Cinemania gives students the opportunity to explore the adolescent experience through films from around the world and is offered on Wednesdays from 3:30 - 6:00pm throughout the school year.

Visit our Courses @ the Lab page to register individual students, or contact education@burnsfilmcenter.org to inquire on behalf of school groups.

Dir. Niki Caro, New Zealand, 2002. Narrative - Live Action, PG-13.


This groundbreaking film tells the story of the Whangara people, a patriarchal New Zealand tribe that traces its roots back to a single ancestor named Paikea, who escaped death by riding to shore on the back of a whale after his canoe capsized. Pai, the 11-year-old granddaughter of chief Koro, believes she is destined to be the new chief, but her grandfather is bound by tradition to pick a male leader. Pai struggles against the odds, her grandfather, and centuries-old traditions to fulfill her destiny.

Dir. Jeong-hyang Lee, South Korea, 2002. Narrative - Live Action, PG.


Born and raised in the city, seven-year-old Sang-woo is lost when his mother drops him at his grandmother's house, far away in a remote village, so she can look for work. Selfish and struggling to adapt, Sang-woo finds himself at odds with his new rural surroundings, his grandmother, and a more old-fashioned way of life. Yet, by the time Sang-Woo's mother finally finds work and returns to collect him, he is a changed individual.

Dir. Majid Majidi, Iran, 1997. Narrative - Live Action, PG.


After Ali loses his sister Zahra's sole pair of shoes, their family life is turned upside down. Because of their poverty, the siblings are forced to share a pair of shoes in order to abide by their school dress code. Unwilling to accept defeat, Ali undertakes a series of adventures to try and find Zahra's shoes; when those endeavors end in vain, he enters a race to try and win her a new pair. A tender, humanizing look at Iranian children, Children of Heaven is an endearing story about the unbreakable bonds of family.

Dir. Andres Wood, Chile, 2004. Narrative - Live Action, NR.


Set in Chile in 1973, this is an astonishingly intimate and painful coming-of-age story about a pair of 12-year-old boys from opposite extremes of society who form an unlikely friendship during the last days of President Allende and the first days of Pinochet.

Dir. Kaige Chen, China, 2002. Narrative - Live Action, PG.


A violin prodigy and his father travel to Beijing, where the father seeks the means to his son's success while the son struggles to accept the path laid before him.

Dir. Claude Barras, France, 2016. Narrative - Animated, PG-13.

Dir. Kristof Deak, Hungary, 2016. Narrative - Live Action Short, NR.


My Life as a Zucchini: After the death of his mother, a young boy named Icare (nicknamed Zucchini) is forced to enter a foster home filled with other orphans his age. The environment is strange and often hostile, but with the guidance of a friendly police officer named Raymond and the friendship of the other children, Zucchini begins to discover some happiness as he searches for a new family of his own. My Life as a Zucchini marks the feature film debut of filmmaker and illustrator Claude Barras with a screenplay from Céline Sciamma (Girlhood). Through whimsical stop-motion animation and striking character design, Barras crafts a coming-of-age story that is both heartbreaking and powerfully uplifting.

Sing: This short film tells the story of a girl who moves to a new elementary school and joins their award-winning choir. Set in the newly post-Communist Budapest of 1991, Sing relays a story of teamwork, friendship, and perseverance.

Dir. Marilyn Agrelo, USA, 2005. Documentary - Live Action, PG.


In this whimsical and heartwarming documentary, students from New York City public elementary schools learn ballroom dancing in order to compete in an upcoming city-wide dance competition.

Dir. Takeshi Kitano, Japan, 1999. Narrative - Live Action, PG-13.


Inspired by The Wizard of Oz, Kikujiro depicts another kind of road trip, one where a child desperately searches for their long-lost mother. When young Masao finds an old picture of his mother in a package, he tracks down her address and convinces his grandmother's crotchety neighbor, Kikujiro, to accompany him on his quest. As the awkwardly-matched pairing sets out to find her hundreds of miles to the west, hijinks ensure.

Dir. Peter Bogdanovich, USA, 1973. Narrative - Live Action, PG.


Set in depression-era Kansas and shot in black-and-white, Paper Moon stars real-life father and daughter duo Ryan and Tatum O'Neal as Moze and Addie. When con man Moze meets Addie at her mother's funeral, neighbors suspect he is her absentee father, but Moze denies the accusation. Regardless, he agrees to deliver the newly-orphaned Addie to her aunt's home in Missouri, but the journey quickly becomes about more than just the destination. Now considered an absolute classic, Paper Moon also made Tatum O'Neal the youngest person ever to win an Academy Award; she was a mere 10 years old when she took home the Oscar for her turn as Addie.

Dir. Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2001. Narrative - Animated, PG.


This modern-day classic is a paradigmatic example of Miyazaki's genius and signature animation style. When the sullen ten-year-old Chihiro moves to a new neighborhood with her family, she finds herself trapped in the spirit world. After her parents are transformed into pigs by the witch Yubaba, she takes a job working in Yubaba's bathhouse to try and free herself and her parents, and find her way back to reality.

Dir. Peter Weir, USA, 1989. Narrative - Live Action, PG.


A new English teacher, John Keating (Robin Williams), is introduced to an all-boys preparatory school that is known for its ancient traditions and high standards. Using unorthodox methods to reach out to his students, who face enormous pressures from their parents and the school, Keating's educational approach sparks controversy. Yet, with Keating's help, his students learn to break out of their shells, pursue their dreams, and seize the day.

Enjoy this wonderful recap of the semester's films through trivia. You won't want to miss it - especially since the trivia winners get a DVD copy of the film of their choice!