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‘Mars’ opens Gotham kids’ film fest

A dozen children's features, shorts to screen

Disney animated 3D movie “Mars Needs Moms” will kick off the 2011 edition of the New York Intl. Children’s Film Festival, screening a slate of a dozen features as well as a selection of short films over three weeks in March.

On the bill are a number of U.S. preems, including Canadian offering “Aurelie Laflamme’s Diary,” French film “A Cat in a Paris,” and a pair of pics from Japan, “Time of Eve” and “Welcome to the Spaceshow.”

Matthew Modine, Susan Sarandon, Uma Thurman, Gus Van Sant, James Schamus and Christine Vachon have been tapped to make up the jury for the year’s fest.

Vachon, along with “Precious” producer Lisa Cortes and Pixar producer Kori Rae, will be on hand in a fest panel, called “Breaking into the Boys Club: Girls Behind the Camera,” targeted at young girls.

Festival runs March 4-27 in a number of Gotham venues.

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