Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

The festival reportedly “celebrates friendship, community and art as vital forces in our lives and crucial tools to push against the status quo and open new avenues of joy and possibility.” Who wouldn’t want their kids to be a part of an event with that kind of a mission statement?

One thing that immediately caught my eye was the International Premiere of “Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Giberritia,” the follow-up to the 2013 gem “Ernest & Celestine,” a wonderful must-see if you have yet to do so. The sequel follows in the footsteps with equal parts grace, whimsy, and insight about the importance of art and friendship. It’s a delight. It plays March 3rd.

Other highlights include the centerpiece “Dounia & The Princess of Aleppo,” a tenderly hand-drawn work from Syrian-Canadian filmmakers Marya Zarif and André Kadi. Stories of wartime seen through the eyes of children are common in international animation but this one boasts a personal touch that feels pure. Fans of Tsujimura Mizuki’s popular novel “Lonely Castle in the Mirror” won’t want to miss that U.S. premiere.

Fresh off acclaim at the Berlinale, NYICFF also landed the North American premiere of “Suzume,” the latest from the brilliant Makoto Shinkai, director of “Weathering with You” and “Your Name.” It will get a theatrical release in April but here’s a chance to see it early on March 5th. We’ll review it in April.

The rest of the line-up can be found here. Don’t miss it.

By Dave Jenks

Dave Jenks is an American novelist and Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Between those careers, he’s worked as a deckhand, commercial fisherman, divemaster, taxi driver, construction manager, and over the road truck driver, among many other things. He now lives on a sea island, in the South Carolina Lowcountry, with his wife and youngest daughter. They also have three grown children, five grand children, three dogs and a whole flock of parakeets. Stinnett grew up in Melbourne, Florida and has also lived in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Cozumel, Mexico. His next dream is to one day visit and dive Cuba.