The school holidays are in full swing and cinemas are well and truly open with social distancing in place, of course.

A big-screen adaptation of The Secret Garden is on offer and for short film lovers, the Show Me Shorts Film Festival has also thundered into cinemas.

In 30 cinemas across the country and also select films online, the 15th annual Show Me Shorts film festival is back, with its largest programme ever.

From the awesome collection of local and international films I’ve seen so far I urge you to dive in!

Local highlights for me are Frankie and the Morning star and the hilarious Hāngī Pants, and watch out for Will Ferrell in an American short called David.

Also in cinemas right now for the school holidays, yet another adaptation of the novel, The Secret Garden.

Newcomer Dixie Egerickx anchors this adaptation as the orphaned Mary, and I found her entirely captivating.

As the story goes, of course, Mary is sent to live with her estranged uncle (Colin Firth) on his wind-blown grief-drenched English estate, expecting to live in the upper-class manner to which she had become accustomed to in colonial India. 

Her wake-up call comes in the shape of the great outdoors and the joyous discovery of a secret garden on the estate.

As the rest of this well-know story unfolds on the big screen, very elegantly I might say, I found myself thoroughly immersed in this sumptuously presented Eden.

Note though the darker moments are likely more suited to older kids and their parents than the littlies.

Less of an emotional experience than I was hoping for, but I really enjoyed this Secret Garden.

Three-and-a-half stars.