It’s been shuttered for more than a year, but this Friday, November 15, the Roxy Theater on Sansom Street is scheduled to re-open for business, its twin houses spruced up, with new projection and sound systems installed, and a new programming entity -- the Philadelphia Film Society -- at the helm. Officially dubbed the PFS Theater at the Roxy, the Rittenhouse Square area venue kicks off with the weekend-long International Children’s Film Festival, a mix of animated and live-action features and shorts aimed at kids and their grown-up tagalongs. Zarafa, a French feature about a boy and a giraffe, and the giraffe’s travels from Africa to France in the 1820s, is the Friday night opener. A fanciful retelling of a true story, the Gallic ‘toon was released in its homeland last year, winning over audiences with its traditional animation style – rich colors, widescreen landscapes – and tales of exotic derring-do. The kid fest continues Saturday and Sunday, with programs of shorts, with animated features from Italy (a new Pinocchio) and Japan (Wolf Children, Welcome to the Space Show) and live-action features from China (Starry Starry Night) and Belgium (the closing night kid-detective caper, The Zigzag Kid).
Also on the docket in the PFS’ inaugural run: Caucus, AJ Schnack’s well-received doc about the 2012 Republican Party presidential primary season -- and specifically the all-important Iowa caucus campaigns. Who doesn’t want to re-live the thrilling days of yesteryear, as eight starry-eyed presidential wannabes -- Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum among them -- troop around the state trying to curry favor with Tea Party zealots and the Republican faithful? Spoiler alert: some guy named Mitt Romney wins. Oops, actually, it's Santorum who wins when the ballots are all tallied!