Carolyn Saxton, executive director of Michigan City’s Lubeznik Center for the Arts, sees their participation in the Coastline Children’s Film Festival as a unique opportunity for both young and old filmgoers.

“It’s an opportunity for children and their parents to come together to experience something they would not be able to experience elsewhere in this region,” she said. “It can be mothers and daughters and fathers and sons, or it can be for the whole family.”

Running at Lubeznik Center Feb. 9 and 10, the Coastline Children’s Film Festival is marking its third annual running this year. The festival originated in Berrien County, Mich., two years ago, and is making its Northwest Indiana debut at Lubeznik Center this year.

The festival, which kicked off Feb. 1, is also being held in nine venues throughout southwest Michigan including the New Buffalo performing Arts Center in New Buffalo, the Citadel Dance and Music Festival in Benton Harbor and the Brookview School in Benton Harbor.

This year’s film lineup includes more than two dozen films geared towards youngsters and families, from classics such as Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” and the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” to newer offerings by filmmakers from the U.S. and countries such as India and Denmark.

Saxton said she was thrilled at the opportunity to bring Coastline to Lubeznik Center.

“We jumped at the chance to be able to bring this to the region, especially for the children in the region,” she said. “It’s a free experience. They will get to see instructive lessons of life that are really fun while that lesson is being provided.”

Lubeznik will be screening “Girls Rock,” a 2009 documentary about a rock and roll camp in Portland for girls, on Feb. 9, and selected short films featured in the New York International Children’s Film Festival on Feb. 10.

“We’re really thrilled to be able to bring (the festival here),” Saxton said, “and we think that it’s going to generate a lot of excitement.”

Admission to the festival is free, and seating for the films is first come, first served.

For more information on the Coastline Children’s Film Festival, go to

The opinions expressed solely are those of the writer. Tim Shellberg can be reached at