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Record entries for kids' film festival in Paris

Pascal Elbé, French actor, director and screenwriter was the 'Elder Brother' for the My First Film Festival in Paris, October 2018 Rosslyn Hyams

Family films for spectators aged from 2 to 102 is a slogan that works for Mon Premier Festival, My First Film Festival in Paris, in its 14th year. The City Hall's specially compiled programme for young people broke its previous record number of entries in 2018, with 31,000 spectators in total enjoying a made-to-measure selection of films and related activities from 24th to 30th October. "The festival is important because youngsters can experience how amazing it is to share the emotions they feel when they see a film on a big screen. It's not the same as watching film on TV or on your small computer or cell phone on your own," said Pascal Elbé, this year's Festival 'Elder Brother'.

"More and more childrens' films are being produced, "said Véronique Boursier, the president of the association which is the hands-on organiser for My First Film Festival. "The producer of Rémi sans Famille, Nobody's Boy told me that so many films for younger people come out at the same time, it's  worry. It's very competitive."

Boursier and her team to begin with drew 3,500 children from age 2 to 10 and whose days are usually spent in creches or infant school were special guests who were invited to watch previews like Japanese animation Penguin Highway, directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, or Pachamama, a French animation film set in the Andes or oldies like Grease starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, The Addams Family, the Aristocats, as well as classics like Charlie Chaplin's short film, The Vagabond of 1915.

Out of the 100 films in the programme, sixteen films previewed at My First Festival of which two won prizes at the closing ceremony on 30 October.

The Children's Jury, nine 7 to 10 year-old first-time jury members, awarded their prize to Mia and the White Lion directed by Gilles de Maistre and which is one of the Christmas releases in France, on screens as of 26 December.

100 Kilos of Stars directed by Marie-Sophie Chambon won the audience prize and is set to screen in halls in France in early 2019.

As part of this year's theme, "films and music", other highlights were meetings with film professionals, from actors and directors, to film music composers, like Bruno Coulais and Pierre Hamon, or sound effects' specialist and sound engineer, Xavier Drouault and Denis Guilhem.

"Films are watched but also listened to. We want to explain how sound is made for films, why  and why it is so important. Musicals and films about music have pride of place this year," said Boursier.

A special section of Indian films or films about India for children or family entertainment including Jean Renoir's 1951 The River, encouraged the organisers to arrange bharatnatyam dance classes for children and their adventurous escorts during the event.



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