Friday, 3 February 2012

Snaps & Sugar, Snails & Spice: Children's Film Festival

Lancaster Children's Film Festival returns from Wednesday 15 - Saturday 18th February. Its aims are simple: bringing great films to the city to entertain, and hosting workshops and classes to engage and educate children about film making and the artistic disciplines behind it.

Aimed at young people of all ages, the Festival features a packed programme of films, workshops and special events held at venues all across Lancaster. The films shown will range from shorts to live action and animated features, including some classic family favourites and international screenings.

The Thursday sees two children's workshops advertised, both running from 10am:

Pirate Day
Pirate Day, at the Maritime Museum, features pirate tales and a workshop on animation techniques that will produce a short film.

Princess Day, at Lancaster Library, features the singing of princess songs and making a princess puppet to take home.

Princess Day
A cynic might think that the two workshops might be promoting some kind of gender divide along the old school lines, where the boys make the movies and the girls look pretty and sing in them. But no way, a spokesperson for the Film Festival told us:

"We are committed to stirring the imagination and creativity of all children, young and old, girls and boys. You will have seen that our selected themes, inspired by the films we are showing, range from monsters (Go Wild Toddler Morning) to detectives, with pirates and princesses in between. We encourage anyone interested to come along. The Pirates and Princess Days are not aimed solely at boys and girls respectively. Anyone can be a princess, or a pirate, or a detective or a monster, it only takes a sprinkling of imagination.

"The workshops build on the themes of the films we are showing, and explore the use of puppetry and animation in film-making. Puppets have been used in a wide variety of films, famously in Jim Henson’s Sesame Street, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth; the British Thunderbirds Are Go and more recently in a Scandinavian-British film Strings. These films have portrayed humans, muppets, goblins and mystical creatures. Time permitting, workshop participants will be making short films in both the puppet and animation workshops."

So if your little boy or girl fancies trying their hand at being an effects puppeteer or an animator, (or a cut-throat or singing princess) a sprinkling of imagination is how they roll.

There's more good stuff on at the Film Festival; lots of great children's films, of course, a Detectives Day, an Imagination Day, a big Movie Music Morning on Saturday for young musicians and a big Pyjama Party on Saturday for the Closing Gala.

You can find the full programme of  Lancaster Children's Film Festival events day by day in the Virtual Lancaster events calendar and at
You can purchase tickets online, and at events.
Tickets to the Closing Gala will also be on sale at the Dukes Box Office tel: 01524 598500.

Day passes and festival passes available.

- Child Festival Pass (Opening Gala film, 3 day passes and Closing Gala, a total of 6 workshops and 5 films) £40

- Adult Festival Pass ( 5 films including the Opening and Closing Galas) £17.50

There are also tickets to individual events and Child Day Passes for each day (which include entry to 2 workshops and then you can attend the afternoon film for free!) Please see the website for full details.

Alongside the festival, the Dukes will be running 'How to Make a Monster Movie in Five Days' - a crash course in filmmaking for 11 to 14-year-olds which takes place from 13-17th February.

• Visit for more and see previous story

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