Zlin celebrates 47th anniversary

New 'Shrek' opens children's film festival

ZLIN — The Zlin Film Festival for Children and Youth, the major kids fest in Central and Eastern Europe, bowed Monday, with 16 pics, including major Euro co-production and Emily Watson starrer “Crusade in Jeans” and Chinese movie “Girl 13,” in competish for the Golden Slipper, to be awarded Friday.

Thesp Haley Joel Osment greeted hordes of cheering Czech students in the city of Zlin, former base of the Zeman animation studios, for the 47th anniversary of the event Monday. With six juries, including two consisting of children, fest honors features for children and youth, animation, new film from Central Europe and European debuts.

“Shrek the Third” opened the fest, which has filled this normally quiet eastern Czech industrial city with animators, fest programmers, genre filmmakers and cherubic auds.

Pics, which screen in the shadow of a functionalist hotel named for Moscow, address themes ranging from rock ‘n’ roll, drugs and race to immigration, first romance and pure escapism.

More than 50 animated films — a strong suit for kid-loving Czechs, along with fairy tales, since the post-World War II years — are competing for the Golden Slipper, while non-competition sidebars focus on Dutch and new Czech cinema.

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