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Release Date:  August 28, 2009

National Gallery of Art Presents Film Program for Children and Teens
Featuring Acclaimed Films From Around the World

Washington, DC—With autumn's hasty arrival in Washington, the National Gallery of Art's Film Program for Children and Teens promises a taste of international films and varying story lines. This unique film program will present innovative films from Switzerland, Ireland, and Finland, including the story of a young boy in the ninth century who is tasked with the final illuminations for the famed Book of Kells in The Secret of Kells. By showcasing films in different countries during various time periods, adults and children alike are transported to a new realm of learning and possibilities.

These innovative films enhance enjoyment of the Gallery's collections and exhibitions and foster an understanding of film as an art form. The program aims to represent a broad range of recently produced foreign and domestic films, including a variety of animation styles, live action, and classics. Films are selected for their appeal to youth and adult audiences; age recommendations are intended to guide parents in selecting emotionally and intellectually stimulating films for their children.

With the Gallery's ongoing schedule of family-friendly activities and shopping—including family workshops, special family weekends, storytelling programs, teen studios, exhibition discovery guides, the Children's Shop, and casual dining in the Cascade's Café—visitors of all ages can enjoy these cultural offerings. For more information about family programming, visit

Film Programs
All film programs are shown in the East Building Auditorium, and seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups are welcome. Food and drink are not permitted. Programs are free and subject to change without notice. For up-to-date information on the current month's films, please call (202) 789-3030. Feature films are in English unless otherwise noted.

The Way Things Go
(Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Switzerland, 1987, 30 minutes)
Saturday, October 3, 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, October 4, 11:30 a.m.
Ages 7 and up

Two films challenge and excite the imagination combining the wonders of science and art. The Way Things Go is a dynamic and engaging feast for the eyes. The film records a chain reaction filmed in real time. Watch as an installation of everyday objects comes to life—rolling, sparking, foaming, and spinning. This film will be preceded by The Goat That Ate Time (Lucinda Schreiber, Australia, 2007, 7 minutes), an award-winning animated short that explores living in the moment. Henry the goat has a voracious appetite, but he doesn't have enough time to indulge in his favorite activity—eating. Discover what happens when Henry attempts to solve his dilemma by devouring time itself, in the form of watches and clocks!

The Secret of Kells
(Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey, Ireland/France/Belgium, 2009, 75 minutes)
Saturday, November 7, 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, November 8, 11:30 a.m.
Ages 7 and up

This exquisitely animated story about the famed Book of Kells is set in Ireland in the ninth century, where the old Kells Abbey in a remote woodland area is home to 12-year-old Brendan. He and the monks have been instructed by Brendan's authoritarian uncle to strengthen the abbey's fortifications to protect against a Viking invasion. Brendan's life changes forever when Brother Aidan comes to the abbey. A master illustrator, Aidan has more faith in the power of the written word than in walls. Brendan learns the art of illumination and is given the task of ornamenting the final pages of Aidan's very special book. But this assignment is not an easy one—Brendan must first survive a journey through forests inhabited by strange mythical beasts.

Christmas Story
(Juha Wuolijoki, Finland, 2007, 80 minutes)
Saturday, December 5, 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, December 6, 11:30 a.m.
Ages 7 and up

Hundreds of years ago in a remove village in Lapland, a little boy named Nikolas loses his family in an accident. The villagers decide to look after the orphaned boy together. Once a year—at Christmas— Nikolas moves to a new home. To show his gratitude, Nikolas decides to make toys for the children of the families. Over the years, Nikolas' former adoptive families become many, and soon almost every house has presents on its doorstep on Christmas morning. At 13, Nikolas is sent to live and work with Iisakki, a grumpy old carpenter, who forbids Nikolas to continue making presents for Christmas. Gradually, however, Nikolas wins Iisakki's trust and together they look after the Christmas tradition. When the aging Iisakki has to leave Nikolas and move away, the tradition of Christmas presents is once again at risk. Thankfully, Nikolas comes up with a solution that brings children joy every Christmas, even today.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at Follow the Gallery on Facebook at, Twitter at, and Instagram at

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications – Converged Media
(202) 842-6804

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Stay up to date with the National Gallery of Art by subscribing to our e-mail newsletters: Web, educators, family programs, fellowships/internships, films, lectures, music programs, and teen programs. Select as many updates as you wish to receive. To edit your subscriber information, please go to our subscription management page.