The Providence Children’s Film Festival (PCFF) seeks films that inspire, delight, educate, and connect a diverse community of youth and families by curating, presenting, and exploring the best of independent and international cinema.

Eleven years ago a group of Providence residents from varied professional and creative backgrounds recognized that this capital city -- home to RISD, Brown University, and several celebrated youth arts organizations -- had all the ingredients for a children's film festival to rival what they were seeing in New York, Seattle, Chicago, and elsewhere. Feeling confident that others in the area would also want to see independent, thought provoking films for young minds and introduce their children to the craft of filmmaking, they set about creating PCFF. A scrappy, four-day all-volunteer run festival at first, PCFF has evolved into a multi-national, fourteen-day event that puts Providence in the ranks of the top four children's film festivals in North America!

The Providence Children’s Film Festival enhances and energizes an already vibrant local arts and cultural community has become of one the most highly anticipated family events of the year. The Festival takes place in February at multiple venues within walking distance of downtown Providence. Screenings spanning over fourteen days, filmmaking workshops, and drop-in activities, along with pre- and post-film conversations or presentations (which we call “Reel Connections”). During the Festival, PCFF screens an average of 14 feature length films (including a classic film title) along with over 200 short films, including live-action, documentary, animation and experimental films made by filmmakers from around the world.

A very popular part of our annual festival is our Youth Filmmaker Showcase (YFS). Started five years ago we invited youths (17 and under) and youth filmmaking groups/clubs to submit their latest work with film. These shows have become a celebration of artistic talents of youth from here in New England and especially many young filmmakers from around the world. After each screening these artists are provided an opportunity to share their vision to our audiences and discuss their inspiration and production challenges. Due to the wide range of ages and the diverse film styles there are no “awards” given in this category. We hope a young filmmaker would consider it an honor should their film be accepted by a very rigorous jurying of their peers and programmers.

Audience Choice Awards:
Best Feature Animation: THE BIG BAD FOX AND OTHER TALES (France)
Best Feature Live Action: LOS BANDO (Sweden, Norway)
Best Documentary: TRE MAISON DASAN (USA)
Best Short Animation: A WALK AROUND THE BLOCK (USA)
Best Short Live Action: ALL IN GOOD TIME (Ireland)
Best Short Documentary: BEAUTY (Canada)

Special Jury Awards:
Best Short Animation: HORS PISTE (France)
Best Short Live Action: TRANSMITTER/RECEIVER (Canada)
Best Short Documentary: GIRL ON A MISSION (Netherlands, Romania)
Best Short: STARDUST (Mexico)
Global Awareness: RAFIKI (Kenya)
Emerging Filmmaker: Director Likarion Wainaina of SUPA MODO (Kenya, Germany)
Children's Hospital Jury Award: ROBOT & THE WHALE (Sweden)

In addition to the annual festival, PCFF presents films of the same high quality and film-related educational programming throughout the year. Children and families can learn about the history of the medium and its critical context, as well as the craft of filmmaking; through media literacy programs, hands-on workshops, and filmmaker presentations. We proudly collaborate with community organizations such as RISD Museum, Providence Children’s Museum, AS220, Trinity Academy of Performing Arts, Give Me 5, Rhode Island Museum of Science and Arts (RIMOSA), Providence Athenaeum, Providence Community Library, The Media Education Lab, and the Rhode Island Office of Information and Services.


The PCFF selection committee seeks films with content that speaks positively to children, teens and families from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. Please consider submitting if you have created work that can speak to all ages, including children and teens. We seek films that are entertaining and/or challenging to young minds with serious, true-to-life topics and narratives that may span a range of emotions. The film need not have a "story-book" ending to find a place in our festival. PCFF welcomes foreign films with subtitles, documentaries, live action, animation and experimental films that may inspire our viewers to think about the world in a new way.


The Artistic Director will make selections along with the Festival Film Selection jury composed of educators, filmmakers, parents and children. PCFF takes pride in bringing children into the selection process; as a member of the PCFF Jury, youth have a voice from beginning to end, taking part in final film selections, festival programming, and award distributions. PCFF will email all entrants no later than January 15, 2020, whether films have been selected for the festival. 


In addition to our Opening Night Party and final Awards Presentation Event, PCFF hosts a Filmmaker Soiree’ during the festival. No juice boxes or Goldfish crackers here! The Soiree’ is a private, low-key and relaxing get together with our star filmmakers and some of our festival devotee's. In between bites you may meet some filmmakers of all ages that have films in this year's festival or share a drink with one of our invited Reel Connection speakers. You will certainly meet many of the people who helped create and support this year's festival.

On the last weekend of the festival twelve awards will be announced: 


On the last weekend of the festival twelve awards will be announced.

Audience Choice Award Best Feature Live Action Film
Audience Choice Award Best Feature Animated Film
Audience Choice Award Best Feature Documentary Film
Audience Choice Award Best Short Live Action Film
Audience Choice Award Best Short Animated Film
Audience Choice Award Best Short Documentary Film
Special Jury Award Best Feature Film
Special Jury Award Best Short Live Action Film
Special Jury Award Best Short Animated Film
Global Awareness Short Film Award
Children’s Hospital Jury Award
Emerging Filmmaker Award

The individual or entity submitting this film (1) warrants that it holds all necessary rights for submission of this film for exhibition in the Providence Children's Film Festival ("PCFF") and for use in related promotional and educational events prior to the festival and up to 24 months thereafter and (2) shall indemnify and hold harmless PCFF from and against any and all claims, costs, suits, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and court costs) by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, royalties, publicity and/or screening related to the film. In addition, the individual or entity understands that PCFF will handle the film, film media and any related materials with a maximum of care but shall not be held liable for any damage or loss during the shipping, preview or screening of the same.

Accepted filmmakers agree to arrange and pay costs of shipping the film print or exhibition material to PCFF, including payment of shipping, insurance and customs fees. PCFF is responsible for the return shipping of all accepted films.

Final acceptance decisions are made by the Artistic Director with assistance from the festival film jury. These decisions are final and are not subject to appeal. Submission fees are non-refundable.

Final film format decisions of accepted films are solely decided by the PCFF Director of Programming. We will make every effort to show on the best format, with the best resolution and sound quality but there are no guarantees. Exhibition formats and level of screening quality may change based on equipment availability and venue changes.

The Providence Children’s Film Festival is granted the right to utilize and excerpt from any film or image submitted and accepted for exhibition at the festival, on the PCFF website, and for promotional purposes.

All accepted short films are to be shown on a digital file. Our preferred format is Quicktime: h.264 codec, 1920x1080 frame size at 30fps. Other options may be used but will remain in their native format.

PCFF shall use best efforts to ensure correct title and credits are listed on festival materials but shall not be held liable for inadvertent errors and omissions. PCFF reserves the right to adjust dates and times of film screenings/festival and shall not be responsible for delays or cancellations due to equipment failure, shipping delays, inclement weather, the condition of the prints delivered, or for any reason outside the control of PCFF.

PCFF reserves the right to decide all questions not specifically provided for herein.

Overall Rating
  • Bonnie Dempsey

    Thanks for showing our movie, being great at keeping in touch and generally putting on a brilliant show. I have fingers and toes crossed we'll be able to make it over to Providence sometime soon but in the meantime, thanks for including us in your 2019 lineup and for giving our little film a great audience across the pond.

    October 2019
  • Barbara Brunner

    Thank you for choosing "Miles Away" for your festival

    September 2019
  • Naomi Sheridan

    Had a great time at the festival. The organizers were great and Eric was really good at getting back to emails and any general queries. I really enjoyed the lineup of films and venues. Also Providence is a lovely town, so well worth the trip!

    March 2019
  • Haley Pine

    Thank you for selecting "Desperate, Anything Helps" for the Youth filmmaker showcase. We enjoyed watching all the films selected and plan to be in attendance next year to see more from our future filmmakers!

    March 2019
  • Lana Taylor

    Thank you for selecting my film this year for the Youth Filmmaker Showcase! HONORED!! I wish I could attend. Eric was nice and helpful. This festival is easy to work with. I'm excited that my film was shown with so many other cool films. Thank you!

    March 2019