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ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE, THE
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The time is 1939 and the place is Poland, homeland of Antonina Zabinski and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski. The Warsaw Zoo flourishes under Jan's stewardship and Antonina's care. When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck. The Zabinskis covertly begin working with the Resistance and put into action plans to save the lives of hundreds from what has become the Warsaw Ghetto.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is truly incredible because it shows how kind hearted people are. Given that the movie takes place in Poland during World War II, there is a lot of tension among the Jewish and German residents because the Jewish Holocaust is occurring. But, the main characters, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, still manage to take care of their zoo and try to keep the animals safe.

In the midst of World War II, Adolf Hitler's power permeates in Poland, specifically in the Warsaw ghetto, where there are many Jewish inhabitants. Living in Warsaw is Antonina Zabinski (Jessica Chastain), her husband Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh) and their son. They are in charge of the Warsaw Zoo, where any animal you can imagine lives. Bombs are hitting the Warsaw Zoo, killing many of the animals. The zoo is almost completely destroyed, and the Zabinski's decide to use it as a Jewish sanctuary.

Jessica Chastain's portrayal of Antonina is quite believable. Antonina is a beautiful woman who loves animals more than she loves herself and she does her best to ensure that everything goes as planned. Johan Heldenbergh, who plays Jan, is very brave. He acts as an assistant to a German soldier and looks for creative ways to transport the Jews to safety. They put their lives on the line to save others, which truly is remarkable.

The Warsaw Zoo looks astonishing. It is huge! There are so many beautiful trees, and there are animals walking around with Antonina. I want to now have my own zoo someday!

My favorite part of the movie is when Antonina is riding her bicycle and she calls her camel to walk alongside her. This camel is hilarious because he makes strange noises and he hops so quickly. He acts as a police patrol for the zoo, which I think is extremely funny.

The message of this film is to help others. Antonina and Jan Zabinski try to help hundreds of Jews stay safe and do not put themselves first. Antonina and Jan live in imminent danger themselves and all they can focus on is making a difference, which I admire greatly.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. It is so inspiring and there are animals in it, for which I have a great soft spot. Given that there are many casualties among animals and people, I recommend this film to ages 14 to 18 as well as adults. This film is not afraid to depict historical reality, so it may be difficult to watch some scenes, but this movie is now one of my favorites. Watch this film if you enjoy history and films that are based on true stories. It comes out on March 31, 2017 in theaters so, make sure to keep your eyes open for it. It is a movie you certainly don't want to miss.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
INTERROGATION, THE
ALEXANDER SMITH
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A spy is captured by his arch enemy, but has a few tricks up his sleeve that befuddle his captor.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This student film has a lot going for it, clever idea, writing and decent execution. The villain is about to torture a spy but gets offended and the spy lectures him on how to be a professional villain. In the end, the villain is quite incompetent. The sound, visuals, cinematography and performances are suitable for a student production by high school students. The performances may be a bit overacted but, it's within an acceptable range and I think other high school students will enjoy it. I particularly enjoyed the lighting which gives a sense of an interrogation room. The writing is pretty well done. I recommend this for ages 13 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
THANK GOD FOR JELLY
MARCI KROWN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 6-18
Topic - Family
Description - A girl's mission is to carry out her father's values on gratitude and goes on a journey with her stuffed rabbit, brother and two friends in order to do so. What she finds is clearly unexpected.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I think a child would enjoy this film because it follows children on an a small quest to thank someone. The most appealing thing about this film is that all different ages of children can relate to it. Something you should be aware of is the religious overtone and references to God. It is one of the most important themes in this film. This film has a great structure and makes sense. The plot flows easily and it is very watchable. It has accurate information about how jelly is made and tells it in a simple way that even young children can understand. The production quality was great. There are many different sets which make the story come alive. The costumes are appropriate. The special effects are a little sloppy, but this might have been intentional. The lighting is great throughout the film, even outdoors. The camera and sound production are both clear both too see and to hear. I recommend this film for playing at a film festival because it has a great message about gratitude and being grateful for what you have. This might be categorized as a religious or spiritual film. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of its sound and production quality. I recommend it for ages 7 to 16. Although it does not possess star power, the actors are very relatable. Recommended, Linda D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 21 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GO CART, THE
KAILYNE WATERS
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A lone shopping cart injured and seized for scrap breaks free and navigates a world of danger, changing his fate and bringing happiness to those he encounters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Happily accepted! Being a person who goes to the super market and uses a cart to put all my food in, I have never once thought about a story involving those squeaky baskets, but Kailyn R. Waters has. This short film is an extremely original story that is definitely child friendly. It is a very unique story, but I lost interest about 4 minutes before it ended! The plot drags a bit too long and eventually, lost the freshness that hooked me in. Another thing that fell short is the animation. The characters are drawn almost like stick figures. There is a hand-drawn look to them that I enjoyed. I adore the music in this film. It helps change the moods of the scenes. And, the sound effects are spot on - birds chirping, cart squeaking, train driving, crane moving etc. The main message is the best part of it all. It is all about finding your purpose in life. This is a great lesson to teach children. Also the story has some rather interesting characters. There is a disabled boy who feels that he is an outcast. This is another fantastic example of what we should be teaching children. To try to help out people with struggles. The first time the go cart sees the boy, they feel a connection since they are both disabled. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 13. Children will learn valuable lessons from this short movie. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Talia J. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ODD SQUAD: THE MOVIE
SINKING SHIP
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Odd Squad: The Movie is a live-action comedy featuring government agent kids who investigate weird and unusual phenomena in their town and put things right. The kid agents are up against a group of grown-ups called Weird Team who runs Odd Squad out of business and the agents are forced to retire and become regular kids again. All seems lost until Odd Squad discovers Weird Team is not actually solving problems and they are up to no good. Armed with only their wits, the kids regroup and break into their old headquarters to save the day. The movie features big action set pieces, odd creatures, and even a trip to space. There's lots more action, problem solving, great visual effects and even a trip to outer Space! This film is targeted to children ages from 5 to 10. Adults may also enjoy!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great show! It has visual appeal, good acting and an awesome story line featuring kids as government agents who, dressed in their school uniforms, look like they are mini adults. They are on the stop investigating weird things happening in their home town like a gigantic rat that shows up from who knows where. It is fast paced, highly entertaining and has great messages that teach kids about working together, friendship and more. Very appealing visually and good acting - especially from the kids. Flows well, excellent sound and video quality and very watchable. What kid wouldn't like watching other kids their age who are heroes? Fun music; great pace. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars for great entertainment value and messages and I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kids will love this and families think it is adorable. In this fun and adventures movie we get to meet odd squad. They are a team or squad of adorable and adventurous kids who solve cases that are odd and weird and they are always trying their best to do what is right and help those who are in need the most. One of the most appealing things about this film is the way they teach math and make it fun and interesting for everyone, big and small, young and old. The sound is very clear and I could hear everything, loud and clear. Sets and locations are different. For example, the office where the Odd Squad works is amazing and I love it with all the fun and cool things it has to offer kids in terms of fun and games. The costumes are spot on. I love the outfits they wear as agents. By the way, Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) appears in this film and so does Hanna Simone (New Girl), Millie David (Annedroid) Tim McKeon (Adventure Time) and J. J. Johnson (Dino Dan, Annedroid) . I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18. Kids will love the way that the Odd Squad agents solve cases and how they work things out no matter what the case is. I give this 5 out of 5 gigantic Odd Amazing Shooting Stars. Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Very enjoyable, especially the cinematography and the script. The movie is surely watchable and suitable for younger kids. The introduction is interesting and makes sense. It does illustrate some basic mathematical concepts which may be appreciated by kids. The costumes and camera work are well executed. I didn't care for the special effects which looked fake to me, but the humor and characters are all very appealing. I like the story and characters in this movie. The jokes are very funny and suitable for a school-age audience. Also I like the costumes. The concepts and language are surely suitable for its audience. I give this a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this movie for kids of ages 6 to 12 years. Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 65 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ONCE UPON A SIGN: THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF
DAWNSIGNPRESS
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - An off-the-grid village in the Southwest is preparing to celebrate their Juice harvest. Their friend Wolf helps by bringing the Juice to the city to sell, and upon his return, the annual celebration kicks off. Small One is responsible for alerting the village of Wolf's return but will he remember the complicated directions?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I think this is absolutely brilliant. I have never seen anything from Once Upon a Sign before this and, the wait was well worth it. The actors are artists with their sign language. They really have the body language and visual expressions down. The voice over work is great and its lovely that I can enjoy something like this as well. I was actually catching on to some of the ASL and I looked up more of their videos afterwards. The animation is really cute and blends great with the live action actors. I recommend this for ages 5 to 16 and, as I said earlier, I enjoyed it as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 15.95
Media: DVD


BOSS BABY, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BOSS BABY, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A hilariously universal story about how a new baby's arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7-year-old named Tim.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dreamworks' The Boss Baby, is an extraordinary, fun and lighthearted animated film based on an award-winning picture book by Marla Frazee.

7-year-old Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi) had the perfect life and the full attention of his parents until one day, a new arrival took it all away and became the Boss of his family. Tim and Boss Baby face sibling rivalry, trying to both win the affection of their parents. Much to Tim's surprise, the two bond when they join forces to uncover the evil plot of the CEO of Puppy Co. And in the midst of it all, Tim and his new brother Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) learn the true meaning of the love of family.

The Boss Baby is fabulously directed by Tom McGrath, who you might recognize from his work on all three Madagascar movies and Megamind. He says that the movie is partially an apology letter to his own brother for all the grief he put him in when they were young.

My favorite character is Boss Baby. Alec Baldwin voices this character with great panache. His witty personality mixed with a take-charge attitude bursts through the screen. I feel that Baldwin's voice talent in this is one of the key reasons this movie shines.

My favorite scene is when Tim and Boss Baby work together to sneak into Puppy Co. and attempt to steal the secret file. Watching a working large scale replica of one of my favorite games when I was young (Mouse Trap) was particularly fun. Also, there are many toys from the 70s and 80s included which I enjoyed. Several times I found myself times trying to find them in the scene. There are so many magical moments throughout. As an only child, it's funny that there are times the movie made me want to have a brother and, other times, I'm happy to be an only child.

The Boss Baby is an enjoyable film safe to keep you and your family thoroughly entertained. Director Tom McGrath states "I want this movie to draw you in and make you move to the edge of your seat, not pull away from the screen" and I believe he achieved that goal. It is rated PG for mild humor and I recommend it for ages 6 to 14, although the whole family will enjoy it. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters nationwide on March 31, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Boss Baby is a hilarious movie about a boy named Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi) who has a pretty great life with his parents, until one day he gets a baby brother (Alec Baldwin) who wears a suit and tie. Tim is very skeptical about this new baby brother, but eventually he works with his baby brother to help stop the antagonist, the CEO of Puppy Co.

This film is very funny because Tim and the baby are always fighting. Sometimes they put scenes in slow motion which makes them extra funny. In one scene, the babies are going against Tim and everything is over exaggerated. I went with a 6-year-old and she and the rest of the audience laughed a lot.

The animation in this movie is very detailed and brightly colored. The creative use of so many colors help give each scene a happy feeling. There is a lot of detail in this movie such as the characters' hair. You can see little strands of hair and each individual eyelash. Having so much detail on each character helps make it more realistic.

The moral to this film is "don't judge a book by its cover." Although Tim is right to be skeptical about the new baby, he doesn't get to know the baby before judging him and jumps to the conclusion that he is bad. My favorite scene is when Tim tries to show the parents that the baby can talk. This is a very funny scene because everything is so over-the-top and the slow motion parts are hysterical. The music is primarily one song, Black Bird. This song is sung throughout and is Tim's favorite song. Black Bird brings a sweet mood to the film whenever it is sung.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 14 because. It is a pretty funny movie parents can take their kids to, but you should know that there is a reference to killing people which might be scary to little kids. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars, because the plot is really developed and it is very funny. Go see The Boss Baby in theatres when it opens March 31, 2017. I think you will love it!

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Disney's animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon is a whimsical yet captivating film that I highly adored watching. This live action film has made my "Top 10 List" due to its incredible singing performances, marvelous set designs and accuracy of the original Disney story. As a Disney fanatic myself, I absolutely love that this film has the power to take me back to my younger days.

Daughter of a wise and humble merchant (Kevin Kline), Belle (Emma Watson) is a bright and independent young lady who will be taken as a prisoner by a monstrous beast (Dan Stevens) in place of her elderly, caring father. As prisoner of the Beast in his cold dark castle, Belle soon builds a strong bond with the talking enchanted objects of the castle. Who will help break the lasting "forever curse" by bringing the Beast and Belle closer? Belle learns to look past the frightening physical appearance of the Beast and looks upon his caring gentle soul. But, will this be enough to break the lasting forever curse upon the castle and the Beast?

Incorporated as a live action film from Disney's original animated film, Beauty and the Beast, the whole cast delivers exquisite performances portraying each unique and iconic character. The caring, yet brave Belle is played by the talented actress Emma Watson. Watson has appeared in numerous films including the Harry Potter films, My Week with Marilyn and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Dan Stevens, known from Legion TV Series deftly portrays the terrifying Beast, a difficult character to play due to its temper.

From the songs, to the set designs, this film has it all. I truly appreciate and love that they took the 1991 Disney classic and turned it into a live action film. This is something that has not been seen before and was well directed by Bill Condon (Mr. Holmes, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and 2, Dreamgirls). Being a huge Disney princess fan, I am highly pleased with the accuracy of this live action version. The costumes, songs, characters and plot are all very accurate. It made me feel as if I was in a Disney story book.

One of favorite things about this film and the story of Beauty and the Beast itself, is the message it depicts - that of looking past the physical and looking within. This is a moral that every viewer can learn from. The film is very successful in massaging this message and the audience will easily relate to the moral as the film unfolds before their eyes.

This enchanted, unbelievable film deserves 5 out of 5. I highly recommend it to families, young children and Disney fanatics. Kids and adults both will enjoy watching it and singing along with the iconic songs. You can catch Beauty and the Beast when it opens nationwide on March 17, 2017. Reviewed by Maria G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

It has been 26 years since Disney released the animated film, Beauty and the Beast. Now, we have a remake with a slightly updated story, stunning visual effects, beautiful acting and an epic soundtrack. Here is another attempt to convert an animated film into a live action film. The classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast is predominantly a romance and, just like the original animated film, this one also has a strong comedic take with lots of funny scenes. There are also a hand full of scenes that are quite the opposite. These are filled with heart-wrenching drama that make you either hate or love the characters and get sucked into the story.

Beauty and the Beast (2017) is pretty much a carbon copy of the 1991 animated film. Belle is a beautiful but smart village girl who goes into the woods after her father goes missing. She discovers a cursed castle full of inanimate objects brought to life and a hateful prince turned into Beast. The Beast has locked up her father and she takes her father's place, being sentenced by the monster to live in the castle with him forever. The Beast's curse can be removed though. All he needs to do is to fall in love with someone and that person needs to love them back. The Beast and Belle start falling in love in what seems an impossible romance at first. There are challenges, as Belle still feels she is a prisoner and the townspeople think the Beast is a monster that needs to be destroyed.

The previous Disney live-action remake was the classic Cinderella (2015). It suffered from the same problem as this one - the fact that an animated film is different from a live action film. The story, musical numbers and character interaction all feel much more real in a live action film, which causes fantasy love stories to lack credibility. Cinderella suffered from this problem and Beauty and the Beast is also affected by this challenge. However, its creators did a much better attempt at addressing the issue. Instead of simply taking a story and using a camera instead of a drawing pencil, the writers incorporated more intricacies to the plot than were in the 1991 version. There are back stories about the characters which enhanced and refined their personalities and made the plot richer. This allows for a film that isn't just a spin off on a 25-year-old animated film, but a truly enjoyable story on its own.

The film's quality is superb and the acting is a big plus. Two actors who stand out the most are Luke Evans (Gaston) and Josh Gad (Lefou). They are absolutely spectacular together and Disney generously incorporates some changes to Lefou from 1991, which shows him being slightly in love with Gaston. This change adds a lot of fun and silly moments. Emma Watson (Belle) also delivers a stupendous performance as Belle, although the my favorite Belle is that played by Paige O'Hara. Emma Watson's Belle doesn't seem like a main character, but more of a supporting one. There is no strong presence as we saw in the 1991 version where Paige's performance makes it apparent that Belle is the star along with the Beast. The rest of the cast performs wonderfully and bring the characters to life, with some slight changes to keep the film fresh and new.

The film's two strongest points are more technical. The cinematography and special effects are outstanding. The Beast looks very real and has immense detail, from his facial expressions, to his fur. The castle, magical servants and landscape are the pure definition of eye candy, and are the most beautiful parts of this film. This integrates perfectly with unique and spectacular cinematography that really does the film version justice. Another part that I commend the sound designers and mixers for is the music. The entire soundtrack plays impeccably with every scene and the musical numbers are extraordinary.

Out of all the wonderful cinematics and special effects, I would choose one musical number as my favorite scene - the Gaston number. In this scene, Lefou sings a song and gets the entire village to join in - about how great Gaston is. Not only does the song come out as entertaining, but the scene has fantastic visuals by everyone participating and truly brings justice to the scene. I prefer this version of the song over the original, which doesn't happen often with the remakes.

In general, this film, from its comedy, to its story, is meant for kids. This doesn't mean adults won't enjoy it. The nostalgia alone makes Beauty and the Beast an entertaining film and, dozens of times in the film, there are small references that adults can truly appreciate and enjoy. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 and believe adults will enjoy it as well. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars because it does outdo any other film this year in visuals, acting, music, cinematography and plot, but has some weak acting and still feels a bit like a forced conversion from animation to live action. Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Age 14

Disney has done it again! I was enchanted as I watched Disney's live-action remake of the 1991 animated classic, Beauty and the Beast. This film is different enough and certainly strong enough to stand on its own, and much better than the remake of Cinderella. Meet Belle (Emma Watson), who is a young woman who loves to read. She feels different because no one in her village knows how to read. They choose not to and treat her as if she is the oddball because of it. All she wants is an adventure. One day, her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), gets taken and imprisoned by the Beast (Dan Stevens) in his remote castle. Belle searches for her father and finds him. To free her father, she exchanges her freedom for his and stays in the castle with the Beast. She starts to befriend everyone in the castle and she begins to develop a friendship with the Beast. If you want to know what else happens, you should go see the movie.

I enjoyed this movie because as soon as you see Emma Watson in action, you are enchanted by how she brings Belle to life. Her portrayal of the Disney princess, Belle, is perfect. I have never seen Ms. Watson sing before, and she sings considerably well. Dan Stevens is hilarious as the grumpy Beast. The CGIs are outstanding, especially the Beast. It is incredible how he transforms. I also like how they designed all the talking objects. Lumi�re, the candelabra (voiced by Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth, the pendulum clock (Ian McKellen) and Garderobe, the wardrobe (Audra McDonald) all look like real talking objects and are very comedic. On another note, the soundtrack is beautiful. I love the song, Beauty and the Beast by Ariana Grande and John Legend.

The only things I don't like about this movie are the few scary scenes. Because of them, I don't recommend this to younger kids. Some other scenes are a bit dark also. This is a know-your-kid kind of movie. Something interesting I want to point out is that one of the characters is gay (although if your blink you might miss the quick reference) and I like that Disney is trying to add more diversity in their films.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this to the ages 8 to 18 and I think adults might like it as well. I recommend this to people who like action, adventure, adaptations, family and Disney movies. Make sure to see Beauty and The Beast which comes out in theaters nationwide on Friday, March 17. This is definitely a must see and you won't regret watching at the theater. Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


UNITED KINGDOM, A

KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
UNITED KINGDOM, A       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A United Kingdom is the true story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in the late 1940s just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. It was a decision that altered the course of African history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A United Kingdom is a film that is very much in love with its own story. Director Amma Asante is obviously very passionate about the subject of this movie, which is about how a biracial couple in 1940s Africa nearly tears apart an entire village and breaks down the relationship of colonial Britain and Africa. We feel Asante's passion for racial equality, and social justice. We clearly see how adamant she is about doing what is right for a nation, rather than fattening one's own greedy pockets. That's all very evident. However, the one thing Asante fails to do, and a glaring mistake of the film, is that she ignores the core of the relationship between the two main characters involved.

David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) play the interracial couple. They are both very invested in their moments and the actors both allow their care for this story to show through their performances. However, their relationship is not at all developed. I found myself caring more for the people of the village than their relationship. The issue as I see it is that Director Amma Asante skipped past all of the expositional development stage of their relationship. About 20 minutes into the movie we are already in Africa and the conflict of the story has already changed. It changes from 40's race relations in Britain, to diplomatic struggles between Africa and Britain. But we never truly get to know these people.

Pike plays Ruth Williams, the white Londoner. And, Oyelowo plays Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana. We quickly see how they meet, how they feel, what their families and friends think and then they're married and are in Africa. But we're missing something very essential when it comes to a successful cinematic relationship and that's relational conflict. Despite the fact that Ruth's family is against their marriage and so is Seretse's, we don't how they're affected by it. There's never a moment of problem between the two of them. Essentially, we never see the events in which their relationship is strengthened by adversity before they're off to Africa. That poses an issue going into the second act because, all of a sudden, we're given new conflicts, characters and situations. And, we have to fill in the blanks and imagine that their relationship is one worth fighting for.

However, once we get to Africa and the colonial conflict starts as well as the conflict within Seretse's family, we're caught up to speed. Asante takes us on a plot of cheer and disappointment and we are never for a moment bored. We're never not entertained and we get sucked into their story and applaud the wars they win amidst the battles they lose. For those reasons, I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It can be seen at a local theaters now.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAKE A WISH, MOM
DIANA SCOTT
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Sweet and touching birthday wish from young Lily to her mom.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short film is so very moving. I was not prepared for the ending but what an ending. All the things she wanted to talk to her mom about on her birthday, she did. Little did the audience know that her mom has died and this was her way of coping with her loss. Very powerful statement piece. I highly recommend that it only be played for a young adult or teen audience as the subject is very sad. Any young child who has recently lost a parent or loved one may find this a big "too real". It is also well suited for a spiritual film festival or student film festival. The story is about a young girl who is having a birthday party for her mother who has passed away. This is a very sad but warm film that will help you appreciate your mom in more ways than one. It reminds us to enjoy our mom's company. The production values are pretty good. The images are clear. The sets are well selected. The costumes are appropriate. One issue I have is the sound. There are a couple of rough spots when the two kids are fighting and when the girls go to get the cake. I recommend it for kids ages 10 to 18. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Tina B. and Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Juror and KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BLANCHE'S BICHON BUZZ
SEGA OF AMERICA
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - Following in the footsteps of acclaimed, indie, found-footage, big screen treatments (think Blair Witch, Unfriended, and Paranormal Activity) comes the parody short Blanche's Bichon Buzz. Buzzworthy Bichon Frise' Blanche DuBois Sharp accidentally unleashes her bladder on the pristine floor of Grandma's house. In order to escape her soap-and-watery fate, Blanche must outrun her pursuers. Her journey proves to be an authentic, cinematic, epic nail-biter and possible head scratcher. However, the best cinema is that which makes one think about adorable animals! Important production note: Blanche's Bichon Buzz proudly shot on location at Grandma's actual house in New Orleans, Louisiana.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - You have to admire the skills of this 10-year-old filmmaker who created this. It's fast, furious and funny. It feels like a trailer and, I can't wait to see the rest of the film. In just over a minute, she has created intrigue, set us up to wonder what is going to happen to Blanche and made us want to come back for more - always a good goal for any film. I feel a sequel here. Approved and recommended for ages 8-12. 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult reviews
Runtime: 1 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WATER PATH FOR A FISH
PROMOFEST
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - It's a starry night when Oscar sees from his window... a little goldfish jumping on a dirty puddle! Two cats are watching from the shadows. Oscar will help the goldfish through a rampant adventure in a nighty Latin American, with the lack of water as a backdrop
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This non-narrative film is absolutely adorable, is easy to understand and teaches a valuable lesson about helping others. The animation is stunningly beautiful with brilliant colors and interesting characters. The sound effects and music are charming and engaging. The story takes place in a town that has no water when a small boy is awakened in the middle of the night by some stray cats harassing a stray fish. The little boy rescues the fish but there isn't enough water and the fish almost dies. Water miraculously returns to the town and the boy is able to provide the fish with adequate water. In gratitude, the fish repays them with something that will changes the boy's life. This short film is full of heart and a valuable lesson about how important it is to help someone, no matter how small or how big they are. I recommend this for ages 5 to 12 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kelsey M. KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KUKUSCHKA
PROMOFEST
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Kukuschka is a bird, who follows the sun. It seems to her as if she already could touch It, but the Sun is still far away. Suddenly she is not alone anymore, but for two it's even more difficult to keep going so fast. She will reach the Sun, may be tomorrow may be the day after. Best Short Animated Film, Cesate Short Film Fest; Best Animation, Festival Internacional De Cine de Pasto; Special Jury Mention, Festival Internazionale del Cinema Di Frontiera, Special Prize, from Masters, Open Russian Festival of Animation Films
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommend this excellent, imaginative animated short. The animation is very well executed. The characters and set quite quirky and the storyline charming. The story follows a bird that is dressed somewhat like a mummy who follows the sun. She lays an egg and immediately starts panicking and tries to pawn the egg off on someone else. Eventually the egg hatches and still she tries to pawn off the baby bird, but to no avail. What is so appealing is that, eventually, the bird becomes quite attached to the baby bird and panics when she can't find it. At last, her bond with the baby bird kicks in and it's very endearing and sweet. I love how the bird learns what it's like to panic when you lose a child and think that kids and families will relate to this story. But, what I really like is the odd characters. They are visually appealing and fun. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because younger kids might think the characters are just plain weird. And, I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kelsey M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


KONG: SKULL ISLAND

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KONG: SKULL ISLAND       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unites to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I saw this last week and have to say that it is definitely an amazing work visually. The special effects teams have truly outdone themselves with their extravagantly detailed Kong and other gigantic creatures. In terms of storyline, meh! Performances are also so so with the exception being John C Reilly's performance. He walks away with the show in my humble opinion. Samuel L. Jackson's character is probably the second most interesting although he transitions from a slightly crazy war hero to a maniac without a logistical means of doing so. It was good to see John Goodman in his older and fitter self and Tom Hiddleson's persona is somewhat believable. Brie Larson's role as a war photographer didn't really deliver much except for one scene that I predicted but won't comment on as that would be a spoiler. I enjoyed the soundtrack, especially Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit - took me back to the 70s and the Vietnam War era. Note to vans: sit through all the credits for a message at the end. I still enjoyed it and would take anyone who is into monster movies. It does deliver that! Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kong: Skull Island is a fun sci-fi movie which is a breathtaking visual treat. I really found the direction and special effects to be fantastic in this movie. This will appeal to all those sci-fi fans.

This movie is about a diverse group of travelers which includes former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), an anti-war photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), a government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman), a seismologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), and an army led by Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) who head to Skull Island. Upon arriving, they are attacked by Kong, a huge gorilla, who destroys their helicopters and splits the team up. Packard wants revenge for the men he lost in the helicopter crashes, and he wants to kill Kong. Conrad and Weaver realize a bigger threat known as the Skullcrawlers lurk beneath them. The only one who can protect them is Kong, and only he can ensure the team's safety in escaping the island.

Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad heroically represents a soldier. Brie Larson as Mason Weaver is very impressive as a bold photographer. John C Reilly as Hank Marlow, a war veteran, is my favorite character in the movie due to his comic relief and interesting backstory. Samuel L Jackson as Preston Packard brilliantly expresses his revenge with his angry facial expressions.

The direction of the movie by Jordan Vogt-Roberts is unique and really captures the vibe of the 1970s. His filmmaking emphasizes on the smaller things more than the big things, and this is an interesting new concept. This is primarily used whenever we see Kong especially in the first Kong encounter. The focus is more on Kong's face than just his whole body, and this adds tension. Also, the special effects done by Chris Brenczewski really added detail to the monsters, and it made them look real. The scene that I liked the most in the movie is the final fight scene between Kong and a big Skullcrawler, and it was absolutely a blast due to it being a hand to hand combat scene which was fun to watch. My only problem with the movie is the characterization. While everyone does a fine job with the part they are given, their characters just feel like bland stereotypes. I didn't find myself caring for anyone other than John C. Reily's character who has some interesting story beats.

The movie's message is to not mess with nature because if these travelers didn't attack Kong's territory, then he wouldn't have attacked them in the first place. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18 years old as it may be scary for younger audiences due to the intense action and language. This film opens in theaters on March 10th, so go and check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


STARFLAKE RIDES WITH THE GALACTIC BIKERS
NI-COLA PRODUCTIONS
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Starflake, is little white-haired girl who lives on an asteroid in the asteroid belt of the planet Silver Valley. She is a Starbabe, a being who can exist in outer space without any need for life support. A rogue team of four Deep Space Ranger Cadets, mounted on rocket cycles, is on a mission to rescue their fellow cadets who are trapped on the planet Kafka, under the control of the mad alien computer, ALIEC. When they run across Starflake (Star), they see in her a being who can maneuver the slim vent leading to ALIEC and not be bothered by the poisonous atmosphere surrounding ALIEC. Thirsting for adventure, Star joins the Bikers. They land on Kafka, and set up camp. At first they want Star to take a bomb to ALIEC, but since they have begun to care for her, they think it's too dangerous and decide to use a remote control bomb. When their fellow cadets, under ALIEC's mind control, attack them Star decides to take matters into her own hands. She crawls through the vent to ALIEC's chamber uses a special mind coin to drive ALIEC totally insane. The computer melts down and the cadets are free. The Bikers boost Star up on their shoulders to show their respect for her. Star remarks how she is finally tall and Lydia says to her that she is always tall when supported by those who love her. Star says: "Then I must be the tallest person in the galaxy."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This script is more than just a sci-fi fiction thriller that entertains. It teaches about friendship and acceptance. I feel that this is an important theme for the age group 12 to 18. The characters are the strongest aspect of the film but the story line is very creative and flows well from beginning to end. It is appealing and engaging and has commercial potential. I can imagine this on the big screen with wild and creative outer space adventure scenes. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and it is perfect for the ages intended. All Star.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


LOST CITY OF Z, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LOST CITY OF Z, THE
AMAZON.COM
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The Lost City of Z tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as "savages," the determined Fawcett - supported by his devoted wife, son and aide de camp returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed The Lost City of Z, an interesting nonfiction film that highlights certain aspects of history from the viewpoint of an explorer in the 1900s. The film is based on true events, revealing the history of the lost city.

The Lost City of Z explains the tale of British Explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who finds various artifacts that prove to be evidence of a lost city that once resided in the Amazon. His findings and beliefs are ridiculed by many who do not want to believe that there once was an advanced civilization where savages live today. Eager to prove them wrong, Fawcett travels into the Amazon multiple times with his aide de camp Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson) and his son Jack Fawcett (Tom Holland).

The setting of the film captured my interest with its realistic Amazonian look, luscious plant life, rapid rivers and villages portrayed throughout. I was mesmerized by the attention to detail. Additionally, the tribes who are described as "savages" are played marvelously and their cultures are depicted accurately. The history shown throughout The Lost City of Z is displayed in an interesting way, making the history fun to learn and easy to understand.

The Lost City of Z displays the courageous acts of Percy Fawcett in his historical exploration. His ambition and bravery is excitingly portrayed as we delve into the history of a past civilization. I absolutely recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters nationwide on April 21 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Lara Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


KIKORIKI. LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KIKORIKI. LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - The lovably simple residents of peaceful Kikoriki Island are thrown kicking and screaming into big adventure when their resident scientist invents an amazing device (a helmet called "the Improverizor") which takes personality traits from one person and swaps them with someone else's! But when spineless young Wally tries to use the untested device to cure his cowardice, he ends up even more spineless: by getting accidentally body-switched with a squirmy little caterpillar. Now he's got more to fear than he ever dreamed, and so do his fellow villagers, as they're dragged into a madcap adventure packed with plane crashes, mistaken identities, erupting volcanoes and angry natives on the warpath. Boy, do the Kikoriki crew wish they could switch places now: with anyone!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kikoriki is about a character named Wally trying to cure his cowardly ways by using a local scientist's invention which allows you to swap personalities with someone else. Wally accidentally switches personalities with a caterpillar and things really take off from there. It's lovely seeing Wally wanting to be himself again and working so hard to get there. I personally thought this was funny. This is one of those kids movies that attempts to keep adults engaged as well as their children. Between having a random celibacy joke and polite kid curse words, it really draws all ages in. I feel that this is most suitable for ages 5 to 12. I have a 13-month-old who was glued to the screen and I have a 15-year-old who giggled at the jokes as well. I give this program a 4 out of 5 stars just because I feel the light adult humor and the visuals do not always match up. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is a family-friendly animated film based on the television series GoGoRiki. Directed by Dennis Chernov and originally voiced by Russian actors, this film is one of two DVDs that are being brought to American audiences by Shout! Kids Factory.

The story begins with the local scientist creating a machine called the "Improverizer" which swaps people's personalities. But something goes terribly wrong when a young coward, Wally, gets hold of the device. Wally's friends and other Kikoriki residents take a journey to help him return to his original body. It is a tale about finding yourself, learning to trust your own instincts and not rely on silly mechanisms like an "Improverizer" in order to change and grow and develop friendships.

The animation is done with CGI (Computer Generation) and is colorful and esthetically pleasing. Each of the characters are based on different animals and their personalities are very fitting. Their bodies are egg-shaped and the DVD actually includes an egg decorating kit so you can make your own Kikoriki villagers at home. The animation looks very cartoony and fun, but some times I did feel the storyline was a bit slow. As an illustrator myself, I found the landscaping and various imaginative backdrops were my favorite part.

My favorite character is Wally. Wally starts off as a coward and tries to use the "Improverizer" to change his personality. In the end he learns that bravery comes from within. I found myself laughing several times during the film.

I feel Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is appropriately rated PG due to some rude humor and mild peril. It also includes a few adult references and jokes, but nothing so noticeable I feel a younger child would pick up on. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 12 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It came out on DVD, March 7, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96
Media: DVD
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This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DOCTOR OF MONSTER
GUSTAVO TEIXEIRA
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATIED SHORT, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - Dudu has already chosen his future profession, now will have to face his fears to become a doctor of monsters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a great submission. It is from Brazil and the dialogue is in Portuguese with English sub-titles. It's very cute and full or hopes and dreams that a child can be whatever they wish to be. I believe children will love this. After all, who wouldn't want to be a monster doctor? I particularly enjoyed the opening scene. It offers a great look into the imagination of a child. I love the cast and sets. The child actors are quite adorable. Just watching them is enjoyable. I love the kid watching TV wearing his Frankenstein mask. But, the main thing about this is the story. This story is fun and imaginative. It is well shot with good audio and it flows very well. All around it is just fun story, well executed. The language is suitable although, the word dumb appears once. My only problem is with the sub-titles. They are centered at the bottom of the screen and sometimes fly by so fast you miss what they say. I am also concerned about how they will appear on the large screen. That might be an issue. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend for age 7 to 15. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see youth comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD
JOYCE FITZPATRICK
Series: SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Someone new moves into the neighborhood and doesn't make friends easily; one kid is curious to find out why.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommended. This is a very cute, pleasant and uplifting film. The ending is adorable and very satisfying. It raises awareness of deafness without treating it in a negative way. It also made me want to learn sign language. It is well shot, has good background music and pleasant characters. I love the interaction between them. I was disappointed that it's so short. After it ends, I wanted to watch more. It is amazing how invested in the story and characters I felt even though it is only 90 seconds long. Ultimately, it is short but sweet and a must watch. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CHILDREN OF THE NOON, THE
DIEGO FIORI
Series: FOREIGN DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - The Children of the Noon deals with the universal subject of life. The time passes marked out by daily activities for the group of children and teenagers in the orphanage in Nchiru, the small Kenyan village. Soon emerges how orphan condition and genteel poverty they share are not the only problems that unite them and determine their days. A sudden death of one of them breaks the narrative rhythm and changes all points of view intertwining a dense web of pains and joys, friendships and hopes. he Children of the Noon deals with the universal subject of life. The time passes marked out by daily activities for the group of children and teenagers in the orphanage in Nchiru, the small Kenyan village. Soon emerges how orphan condition and genteel poverty they share are not the only problems that unite them and determine their days. A sudden death of one of them breaks the narrative rhythm and changes all points of view intertwining a dense web of pains and joys, friendships and hopes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Accepted. This beautiful constructed documentary shows children of other cultures whose lives are intertwined with pain and joy, friendship and hope. I believe a child would enjoy this film if they're interested in learning about what's going on in the world and learning about situations and events that affect children. The film is well produced with clear visuals and sound. The language is English and Swahili which, when used is sub-titled. The camera words is quite commendable and follows children playing, washing clothing and learning in a classroom. What I love about this film is that it focuses on universal issues such as child abuse, abandonment, neglect and poverty. Children could learn a lot from this film. It could enlighten them and show them that they have a lot to be grateful for. This film brings an awareness to children who may have no idea of what other children's lives are like outside of the United States. Some of the children in the film were born with HIV. Some of them have been abandoned by loved ones, while others have become orphans because their parents have passed away from illness or disease. It is interesting to take a walk in these children's shoes and see the world through their eyes. Some of them laugh to keep from crying. It is their way of coping with the pain. Some of the children are very poor. In the film, a boy goes to visit his mother who asked him repeatedly if she can have his belongings. This film shows how some of the children who experienced poverty and abuse at home are probably happier in the orphanage than they ever were at home. We see how the children in the film cope with the loss of a friend and discuss topics such as death, life and AIDS. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 because there is some rather mature content. For example, in the first scene a woman gives birth and, even though there's no nudity, the content is too mature for kids under age 12. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Geanice G., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This documentary is very educational. It takes place somewhere in Africa in what we would call a group home here in the USA. The children range from age 8 to 16 and they explain why they live in the group home. Their stories are very heartbreaking. It made me aware of issues young people don't really think about such as poverty, disease, child abuse and death. These are dark topics but good to be brought to the attention of kids. It is very upsetting, but it makes you want to help out. I felt helpless at times and I wished I could assist the kids in the film. At times, the cinematography is very beautiful. There are some scenes that show really pretty landscape shots. At times, the camera shakes a lot which is very distracting. The editing could have been more judicious. Some scenes could have been cut. But for the most part, this is a very moving, informative film. I definitely recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 1:5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-19
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
EYES IN THE BACK OF HER HEAD
MADISON DURAND
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A little monster wonders if his well-meaning mother is hiding an unusual secret. Music by Grammy-winning Danny Weinkauf; video created by 16-year-old Madison Durand.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Love this short student produced animation. Very clever and funny. It flows well, is very watchable. The original music is adorable and I love the subtitles in it. They make it fun for a younger audience that is just learning to read to be able to participate. Cute storyline, bright and colorful animation. Highly recommended for ages 3 to 12. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ADVENTURES OF TRACY & FELT, THE
ELIZABETH SCHIFFLER
Series: SERIES, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - A mini-web series following two explorers learning the magic of science. This mini-webisode series was conceived on Whidbey Island, WA with a team of talented artists.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommended. This short film is very simple, but funny. One moment in particular made me laugh out loud. Obviously this is a low budget production and it is very cleverly done The production quality isn't great, but it has a certain style that is very compelling. With a bigger budget, it has potential as a sitcom on maybe Disney or Nickelodeon. The two main characters, a boy and an octopus, are not that bright. They are very immature and na�ve, but quite likable. The background music doesn't stand out or add much. This mini web-series is definitely is aimed at a younger demographic who will appreciate its silliness. There are more episodes on their YouTube Channel by the same name. I enjoyed it enough to subscribe. I recommend this for ages 8 to 15, particularly those who want to watch a simple, silly and fun series. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Web Series


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LUCIA
FRANCESCO FONTANA ANTONELLI
Series: FOREIGN STUDENT PRODUCTION, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Lucia is a young woman who cries the loss of her beloved one. She is prostrated in pain in front of the grave of the departed. Because of the unbearable pain she plucks her eyes in front of the burial, and faints, unconscious. She will encounter a mysterious woman.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This foreign student film is very unique. It deals with depression and suicide The entire film is shot in black and white, with no dialogue, only music. Because of this, it relies solely on the music and the cinematography and both really work. I love the music. It replaces the dialogue perfectly. The cinematography is really good. The camera angles are very engaging and add to the mystery of the story. The music is hauntingly beautiful. The story left me wanting more. This could easily be turned into a full length feature film. The ending left me curious and wanting to know more. I feel like this is a film that a group of friends would each see differently. You could spend hours theorizing about the ending. It is not for young children because of the subject and it is slightly gory. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It would be especially good to watch in groups such as at a film festival. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PLANET 98475
NOAH ZIELINSKI
Series: STUDENT PRODUCTION, MIDDLE SCHOOL
Topic - Family
Description - This story is about the argument between a flesh and blood human and a artificial intelligence robot. The man and robot argue about who is human and who is not, while being stuck on planet 98475 by them selves. They have to learn how to get along.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an admirably well done student film that takes on some serious issues about what makes us human. "Violence and anarchy - that's what destroyed our world in the first place. Having a heart is overrated, whether it pumps blood or electricity - is choosing the right thing to do." The camera work, to make it appear they are on another planet, is well done for a student film. The topic, about is explored through the relationship between a human teen and his AI robotic companion. When she almost "dies," his passion and appreciation for her reveal the feelings he has for her and when he almost dies, she shows the same allegiance to him. The story is well done through minimal dialogue and action. The visuals are acceptable with reasonably good video and audio. I believe children will appreciate the efforts by one of their peers. I recommend it for ages 10 to 15 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. REviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BAD LITTLE FAIRIES
GAYLA GOEHI
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 7-12
Topic - Family
Description - A group of young fairies must train to fight the evils trying to make their way into their beloved Fairy Fairy land.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a wonderful student short film with a very cute concept. My daughters sat in with me to watch this one and thought it was adorable. The concept of mischievous little fairies is very appealing. The visuals and music are great, the cinematography quite well done. The acting is quite acceptable. This is a graduation film made by young acting students from Gary Spatz's "The Playground" Acting Conservatory in Los Angeles. The outdoor shots in the beginning are quite gorgeous and it stays pretty consistent throughout the film. The background music is quite complimentary and feels light and magical. This will play well on the big screen. It is very visually appealing and also teaches a very valuable lesson. Everyone can be naughty and it's okay to play tricks, but you must be considerate of how others might feel. I recommended it for ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It should fit well into most film festival for youth and families. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - SEE ADULT COMMENTS
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ACTING HUMAN
GAYLA GOEHI
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Immortals, weird, strange and unusual beings want fame too, so they go to an elite Hollywood acting school that teaches them to be more like humans...sort of.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed watching this and think children will enjoy it as well, especially with its fun twist on monsters. It was produced by an acting student and included an interesting cast such as Gayla Goehl (Dreamtown, Bad Little Fairies, House MD), Joe Spence (All Right), Lee Sherman (Contract Killers, Calamities of Jane), Fernando Aldaz (The People vs OJ Simpson: America Crime, The Jodi Arias Story) and Sam Parker (Transformers 5). The acting is a bit goofy, but it seems to be intentional and works well. It flows well, makes perfect sense and is extremely watchable. The language is very suitable for its intended audience. This short really makes you feel as if you are on the set of a mock documentary. It's great. The production values are very good. It is well lit, has great audio and great camera work. Very impressive for a student production. This will work very well on the big screen. I think this makes a fun inclusion for any youth and family film festival and would make a fun series. The message is about fitting in. This is my favorite submission I have reviewed so far. I recommend this for ages 9 to 15 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MYSTERY OF GREEN HILL, THE
ANKICA JURIC TILIC
Series: FOREIGN INDEPENDENT FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - oko and his friends are spending summer vacation on the shores of a lake near the idyllic Green Hill, hanging out and playing. The magical countryside is disturbed by unusual events which alarm the children as well as the locals: under cover of night, burglars break into one house after another, stealing anything valuable they can find. When the police turns a blind eye to denunciations by adults, the children decide to take matters into their own hands and unmask the burglars.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a family friendly film that brings to life the bonds of friendship and shows us even when put to the test, forgiveness and love can win. The story follows a group of young friends trying to solve a mystery. The mystery keeps you interested and has a twist at the end. I enjoyed the story although I felt the writing could have been stronger. I enjoy when young actors are given the chance to shine on camera, although these young actors seem to be a bit inexperienced. The cinematography is very good though I almost got dizzy from the quick way the camera moves between actors. The audio recording and background music are very well executed. The continuity is quite good and makes the small town, the young peoples' imaginations and the band of friends real to the viewers. There aren't any special effects and the costumes and locations are well chosen for the tone of the film. You should be aware that the dialogue is in Croatian with English sub-titles. Also, because it is shot in Croatia, some of the mannerisms, dress and vocabulary are a bit different than kids are accustomed to in the U.S.A. But I do believe older kids would enjoy the storyline of the group of kids bonding together to solve the town mystery. I recommend it for ages 9 to 12 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Melissa T. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 1:2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
INCUBUS
JACOB CHANG RASCLE
Series: STUDENT PRODUCTION, HIGH SCHOOL
Topic - Family
Description - Incubus tells the story of a boy who sets out on an amateur archaeology assignment with his dad. After he finds a mysterious key, the day takes a turn for the worse, as supernatural powers turn a pleasant afternoon into a nightmare. Director Jacob Chang-Rascle was 14 years old when he made this film.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Well constructed student film that utilizes background music quite well to drive the pace of this thriller. Good camera and audio work, easy to watch and follow. Fast paced and a surprise ending. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I highly recommend this student film. It is a thriller and that makes it really appealing and interesting. Kids will enjoy it because there is lot of suspense and they would want to know what's going to happen next. The story flows really well and is really fast paced. It has a surprise and an additional thrill at the end which makes you think even about it even after the movie is over. It is well shot. The camera work is clear, so is the audio. The vocabulary is suitable to its audience. I particularly enjoyed the background music which is very well suited to each scene and helps develop the suspense. The music increases in intensity as the story develops. It is very fast paced and I think it will show well on the big screen. I recommend it for inclusion in a film festival for youth, particularly teens and families, because there is a thrill and twist in the end. I recommend this fir ages 10 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GREAT WALL, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GREAT WALL, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Topic - Family
Description - When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of the world. As wave after wave of marauding beasts besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army of elite warriors to confront the unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Great Wall is a fun monster movie and a good visual treat. I really like the special effects, cinematography and costume design in this movie. This is one movie that monster movie fans will appreciate.

This movie is about William (Matt Damon), a traveler who comes to China with his friend Pero (Pedro Pascal) to find black powder. When they try to enter the Great Wall, the Chinese soldiers of the secret military group, Nameless Order, capture them and escort them to General Lin (Jing Tian) who holds them captive. A wave of alien monsters, known as Taoties, attacks the Great Wall. William and Pero heroically fight and save the order and earn the respect of the General, but they plan to betray the Nameless Order with the help of Sir Ballard (Willem Dafoe), another foreigner in search of black powder. Torn between joining his friends by betraying the Chinese and taking on the responsibility of saving them from this monster attack, William must make a choice.

Matt Damon portrays a believable noble warrior who needs to make a correct choice to redeem himself. Pedro Pascal, as Pero, is my favorite character as he delivers a show-stealing performance with a mixture of comedy and villainy. Jing Tian excellently presents her patriotism and the trust she has towards her people. Willem Dafoe nicely presents a greedy man who will do anything for the black powder.

The special effects for the creatures by Andrew Baker are well executed with many impressive details. During the battle scenes, the creatures look real with excellent slow motion shots. The cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh and Xiaoding Zhao is colorful with outstanding shots of the desert and the Great Wall. My favorite scene is the first battle scene because of the organized battle tactics of the Nameless Order. My only issue with the movie is that some of the line deliveries are a little off.

The Great Wall has a good message about redemption. William is, by no means, a true role model, but he is able to redeem his wrongs by helping the Chinese. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18 as some battle scenes may be too frightening for younger audiences. This film opens in theaters on February 17rd, so go and check it out.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I like the movie The Great Wall because of its beautiful cinematography, great acting and its message. However, I don't like that the writers lean toward a romantic relationship between two of the main characters that never happens. The romantic relationship in The Great Wall movie is unneeded.

The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau, is an epic, historical, fictional, action-adventure film, telling the story of how two adventurers, William (Matt Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal) are searching for black powder. After being attacked by some weird monsters, they end up at a Chinese military base. The leader, Commander Lin (Jing Tian), running the military group named "The Nameless Order" is trying to keep China safe from beasts that attack every 60 years.

The cinematography is spectacular. The scenes and landscapes are stunning. There is a beautiful scene when William and Tovar ride their horses through the mountains. I saw this movie in 3D and it felt as if I was actually there. In one of the scenes, William falls off the Great Wall and I got scared since it felt so real. The CGI of the monsters looks very realistic. When the monsters attacked, I felt as if they were over me.

This film has a star-studded cast. Matt Damon, who playing the lead role of William, shows his fighting and darts skills. I like the scenes of him battling the enemy with his combat skills. I also like how the actor for Commander Lin acted as a fierce fighter with amazing expert skills. Tovar is very entertaining with his funny comments and saying words in Spanish in the middle of some situations.

My favorite characters are Commander Lin and Tovar. Commander Lin is very independent and fierce in a time when women are expected to stay home and take care of their children without any power. Tovar is a very humorous, even in serious situations.

There are multiple messages in this film. One message is to be strong and not to have fears. This film also teaches girls to be confident, fierce and to fight for your people.

I recommend this movie to ages 12 to 17 since it does contain some mild profanity and moderate portrayals of violence. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. You can find this movie in theaters now so, go check it out!

By Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - A reclusive young woman who dreams of becoming a children's author finds an unlikely mentor in the rich curmudgeon who lives next door.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This Beautiful Fantastic is an incredible cinematic experience that I'll never forget! It is a stunning movie that brings two lonely people together to enjoy the beauty of nature. I love seeing each character grow throughout the film.

This incredible film is about an aspiring author with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) named Bella (Jessica Brown Findlay). She befriends her next door neighbor, Alfred (Tom Wilkinson), when she is told she will be evicted from her house if she doesn't tend to her garden. With the help from Alfred and Vernon (Andrew Scott), Bella's personal chef, they try to find a way to tend to the garden and, in doing so, discover how a garden influences them.

This film has stunning visuals, character development and a spellbinding script that turns it into a cinematic masterpiece. The flowers in Alfred's garden add to the visual appeal of the film because of its juxtaposition to Bella's garden. The set design also creates visual appeal, with sets such as Bella's canopy bed and the setup of the garden. The garden is what inspired the film's title because Bella describes it as "beautiful, fantastic." The cinematography is gorgeous as well. An example of this is when the downpour starts and a rainbow reflects over Bella's face.

In this movie, the characters grow alongside each other. Alfred starts off as a grumpy and mean old man, but grows to be kind, gentle and treats Bella as though she is his daughter. Bella is introduced as timid and scared of nature, but she overcomes her fear when she befriends Alfred and learns to care for the garden. Throughout the movie, you also see Bella become less and less OCD. At the end, she leaves her door open versus, in the beginning she checks the door five times before leaving the house. There is also a change in Vernon. In the beginning, he is very nervous and acts as a "slave" towards Alfred. But by the end, he becomes less scared and more independent.

The music adds an ethereal effect to the movie, such as when Alfred watches Bella tend to the garden. Also, when Billy (Jeremy Irvine) shows Bella the mechanical bird, Luna, he is making. The music in this scene adds a very magical tone.

I love how eloquent the script is. An example of this is when Billy talks to Bella about a statue he is studying called The Ecstasy of Theresa. He describes it as "destroying logic with emotion." His detail in explaining the statue shows how impactful art can be to a person.

This film demonstrates how much another person can help you thrive and adore the importance of nature. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for people ages 10 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well. This movie comes out March 10, 2017 in theaters nation wide, so check it out.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


CHIKA, THE DOG IN THE GHETTO

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CHIKA, THE DOG IN THE GHETTO
MARKUS KAATSCH
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Chika the dog and the five-year old Mikasch are the heroes of this story which is set in a Jewish ghetto in an unnamed Polish city. The little dog helps Mikasch to develop as a child despite the persecution of the Jews and the threats of the 2nd World War. During World War II it was forbidden for Jews to keep their pets. One day the official orders decreed that Jews have to deliver all dogs. Mikasch refuses to obey this command. His parents help him to find a solution to save Chika. Mikasch's father hides the dog outside the ghetto at a non-Jewish friends house. Then one day a soldier knocks on the door of the families apartment and delivers a command. The family has to gather with all other Jewish families to be deported. Father, mother and child do not obey, instead they hide in the cellar. Mikasch realizes how important it was to take Chika outside the ghetto. In the small hiding place Chika would have started to bark and that would have revealed the hideout of his family. With the belief to see Chika again one day, Mikasch overcomes the difficult times in the hideout without serious damage. At the (happy)-end Mikasch and Chika actually find each other once again. There is peace. Screened at more than 20 film festivals world wide.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short animated film truly stands out as an outstanding production with history and art on its side. Based on a children's book, with an introduction by the author. Batsheva Dagan, it takes place in 1944. By German filmmaker Sandra Schissl, the story follows a little boy and his Jewish family living in a Jewish ghetto in an unnamed Polish city. The Jews are not allowed to own dogs, so the little boy has to give up his beloved dog is worried he won't ever see her again. The animation of this film is truly wonderful with darling characters that look somewhat like ragdolls, detailed backgrounds and sets. Intense scenes during the darkness of night with shadows of the police ominously lurking around every corner. The storyline accurately portrays life for Jews during this horrible time period with an intensity and suspense of not knowing what might happen next. It gives you insight into this horrible time in history and how critical it was for families to stick together. The neighbor who takes the dog is indicative of how non-Jews came to the aid of their Jewish neighbors to help in what way they could. The story keeps you on the edge of your seat and flows extremely well. The production quality is extraordinary and the educational value of this film makes it suitable for children ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. We give it 5 out of 5 stars and can't recommend it highly enough. Bravo for great animated filmmaking. Reviewed by Kelsey M. and Ranny L., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 16 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BRO. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker's (Zach Galifianakis) hostile takeover, he may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up. Maybe his superhero sidekick Robin (Michael Cera) and loyal butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) can show him a thing or two.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is not the type of film I usually enjoy but, after seeing the trailers I really wanted to see it and I was not disappointed. The animation is very clever and looks almost as if the characters are truly made out of LEGOs. Kudos to the animation team for that. Then, the jokes and references to Batman and DC characters just never stops. Thankfully, my screening partner was even more of a DC comic fan than me and, when I got lost, he filled me in. I love that the storyline has such a strong message about needing other people, needing a family and not having to tackle the world all on your own. At first, I thought this was unique in this film but yet, if you think about it, it is a recurring theme in almost all the Batman movies. Definitely strong here though. I found myself laughing through most of the film but when I walked out of the theater and discussed it with my partner, it was the theme that stuck with us most. It is definitely worth taking in and, in the midst of all the heavy stuff going on today, provides great comic relief. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The LEGO Batman Movie is a superb superhero movie which serves as a great homage to many aspects of Batman history. I really liked the animation, voice acting and humor in this movie. This exactly what a Batman fan would want.

This movie is about Batman/Bruce Wayne (Will Arnett) who is the crime fighting vigilante of Gotham. Despite all his glory, he feels lonely. He wants to be part of a family, despite his selfish behavior. His butler, Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) soon brings him an adopted kid, Richard Grayson (Michael Cera). Richard grows fond of Batman, and the two go to fight crime, with Richard's superhero name being Robin. Once the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) attacks Gotham with a various variety of villains, Batman must team with Robin, Alfred and the new commissioner of the GCPD, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) to stop the attack. During this, Batman must also learn to accept his new family.

Will Arnett delivers a show-stealing performance as Batman, my favorite character in the movie, and he is great in switching between the dark vigilante of Batman and the charismatic billionaire of Bruce Wayne. Also, he greatly presents the aspect of wanting a family. Ralph Fiennes as Alfred is impressive as a caring guardian for Bruce. Michael Cera portrays another excellent performance as Robin, and his nerdy characteristics are put into play. Zach Galifianakis is good in presenting the Joker with his humor and villainy. Rosario Dawson also manages to deliver with her heroic motives.

The animation by Stewart Alves is incredible. It improves on the what The LEGO Movie did right, and the color pallet used for Gotham really fits how Gotham looks like. The movie's humor impressed me. The movie has a ton of fourth wall breaks. The characters in the movie even act like they know they are movie characters which adds to the fun. The movie even makes jokes about other movie franchises. My favorite scene in the movie is when Batman just happens to chill for a moment and watches a bit of Jerry Maguire. It really gave a good laugh.

The movie has a good message in working as a team. When Gotham is invaded by large number of criminals, the only way to fix the problem is to work as a team. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 years old. This is a movie which will appeal to all ages. This film opens in theaters on February 10rd, so go and check it out for a unique superhero experience.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The LEGO Batman Movie is fantastic! I was laughing throughout the entire film! I really enjoy all of the jokes and comedy that was put into it. But I wish they would have added some more jokes into the movie that younger kids would appreciate because after all Batman is a superhero and little kids love superheroes.

This movie is about Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Will Arnett). Batman has been fighting crime for a very long time, but he is starting to do and say some very bad things to the people around him because he is very lonely without a family. Because of his loneliness Batman adopts a son, Robin (Michael Cera), which forces him to be more responsible and take care of his son. Usually, Batman doesn't want to work with others but he is forced to during the film.

This movie is made by the same production company as The Lego Movie so if you liked that movie then you will definitely love this movie. But, if you haven't seen The Lego Movie you will probably still enjoy this movie.

My favorite part of the movie is the use CGI, which made each scene in the movie really entertaining. The action in this movie is so incredible that when I watched the movie in IMAX I was blown away. I recommend that you do not sit in the front unless you want your eyes to actually fall out.

This movie teaches kids how to work together with others, be responsible, and be kind to others. Even though this is a superhero movie, it was not directed towards little kids because of the humor and violence. I give the movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend this movie for kid's ages 6 to 18 and also adults would really enjoy it. Go check this movie out in theaters February 10, 2017.

Reviewed by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MILY MISS QUESTIONS: 10 ADVENTURES FOR CURIOUS MINDS!

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MILY MISS QUESTIONS: 10 ADVENTURES FOR CURIOUS MINDS!       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 6-10
Topic - Family
Description - Join Mily and her friends as they investigate the major themes of life encountered in everyday situations. Mily is a funny, curious and uncertain little 9-year-old girl. Like many children her age, she has a great many questions about life, people, and the world. She's never lost for words; in fact, life for her is a goody-bag full of questions to be dipped into. Whenever a particular situation raises a question worthy of examination, Mily is immediately on the case! From one episode to the next, through everyday situations and without ever favoring a particular point of view, Mily introduces young viewers to the art of questioning and the development of an inquiring mind.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This program is so adorable! It's about an all too curious 9-year-old girl who has all sorts of fun questions. I remember my older children being at that stage where they had non-stop questions and this show really portrays that well. It's also really good about getting her questions answered. The animation is well done. I recommend the show for ages 5 to 11, although my 10-year-old disagrees and thinks she is too old for it. Little does she know, she still asks a million funny questions. I give this 5 out of 5! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror

I found each segment quite interesting once I realized that this is a continuation of events in a child's life. The stories are thought-provoking and made for children, teens and adults because the themes are relative to everyone. I really enjoyed the animation and colorization of the videos. In each segment, a story opens with Mily asking a question about life. The first segment about the family history had Mily and her baby sister, Lola, curious as to 'where are babies before they are born!' The story takes Mily and Lola to various people for clarification and finally to their Mom who explains it to them on their level. They explore various themes throughout the segments including decision making, ideas about choices in jobs, rules vs. laws and, when it applies, "telling the truth and teaching responsibility. I really enjoyed this DVD and I think it will help children understand more about life's themes. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend to ages 5 to 12.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This DVD is collection of 2D animated stories that are both educational and entertaining. I like this series because it teaches children to ask questions about things they are curious about. The lead character, Mily is a girl who asks everyone questions. Mily asks questions about typical things that kids are thinking and about everyday situations as well. The show originated in France.

I like the style of the animation. The background of each scene is an actual photo of where it takes place, such as a kitchen. We see an actual photo of a kitchen. The characters' animation is over the background. I found that cool because I've never seen that before in animation.

The message of this movie is to ask questions when you wonder about things. It teaches kids to ask questions even if they seems dumb. If someone doesn't know something, they have the right to ask. No one should judge them for asking. It also teaches kids to be creative. In one of the episodes, Mily gets bored and doesn't know what to do. Her friends come up with ideas to keep her from not being bored. They get creative and make games.

My favorite character is Mily's little sister Lola because she nags Mily in a funny way. She annoys Mily sometimes but you can tell that they love each other. I love how she helps Mily with her questions. She may be younger but she helps Mily a lot.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 10. This DVD is available now wherever DVDs are sold so, be sure to look for it.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 75 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


RIGHT FOOTED

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
RIGHT FOOTED
NICK SPARK
Series: INDIE FEATURE, AGES 9-18
Topic - Family
Description - Jessica Cox was born without arms as a result of a birth defect, but managed to overcome many physical and emotional challenges to become fully independent. She learned to type with her toes, drive a car with her feet, and amazingly -- fly an airplane with her feet. Right Footed follows Jessica as she transforms from a motivational speaker to a mentor, and eventually into a leading advocate for people with disability. http://rightfootedmovie.com/. Screenings and awards include: Best Documentary Film, Mirabile Dictu Film Festival, Rome; Best Social Action Film 2015, Hollywood Film Festival; Best Documentary Film, International Film Festival Manhattan; Best Documentary Film, Offshoot Film Festival; Best Documentary Film, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival; Platinum Award, Spotlight Documentary Film Awards; Audience Award, Awareness Film Festival; Audience Award, Atlanta DocuFest; Audience Award, The Loft Film Festival; Audience Award, Kansas International Film Festival
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is the true story about Jessica Cox, a person born without arms. It is an inspiration to all people of all ages and stages of life. It encourages viewers to really evaluate and appreciate their life.

Jessica Cox takes gives us an experience that is heartwarming, inspirational and encouraging. The story of Jessica Cox born reminds me to be appreciative of my own life. Jessica shares how in her early days she was angry about being different and treated differently. She was defiant to her mother at the times she wanted to take care of her. Jessica was inspired by her own mother whose faith put her daughter's disability into a positive perspective. Jessica learns from her and accomplishes many tasks that able-bodied people fail to accomplish. She learns to dance, earns a black belt in martial arts, learns to drive. Jessica becomes a licensed airplane pilot. But, watching her just get herself showered and dressed is simply amazing. Putting her contacts on with her feet puts life into perspective. Buttoning her clothes with both feet is another.

After graduating from college, she begins to tour as a motivational speaker and falls in love and gets married. She and her husband travel the world together they become advocates for people with disabilities around the world.

I recommend this title for playing at a film festival because there are many lessons about attitude, determination, creativity, humbleness and family. While Jessica commands most of the attention as a young child, her sister and brother support and encourage her and are truly happy and proud of the accomplishments Jessica achieves. Jessica encourages many people with handicaps especially girls and young women who are born without arms. Several young women she mentors really became hopeful. They watch Jessica prepare for her wedding and actually witness the ceremony.

Right Footed has many lessons, words, scenes and people to inspire everyone. There is a never give up spirit throughout. For example, we see Jessica sharing a lesson with a group of five year olds about tying the laces of their shoes. She tells then that she just practiced and practiced until she could time her own shoes.

The Jessica Cox story is an inspiration to parents who have children with disabilities. Jessica's parents encourage her to take care of her own baby. I have renewed determination for my life, after viewing Jessica Cox, born without arms and being right footed. Heartfully accepted and kudos to the filmmaker for making this incredible film about this incredible young woman. Yes!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The documentary, Right Footed, made my heart flutter! With encouraging messages sprinkled throughout the story, it empowered me. This documentary uplifts the viewers with a look into the brave lives of those with disabilities. The story follows the journey of Jessica Cox, a brave lady born without arms. As a child, Jessica is bullied in school, but as she grows up, the tough experiences make her confident that she can do anything she wants. This leads to Jessica becoming a motivational speaker and advocate for children with disabilities.

The talent behind the scenes and on screen tells the story in the best way possible. The screenwriter, Nick Spark relays the evolution and journey of Jessica Cox. He is able to clearly tell the viewers through dialogue, how Jessica and her family felt about her disability and how their outlook developed over the years. He communicates the changes of feelings like puzzle pieces interspersed throughout the movie so you can recognize the full picture or message as the film ends. The film editor, Susan Metzger, compiled the film so that the story makes a major influence on the viewer.

This documentary had me hooked from the first scene and the last scene left me with a lot to think about. Every segment flows into the next, revealing Jessica's journey clip by clip. The cinematographer, Bill Megalos, makes these shots come to life. The angles that the scenes are taken allow the viewer to look into different people's minds. For example, in many of the shots, the camera men are right beside Jessica so the viewers feel as if they are walking with her, seeing and hearing what she is. I felt as if I was walking in her shoes and could understand what she was feeling.

The message is to never say never. Jessica Cox has no arms but this doesn't stop her from being independent and doing anything she wants. Jessica can drive, swim and even fly an airplane. Jessica Cox inspires children across the world with disabilities and reminds them that there is no such thing as "I can't."

I give Right Footed 5 out of 5 stars because of its important message and wonderful talent behind the scenes. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well. Everyone should watch and learn from it. You can watch Right Footed at select KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals playing around the country.

Reviewed by Sahiba D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The documentary film Right Footed immediately drew my attention and I could not tear myself away from this remarkable story. I love the resilience of this woman, Jessica Cox, who lives her entire life without arms and still accomplishes so many things! Her activities include extremely active things such as dancing, Taekwondo, swimming and flying airplanes! She has traveled to the Philippines and Africa to talk about what it's like to have a disability and helps kids with learning and physical disabilities by sharing her story with them. Jessica Cox is a wonderfully inspiring woman.

The plot is the true story about a woman who lives her life with no arms and has to do everything with her feet. Some examples are eating, putting on clothes, driving her car and washing her hair. Her mom and dad supported Jessica and her siblings equally so that no one was jealous of each other and both her brother and sister have always been very supportive of her. She has been through so much and she is a true fighter.

The message of this story is that you must embrace life if you have a disability, whatever it may be. The fact that she pursues and enjoys activities which most people would expect to require the use of arms is truly astonishing. I believe that she participated in making this movie in order to show the world that a disabled person can adapt by using their strengths.

What really stood out for me is in the beginning of the movie when the audience is invited into that most intimate of activities, a woman putting on her makeup. How resilient she is to have figured that out, all by herself! And, she does it without hands. And then, she allows the camera to capture it! Talk about a good sport.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It is a really inspirational story and movie and I recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and adults would enjoy it as well because it gives an in-depth portrait into what this woman has been through. I also highly recommend this film for kids who have learning and physical disabilities. You can find this movie at a limited number of KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. Check the listings at kidsfirst.org to see where it is playing near you.

Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BARNYARD ACES
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Avelita, a mischievous chick, wants a jukebox. Her grandpa wants a musician to brighten the atmosphere of his restaurant. In Spanish with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a very entertaining short film beautiful animation and lots of laughs. The storyline is really cute. A little girl wants to help her grandfather's restaurant business and believes she has the answer - to buy a jukebox. But, he wants musicians to play live music. After sabotaging each audition without her grandfather knowing, she successfully convinces him to get the jukebox and then see that he plays the same droll songs over and over. She can't get a break and her reactions and facial expressions are awesome. They made me laugh out loud a couple of times. The little girl is a bit of a schemer and it's hilarious to see the outcomes of what she does to the musicians who audition. Visually, it's very appealing. Everything flows well with a beginning, middle and end. It's perfect for school aged kids. There is very little dialogue. It is more of a visual piece. The message is "be careful what you wish for." We see the little girl so determined to get the jukebox that, after messing with the musicians and finally getting the jukebox, it backfires on her. Happy to recommend for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Melanie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WAVES FROM THE SKY
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 3-10
Topic - Family
Description - Pedro, a bird who cannot fly in sync with his flock, decides to branch out on his own. After plummeting to a beach, Francisca, the friendly sea turtle, will teach him to connect with rhythm and harmony. In Spanish with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I recommend this as a cute film with a cute story. It is well animated with great audio. A child would enjoy this because it's well produced, has really cute characters and a child-friendly storyline. There's no dialogue. The set, sound, clarity and everything about it is great. It flows well with a beginning, middle and end. It's very watchable. It's a story about a little bird who takes a break from flying with his herd to have fun with his imagination and meets a turtle on the beach who enjoys being silly. Recommended for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 3-10. Reviewed by Melanie s., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PORK CHOPS
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - The only relief to Valentina�s solitude is an imaginary friend, until the arrival of Pork Chops, a pig who is destined to become her best friend, as well as her family�s Christmas dinner. In Spanish with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This live action film has a sweet story about a young girl who is determined to not have her new pet pig get eaten by her poor family. She loves her piglet very much and when she learns that her father has a plan to fatten it in order to eat it later, she is determined to put the pig on a diet and even goes as far as to eat its food, causing her to get sick. Because of this, her mother learns that it's a sow and is pregnant and the little girls protection causes the sow's life to be spared so there is a blessing after all. The family is no longer going to be poor or hungry because they can create a business from the sow. She essentially saves the pig and at the end there is the nice surprise that the pig is a sow and is pregnant with piglets. It has a beginning, middle, and end because you see her relationship with the piglet develop but I don't think the story makes sense. It first starts with her mother preparing dinner and her father annoyed that it is the same meal of beans and tortillas. I think so. There wasn't anything inappropriate except for when the father goes behind the mother a little too sensually about craving meat for dinner. We got to see a lot of where she is from while walking her piglet around. We saw that she lives in a nice open land and she's not too far from town. Overall, it was well done. I just don't care for the delivery of the story. In Spanish with English sub-titles. Recommended for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 8-12. Reviewed by Melanie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TRUMPETEER, THE
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A trumpet player is trapped in an army marching band in the epitome of authoritarian control and fear. His nature prevents him from playing the note he's being told to play, and he is punished as a consequence. In his recurring arrest and, after engaging in a musical dialogue, he recognizes his creative power; it's in his confinement where he finds freedom to play his own music. Once he is deprived of his instrument, he finds another expression: a brave and disobedient act that will provoke an awakening in the conscience of his platoon and result in his subsequent freedom.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a most short film with amazing animation, beautiful colors and a really cute storyline about a little boy that simply wants to play what he feels from his heart as opposed to playing his trumpet with military-like structure. The story has a great structure with a beginning, middle and end. It is colorful, has great music and is well produced. The animation and design is flawless and it has a great lesson about not being afraid to be yourself. Who doesn't love that? I recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because it teaches kids a valuable lesson of always staying true to who you are. Recommended for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Melanie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PICKMAN'S MODEL
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 13-18
Topic - Family
Description - In his quest to obtain a painting by his favorite macabre art painter, Richard Pickman, art collector, Thurber Phillips, unlocks the mystery behind the artist's work.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short horror film has an interesting, creepy and scary twist. Most kids are into horror these days and it definitely has a creepy element to it. This film flows well with a beginning, middle and end. The production quality is great, with awesome sound affects, and excellent animation. I definitely recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for the story and delivery alone. Recommended for ages 13 to 18. Reviewed by Melanie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review.
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TEACHER AND THE FLOWER, THE
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - In a selfish and violent world, where everyone is against everyone, a teacher finds refuge taking care of a delicate flower, to which he tells his dreams and desires. Nevertheless, one day he stumbles upon a pretty young woman, and falls in love with her. Without money and not much else to offer, he decides to give this young woman his most precious possession in an attempt to win her heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great message. The protagonist seems to have bad luck but continues to live optimistically and never gives up. Children often give up and, even though we don't see if the protagonist succeeds or has a good day, he continues to push through and seize the day again which we should all remember to do. The story flows well, makes sense, has a beginning middle and end and is very watchable. The animation is nicely executed with great sound and outstanding production qualities. The message is appropriate: remember to keep your chin up and never give up. I recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because it reminds us to always think positively no matter how horrible a day we have. I recommend this for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Melanie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MISTER MIRROR MAN
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 6-12
Topic - Family
Description - A stubborn fish collector faces his own boundaries in this maritime history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Very enjoyable. The illustration and sound affects are exceptional well done. This is a story about a fisherman who enjoys studying fish as a hobby and finds a fish that he has been meaning to capture. Unfortunately, the fish outsmarts the fisherman's contraption over and over again. There is no dialogue. All that is heard is the water and the commotion that occurs and a soccer game that is being broadcast via radio. The sounds are all well delivered and the illustrations are beautiful. Simple, clean and well done. The film is well made and I highly recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 8-12. Reviewed by Melanie S.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LOST IN SPRING
FRED WALL
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 6-18
Topic - Family
Description - A confidence stricken seven year old, embarks upon a journey to self belief.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Accepted! This is exactly the kind of film that KIDS FIRST! champions. This short film tells a simple story with honesty and a touch of humor. The main character is a young girl who is smart and capable but lacks confidence. This film is about the girl overcoming her fears and gaining confidence. Through her journey, we see her meeting adults who help her find the courage to own who she is and who she wants to become. The teacher is a positive character and other students are presented in a genuine light. This film features strong performances from both children and adults, and effective cinematography. It is a well-made film that audiences of all ages can enjoy together. Both boys and girls can relate to the main character. For example, in math class, Rosie tells the teacher that she doesn't know the answer when, in fact, she knows the right answer. There is an added element that children will enjoy when Rosie takes a walk in the park and meets a film crew where the lead actress welcomes her and inspires her to dream of being an actress because "she can become anyone". It makes her happy. The story has a solid structure, with a beginning, middle and end. It makes sense and flows smoothly. The language, concepts and vocabulary are appropriate for its audience. It is well directed, has strong performances from both the adult and child actors, simple and effective cinematography, good sound and a simple but effective music track. Recommended for ages 6 to 18.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
VOM SMOLICEK
BARBARA LACKERMEIER
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - The little laddie Smoli k lives with his grandfather in a cottage on the edge of a dark forest. A spell forces the grandfather to delay his existence as a deer. He exhorted Smoli k to lock the door well and not to let anyone in. All goes well. Up to the day a creepy old forest fairy is knocking...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautifully shot fairy tale set in charming interiors and natural locales. The live-action is combined with occasional, simply-drawn animated animals, which lend a storybook element and charm. The traditional fairy tale structure of "Once Upon a Time" to "The Moral of the Story" is told with well-performed narration and character portrayal, as if the storybook is being read out loud. While there are some goblins, they are more comical than frightening. Their fantastical costumes and makeup are inventive, colorful and fun. Kids will likely recognize some of their favorite fairy tale characters including Red Riding Hood and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The grandfather character is loving and tender, and the little boy is adorable and well-behaved. But like most little boys, he does disobey his grandfather and gets into trouble. Fortunately, he knows how get out of it using his wits and courage and so, the ending and message is a happy one. The cinematography is excellent, the musical soundtrack, almost like folk music, is upbeat, and the lighting is evocative and appropriate. Overall production quality is high. The film is in German with English subtitles. While I recommend it for ages 8 to 12, it may be suitable for younger children since the visuals are compelling and convey the story even without the subtitles. This makes a great addition to any film festival. Reviewed by Ann B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 23 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
YOU ARE NOT DREAMING WITH ME
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - After his mother's death, Tosni, a child of the Seri tribe, must complete the ritual that allows the soul of his mother transit to the after life. It's not easy for him to let go.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This stunning film deals with sensitive subject matter in a heartfelt way. This film is for older audiences because of the subject matter. The story follows a young boy who has just lost his mother and, in order for his relatives or guardians to help him, part of his tribe's practices is to let the deceased's belongs go in order for their spirt to transition to the after life. Unfortunately, this is something very hard for him to grasp. Teens would definitely see a lot of symbology in this film and it could lead to great discussions. The story flows and is watchable. For the most part, it makes sense. There were some sections where scenes cut away to something else that seem a little random, but it could be that the boy is dreaming. There's very little dialogue but everything is appropriate and the concepts are suitable for older kids. The idea of letting go of her belongings would be too intense to younger kids. Even the subject of losing a parent is a bit too traumatic for younger ones to be exposed to. This is quite well produced. The audio is great. You only hear his surroundings when he is by himself. The setting is perfect, especially when we are shown where he lives by the beach. He doesn't live in the best conditions but his living conditions are typical of most people in his town. It's a simple life and they are all happy. This film would be very appropriate for any teen who is dealing with the death of a loved one, whether it is a relative or a friend. I recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because, what the young boy goes through is just one of many examples of unexpected things that happen in life and how we have to learn to accept and deal with them in order to move forward. In Spanish with English sub-titles. Suitable for ages 13 to 18. Reviewed by Melanie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review above
Runtime: 14 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


NOTORIOUS CORN

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
NOTORIOUS CORN
MALLORY GROLLEAU
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - The story of a small grain of corn that dreamed about glory. He's going to succeed but unfortunately...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short film follows a single grain of corn whose ambitions are quite extraordinary. He dreams of becoming an entertainer and we see him in all his glory. The animation is pretty simple 2D with bright colors and delightful graphics. It's only 1:35 minutes but, at that, is quite fun and entertaining. From France. Accepted, recommended for ages 3 to 12.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review above
Runtime: 1 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ZTRIPES

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ZTRIPES
NICLAS WARNER
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGE 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - Ziggy is the coolest zebra on the savannah. All the other zebras worship him. You cannot wash black with white so when Ziggy goes for a dip in the water hole, he takes his stripes off. To his utter horror the stripes are stolen, and can he now return to the herd? Does it make sense to say that you are a zebra if you have no stripes?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Excellent animation, fun story, humor, animal characters, positive message that real friends will like you for who you are. Good storyline as told through the story of a cool-dude zebra who loses his social status when his stripes are stolen. The music style is suitable for kids and enjoyable for adults as well. Excellent production design. The quality of animation is as good as some of the feature films that play in theaters. Audiences of all ages can relate to this story about peer pressure and having to decide whether you can be yourself in order to be accepted. The story has a clear beginning, middle and end, with good pacing. It makes sense and is enjoyable to watch. The Zebra's fight with the giraffe could be scary for very young children in the same way as the violent parts of The Lion King are scary for very young children. I recommend this for ages 6 to 15. Reviewed by Katarzyna K., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GERM

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GERM
ZOE COHEN
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-14
Topic - Family
Description - A germaphobe embarks on an adventure in the real world as he attempts to solve an unfortunate problem.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Ha ha, I've seen this guy on an airplane I think! Zoe has captured the essence of a crazy germaphobic whose computer stops working and he has to deal with the whole idea of venturing out in public to take it to get repaired. He dresses in the most outrageous outfit, just short of a complete hazmet suit and encounters, what others might deem normal people but, to him are true threats - a girl eating a meal, a woman taking out the trash! But, he's victorious as he enters the computer repair shop and in the next scene see him happily sitting at his computer station with a glass of fine wine. And then, something else breaks down. Can't tell you what but, it's worth watching to find out. Nice student work. Good visuals and audio, well paced, good actors and storyline which is delivered in under 5 minutes. Recommended for ages 10 to 18. 4 out of 5 stars. Waiting for student ID to identify age and school level of student. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LOOP

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LOOP
ZOE COHEN
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - In the future technology of virtual reality, a man breaks the law to experience the thrill of other worlds.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Intriguing student short. This film delivers an interesting look at the world of virtual reality and how someone might become addicted to it. It's well constructed with clear video and audio and an engaging protagonist. The editing makes you wonder at times when the guy is experiencing VR and when he is not which, I suppose is the point of the whole film. The set, a rather sleazy building and sleazy looking proprietor is apropos to the theme of the film. In fact, the VR addicted man reenters the building after the proprietor has sent him off, in order to further his VR experience. The ending leaves you with a sense of wondering what is real and what is not. Recommended for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Julie Smart, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult reviews
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FEAR

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FEAR
JANAM PATEL
Series: FOREIGN STUDENT SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A teenage girl walking out of a shopping mall, finds herself being followed by a dangerous looking black sedan with headlights that keep blinking. In a bid of escaping from a confrontation, she tries other exits but this mysterious car keeps appearing as if it is stalking her. 'No matter how many exits you try to escape from, FEAR keeps chasing you'.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Recommended. This short film certainly grabs your attention as fear is something that everyone has. It can also come across as pretty scary. The story is about a girl who faces her fear when she is followed by a car at a shopping mall. The film opens with a description of different ways to handle fear - "some face it in the eye, others run away from it." The viewer is then shown eyes from different animals and segues to the panicked look in the girl's eyes as she realizes she is being followed. This is a well produced short student film by a first time 18-year-old filmmaker with locations in Dubai UAE. The film shows a montage of images of the car, apparently following the girl, her trying to get help from the security people at the mall only to find the car has disappeared. It addresses her feat and you wonder how much is real and how much is imagined. The production quality is quite good with excellent visuals and audio and good editing. The viewer is really drawn into each scene. The eyes that are shown coupled with the fast paced glimpses of the space around the girl allow the viewer to experience the girl's fear with her. It is not appropriate for very young viewers as it would be too frightening. I have a bit of an issue with the girl confronting the car. It may not be appropriate to approach a strange car that is following you. I recommend it for tweens and teens, ages 12 to 18. Adults may enjoy it as well. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Jennifer V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SNEAKY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SNEAKY
MATT SADOWSKI
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Boy loses cat. Boy meets girl.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I highly recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. This is a very clever and cute little film. The twist is adorable. The setting are quite appropriate for tween and teens. I particular enjoyed the music which really enhances the story, especially during the search scenes. It goes very well in the story. I particularly enjoyed the scene when the kids are searching for the cat. The conversations between the two kids are cute and awkward. It's very easy to relate to, because I'm sure we can all remember our first crush and the difficulty of talking with someone of the opposite sex. This film flows very well and is well produced with good camera work and good audio. The beginning is a bit awkward but it picks up in the middle and the end is a delight. There is a surprise ending that makes you giggle at the cleverness of the boy. It's funny and wonderful. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - SEE ADULT REVIEW
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO



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