Children’s International Film Festival comes to cinemas in Sydney and Melbourne

Calling all parents who need help entertaining their kids this winter!

The Children’s International Film Festival is currently underway in Sydney and Melbourne. Throughout this year’s festivities, you can take your pick from 21 amazing kids’ movies and series. From Canada to France to Vietnam to Estonia, the line-up celebrates stories and filmmaking talents from all corners of the globe.

Some highlights to look out for include Headspace (a CGI sci-fi comedy from South Africa), Three Robbers and a Lion (a heartwarming animation from Norway), and The Tiger’s Nest (a beautiful Italian entry shot in the Himalayas). For nostalgic parents looking for an excuse to watch childhood classics, there are also some 25th-anniversary screenings of Babe: Pig in the City.

Headspace by Paul Meyer and Gerhard Painter 

The overall CHIFF program contains screenings for ages three and up, but some films may only be suitable for older viewers. Age recommendations are available on the festival website to help you pick the right option for your family. For kids – and parents – with shorter attention spans, there are also some episodic screenings. 

Alma’s Way showcases three episodes of an animated series following the adventures of a Bronx-based Puerto Rican girl. The full screening is 66 minutes long but is split into three episodes. So if your little one isn’t too keen on sitting still, you can always watch one or two episodes and bail!

Alma’s Way by Dave Barton Thomas and Shawn Seles

Some screenings also come with special events and fun freebies. Last week we attended Auntie Rita’s Party at the Ritz in Randwick. Armed with glow sticks and some gluten-free choc brownie mini bites, we partook (and embarrassed ourselves) in a short dance party before the film.

Although I clearly wasn’t the target audience for this dubbed kids’ musical from the Netherlands, the colourful costumes, upbeat songs, and silly storylines kept the children plenty entertained (I even chuckled out loud on a few occasions). Many of the kids could be heard singing the catchy choruses of the songs for several minutes after they ended (a trait that would be unforgivable in an adult cinema setting, but actually quite sweet in this particular instance).

Auntie Rita’s Party by Dennis Bots

The Children’s International Film Festival is a great way to get out of the cold, entertain the family, and enjoy stories and perspectives from all over the world. To view the full festival lineup or to find out more about the competitions and events in this year’s program, head to the CHIFF website.

Children’s International Film Festival –
When: 27 May – 12 June 2023
Where: Sydney: Ritz Cinemas Randwick; Melbourne: Classic Cinemas Elsternwick, Lido Cinemas Hawthorn and Cameo Cinemas Belgrave
Tickets: Single Admission $15.00, Member tickets $13.00, Family Pass $52.00

About the author

Originally from Wales, Siri is a native Welsh speaker and bilingual writer living in Sydney. With a background in film and television production, particularly comedy, she loves to make people laugh - usually at her own expense. Siri writes about all sorts from film and restaurant reviews to marathon running and adventure travel. She loves pale ale and shiraz and is yet to meet a chocolate mousse she can’t devour in seconds. An intrepid adventurer trapped inside the body of a couch potato, there’s nothing Siri won’t try - but she can’t promise to be even remotely graceful while doing it.


When I was asked to review Belle & Sebastian: Next Generation, I was intrigued. Was this a documentary about the offspring of the 90's indie pop band, Belle & Sebastian? Or was it a musical superhero sequel inspired by the life of said musicians? You’ll be glad (or perhaps disappointed) to know that it was neither.

- Enter Your Location -
- or -