Surprise is in the Air at New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival 2012 Award Ceremony

3/27/2012- S. Barton

Co- Director, Eric Beckman’s opening speech at the 2012 New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) Award Ceremony astonished the crowd as be boldly declared  “We want your Money!” Mr. Beckman’s humorous remark was in reference to, Get Tooned 2!, An Adult-Only Claymation Event, in which money will be used to fund NYICFF’s Scholarship Program.

The New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) is in its 15th year, and it’s still full of surprises. Longtime festival judge, Actor Matthew Modine and made a special appearance to present the Special Jury Award. The awards went to the comedies, as films: The Storyteller, and Capturing Santa won in 2 categories; and Extinction of the Sabertooth House Cat won the Audience Award Ages 5-10.

The audience gave a standing ovation as director Susan Koenen won the Audience Award Ages 12-18 for her short-documentary film, I’m a Girl. An amazing documentary about a girl named Joppe, who was born a boy.

The biggest shock came as Japanese’s animated film, A Letter to Momo, upstaged French animated film, Le Tableau, winning the festivals Grand Prize Feature. The film’s producer, Mistshusa Ishikaw accepted the award, happily, saying that it was also a win for Japan, especially after the tsunami/earthquake that hit last year.

The award ceremony was followed by a beautiful reception catered by La Palapa; featuring handmade chocolates from Donna & Company, cupcakes from Tonnie’s Mini’s; and Vita Coco Coconut Water.  There was one last surprise of the evening as co-directors, Eric Beckman and Emily Shaprio presented flowers to NYICFF staff and graciously thanked them for their hard work on the festival.

It was a very close race this year; there were many unexpected twists and turns. We look forward to next year, and as always the magic of the festival continues with weekend screenings at the IFC Center.

The Winners of the  NYICFF 2012 are:

GRAND PRIZE SHORT: Capturing Santa
PARENTS AWARD: The Storyteller
AUDIENCE AWARD, AGES 3-6: The Gruffalo’s Child
AUDIENCE AWARD, AGES 5-10: Extinction of the Sabertooth House Cat
AUDIENCE AWARD, AGES 8-14: Capturing Santa
AUDIENCE AWARD, AGES 12-18: I Am a Girl!

The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven – Premiere’s at New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival

NEW YORK, NY, MARCH 7, 2012 –New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival has added the North American premiere of THE MONKEY KING: UPROAR IN HEAVEN to this year’s festival lineup. The film is a new frame-for-frame restoration and 3D rendering of the Wan Laiming masterpiece, a national treasure and China’s most celebrated and accomplished work of animation. The film had its world premiere at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival.

Composed of gorgeously flowing animation created by hand from over 130,000 ink drawings and an opulent soundtrack inspired by the Beijing Opera, the film follows the adventures of the magical Monkey King of Flower Fruit Mountain, a mischievous character who creates havoc by refusing to bow down to the authority of the Celestial Jade Emperor. After stealing a magic staff from the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea, the cheeky Monkey King challenges the established order of heaven, freeing horses from the imperial stables, disrupting imperial banquets, and entering into epic battle with one colorful god after another – while snubbing his nose at the pompous formality of the heavenly court. Based on the classic Chinese story Journey to the West, the original film was made at the height of that country’s golden period of animation and was released a mere months before the before the entire film industry was shut down by the Cultural Revolution. This is a truly stunning work of animation and mythological storytelling, far surpassing anything China has produced before or since.

The film will play Sat, Mar 10 at 11:00am and Weds, Mar 21 at 6:30pm at Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center. Tickets for all NYICFF events are now on sale at As in past years, all screenings are expected to sell out, so advance purchase is highly recommended.