Ninety-one shorts and feature films met KIDS FIRST!’s standards for combining excellence in filmmaking with pro-social benefits to be selected 2010 winners of the annual KIDS FIRST! Best Awards. High-profile theatrical releases and specialty DVD series from major studios - like How to Train Your Dragon and Shrek Forever After, both from Paramount Pictures, and Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Wow! Wow! Wubzy! - make up about one-third of winners, with indies and student productions making up the other two-thirds. Categories are, of course, arranged by age recommendations, but additionally, student and independent films are judged in their own categories to provide them the best opportunity to be judged among their peers.
Picnic Productions gave us the animated indie short “Pups of Liberty” for ages 5-8, recasting the historic Tea Party of the American Revolution with easy to differentiate players: dogs as the Americans and cats as the British. For the 5- to 12-year-olds, Sustainlane Media gives a rocking rock ‘n’ roll animation, “Gorilla in the Greenhouse: Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” that makes a strong case for environmental awareness using lingo that connects with its target audience even if it may leave some of the parents struggling to keep up. High-school student Alex Fjellberg Swerdlowe scored high marks for his live-action drama The Complex (trailer shown here), tackling adult themes with a mature hand.
Visit http://www.kidsfirst.org/filmfestival/2010/Best2010Winners.html to see the complete list of this year’s winners, with links to some of the shorts. More about the awards, including previous years’ winners, are also on the KIDS FIRST! website’s Best Awards page. KIDS FIRST! will be launching a virtual film festival this year where all short films accepted for festival play will be available to view online. Watch for the announcement.
KIDS FIRST! Best Awards are given annually to films and screenplays that have screened at the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals and special screenings nationally and world-wide. The nominees are drawn from more than 800 titles that are submitted to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Then, from the 300 that are accepted, five nominees in each of 30-plus categories are selected. The first-, second- and third-place winners are determined by our senior jury, comprised of child development specialists, media professionals and film programmers.