History

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The First Annual Montana International Children’s Film Festival was held in March of 2011 to benefit international students at the University of Montana whose families were affected by the Fukishima Nuclear Disaster. In 2012 MICFF continued and adopted the mission of providing children the opportunity to learn about other cultures through film, and to help bridge University of Montana International Studies students with the Missoula community. The festival produced a stop-motion animation workshop held at The Roxy Theater which began the tradition of including fun activities complementary to the film screenings.

From 2012 -2017 under the direction of Christy Ann Brown, the festival featured multiple guest speakers including Sentinal High School French teacher Bryan Whitney, Rabbi Laurie Franklin, spiritual leader and rabbinic intern at Har Shalom, Samir I. Bitar, M.I.S., a Lecturer & Expert in Arabic Language and Cultures, and Dr. Udo Fluck, Director of Global Gateway at the University of Montana. 2016’s festival featured animation workshops led by Marcus Schleuter from Innovation Studio, a performance by the Spokane Taiko Drummers, Dr. Ruth Vanita, Dr. Bradley Clough, Betsy Mulligan-Dague, and Suhan Chen introduced films and led discussions. Each year, the festival screens shorts from all over the world including Slovakia, Bahrain, India, Spain, Russia, Germany, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Japan, Jordan, the Netherlands, Mexico, Guam, South Korea, Ireland, Singapore, Peru, Sri Lanka, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In 2019, Arts Missoula and The Roxy Theater took over the 9 year old film festival and gave it a fun new name, Kiddomatic Film Festiva but continue the tradition of representing different cultures by screening films that capture the imagination and help young people figure out their place in an ever complicated world.