With films about huffing gas, Bloody Sunday, and capital punishment, you might think the High Falls Film Festival would be the last place you'd want to take your kids (well, almost the last place --- there's also that family vacation down I-95). Think again. This year's festival offers not one, but two special programs designed just for kids... or for people not into the gas huffing and such.
Children's Shorts from Around the World is, as the program title suggests, a bunch of short films made by filmmakers from around the world. The longest barely cracks seven minutes, so your little ADD-stricken monsters should be engrossed by tales of insect discos (Tootletubs and Jyro), impressive tigers (The Magic of Anansi), and Chinese food (Roses Sing on New Snow). This program is $5 and takes place Saturday, November 2, at 11 a.m. at the Little Theatre.
Laurie Lynd's I Was a Rat, a cute British television miniseries based on Philip Pullman's beloved story, screens Sunday (November 3) at 1 p.m. at the Little (it's also $5). Tom Conti and Brenda Fricker play, respectively, a cobbler and a washerwoman who desperately want a child of their own. When they hear a knock on their door late one night, they're shocked to find a young boy (Calum Worthy) who claims he used to be a rat.
Thinking Ratty might just be a bit off, the Joneses take the boy in, but watch with jaws agape as he shreds his bedding, eats pencils, and bites his teacher. (What's the matter with these people? Don't they have Ritalin in Britain?) The Dickensian plot, which could be a backstory in Cinderella, features the hysterical Don McKellar as Oliver Tapscrew, a PT Barnum type who wants to put Ratty in his freakshow.