Washington University and Cinema St. Louis to present Fourth Annual Children’s Film Symposium Nov. 15 and 17

Washington University’s Center for the Humanities and Program in Film & Media Studies, both in Arts & Sciences, will host their Fourth Annual Children’s Film Symposium Thursday and Saturday, Nov. 15 and 17.

Presented in conjunction with Cinema St. Louis, the event will feature a keynote address by Neal Gabler, author of Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination (2006) and a Q&A with Marion Comer, writer and director of the film 48 Angels (2006). Screenings will include a series of Disney shorts and three feature-length children’s films, including 48 Angels as well as Of Love and Eggs (2004) and Mahek (2007).

All events are free and open to the public. The talk by Gabler and the screenings of the Disney shorts will take place Nov. 15 in the auditorium of the Saint Louis Art Museum. All other events take place Nov. 17 in Brown Hall Auditorium, located near the intersection of Forysth Boulevard and Hoyt Drive.

For more information, please call the Center for the Humanities at (314) 935-5576.


7 p.m. Nov. 15
Neal Gabler
Lecture on Walt Disney
Saint Louis Art Museum

Gabler is an author, cultural historian and film critic as well as a senior fellow at the University of Southern California. The first writer to gain complete access to the Disney archives, he reconstructs Disney’s life in meticulous detail, with particular attention to the development of the Disney studio and management of early hits like Fantasia and Pinocchio. Newsweek magazine praises Walt Disney as “the definitive Disney bio.” Gabler’s previous books include An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood (1990), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity (1994), which was named non-fiction book of the year by Time magazine.

10 a.m. Nov. 17
Brown Hall Auditorium
Of Love and Eggs (2004)
Directed by Garin Nugroho

This warm comedy, the fifth feature by the Indonesian director, is set in a working-class Jakarta market during the Muslim holiday of Lebaran. The interwoven storylines — involving classroom problems, the efforts to build a new cupola for the local mosque and a variety of intrigues involving eggs — broach sensitive religious, social and generational issues with subtlety, insight and gentle humor.

1 p.m. Nov. 17
Brown Hall Auditorium
48 Angels (2006)
Followed by Q&A with director Marion Comer

Set in present-day Northern Ireland, 48 Angels tells the story of Seamus, a nine-year-old boy diagnosed with a serious illness. In search of a miracle and inspired by tales of the 6th-century Saint Columcille, Seamus sets off to find God in a small boat without oars or sail. Yet his path soon collides with those of James, a 14-year-old runaway traumatized by the death of his father, and Darry, a recently released prisoner once again fleeing the police.

Comer, a native of Ireland, began her career as an actor in the U.K. and began writing and directing short films before attending London’s Saint Martins School of Art. Her directorial debut, Boxed, was named one of the “Ten Best Films of 2003” by the Chicago Reader and won “Best Feature” at the 2003 Boston Irish Film Festival. She is currently a directing fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

3 p.m. Nov. 17
Brown Hall Auditorium
Mahek (2007)
Directed by Kranti Kanade

Winner of the “Best Feature Film Award” at the 2007 Arpa International Film Festival in Hollywood, Mahek tells the story of bright 12-year-old girl who daydreams of being the best at everything, but doesn’t really know where her talents lie. Yet with the help of magic-less fairy godmother, she sets out to reign-in her imagination and unlock her true strengths and abilities.