If you’re tired of taking your kids to see the standard movie fare at the multiplex, you’ll be happy to hear that the 8th Tel Aviv International Children’s Film Festival is starting this week at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. It runs until July 29.

The festival is a carefully chosen selection of films from around the world (and Israel, too), events and workshops for children of all ages. All the films feature Hebrew titles or are dubbed into Hebrew.

There have been many wonderful films about children from the Netherlands in recent years, and there will be a special section devoted to these films, including Winky’s Horse, one of the most popular films shown at this festival in past years.

The international competition will show eight films from all over the world. Gato and Kite tells the story of an 8-year-old boy in India who works in a recycling dump but longs to go to school. When he makes a new friend, this becomes more likely for him.

(Maybe this film will help teach that there are kids all over the world who would love to go to school).

From Greece comes Nicostratus the Pelican, about a motherless boy on a Greek island who cares for a pelican he finds. The Button War is a French comedy about the rivalry between two neighborhood gangs. Kauwboy is another film about a lonely child who bonds with a bird; in this case the movie is from the Netherlands and the bird is a crow.

Ricky Rapper and Cool Wendy is an upbeat musical comedy about friendship from Finland.

Among Wolves is a Spanish film, based on a true story, about a child that forms a bond with a pack of wolves. Arcadia is an American coming-of-age film about a girl whose family weathers a crisis when they move to California. Ice Dragon from Sweden is about a boy with a wild imagination.

The Panorama section includes the docudrama Benny, Back to the Wild, about a monkey that is taken out of the wild and put into captivity, then freed. The Runway is the story of an Irish boy who thinks a Colombian pilot whose plane has crashed is his long-lost father.

The youngest viewers will appreciate a selection of the finest animated films from around the world. The film Lost and Found will be presented along with an interactive show for very young children.

The Israeli section features some of the finest locally-made recent films for kids. Feature films for older children include Noodle, a drama about a Tel Aviv woman who gets involved in helping reunite a Chinese boy with his mother, who is her house-cleaner; Little Heroes, about four misfits who join forces and take a trip to the Negev; and Elie and Ben, a drama about a father (Lior Ashkenazi) who gets arrested for embezzling money, and his son, who has to come to terms with his father’s imperfection.

The acclaimed film Under the Domim Tree, about children who lost their families in the Holocaust and who live in a youth village, stars Gila Almagor and is based on her book.

She will be present at the screening and will answer questions from the audience. Children of all ages can enjoy In the Land of Genesis, a beautifully photographed film about nature in Israel, that focuses on animals in different regions.

Since aspiring filmmakers are getting younger every year, there are age-appropriate workshops for kids in which they learn different aspects of film-making basics. Very young children can participate in the Creativity for Tiny Tots workshop sponsored by the Beauty of Toffee Theater, as well as Laughter Yoga (which is intended for the entire family as well) and a recycling workshop.

Older cinéastes will be interested in workshops on dubbing, and special-effects make-up.

Perhaps the most exciting part for parents is that tickets to a single film or workshop are NIS 40, and there is an option to buy a ticket for a film and a workshop together for NIS 60.

Some of the programs will sell out, so check the website at http://kidsfestival.cinema.co.il for details and to order tickets.

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