Festival Workshops & Seminars

Workshops are an important part of the Festival's mission to make media a participatory rather than a passive experience. Facets Film School workshops and seminars make film educational as well as entertaining and offer new opportunities for children and youth to grow as active viewers of media, fostering a lifelong appreciation of film as art. 

Workshop space is limited and registration must be done in advance. Workshop fees are non-refundable. To register, either click the workshop's Ticketweb logo below or contact us by phone at 773-281-9075 ext. 3011 or by email at


Ahoy with Aardman Animation Studios

Saturday, October 27, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Ages 11-14)

Facets (1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago)
$65 members, $75 non-members 



Aardman, the British animation studio that brought us stop-motion treasures like Wallace and Gromit, are back with a claymation adventure on the high seas. Join us for a special screening of The Making of The Pirates! Band of Misfits. This will be followed by a workshop for 20-25 children on the basic platforms of stop-motion animation. Using clay to recreate the film’s characters and storyboards to sketch out scenes, children will have these “works in progress” to take home as inspiration for their own creations.


Join us as we welcome Loyd Price, Supervising Animator from Aardman Studios, who will lead a post-screening Q&A and reveal a secret treasure: animation tips from the stop-motion innovators! 

Stop-Motion Magic with LAIKA Studios

Saturday, October 27, 1 - 3 p.m. (Ages 11-14)
Facets (1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago)
$25 members, $30 non-members

From LAIKA Studios, the makers of the Academy Award-nominated Coraline, comes this summer’s stop-motion animated hit, ParaNorman. Learn all about stop-motion animation from the pros. Mark Shapiro, Marketing Director for LAIKA, will give you the inside story on how intricate puppets and sets are meticulously handmade and animated, frame by frame. Meet one of the puppets from the new feature film, ParaNorman, and take part in fun film exercises from one of the pros. This is accompanied by a screening of The Making of ParaNorman.

Flip It - For Future Animators

Sunday, October 28, 12 - 2 p.m. (Ages 5-8)
Illinois Institute of Art (180 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago)
$25 members, $30 non-members


Learn the fundamentals of computer animation. This workshop for 15-20 children introduces the basics of computer flip-book animation. Join artist and animator George Berlin for this fun-filled, hands-on animation workshop for the beginner. Using Flip Boom Classic software, children as young as five can draw and color characters, then bring them to life through the use of traditional animation processes. Not a good artist? Not a problem! Even if your tyke is only drawing stick figures, they can still put their creativity in motion.

First Clapper to Final Cut

Saturday, November 3, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (Ages 10-16)
Facets (1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago)
$10 members, FREE for accredited Festival guests

How do you turn an idea into a film, and how do you get your film made and seen? Join Susan and Katherine Procopio, the teenage twins behind Piece of Cake, a new live-action short film that’s sure to be a favorite at this year’s Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. The award-winning team will offer insights and tips on the production process for beginners and seasoned kid filmmakers and share their works-in-progress with their peers. 

Please note: This workshop, originally scheduled for Friday, November 2, has been moved to Saturday, November 3 from 9:30am-11am.  

Acting is Fun!

Sunday, November 4, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Ages 7-10)
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th Street, Chicago)
$15 members, $20 non-members

In this introductory workshop for 25 children, participants will learn creative storytelling by using Lookingglass Theatre Company’s core values of invention, transformation, and collaboration. While we develop our “actor’s tools,” we’ll explore how to create and perform an original story. Teaching artists from the education and community programs at this Tony-award winning company will be leading this dynamic workshop. Hosted by the Theater and Performance Studies/TLC Department of the University of Chicago.


Behind the Genius of Aardman

Sunday, October 28, 7 - 8:30 p.m. (Adults)
Facets (1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago)
$30, FREE for accredited Festival guests

AardmanJoin us as we welcome Loyd Price, Supervising Animator from Aardman Studios, who will lead an interactive discussion with Festival filmmakers, Chicago area animators, and press. A screening of The Making of The Pirates! Band of Misfits will be followed by the sharing of insights, research, and new techniques, as well as a reception.


Tweens and ‘Toons

Sunday, November 4, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m (Ages 11-14 plus one parent or guardian)
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th Street, Chicago)
$40 members, $50 non-members

The University of Chicago hosts this workshop for 10-15 children (plus one parent) for a hands-on immersion course in computer animation. Is your tween having more fun than you are with new media and your computer? Not anymore! Interested in a hip intergenerational activity? Wacky genius George Berlin and software from Toon Boom’s Animation All-Stars will get you ready. Learn to develop, design, storyboard, and animate your own family film – just like the pros! 


Other Fall Workshops for Children and Youth 

Chicago Film Critics Association and Facets present

Film Criticism: Intensive Course for Young People


Saturdays, November 10, November 17 and December 1, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (three sessions) (Ages 10-17)

Facets (1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago)
$65 members, $80 non-members

The Chicago Film Critics Association and Facets join in this unique three-session course for young people, ages 10-17, that will illustrate how to view and analyze a film, and how to structure, compose, and present criticism. The course will introduce seasoned, professional journalistic approaches to preparation, viewing, background research, rules of composition, and writing. You’ll learn the nuts and bolts of criticism, including analysis of story and plot, character and dialogue, editing and photography, music and sound, symbolism and theme, and how to construct, assess, and revise the review, as well as how to translate print reviews into broadcast reviews. Each session includes the screening of a feature film, followed by group analysis and discussion led by working film critics and members of the Chicago Film Critics Association. Film critiques written by class members will be reviewed by teachers, with well-reasoned, well-written reviews published on the web. Course requirements: Love of film and writing.