BELLINGHAM - Whatcom's youngest film aficionados have a special treat to look forward to next weekend: The Bellingham Children's Film Festival, which will take place April 25-27 at the Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay St.
Activities kick off Friday with the release of "Ernest and Celestine," which portrays the unlikely friendship of a bear and a mouse, and was nominated for an Oscar. The PG film will be screened both in the original French with subtitles and in dubbed-English.
Viewers will also get the chance to watch two collections featuring the best shorts shown earlier this year at the Children's Film Festival Seattle, said Lindsey Gerhard, Pickford's marketing coordinator.
The first collection, "Cinema Magic: Live Action Shorts from Around the World," will show at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The 57-minute grouping will feature five films, two of which have English subtitles, and is best for viewers ages 7 and older due to some depictions of emotional difficulty (with happy endings).
The second collection, "See the World: Animated Shorts from Around the World," will show at noon Saturday and Sunday. The 58-minute grouping will feature eight animated tales, one of which has English subtitles, and is suitable for all ages.
Matinee price for adults: $8.50; Kids 12 and younger: $5.
This year the festival has teamed up with the Whatcom Museum's Family Interactive Gallery, know as FIG, which will host kids' workshops Saturday and Sunday that may include use of the museum's stop-motion machine, Gerhard said.
When heading to the FIG, bring your ticket stub from the fest and get $3 admission; likewise, if heading from the FIG to the fest, bring your stub for some free popcorn.
Saturday and Sunday afternoons the Pickford lobby will be a creative haven, with hands-on workshops from Play Lab, open to kids and family members.
The downtown Bellingham Children's Library, located at 210 Central Avenue, will also feature books on film making and movies during the festival.
This year's partnerships are one step toward the center's goal of expanding the festival.
"It would be great to see it become a larger event for community kids," Gerhard said.
For information on pricing for feature films and other show times, visit pickfordfilmcenter.org.
Family Story Night with Bellingham Storytellers Guild
Storytellers young and old are invited to join the Bellingham Storytellers Guild for a free Family Story Night from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 18, at the Fairhaven Branch Library, 1117 12th St. in Bellingham.
Families are invited to join the guild in the fireplace room for a free hour of coaching and an introduction to storytelling at 6 p.m.
Then, at 7 p.m., professional storytellers will take over and share some tales.
This event is open to everyone ages 6 and older.
For more information, call the Fairhaven Branch at 360-778-7188.
Find more information on the guild at bellinghamstorytellersguild.org/about.
Maritime Heritage Park: Service Project
In honor of Easter and Earth Day, Echoes, a Lutheran-based group, will host a service project starting at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 20 at Maritime Heritage Park, 514 W. Holly St.
A fair warning to attendees: volunteers will be spreading a lot of mulch, and some work will take place on a steep incline.
Bellingham Parks and Recreation will provide the mulch, tools and gloves for the event.
Be prepared for wet weather, and hope for sun!
Volunteers of all ages should meet at the round salmon hatching pools for this project, which should last until about 4 p.m.
Bronkar's Circus of Sound
Bronkar Lee is a juggling beat-boxer who will take his one-man "Circus of Sound" to the stage at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 24 at Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.
The performer combines comedy, music and rhythmic juggling in his kid-friendly shows.
Many area students may be checking out the "Circus of Sound" through their schools as part of the Mount Baker Theatre's 2013 to 2014 Education Program.
Tickets for the one-hour shows range from $5 to $6.50, plus applicable fees.
For more information call the theater at 360-734-6080.
Reach Samantha Wohlfeil at Samantha.Wohlfeil@bellinghamherald.com.