Children's Film FestivalVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Celebrate the winter break holiday at Asia Society Texas Center with a magical film festival! Exploring the humor, action, and artistry of movies from around the world, this year's films highlight daily themes of amazing anime from Japan, amazing kids in the U.S., and amazing adventures that span across Asia.
Registration is required for this free event! Each day includes fun activities and free entry to the exhibition Divine Spark: Kana Harada.
Health and Safety
Film Festival at a Glance
Amazing Anime! • Monday, December 20
10 a.m. Okko's Inn
1 p.m. Children of the Sea
Amazing Kids! • Tuesday, December 21
10 a.m. Curtain Up!
1 p.m. World Premiere: Kaavya
Amazing Adventures! • Wednesday, December 22
10 a.m. Raya and the Last Dragon
1 p.m. Jagga Jasoos (Detective Jagga)
Enjoy a scavenger hunt in our exhibition on view to win a prize! Plus, participate in hands-on arts and crafts activities.
Monday, December 20, 2021
Okko's Inn • 10 a.m.
After losing her parents in a car accident, Okko goes to live in the countryside with her grandmother, who runs a traditional Japanese inn built on top of an ancient spring said to have healing waters. While she prepares to become the inn's next caretaker, Okko discovers spirits who live there that only she can see — not scary ones, but welcoming ghosts who keep her company, play games, and help her navigate her new environment.
Famed anime studio Madhouse and director Kitaro Kosaka, a key animator on numerous classic STUDIO GHIBLI films, seamlessly blend immersive, idyllic landscapes with storybook charm, delivering a rare ghost story that is firmly grounded in the trials and joys of humanity.
Director: Kitaro Kosaka | Duration: 94 minutes | Language: In English
Recommended for: Ages 6+
Kamishibai Storytelling • Between Film Screenings
Children of the Sea • 1 p.m.
When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she sees there, Umi and Sora. Ruka's dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans' fish. Children of the Sea is the latest feature from Japan's STUDIO4°C and is directed by Ayumu Watanabe, with a score by award-winning composer and longtime STUDIO GHIBLI collaborator Joe Hisaishi.
Director: Ayumu Watanabe | Duration: 111 minutes | Language: In English
Recommended for: Ages 9+ (includes some emotionally intense scenes)
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Curtain Up! • 10 a.m.
For over 10 years, the PS124 theater club in New York City's Chinatown has been the only Asian American team to compete at the renowned Junior Theater Festival, a gathering of young thespians from across the world — earning the privilege of being one of a select few schools nationally to premiere the kids production of Frozen. As the fifth graders gear up and rehearse for this musical production, nervous excitement and flubbed lines brush up against cultural stereotypes, family expectations, and post-graduation uncertainties. Curtain Up! shares a kid's-eye-view of the wonders of discovering art, culture, and identity.
Directors: Kelly Ng and Hui Tong | Duration: 69 minutes | Language: In English
Recommended for: Ages 8+
World Premiere of Kaavya • 1 p.m.
Co-presented with the Indo-American Association.
Kaavya is a 10-year-old girl from Pearland, Texas, who loves Harry Potter, puzzles, musical theatre, Gilmore Girls, and robotics. She also is about to embark on the most important moment of her life up until now: her arangetram, a two-hour solo dance debut that showcases a mastery in the classical dance form of Bharatanatyam. As if the pressure to achieve this milestone at such a young age isn't enough, Kaavya is being trained by her own mother, a professional dancer and respected guru. How Kaavya relentlessly prepares while adapting to the constantly changing world amidst a global pandemic shows not just the resilience of youth, but also the indomitable strength of an art form.
This screening will be followed by an audience Q&A with Kaavya and director Dan Gordon.
Director: Dan Gordon | Language: In English
Recommended for: Ages 8+
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Raya and the Last Dragon • 10 a.m.
Kumandra is a place where humans and dragons peacefully coexist. When sinister monsters called the Druun threaten the community, the dragons readily make a sacrifice to save the human race. Hundreds of years later, the same threat returns. It is up to Raya, a lone warrior, to stop them once and for all. She tracks down the last dragon alive, but as she embarks on her journey, she realizes it will take more than a dragon and its magic to save her world.
This rousing fantasy from Walt Disney Animation Studios was inspired by the cultures of Southeast Asia and features an all-star cast including Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Izaac Wang, Gemma Chan, and Daniel Dae Kim.
Directors: Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Paul Briggs, John Ripa | Duration: 114 minutes | Language: In English
Recommended for: Ages 6+
Jagga Jasoos (Detective Jagga) • 1 p.m.
Jagga, a curious and shy young boy in a quaint little town, lives a happy life with his adoptive father, Bagchi. Jagga, being self-conscious of his stammer, doesn't speak much until one day, Bagchi teaches him to "speak" in song. After admitting Jagga into a boarding school, Bagchi suddenly disappears. Armed with sharp detective skills, Jagga sets out to solve the mystery of his missing father. Along the way, he finds a partner in Shruti, an accident-prone journalist with her own international criminal case to solve.
"A rousing musical that pays tribute to Tintin and Feluda, and combines Disney's musical tradition with a whimsical style reminiscent of Wes Anderson's work." — Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Reuters
Director: Anurag Basu | Duration: 162 minutes | Language: In Hindi with English subtitles
Recommended for: Ages 9+ (includes mild violence with firearms)
Performing Arts and Culture programs at Asia Society Texas are presented by Syamal and Susmita Poddar. Major support comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment, and The Brown Foundation Inc. Generous funding also provided by AARP, The Anchorage Foundation of Texas, The Clayton Fund, and Miller Theatre Advisory Board. Additional support provided by the Wortham Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, United Airlines, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional programming and exhibitions to Asia Society Texas Center.
Performing Arts and Culture Presenting Sponsors
Syamal and Susmita Poddar
Official Airline Sponsor
Performing Arts and Culture Program Sponsors
Presenting Partner for Amazing Anime! on December 20
Presenting Partner for Kaayva on December 21