Freeze Frame kicks off this weekend, the 16th annual celebration of family films that don't involve fast-food tie-ins or Disney child stars.
With eight days of feature films, documentaries, shorts and animation from around the world, the far-ranging fest offers entertainment that goes way beyond the usual mainstream multiplex fare, allowing kids to stretch their imaginations and expand their worldviews.
Some of this year's highlights:
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey is a revealing look at Kevin Clash, the man behind one of Sesame Street's most beloved muppets. For anyone who loves the enduring innocence of the little red guy, it will come as no surprise that Clash is a lovely man, and his journey from puppet-crazed kid in working-class Baltimore to master puppeteer is inspiring.
The Boxing Girls of Kabul is an eye-opening documentary. Afghan-Canadian director Ariel Nasr (who will be in town to talk about the work) follows a group of young Afghan women who face ostracism, censure and threats of violence just for training as athletes. This is an up-close look at a country and culture many of us see only in news reports.