Providence Children’s Film Festival: The Secret of Kells

February 17, 2019 3:15 pm Griswold House

The Secret of Kells

All ages

We’re celebrating PCFF’s tenth anniversary by bringing back our tremendously popular Opening Night film from 2009! Color and detail dazzle in this Academy Award-nominated animated film filled with magic, fantasy and Celtic mythology. To complete a magical illuminated manuscript, young Brendan must overcome his deepest fears on a dangerous quest through an enchanted forest beset by barbarians. Will his determination and artistic vision conquer darkness and show that enlightenment is the best fortification against evil? The answer is in the margins!

About the film:

Directed by Tomm Moore & Nora Twomey
Belgium/France/Ireland, 2009
In English
Running time: 75 minutes
Film type: Feature Animation
Age recommendation: All ages
Parental guidance:  tense moments, threatening/perilous situations,  brief scene of violence


Academy Award Nominee Best Animation 2009
Annecy Film Festival Audience Award 2009
Edinburgh International Film Festival Audience Award 2009


The imagery in the magical film The Secret of Kells is inspired by ancient and ornately decorated Illuminated Manuscripts. Before the film, we’ll learn about the significance of these unique books, and the myths and mysteries about their creation from PCFF’s resident art historian Margot McIlwain Nishimura, author of The Medieval Imagination: Images in the Margins. 
After the film, gather around for a mini hands-on Illuminated Manuscript activity! Dr. Nishimura will share her trove of quills, ink, and parchment, the kinds of materials Medieval artists would have used to create their elaborate designs. Then we’ll use markers and paper to create our own imaginative illuminated letters and designs inspired by the Museum’s resident winged lion!


The Newport Art Museum is pleased to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Providence Children’s Film Festival (PCFF), and the 5th year of our partnership, by becoming an official Film Festival screening location! PCFF presents the best of independent and international children’s cinema to inspire, delight, educate and connect a diverse community of children and families from Rhode Island and throughout New England. The Museum shares PCFF’s belief in the power of film to expand minds and open hearts to the world around us. We are thrilled to partner with PCFF to bring these important films to our community. Whether you’re a child, young adult, parent, educator, film lover, or film professional, there is inspiration and food for thought here. We’ll see you at the Museum!