Fantasia film festival presents free screenings for kids at McCord Museum

My First Fantasia is a series of five free screenings aimed at young audiences at the McCord Museum on Sherbrooke Street West.

My First Fantasia series includes 52 short films for young audiences

The Most Magnificent Thing is an English short film screening for free at the McCord Museum on July 18 at 1 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. (Fantasia Film Festival)

The Fantasia Film Festival may not be the first thing that comes to mind as a family-friendly activity, namely due to the buckets of fake blood, bone-chilling screams and action-packed sci-fi sequences that feature in its lineup each summer.

But the genre festival has its roots in short films and animated features, too, which makes for a great selection of kid-friendly animated shorts.

Enter "My First Fantasia," a series of five free screenings that take place at the McCord Museum on Sherbrooke Street West.

Tania Morissette is the deputy director of the festival and doubles as the curator of "My First Fantasia" for a second year.

"There's so many things happening in the summer and so many things that are expensive for families, so it's nice to be able to do something that they can enjoy, all of them together, for free," she said.

Tania Morissette described the film Balloon as one that both parents and kids will find beautiful. (Fantasia Film Festival)

There are five different programs, each with their own theme, that will screen a total of 52 short films.

The first screening in the series, on July 13 at 1 p.m. and again at 3 p.m., is themed To the Beat of Imagination and includes all musical shorts.

One of the benefits of this emphasis on music is the lack of dialogue, making it easy for all viewers to enjoy.

"It's a universal language," said Morissette. "Some of our programs have films in French, some in English, but a lot of them just have no dialogue, so the images speak for themselves."

The next screening, on July 18 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., is all English-language films, some of which involve a didactic element.

"A lot of these stories tend to be centred around having problems but then finding solutions," said Morissette.

"We have this amazing short called The Most Magnificent Thing. It's about this little girl who just loves doing inventions."

"So we really do try and present stories that have a good moral for kids."

My First Fantasia runs Thursdays and Saturdays from July 13 to July 27 at the McCord Museum. All screenings are free and first come, first served.


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