The Growing Stage-The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong, is well known for its professional Main Stage theatrical productions and arts education programs for children and teens. On September 7 and 8, the non-profit company adds a new family friendly arts offering to its repertoire with its first International Film Festival for Young People.
“From the 1920s to 1980s, the Palace Theatre was a popular destination for film lovers of all ages,” said Growing Stage founder and executive director Steve Fredericks. “It has long been our company’s goal to bring film back to this historic venue and offer families a new and exciting way to participate in the arts.” Throughout the year, The Growing Stage will screen specially selected works usually seen only at film festivals in major cities, giving local patrons the opportunity to experience critically acclaimed storytelling and film artistry close to home and at family-friendly prices.
Three award-winning animated works will be shown during the September International Film Festival for Young People. The Festival kicks off on Saturday, September 7, at 4:00 p.m., with Eleanor’s Secret. This beautifully designed rollicking adventure by Academy Award-nominated director Dominque Monfery tells the tale of a boy who saves the day thanks to his new found ability to read. At 7:00 p.m., the Festival continues with Tales of the Night, a mesmerizing film by renowned animator Michel Ocelot that weaves together six fables, each unfolding in a unique locale and ending with an ironic twist.
The final film, to be screened on Sunday, September 8, at 1:00 p.m., is Mia and the Migoo, a breathtaking adventure created by Jacques-Remy Girerd in which a young girl must overcome her fears on a quest to find her father and save the world. Admission is $5 per film or $10 to see all three.
The Growing Stage began fundraising last fall for its Film Initiative and raised over $60,000 in nine months, enabling the purchase and installation of a custom 220-inch diagonal screen and projection equipment. Individual donors and foundations contributed generously to the project.
Steve Fredericks noted, “We are grateful to everyone who supported our Film Initiative and look forward to welcoming families and young people to their first-ever film experience at the Palace as well as young-at-heart patrons who remember seeing movies at this venerable theatre when they were growing up.”
Tickets ($5 per film or $10 for all three) will be available at the door or may be purchased in advance by calling The Growing Stage box office at (973) 347-4946. For more information, log on to www.growingstage.com.