NYICFF 2008: Cat Returns This Sat & Sun, Pelicanman with Filmmaker Q&A in Two Weeks

meet the filmmaker at Nov 4 screening

MORE FILMS/MORE THEATERS - NYICFF's year-round weekend programming will be expanding later this fall, with screenings at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side, in addition to the IFC Center. Look for those announcements to come shortly.

SCHOOL DISCOUNTS - anyone interested in getting discounted tickets for their schools, please email Emily at [email protected]

Sat & Sun, Oct 13 & 14 - 11:00am
Japan, Hiroyuki Morita, 2002/2005, 75 min
IFC Center - 323 6th Ave @ West 3rd
In English - Recommended ages 4-8
From the Academy Award-winning Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service and countless others, comes The Cat Returns, featuring voices of Anne Hathaway, Tim Curry, and Elliot Gould. Walking with her friend after a dreary day at school, Haru eyes a cat with a small gift box in its mouth attempting to cross a busy street. The cat fumbles the package in the middle of the road just as a large truck is rapidly bearing down. Using her friend's lacrosse stick, Haru manages to scoop the cat away to safety. Then, to her amazement, the cat promptly gets up on its hind legs, brushes itself off, and thanks her very politely. Strange behavior indeed, but this is nothing compared to what happens later that evening when the King of Cats shows up in front of Haru's house in a feline motorcade replete with vassals, maidens, and even Secret Service cats. In a show of gratitude for saving his son's life, the cat king decrees that Haru shall marry the cat prince and come live as a princess in the secret Kingdom of Cats. And so, against her will, the quiet suburban schoolgirl is pitched into a fantastical but dangerous world and must make her way back home. NYICFF presented the US premiere of this English language version at the 2005 festival.

Finland/Sweden, Lisa Helminen, 2005, 86 min
Sat & Sun, Nov 3 & 4 - 11:00am
IFC Center - 323 6th Ave @ West 3rd
In Finnish with English subtitles - Recommended ages 4-8
A festival favorite (Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Tribeca), Pelicanman is a fantasy-allegory about a pelican who becomes human, imitating our looks, learning our culture, getting a job at the opera, and even falling in love with a graceful dancer. Ten-year- olds Emil and Elsa, his new neighbors, immediately see through the disguise and, as they teach him to read and navigate the human world, the Pelican discovers the best humanity has to offer: poetry and science, philosophy and friendship. But the Pelican also learns the dangers, when his bird-allergic landlady becomes suspicious and convinces the townspeople to capture the Pelican and place him in a zoo. Critics have compared the film to everything from Felini's Amarcord to "the Finnish E.T.," but we see Chaplin-esque innocence and naiveté in Kari Ketonen's delightfully absurd portrayal of the Pelican who teaches us about our world as he experiences it for himself.

[email protected] takes place at: IFC CENTER, 323 6th Ave (West 3rd). For tickets and info go to: GKIDS.COM

NYICFF 2008: The next annual City-wide festival will take place February 29 to March 16, 2008 with over 100 films screening at theaters around New York. For sponsorship inquiries email [email protected] For press inquiries email [email protected]

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