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Now in its third year, the Children’s International Film Festival (CHIFF) celebrates filmmaking from around the world for kids, families and the young at heart and is coming to Ritz Cinemas from November 27 to December 13.

With a fabulous fun program featuring 20 of the best and latest films for children from the past year – all Australian premieres – this year CHIFF invites audiences to see familiar favourites on the big screen and discover bold new re-imaginings of classic characters, and also to ponder the world and our place in it, especially our relationship to nature and our fellow inhabitants, be they human, animal or mythical.

This year’s Opening selection, the Australian premiere of LASSIE COME HOME, introduces cinema’s most famous canine to a whole new generation with this contemporary re-telling of the classic tale of the faithful dog who against the odds finds her way home. A heart-warming movie for all the family.

While in THE GREAT DETECTIVE SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE GREAT JAIL-BREAKER the famed sleuth is a dog and his companion Dr Watson a cat in this wildly entertaining crime caper.

An all-star cast bring the Moomins to life in a special presentation of the first three episodes of the new series MOOMINVALLEY. An ideal introduction to the weird and wonderful world of the Moomins, MOOMINVALLEY features the voices of Taron Egerton, Rosamund Pike and Matt Berry, with special guest appearances by Jennifer Saunders and Matt Lucas.

From the whimsical to the fantastic: 10-year-old Dana has the power to imagine dinosaurs into the real world. Now DINO DANA makes a triumphant leap to the big screen with this feature-length film based on the hit Canadian TV series (and screened on ABC KIDS) that celebrates science, a thirst for knowledge and the power of imagination.

CHIFF is proud to present a special 25th anniversary screening of Australian cinema classic BABE, the enchanting story of a piglet with an unlikely talent, which won fans around the world, garnered an Academy Award nomination and proved that Australia could produce family films for a global audience.

Set to follow in Babe’s footsteps is DAISY QUOKKA, a lovable little marsupial who wants to win the annual ‘World’s Scariest Animal’ championship, with a washed-up, former champion saltwater crocodile to help her achieve her dreams and prove that champions can come in all sizes. CHIFF is delighted to present the world premiere of this charming new animated adventure featuring the voice talents of Angourie Rice, Sam Neill, Grant Denyer, Lucy Durack and Frank Woodley.

DREAMBUILDERS follows a girl named Minna who discovers she can create and control other people’s dreams and so uses her newfound ability to teach her annoying stepsister a lesson in an entertaining and evocative film that is reminiscent of Inside Out.

Films dealing with issues of reconciliation, human connection and the environment that will appeal to older children include FRITZI: A REVOLUTIONARY TALE which retells the story of the Fall of the Berlin Wall from a child’s perspective. It’s a compelling example of how animation can entertain, educate and inform.

While in the smart and sensitive drama TOO FAR AWAY Ben, a victim of bullying, bonds over soccer with the new kid in town, Syrian refugee Tariq, and learns about empathy, compassion and friendship and of course, football.

THE PRINCE’S VOYAGE is a stunning new film by acclaimed French animator Jean-François Laguionie.

 It’s a fantastical adventure and a timely parable about contemporary civilisation, fear of outsiders and environmentalism.

An uplifting family drama from Israel about not letting your fears or attitudes of others prevent you from pursuing your aspirations, SKY RAIDERS follows two teenagers who secretly repair an antique fighter plane with the help of a grumpy old loner.

The world of art is delightfully brought to life in JACKIE & OOPJEN. Jackie loves to spend time at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum among the paintings when one of Rembrandt’s subjects, Oopjen, comes miraculously to life and enlists Jackie’s help to find her lost sister in this spirited and funny romp through art.

Many of the films in this year’s festival are based on beloved screen and literary characters from all over the world including THE BEARS’ FAMOUS INVASION OF SICILY, which is based on classic 1945 Italian children’s book about a mystical tale of conflict between humans and bears.

In CAPTAIN SABRETOOTH AND THE MAGIC DIAMOND a young pirate gets caught in the middle of a feud between the infamous pirate Captain Sabertooth and Maga Kahn, the vampire king. This animated adventure is a glorious combination of action, heart and a lot of irreverent humour.

A feature animation about friendship and bridging cultural divides for younger audiences, COCONUT THE LITTLE DRAGON: INTO THE JUNGLE follows Coconut and his friends on a summer camp adventure that goes awry.

The legendary Elfkins (Heinzelmännchen) were gnomes secretly helping craftsmen at night until they decided to hide out of sight 200 years ago. Inspired by German folk tales, THE ELFKINS – BAKING A DIFFERENCE is a fun and high-spirited story about reconciliation, looking beyond old prejudices and being the best person (or Elfkin!) you can be.

In ELLA BELLA BINGO Ella and Henry are best friends, but one day a new boy moves into the neighbourhood and everything changes. Based on a popular TV series of the same name, ELLA BELLA BINGO is a delightful film for younger audiences about the true meaning of friendship.

PELLE NO-TAIL is a cat without a tail, but a big heart in this sweet and charming film that gloriously captures the feel of 1980s hand-drawn animated films. When Pelle becomes separated from the little girl looking after him, he discovers a secret cat city and finds courage and friendship along the way.

When her older brother goes away to study, six-year-old Ruby is given a magical doll who comes to life in cute retro charmer RAGGIE. Based on a beloved Estonian children’s book from the ‘60s, RAGGIE has much in common with the Toy Story series.

Engaging family drama PHANTOM OWL FORREST also has roots in Estonia. 10-year-old Eia is disappointed she has to spend her Christmas holiday at a farm, away from her parents. However, while there she learns that the rare owl species are threatened by logging and helps rally the local community around the cause, making new friends in the process.

With a spectacular selection of films sourced from prestigious film festivals around the world, CHIFF provides family audiences the unique opportunity to see high quality films that are not otherwise available to be seen in Australia, and to see them on the big screen.

Plus there are a great bunch of special events planned (COVID-safe of course) including a BABE barnyard costume day, a CAPTAIN SABRETOOTH AND THE MAGIC DIAMOND treasure hunt, a DREAMBUILDERS pyjama party, SKY RAIDERS paper-plane making, a red carpet dress up for the world premiere of DAISY QUOKKA and you can bring your dog to see LASSIE COME HOME and much more! Please visit www. for all the details.

‘This has been a challenging year for everybody, but parents and carers of young children have faced their own particular challenges, which has included keeping kids entertained and occupied for long periods of time. Of course, there is no shortage of moving-image content aimed at children available online, but it’s not always straightforward identifying what are the best films and television shows for young eyes and ears to be experiencing. That’s why it’s more important than ever for CHIFF to deliver the best of what films from around the world have to offer and to give back to families the unique experience of attending a cinema to experience a world of imagination coming to life on the big screen.’ – Thomas Caldwell, CHIFF Artistic Director


The CHIFF team is working hard to ensure that everyone’s return to the cinema is a safe and happy one.
— In Melbourne, masks will be required to be worn by everyone during their visit (they can be slipped off to eat and drink). In Sydney, Ritz Cinemas staff will be wearing masks, and mask-wearing by patrons is strongly encouraged.
— The cinemas are operating at a reduced capacity so groups can keep plenty of space between themselves and others.

— If patrons aren’t feeling well and need to stay home, we will refund tickets, or facilitate swaps to another scheduled festival session.

See for more information

Plus, families can revisit past festival favourites at Classic, Lido, Cameo and Ritz Cinemas’ new streaming platform ‘At Home’. Currently streaming titles include Mia and the White Lion, The Little Witch, Famous Five and the Valley of the Dinosaurs and more at

The Children’s International Film Festival (CHIFF) takes place in Melbourne and Sydney from November 27 to December 13. Watch the festival trailer online at


Single Admission tickets $13.50 (valid for adult, child, senior and concession admission)
Family Pass $48 (valid for two adults and two children or one adult and three children)

For updates, session times and more information, visit


Sydney             27 Nov – 13 Dec, Ritz Cinemas, Randwick

Melbourne       27 Nov – 13 Dec, Classic Cinema, Elsternwick; Lido Cinemas, Hawthorn; Cameo Cinemas, Belgrave       




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