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A Sundance for young moviegoers

The International Arts and Film Foundation of Tampa Bay is bringing a film fest to downtown Clearwater to encourage young people to be creative.

Published March 5, 2005

CLEARWATER - Hoping to ignite creativity in young people, the International Arts and Film Foundation of Tampa Bay is bringing its Imagine International Film Festival to downtown Clearwater next month.

As many as 11 foreign children's movies - some in English, some with subtitles - will be screened April 18-20 at the Royalty Theatre on Cleveland Street.

"We want to promote the arts in this area," said Anthony Verde, chief executive officer of the foundation. "We want to encourage moviemaking here."

The event is held in cooperation with the Giffoni Film Festival, which takes place annually in Salerno Province in the Campania region of southern Italy. At the juried festival, children 6 through 19 select the movies they like best.

Only those films will be shown in Clearwater.

Among them will be Daniel and the Superdogs, a Canadian movie starring young actor Matthew Harbour.

He will be a special guest at the film festival, greeting fans and signing autographs.

Another film about a dog, Napoleon, this one from Australia, will be screened.

Napoleon centers on the adventures of a golden retriever puppy that roams the Outback making friends. Joan Rivers is the voice of Mother Penguin, one of the characters.

Directed by Mario Andreacchio, the film is the first Australian live-action feature to use an all-animal cast.

Tickets for the film festival will cost $15 for parents and $10 for kids for a one-day pass good for three movies. A three-day pass is $35.

Verde, a local filmmaker, and Ken Vance, operations director of the foundation, say they have noticed "diminished" arts programs in public schools and want to fill that void.

"(The children) are going to have their eyes open and see films about other kids," Vance said.

Eileen Schulte can be reached at 727 445-4153 or

[Last modified March 5, 2005, 00:41:15]

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