Archive for the 'For Producers' Category

Calling all Indie Filmmakers! Submit Your Films Now for a KIDS FIRST! Endorsement.

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Submit.Nov.2014.Horiz.jpgFor all indie filmmakers, you have until November 30 to submit your films for a KIDS FIRST! Endorsement. To get your endorsement before the end of 2014, send it in today.

The sooner you get it to us, the quicker you get your endorsement.KIDS FIRST! has been supporting quality children’s media for 23 years and is the most highly respected media endorsement program in the country. Unlike an awards program which limits the number of winners, every title that meets our criteria and is approved by our kids’ juries receives an endorsement. Our base-line criteria includes:

NO gratuitous violence or abuse
NO inappropriate sexual behavior
NO bias in terms of race, gender, culture or religion
NO condescension toward children
NO replicable unsafe behavior

KIDS FIRST! Endorsed Titles Receive

  • The right to use the KIDS FIRST! endorsement seal and rating on all promotional and packaging materials..
  • A unique title landing page on the KIDS FIRST! website featuring reviews by our jurors, your trailer or sample clip, cover art and link to your website to purchase.
  • Consideration for a KIDS FIRST! Best Award
  • Coverage on the KIDS FIRST! Radio Show, KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions (100,000 listeners)
  • Promoted in KIDS FIRST! News (45,000 readers/mo)
  • Promoted on KIDS FIRST! Social media (450,000 reach)

For more information, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org/submit-a-title/ KF_logo.JPG

KIDS FIRST! Accepting Submissions Now for Endorsements and Film Festival Entries

Monday, September 30th, 2013

KF_logo.JPGYou may submit your films, DVDs, Audio Recording, Games and Apps now through October 15 for a KIDS FIRST! Endorsement and now through October 30 for Film Festival entries. Screenplays may be submitted at any time. For more info or to enter, go here.

KIDS FIRST! has been supporting quality children’s media for 22 years and is the most highly respected media endorsement program in the country. Unlike an awards program which limits the number of winners, every title that meets our criteria and is approved by our kids’ juries receives an endorsement. Our base-line criteria includes:

  • NO gratuitous violence or abuse
  • NO inappropriate sexual behavior
  • NO bias in terms of race, gender, culture or religion
  • NO condescension toward children
  • NO replicable unsafe behavior

KIDS FIRST! Endorsed Titles Receive

  • The right to use the KIDS FIRST! endorsement seal and rating on all promotional and packaging materials..
  • A unique title landing page on the KIDS FIRST! website
  • featuring reviews by our jurors, your trailer or sample clip, cover art and link to your website to purchase.
  • Consideration for a KIDS FIRST! Best Award
  • Coverage on the KIDS FIRST! Radio Show, KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions (100,000 listeners/month)
  • Promoted in KIDS FIRST! News (45,000 readers/mo)
  • Promoted on KIDS FIRST! Social media (450,000 reach)

KIDS FIRST! recently announced their new partnership with John Wood who joins us as a judge for audio recordings. John brings his considerable experience of decades as a children’s audio reviewer and awards judge to the re-launch of our CD endorsement program.  Children’s recording artists, specializing in both music and spoken word, know the name of John Wood whose kidzmusic.com website is revered by anyone interested in great music and recordings for children. Parents concerned about the lyrics in current pop music and curious enough to venture beyond the blockbuster releases found at any box store know that kidzmusic offers great CDs for their kids.

With John Wood joining KIDS FIRST!, the prestigious KIDS FIRST! endorsement gives musicians and spoken word artists an opportunity to take advantage of the branding power that KIDS FIRST! offers them. What a great combination. The judging period runs September 1 to October 15, 2013. To submit your  music or spoken word recordings, go here.

KIDS FIRST! has supported quality children’s media since 1991 and is the most highly respected media endorsement program in the country. Unlike awards’ programs which limit the number of winners, every title that meets the KIDS FIRST! criteria and is approved by the judges, receives an endorsement. Once a title is endorsed, it receives its own unique landing page on the KIDS FIRST! website, with a review, a music or spoken word clip, the cover art and a link to purchase. Additionally, the reviews of endorsed media are promoted to the KIDS FIRST! media network throughout the year where they reach an audience of 3+ million.

KIDS FIRST! is a project of the 22-year-old, national nonprofit, Coalition for Quality Children’s Media whose mission is to teach children critical thinking skills so they can become informed media users and to promote quality children’s media to the general public.

KIDS FIRST! is supported by major entertainment companies including Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, AOL Kids, HDNet Movies, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Universal and Sony as well as Grand Magazine, Working Mother, National Association of Parenting Publications and Voice America Radio Network.

To submit a title, go to  http://www.kidsfirst.org/submit-a-title/kf-what-endorsement.html
For more information about John Wood go to http://www.kidsfirst.org/about-us/Board_Staff_Bios_John.Wood.html

Keep Those Film Submissions Coming for the KIDS FIRST! Festivals

Monday, June 25th, 2012

KF_logo.JPGThe early deadline for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival submissions is extended to June 30! That most economical of times to submit a film for festival consideration will hold all the way through the month. Send us your application by June 30 and pay only $20-$40 per title (see the “submit a title” page on our website for an explanation of categories and fees). KIDS FIRST! screens films at more than 100 children’s film festival venues around the country.

Other deadlines for this submission period are:
July 10, for the regular deadline
July 20, for the late deadline
July 25, for the extended late deadline for CQCM members and Withoutabox

Deadlines refer to the date we receive your submission application, not your product, so there is still time to submit for the early deadline!

The next submission period will start in December, for the second of our two annual submission periods.

While we have two submission periods for films, we accept screenplays year-round. Fee is a flat $55.

All screenplay entries will receive written, detailed feedback, and we’ve heard from many screenwriters that they’ve found this a marvelous opportunity to make their screenplays even stronger. Screenplays are now eligible for our KIDS FIRST! Recommended logo, too – and will be considered for the KIDS FIRST! Best Screenplay Award.

Our KIDS FIRST! Best webpage is up and running. Check it out to see films and trailers of our nominated and winning titles. Most of our nominees from the 2012 KIDS FIRST! Best Awards have given us permission to highlight their nominated and/or winning film or trailer on our new KIDS FIRST! Best site. Check it out here. Congratulations to all our nominees for making great children’s films!

We will be giving KIDS FIRST! Best Awards twice per year. We’ve made this change to align with the twice-a-year submission schedule (now just mid year and late year instead of quarterly.)

Don’t miss out! Send in your submission application by June 30 to be eligible for early deadline entry fees!

PR Tips for Indie Producers

Monday, January 31st, 2011

EvaMarieDamore_clipart.JPGKIDS FIRST! knows there’s a lot of good programming out there for kids and families. We also know it needs an audience to make it worthwhile. Active KIDS FIRST! supporter Eva Marie Damore shares tips with producers working in the independent realm on how to give their product its best shot at getting in front of that audience. Her firm, Damore Public Relations, has handled children’s CDs from Rhythm Child, Anni Zola and The SqueeGees, plus a preschool DVD from Cinema Werx.

How Public Relations is Important to Independent Producers

As an independent producer launching a children’s DVD, CD or book, you hope to sell lots of product so you can become successful and profitable. It can be daunting when you find out there are so many components to factor in prior to launching a product: distribution, sales strategy, packaging, marketing and public relations.

These are difficult economic times and our natural instinct is to cut corners wherever we can. When creating your budget, public relations is an area you don’t want to cut; in fact, you want to make sure you allocate funds so that your product gets the national exposure it deserves. You might have the most innovative CD, DVD or book, but your target audience won’t know about it without a thorough public relations strategy. This can include a multi-media campaign consisting of consumer and parenting magazines, regional and local publications, newspaper, radio, television, news websites and blogs. An active social networking program is also vital to increasing your visibility with potential consumers. A fan page on Facebook and a twitter stream of what’s happening with the new product are great one-on-one connections for consumers.

A solid public relations campaign can increase product sales and visibility, and get your product recognized and in front of your target consumer, who’s already inundated with a myriad of children’s products. Below are four crucial steps independent producers should consider prior to launching a product.

1. Think smart and create a budget and timeline prior to launching your product. Whether you’re self-distributing or have an agency handling your product, you want to make sure you have a budget that covers pre- and post-production costs. Include miscellaneous expenses such as shipping and postage charges or extra packaging supplies. A timeline will remind you of critical deadlines for completed artwork, editing, packaging and distribution of final product.

2. Include marketing and publicity in your budget. A good publicist will discuss short and long-term strategies. Various consumer magazines have long lead editorial deadlines, so contacting the right editor three to six months prior to your product launch is crucial. Also, there are several award competitions your product might qualify for that your publicist can suggest for submission. Your publicist can explore interesting and creative “hooks” that will get your product to stand out from similar, related items. You may have an interesting story as to how your product came about or inspirations that led you to produce the CD or DVD or put fingers to a keyboard to write a book.

3. Have samples of your product available to media prior to its launch. Offer a free download from your upcoming CD so media can sample your musical style, a book galley for reviewers or a promo or trailer of your DVD.

4. Don’t be afraid to contact small, boutique PR firms for representation. Many of the smaller firms are headed by former corporate executives who came from larger PR firms. These executives are professional, media savvy and will give you — the client — the attention you and your product deserve.

KIDS FIRST! Mid June 2010 News

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief – A KIDS FIRST! DVD Review

Celebrate Father’s Day in Santa Fe, New Mexico by watching “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” at Warehouse 21 at 1 p.m.This is one of many exciting activities. Read more about the Father’s Day Fiesta on the Reel Fathers website.

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” is a film our family of KIDS FIRST! jurors unanimously voted to keep in our own personal DVD library. It was too good to watch just one time. The ancient gods meet the modern world as Zeus accuses a young demi-god of stealing his lightning bolt. Never knowing he was part god, Poseidon’s son, Percy, is suddenly thrust into another world where he has exceptional powers, and must enter the depths of Hades to prevent a war among the gods. This film was particularly appealing because it clues a viewer in to the inner workings of Greek mythology, yet ties the mythology into the modern world.

Not only is the story and imagery captivating, but it also promotes a strong sense of family bonds in a very realistic way. Percy feels like his father abandoned him, and we see the relationship develop between father and son as the plot-line develops and Percy discovers that his father never abandoned him. Although gods couldn’t be with their children after birth, the father was always in Percy’s mind, helping him when he needed help. There is a poignant scene near the end where father and son come face-to-face and have a realistic confrontation.

The cinematography is so crisp, smooth and detailed that some of the evil characters were almost too scary for young viewers. Hades, in his god-form, is particularly scary, and the snakes that surrounded Medusa’s head seem incredibly lifelike. While this might make the film inappropriate for younger viewers, these aspects are part of what made the film such a success with the teen and tween audience.

The adventurous story shows how a common, somewhat dorky boy, can find something special within himself. It took his dyslexic and ADHD tendencies, and turned them into powerful weapons against the enemy. It’s a good message for viewers, seeing how things that can be perceived as negative attributes can be really be used as strengths. Viewers who watch this film might become inspired to learn more about Greek mythology.

KIDS FIRST! Child Jurors who watched it were recalling stories they knew from childhood even as the credits rolled. They began discussing what it would be like, and how they would act, if they were the young heroes in the film. A 17-year-old girl viewing the film was excited about the reminder of the stories she loved in her youth. The 10- and 13-year-old boys loved the sword fighting and special effects.

A 16-year-old boy summed it up: The visuals were stunning, and the music was fit for the story. I loved the models and animation with the monsters like the Hydra. It actually looked realistic. The only thing I didn’t like about this movie is that the story was extremely predictable (a point the younger children disagreed with). I was able to call out what was going to happen dozens of minutes before it happened, such as needing the 4th pearl to bring his mother and his friends back (the other kids did notice this, also, but it added to the drama for them and made them feel smart). I was also able to predict who would stay in Hades. This movie is great for a wide spectrum of age groups; probably between 7-16. Adults would like it, too.  Overall I think this movie was pretty good. I’d give it an  8/10.

Join the KIDS FIRST! Facebook Page

KIDS FIRST! has a Facebook Fan page where you can share information about children’s media. To participate, go to the KIDS FIRST! Facebook Page and click on “Like.”

Raven Tales Comes to the Smithsonian Channel in July

If you’re ready for a good story, then turn on your television in July of 2010 to catch the KIDS FIRST! Palmer Vision Award-winning title, “Raven Tales,” on The Smithsonian Channel. The animated series,  geared for 5 to 12-year-olds, is drawn from Native American folklore. Chris Keintz, co-author and executive producer of the series is a master of the art of narrative, the technique to telling stories.

The series tells the tales of Raven, the mythical legend supposedly responsible for the creation of the world. The stories highlight the wild and funny adventures of Raven, the most powerful, and one might add, trickiest troublemaker of First Nations Folklore. He is joined by his steadfast brother, Eagle, and the mysterious Frog. The trickster myths of the Northwest Coast form the backbone to “Raven Tales,” the first animated film to be done by an all Canadian aboriginal team.

Chris Kientz (Cherokee) is an American/Canadian animator, television producer and director. His goal of keeping the tales authentic has opened the door to a resurgence of interest in Native American legends. The characters in “Raven Tales” look like those found in Northwest Coast wood carvings, and the stories echo from antiquity. The music is hauntingly beautiful.

Keintz’s work has appeared at the Smithsonian Institution as well as animation festivals worldwide. Currently he continues this work on behalf of the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University where he is the Director of Technology Innovation. He currently serves on the New Mexico Governor’s Council on Film and Media Industries to advise on digital media and tax incentives for media production and post production. He is also a consultant on animation for the Creative Media Institute at New Mexico State University. In addition he is a senior consultant for National Geographic Media Arts.

Look for “Raven Tales” on The Smithsonian Channel in July, and check out the “Raven Tales” website for more details on the series.

Are You a Winner? These DVDs Want to be Yours

Enter our June sweepstakes for a chance to win a free copy of one of the following fantastic KIDS FIRST! titles: Barney or Thomas On-The-Go-Pack, Jim Henson’s Dog City: The Movie, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The Hidden Treasures of Wompkee World Plus a Wompkee Finger Puppet and Jackie Chan’s The Spy Next Door.

Congratulations to our May winners: Chris, Melissa, Sheila, Christina, Gilda, Shana, Cindy, Leslie, Michelle, Nancy, MaryGrace, Charice, Peter, Cathy, Marilyn, Denise, Eddy, Elizabeth, Erica, Christina, Dania, Bonnie, James , Valerie and Pat.

Granny Ranny’s Coming Attractions

Toy Story 3 – Funny, Clever and Full of Adventure
After 11 years, the wait is finally over for fans of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story franchise with the release of Toy Story 3.  It… – Read More!

PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest
A panel of America’s foremost children’s authors, illustrators and content experts will serve as final judges in the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, a national-local contest designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning … Read More!

Ann’s Marketing Memes

From WorldKids in Mumbai, Three Films to Captivate You
From our wonderful film partners at WorldKids in Mumbai, India come three extraordinary tales of everyday life. I am captivated by the … – Read More!

Lauren’s Critics’ Corner

3 Reasons to Become a KIDS FIRST! Juror Now
1. The training is still FREE
2. Summer’s coming and you’ll need some indoor air-conditioned activities
3. You can provide a fun summer … – Read More!

ABOUT CQCM AND KIDS FIRST!

The Coalition for Quality Children’s Media is a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1991 whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media. The Coalition is a voluntary collaboration comprising more than 10,000 media professionals, lobbyists, policymakers, child advocates, educators, parents and families nationwide. More.

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