jacqueline Wilson)
10.30 Mon 13th Feb, Light House Cinema

Zip & Zap and the Captain’s Island
12.00, Sunday 12th Feb – Movies@Dundrum & 10.45, Mon 13th Feb – The Light House Cinema, Smithfield

14.00, Sun 12th Feb- Movies@Dundrum & 12.50, Mon 13th – The Light House Cinema, Smithfield

Fantastic Flix Shorts
10.45, Sun 12th Feb – The Light House Cinema, Smithfield

14.15, Sun 12th Feb – The Light House Cinema, Smithfield & 12.15, Tues 14th Feb – Movies@Swords


10.30, Tues 14th Feb – Movies@Swords &10.30, Wed 14th Feb – Omniplex Cinema Rathmines

Louis & Luca – The Big Cheese Race
10.45, Tues 14th Feb – Movies@Swords & 12.15, Wed 15th Feb -Omniplex Cinema Rathmines

Girl Asleep
13.50 Wed 15th Feb – Omniplex Rathmines & 12.45 Thurs 16th Feb – Movies@Dundrum

The Stinky & Dirty Show + Behind the Scenes Presentation
11.00, Fri 17th Feb – Omniplex Cinema Rathmines

Foley Workshop: Creating Sounds for the Screen
14.30, Sat 18th Feb – The Ark

The Breadwinner Storyboard Workshop
14.30, Sat 25th Feb – The Ark

Watch out for more guest announcements and films going on sale in the New Year!

About Audi Dublin International Film Festival (16-26 February, 2017)

ADIFF logo

Founded in 2003, the Dublin International Film Festival sets the agenda of the year with its programme of outstanding Irish and International film. Offering unique access to a plethora of filmmaking talent, the festival transforms Dublin into a hub of glamour, creativity and film appreciation.

Over the past fourteen years, the festival has hosted over 550 major guests, including winners of the festival’s prestigious Volta Award such as Al Pacino, Julie Andrews, Danny DeVito, Daniel Day-Lewis, Joss Whedon Brendan Gleeson Angela Lansbury, Stanley Tucci, Stellan Skarsgård, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ennio Morricone.

The festival has screened world cinema from 52 different countries, a total of almost 1,500 films, of which 300 were Irish features including Irish premieres of Sing Street, Once, Ondine, In Bruges, Calvary, The Stag and The Secret of Kells. The festival’s young people’s programme Fantastic Flix is expanding each year, engaging schools and families and building a new generation of film fans.


the thin grey line

All images courtesy Audi Dublin International Film Festival; photo of Jacqueline Wilson © James Jordan

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