What a year it’s been! Since taking up the role of Festival Director in June 2011 I’ve come full circle to see Little Big Shots return to ACMI for its eighth year.
This year, Little Big Shots has more films from more countries around the world than ever before, with 83 short films from places as far flung as Latvia, Ireland, Portugal, Japan, Brazil, USA, Singapore, France and the UK. It’s been an absolute pleasure and challenge to bring together all these great films by adults and kids around the globe.
As we approach the beginning of the festival I’m feeling both excited and a little nervous about how the films will be received and the madness of the festival week.
To top this year’s festival off, on closing night we will be sharing a very special project that has been happening this year in collaboration with the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASRC). The project (made possible by a grant from the Victorian Community Foundation – Claire Susan Gardiner Trust operated by ANZ Trustees) began with a series of workshops by puppeteer Johannes Scherpenhuizen working with a great group of kids and their parents. Filmmaker Jackson Castiglione captured the process as the participants made their own puppets and developed stories involving their creations.
The final day of filming was done at ACMI in Studio 1 using the centre’s green screen facilities. The kids had each chosen their ideal background, and through the magic of technology they saw their dreams become a virtual reality. A great deal of fun was had by all during the project, and the resulting film, My Puppet and Me, will be premiered at the closing event of Little Big Shots 2012.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the festival for a whole lot of laughs, perhaps a few tears, and some wonderful cinematic moments that you’ll never forget.
– Ben Laden, Festival Director, Little Big Shots: Melbourne’s International Film Festival for Kids
Little Big Shots will be showing at ACMI from Saturday 9 June – Wednesday 13 June. For details and tickets see the ACMI website.