Seventh Annual Children’s Film Showcase

Washington University and Cinema St. Louis to host talks and screenings Nov. 19 and 20

Still from SamSam, the animated television series created by French illustrator Serge Bloch, who will deliver the keynote address for the Seventh Annual Children’s Film Showcase Nov. 19.

Washington University’s Center for the Humanities and Program in Film & Media Studies, both in Arts & Sciences, will host the Seventh Annual Children’s Film Showcase Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19 and 20.

Titled “An Exploration of Children’s Films and Their Audiences,” the showcase is presented in conjunction with Cinema St. Louis and will feature four screenings as well as Q&A sessions with several of the filmmakers.

In addition, French artist and illustrator Serge Bloch — art director for Bayard in Paris and the driving force behind animated hits SamSam and Toto — will present a keynote address.

To mark the occasion, Bayard has donated 150 toys relating to Bloch’s work, which organizers will distribute during the showcase.

All events are free and open to the public and take place in Brown Hall Auditorium, located near the intersection of Forysth Boulevard and Hoyt Drive.

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


Friday, Nov. 19

Serge Bloch

7 p.m.
“An Illustrator in the World of Moving Images”
Keynote address by Serge Bloch

Known for the deceptively childlike simplicity of his work, Bloch is among France’s most prolific and sought-after illustrators, with more than 300 books to his credit. In the United States, his illustrations are regularly showcased in such publications as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time and GQ. For this talk, Bloch will focus on his animation work, presenting an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at projects for both children and adults.

Bloch’s numerous honors include a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators (2005) and the Bologna Ragazzi Award (2007). His latest books include Reach for the Stars and Other Advice for Life’s Journey; You Are What You Eat and Other Mealtime Hazards; and, with Davide Cali, I Love Kissing You. Bloch’s artwork has been exhibited in Italy, France and the United States.

Saturday, Nov. 20

11 a.m.
SamSam and Toto
Directed by Serge Bloch

A program of short films from Bloch’s two animated series for children, both of which are distributed worldwide. A Q&A with Bloch will immediately follow.

1 p.m.
Dog Jack (2010)
Directed by Edward T. McDougal

An adaptation of Florence Biros’ classic children’s novel, this Civil War tale follows a 14-year-old runaway slave, Jed, who, accompanied by his faithful dog, Jack, joins the Union Army and confronts Confederate forces as well as his own past. Filmmaker McDougal will be in attendance.

Still from 1981, directed by Ricardo Trogi.

4 p.m.
1981 (2009)
Directed by Ricardo Trogi

Set in 1981, this Canadian coming-of-age comedy centers on Ricardo, an 11-year-old struggling to fit in at his new school. In French with English subtitles.

7 p.m.
Chekhov for Children (2010)
Directed by Sasha Waters Freyer

This documentary tells the story of renowned New York writer Phillip Lopate’s ambitious 1979 staging on Broadway of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya with public-school fifth-graders — a group that included the filmmaker. Freyer and Lopate will be in attendance.

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