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Category: Edition 2005


World war I. Five Butterworth children live in London. When Father is called to war and Mother goes to nurse the wounded soldiers, the children are sent to live in an old countryside mansion with Uncle Albert, an odd mathematician, unsociable cousin Horace and the housekeeper Martha. Robert, 9, is especially distraught about the uprooting from his father and refuses to accept the authority of his older brother Cyril. The boys’ two sisters, Anthea and Jane, and their baby brother aren’t happy about the change either. Martha takes primary responsibility for overseeing the houseguests. Right from the start she tells the children never to go in the greenhouse. But they violate her edict. A secret passageway leads them to an enchanted beach where they meet “It”, an 8,000 year-old sand fairy who can grant wishes. The children accept It’s offer to use this power, and wish to save their father.

Italian Title 5 BAMBINI & IT
Category Official Competition
Section First Screens
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 89'
Production Year 2004
Nationality France, United Kingdom
Directed by John Stephenson
Screenplay David Solomons
Based on the book "Five Children and It"
by Edith Nesbit
Director of photography Mike Brewster
Editor Michael Ellis
Production Design Roger Hall
Costume Design Phoebe De Gaye
Sound Simon Okin
Music Jane Antonia Cornish
Main cast Freddie Highmore (Robert)
Jonathan Bailey (Cyril)
Zoe Wanamaker (Martha)
Jessica Claridge (Anthea)
Poppy Rogers (Jane)
Kenneth Branagh (zio Albert/uncle Albert)
Produced by Nick Hirschkorn, Lisa Henson, Samuel Hadida

five children and it regJohn Stephenson

John Stephenson was born in South London and graduated from the Royal College of Art. He has an extensive history working in special effects and creature animation under the auspices of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, with credits including: THE DARK CRYSTAL (1983), by Frank Oz; THE WITCHES (1990), by Nicolas Roeg; BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF (LE PACTE DES LOUPS, 2001), by Christophe Gans. In 1998 he also directed an adaptation of George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM for the TNT network. FIVE CHILDREN AND IT is his feature directing debut.


Director’s statement

“It’s a film for the whole family; it plays to a young audience, but there is plenty in there for slightly more sophisticated grown-up taste. It’s a film about fathers and sons, about the loss of one’s parents. I think I needed to have been a father to have directed this film”.

UK Film Council


World sales
Capitol Films
phone +44 2074716000
fax +44 2074716012
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Italian distribution
Festival contact
Medusa Films
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