about the festival


Over the past decade, Children’s Film Festival Seattle has become the largest and most respected film festival on the West Coast dedicated to children and their families. Each year, Northwest Film Forum selects more than 175 international children’s films from 45+ countries, reaching more than 10,000 people during festival screenings in Seattle and a subsequent festival tour of 15-20 U.S. cities.

Produced by Northwest Film Forum, the 11-day extravaganza celebrates the best and brightest in international cinema for children, featuring live performances, animation, features, shorts and hands-on education workshops, all crafted with care for the next generation of movie lovers.

January 22 – February 7, 2015
Most events are held at Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue between Pike and Pine on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Check the festival schedule for details about Rainier Valley events, and the Pancake Breakfast.

Festival staff
>> Contact the festival staff

Elizabeth Shepherd, Festival Director
Liz Shepherd curates year-round family film programs at Northwest Film Forum and is the director of the annual Children’s Film Festival Seattle. She is also the curator of REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival, which is held annually at Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre in Los Angeles, and she has also curated programs for Asia Society Texas, The New Museum (New York), Asheville International Children’s Film Festival (North Carolina), the August Wilson Center for African American Culture (Pennsylvania), ArtsEmerson (Massachusetts) and many other prestigious venues in the United States. Before arriving in Seattle, she was the director of the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. She has served on the juries and panels of children’s film festivals in Brazil, China, Korea, Russia, India and Egypt.

Festival Assistant Director Katie Pappageorge
Festival Programming Assistants Austin Sveilis and Maritza Chavez
Seattle Children’s Hospital Liaison Brittany Alsot
Workshop Instructors Linda Fenstermaker, Bill Jarcho, DigiPen students and staff, Jonah Kozlowski, Maristella Bonomo, Thomas Heinemann
Festival Registrar Paul Siple
Children’s Jury Coordinators Amber Adams and Stephen Fisher
Festival Program Advisor Renate Zylla
Hospitality Support Barbara Curran

Special thanks to Renate Zylla, Festival Program Advisor
Born in 1955 in Bielefeld, Germany, Renate holds a Master of Pedagogy with a concentration in media at the University of Bielefeld. She has professional experience in film and media since 1983. She started her festival career in Berlin at the International Film Festival Berlin in 1986. In 1988 she became the director of the Kinder Film Fest of the Berlin International Film Fest and worked in this position till 2002. She was a consultant for the Kinder Film Festival Tokyo (1992 – 2002). In 2003 she became the director of Kodomotachino Kinder Film Festival Tokyo. Renate Zylla is a director, organizer, manager of film projects and events and has been a jury member at international film festivals around the world. Since 2009 she has been a festival agent for children and youth films and in 2010 she became a program advisor for international film festivals for children and young adults in: Jakarta (Indonesia), Lucknow (India), Manchester (UK), Montevideo (Uruguay), Nairobi (Kenya), Seattle (USA), Winnipeg (Canada). She is currently the official program advisor for Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth Vancouver.

Header image courtesy of Margaret Schuler. Liz Shepherd’s portrait image by Elisa Huerta-Enochian.

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