Cinematic visions

The Year Dolly Party Was My Mum, gala opening film at Showcomotion festival, 2012
The Year Dolly Party Was My Mum, gala opening film at Showcomotion festival, 2012

THE Showcomotion Young People’s Film Festival returns to the Showroom Cinema with another lineup of film screenings and activities for schools and families over the next 10 days.

Its mission is to give young people the opportunity to see films they would not otherwise get to see and perhaps inspire a new generation of filmmakers, but at the same time providing a fun, friendly festival! To make it truly accessible, film tickets for under 18’s are £2 and only £3 for adults. This year there will be two Showco Youth Juries, each with five young judges from Sheffield - the Showcomotion Youth Jury aged 11-14 and the InterActive Youth Jury, aged 15-18. Each Jury will decide which film for their age group they want to award the Best Film accolade to and the winners will be announced at the closing screening of the festival. The Opening Night Gala on Friday is The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mum (Cert PG), the story of an 11-year-old Canadian girl in 1976 who discovers she has been adopted and becomes convinced the buxom American country singer is her biological mother.

So she runs away in search of her true identity with her adoptive mother in pursuit. (PG) Showing this Saturday is Maori Boy Genius (PG), a documentary about Ngaa Rauuira, a boy from a small town in New Zealand who showed remarkable educational prowess, won a place at the Yale summer semester programme at 16, all with the intention becoming a politician to tackle the hardships that plague his people. His tribe believes he will save them. Also on Saturday is a preview of Petit Nicolas (PG), a family comedy based on a series of best-selling French illustrated books chronicling the adventures of Nicholas, a mischievous schoolboy. When Nicholas discovers he will soon have a baby brother or sister, he prepares for his impending abandonment with the help of his classmates. It’s something of a Showco tradition to host special preview screenings of kid’s films everyone will soon be talking about. This year is no exception, with the return of Top Cat! Based on the much loved animated TV series, Top Cat and the gang are back for a new generation of fans. The preview of the brand new Top Cat film takes place at Showco on Sunday evening For the closing night of the festival on Sunday, June 3, there will be a preview screening of the highly anticipated animated film of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax with the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift telling the tale of 12 year old Ted who is on the hunt for the Truffula Tree to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To get it he must uncover the story of the Lorax. This year’s festival programme includes a rare opportunity for children, and indeed adults, to take a glimpse at what children’s cinema form another country has to offer. The Polish Connection strand includes the animated Copernicus’ Star on June 3 with accompanying astronomy workshop. Sunday afternoon sees The Circus Connection, a film about a group of kids who rumble a criminal smuggling gang, and on Saturday morning there will be The Polish Shorts showcase of rarely-seen animations from the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

This year Showcomotion has teamed up with Bristol Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival to present two selections of short films.

As part of Sheffield Libraries’ Charles Dickens bicentenary celebrations, the Sheffield City Read which aims to get as many Sheffielders as possible reading Oliver Twist there will be a screening on Sunday of David Lean’s classic 1948 adaptation of the book with free copies of the novel to pick up from Sheffield Libraries. But it all starts with the opening night on Friday when kids (and grownups!) are encouraged to come along to the Gala screening of The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mum in fancy dress (prizes for the winners!). There will be lots of goodies including homemade icecream and sweets made by the Showroom’s Head Chef especially for the opening night.