For the 16th Annual Children’s Film Festival Seattle (CFFS), Northwest Film Forum goes completely virtual to honor the theme of “Love & Light” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

With sliding-scale, pay-what-you-can ticketing and a finely curated slate of films available on-demand, CFFS 2021 will be accessible to youth, families, and film lovers of any age, residing in any country.

To inspire empathy, understanding, and a nuanced view of the world, this year’s festival will feature four feature films and 16 short film programs representing 36 countries, with live-action and animated films delineated by age-appropriate viewing brackets. In total, there are 133 films in the festival this year. 

Interactive hands-on workshops conducted via Zoom will center storytelling, animation, and experimental filmmaking using washi tape and 16mm film. Hands-on bonus activities, video greetings from filmmakers and an awards process facilitated by youth juries will encourage intergenerational dialogue around timely themes, as well as contribute to a dynamic festival environment, even in virtual space.

Since 2005, CFFS has used film as a tool for championing racial equity, diversity, inclusivity, social justice, global awareness, and the best in visual storytelling for young people. Crafted with care and concern for the urgent issues of the moment, the festival stands out for its ability to showcase the best and brightest in international cinema, while always upholding its values and commitment to creating intimate, community-minded viewing experiences.

Festival passes for short film programs are available; otherwise, shorts programs are pay-what-you-can, $0–25 sliding scale.  Full festival schedule and ticket links will be posted by January 26th via

For virtual film screenings and field trips, educators should contact CFFS Festival Director Elizabeth Shepherd and Executive Director Vivian Hua for more information at and

Parents and educators looking to nominate youth ages 8 to 14 for our two youth juries can reach out to Education Manager Jonah Kozlowski at

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