Archive for the 'Film Festivals' Category

KIDS FIRST! Filmmakers Win Awards at My Hero Project

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Congratulations to Lynne Cherry, Diane and Karen Lampiasi and David Bunting on winning awards at the 2011 My Hero Project. The mission of MY HERO is to use media and technology to celebrate the best of humanity and to empower people of all ages to realize their own potential to effect positive change in the world.

210309.jpg210309.jpgThe not-for-profit project is supported by visitors of all ages who share stories, art, and short films on our award-winning multimedia journal and digital library.

Announcing the KIDS FIRST! Online Film Festival

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Enjoy your favorite shorts and have fun with all the new shorts arriving daily. The online films feature shorts from current favorites and best of fest for past years. Check it out http://shorts.kidsfirstmedia.com.  Filmmakers, we have a special 2 for 1 submission fee for shorts now through December 31, 2011. Enter now.

Ready to become the next KIDS FIRST! Film Critic? If so, here are some video tips.

Monday, August 30th, 2010

090806_EmmaKenney_01_0196_2_1_.jpgYou have to enter a 3 minute film review in order to be eligible to win the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics’ Search, but what if you are new to production and video? Well, these 2 sites have some great tips for production, so check out both http://www.flipvideospotlight.com/ and www.blip.tv/learning. The Flip site gives you great examples of how to use the new Flip camera for video clips, including how to make mini movies and what software (that’s even free) you can get for better editing. The Blip.Tv site is really in depth, so be prepared to spend time, but they are the upcoming internet TV site, having just raised another $10.1 million from Canaan and Bain.

Also, follow the discussion guides for the search films and use your vocabulary! Just click on individual films and download the guides. http://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/FilmCriticsCampaign.html and http://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/FilmVocabulary.pdf 

You can upload your video clip at http://www.wonderworldtv.com/kidsfirst/ and upload early. The finalists are chosen by popular vote so give your friends and family time to make you a winner.

 

“Stranger” Give Us a Lovely Snapshot of Rural Life in Iran

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Stranger5.jpgA new KIDS FIRST! Film “Stranger” just joined the film festival lineup. Set in a beautiful rural village in Iran, a new teacher moves to the village to educate the children. A young widow attracts the attention of the teacher, but a local, wealthy (and married) villager is in love with the widow. The villager schemes to run the teacher out of town and torches the school to force him to leave. The teacher saves a student caught in the fire, but leaves so the village can live in peace.

MuchStranger4.jpg of the interest of this film is the view of life in rural Iran that we never see. The basic issues woman’s right in Iranian society are portrayed here with the men wearing polo shirts and the women dressed from the 14th century. The male dominated society is portrayed when the wealthy villager forces his wife to accept the possibility of the young widow living in their home and the widow’s brother threatens to beat her if she does not obey his orders. However, the widow does own a small piece of property that her recently deceased father bequeathed to her.

The film is beautifully shot and although sub-titled, easy to follow. Recommended Ages: 12-18. Runtime 90 minutes.

KIDS FIRST! at the University of Hawaii.

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

UH3.jpgAs always, Ann Brandman, Executive Director of the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Outreach College presented a fun-filled summer of films for kids this summer. Over 1,000 kids and adults attended the Sunday series of screenings, that included Barbie in a Mermaid Tale, Plastic Perils of the Pacfiic, Duck on a Bike, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy: Wubbzy Goes for the Green and Do Unto Otters. El Salon Mexico and Alex and the Ghosts made their Hawaiian debut, as did Alba and Grandfather’s Journey.

This was the fourth summer that Brandman has presented the free film series at the University. The program is supported by KIDS FIRST! and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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Summer Camp Film Fun

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

SpringScience.jpgThe Parent Services Center in Tyler, Texas is helping over 600 kids have a great summer and experience the fun of KIDS FIRST! films. Every week, the kids in the summer camp centers focus on one of the Weston Woods titles in the film festival, like In A Small Pond. On Monday, the kids discuss the film and its objectives. On Tuesday, the participate in the “before viewing activities” that are included in all the Weston Woods titles. Wednesday is movie day and Thursday is a “after viewing activity” day. In A Small Pond, the kids learn about frogs, tadpoles, geese and other creatures that live in the pond. The kids are having a wonderful summer and learning about environmental issues, art, film and fun. After the week of Scooby, Dooby Moo, the kids hosted a talent contest for the camp!

Thanks to Executive Director Shelly Judd and the Parent Service Center for designing such a creative program for the youth in the Tyler area. They will finish the summer with a special Film Festival day in August.

From WorldKids in Mumbai, Three Films to Captivate You

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

how-i-taught.jpgFrom our wonderful film partners at WorldKids in Mumbai, India come three extraordinary tales of everyday life. I am captivated by the lighthearted, yet wise young children in “How I Taught My Grandmother to Read” and “Victor and the Vanquished (Kaun Jeeta Kaun Hara).” These children share their lives with grandparents and live a less complicated live as we would see it, but in the grandmother’s words in “How I Taught My Grandmother to Read,” not knowing how to read is quite like being blind. In “Victor and the Vanquished” young Pappu is learning that arguments in a family or marriage are not about winning, but sometimes about losing gracefully.

“True Insight (Samyaktva)” recalls the magic realism of the 13th century Indian literature where miracles and symbolism explained the timeless wisdom of the sages. Samyaktva integrates subtle moral reasoning with dramatic narrative and depicts the sheer importance and power of ancient Indian wisdom as the path to peace.

From WorldKids, Mumbai. Available this summer in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival Sections “How I Taught My Grandmother to Read” 42 minutes, English subtitles, Ages 8-12 

“Victor and the Vanquished (Kaun Jeeta Kaun Hara)” 40 minutes, English subtitles, Ages 8-12  “True Insight (Samyaktva)” 49 minutes, English subtitles, Ages 12-18 

How to Train Your Dragon and We Love Our Partners!

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

blog-httyd.jpgLast week was a blast for four of the KIDS FIRST! partners, the Avalon Theater in Washington DC, the Phoenix Film Society, the Lone Star Film Society at the Movie Tavern in Ft. Worth and the Denver Film Society. Each hosted an advance screening of the new Dreamworks film, How to Train Your Dragon.

Along with a capacity theater, the Phoenix Film Society hosted a book drive for a local school phoenix.jpgas part of “Read Across America” and took in 7 big bags full of books for kids. They also invited 60 kids and their parents from the school receiving the books to the screening.  

The Lone Star Film Society hosted the screening in 3D at the new Movie Tavern in Ft. Worth. The Lone Star Film Society programs with KIDS FIRST! at all the major art museums in Ft. Worth including the Modern Museum of Art and the Amon Carter.

Film societies that go the extra mile and reach out to kids give them an opportunity to see film in on the big screen. These societies are engaging kids in media and film in a very positive way, fulfilling one of the very important mission statements of KIDS FIRST!, which is to make quality  media more available to kids.

To be sure you are on the ticket list for advance screening, sign up for the KIDS FIRST! newsletter and be the first to know where the screenings are in your area!

Beloit International Film Festival Hosts “You make the movie!”

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

elsalon2.jpgFor the second year, the Beloit International Film Festival has reached out to thousands of local kids during their winter film festival. Film festivals, consider using this model to expand your community outreach and increase attendance and awareness for your own festival.
This year, over 1,500 kids participated during the week in a remarkable Junior Film Critics workshop where the kids screened films with an Hispanic theme, El Salon Mexico, El Duelo, Manantial and Cuento de la C, had lively discussions and wrote reviews about what they saw.
The Saturday free lineup at the local library featured the theme “You make the movie!” The kids had a blast learning about making film.
First they learned about some of the major components of production from volunteers from the Beloit Memorial High School Theater Department. Then the kids chose what role they would like to play in producing a short film. Again, with the assistance of the Beloit facilitators, they wrote a script, rehearsed and prepared actors, directed the filming of the movie and then helped produce it.
The KIDS FIRST! Sunday screenings consisted of a shorts program of:
The Little Drummer Boy: Joyful music and Ezra Keats’ glowing illustrations combine to celebrate the nativity in this new iconographic adaptation of the classic Christmas song.
One Zillion Valentines: Two enterprising friends, Milton and Marvin, prove that valentines are for everyone by making, giving away, and selling one zillion special ones.
Sam and the Lucky Money: In this colorfully illustrated story, Sam goes with his mother to Chinatown on Chinese New Year’s day to spend his traditional gift of lucky money on whatever he chooses.
Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Fever: Gustafer comes to Earth in his Sunpod and lands in Minnesota where he live out his dream of a cooler existence, making new and interesting friends along the way.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place– a pigeon! But you’ve never met one like this before.
The first feature opened with a short, Devil in the Drain.  A devil in the drain who likes pretzels leads to unexpected twists. Based on a Daniel Pinkwater story and followed by Etienne!: After Richard’s best and only friend, a dwarf hamster named Etienne, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he decides to take him on a bicycle road trip up the California coast to show hi the world before he must put him to sleep.
The final feature presentation was Broken Hill: Tommy was born and raised on a rocky, drought-ridden sheep station in the middle of the Australian Outback. He works at the station and does all he can to appease his demanding father but in his heart he wants to be a great musician. that all changes when Tommy meets his new classmate Kat, a bold and brash beauty, who at first doesn’t notice him at all.
Congrats again to Rod Beaudoin, Jason Vincent and all the staff on making film fun and available to kids and families!
 

This week’s film festival spotlight is on two feature films, Jake’s Corner and The Magistical

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

jakescorner2.jpgJake’s Corner is the story of an ex-football star, Johnny Dunn, who walked away from the game early in his career to live a relatively secluded life far from the spotlight in a small desert town he owns, called Jake’s Corner. Johnny’s quiet life is altered dramatically when he is forced to care for his young nephew, Spence.

 

The story flows well and stars Richard Tyson as Johnny Dunn, Diane Ladd as Fran and Danny Trejo as Clint. If, as a kid, you ever fantasized about going to live with your favorite uncle or aunt, who is slightly unconventional, this gives you an ideal of what it might be like. We aged it up due to the story taking place in a bar that the uncle owns and the fact that the parents’ death is hidden from the child.

Jake’s Corner. Live Action. 97 minutes. Recommended Age 10-15 

 

magistical2.jpgIn the tale of The Magistical, an evil draken, an eccentric emperor, a corpulent king, a war, a mess of midgeons and a friend in need must be saved by one small boy who must leave to believe.

 

This beautifully animated feature weaves a tale about learning to believe in yourself and expresses themes of friendship and love. The animation quality is simply outstanding and beautiful. The storyline takes a while to take off, then wanders a bit but pulls it together in the end. I watched this with an 8-year-old who wiggled around for the first 15 to 20 minutes but after that, stayed with it, even explaining to me at times what was going on.

 

The Magistical. Animated. 99 minutes. Recommended Age 8-12 

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