Asian Language & Heritage

Asian Heritage Month is coming up in May - book your film field trip now! All films are official selections from the Chicago International Children's Film Festival, and all programs include an introduction and post-screening discussion led by one of our trained media educators.

Flexible scheduling throughout the day - come to us or let us come to you! For details about screenings at Facets Multi-Media, click here. For details about screenings at your location, click here. For more information, contact Doug Newton at or (773) 281-9075 ext. 3009.

Programs Available:

Light of the RiverLight of the River
PreK and Kindergarten
Animated Feature in Japanese with English subtitles (read aloud)
90-minute program includes Media Education
Click here for print-friendly PDF

A unique family of rats sets out on a long journey to find a safe place to call home. Forced out of their peaceful riverbank by construction, the country rat family encounters many challenges, but also kindness from new city-animal friends.

Told through gorgeous Japanese animation, Light of the River celebrates the splendor of untouched nature, the freedom of embracing new challenges, and the joy of discovering new neighbors.

Two-time award winner for animation at the 2010 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.


Tamiri's Summer

Chinese Language Films
Shorts Program
Grades 5-8 (Ages 10-14)

All world language films screened with English subtitles.
90-minute program includes media education.

Themes: Rural and urban daily life, generations, traditional culture (music), geographic differences. 

Click here for print-friendly PDF 

Tamiri’s Summer (People’s Republic of China)
     in Mandarin/Mongolian with English subtitles

Friends at 2,000 Miles Away (Taiwan ROC)
     in Mandarin/Hakka with English subtitles

Breaking Ice (Taiwan ROC)
     in Mandarin with English subtitles

Whether fictional or real-life, the boys and girls in these short films have discoveries to make! 2013 Festival award-winner, “Tamiri’s Summer” is the story of immediate heartfelt cultural identification. Tamiri is drawn to the power and beauty of the Matouqin (pictured), when his uncle visits the family’s grassland home. With dedication and love, Tamiri proves he can give voice to this beloved Mongolian instrument. In the next short, profound friendships develop between Chung, a 13 year-old exchange student from the Mainland and new friends on an Indonesian island, despite immediate differences.  In the last film, (First Prize winner from the CICFF 2013 children’s jury), the documentary short “Breaking Ice” takes a look at the journey from Taiwan to the furthest and coldest region of remote China, in Inner Mongolia. Tongtong has never seen snow, nor such beautiful, endless mountains. Along with external journeys and discoveries come internal revelations as Tongtong feels deeper connections among the generations in her family. Appreciate the unique countryside, languages, and cultures in this beautiful and compelling collection of short films. 


The Azemichi RoadThe Azemichi Road
Grades 6-8 (Ages 11-13+)
Live-action Feature in Japanese with English subtitles
105-minute program includes Media Education
Click here for print-friendly PDF

The students on the “Jump Girls” dance team have one thing on their mind—to win a spot in the upcoming national dance competition!  But tensions arise among the girls when Rena, the team’s charismatic and popular leader, encourages a hearing-impaired student named Yuuki to join the squad.

 Do the girls have what it takes to overcome their differences and reach the national championships? Find out in this compelling Japanese film which skillfully explores the communicative power of artistic expression and the beauty of compassion. 

Award winner at the 2009 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.

Dragon Girls

Dragon Girls M V 
Documentary Feature Film
Directed By: Inigo Westmeier
Grades 6-9 (Ages 11-15)

All world language films screened with English subtitles.
110-minute program includes media education.

Themes: boarding school daily life: its structure and disciplines, overcoming homesickness; traditional culture (martial arts); gender empowerment (girls); coming-of-age; career aspirations. 

Click here for print-friendly PDF

The insightful documentary feature film follows three brave young girls and their studies at the traditional Tagou Martial Arts School: Xin Chenxi, nine, specializes in the art of swords and hopes to make her father proud by winning first place at the national championships; Chen Xi, 15, concentrates on boxing while battling the pain of growing up without her parents; and Huang Luolan, 16, cannot decide whether to remain or to leave her life of kung fu and pursue her passion outside of the walls of Tagou. Each girl must examine what kung fu means to her while overcoming homesickness, pressures at school, and maturing into a young woman.

Screened in Mandarin with English subtitles.