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What to know:
DEAR HENRI is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 6-18
13 minutes
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Kudos to Matthew Sandager, the filmmaker, for this lovely, uplifting short film. The topic is not an easy one, dealing with the loss of a beloved family member. The story is about a girl who has recently lost her grandfather and still writes him letters and tries to talk to him. While the topic has a sadness to it, this film is very cute and uplifting. I would encourage programmers to include this in their festivals since, it's universal topic is something that everyone deals with at some time in their life, including young children. It is rare to see this handled in such a positive way.

The production value is quite good. The sound quality is excellent, crisp and the dialogue is completely understandable. The cinematography is clear and steady. I particularly enjoyed the stop motion animation which is very well done. The actors deliver believable performances. The story flows well with a well structured beginning, middle and end and it makes perfect sense and is completely understandable.

I love how the little girl does not stop trying to write to her grandfather. Her positive nature is refreshing. I believe that children will enjoy this because it is quite relatable. For older kids and adults, it offers a cute story about dealing with the death of a loved one. The content is perfectly suited for ages 6 to 18 and I believe adults will enjoy it as well. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kelsey M and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.

Nine-year-old Henri recently lost her beloved namesake and pen pal, Grandpa Henry. She misses him deeply, and his sudden absence raises the question: can their correspondence continue, and if so, how? Henri is old enough to anticipate what grown-ups might say, but young enough to imagine there might be a way. Over the course of one summer day in Brooklyn, Henri "sends" a series of letters in imaginative ways--nested in the basket of a handmade air balloon, folded into an origami boat that sails into the tunnels under the city--and with each attempt, she imagines the magically circuitous route her message takes to reach her grandfather. DEAR HENRI, combines live action with animation to depict the vivid inner world of a young girl grappling with cosmic questions. Will she ever receive a response?
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