Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

KIDS FIRST! Festival Title Labou Launched by MGM!

Friday, May 29th, 2009

One of the hits of the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival a year ago was the pirate tale, Labou. Now, this wonderful story of best friends, a totally weird creature from the swamps of Louisiana and dead pirates is available at all the big stores, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Amazon on May 19th.
You can get Labou t-shirts, posters and hats at www.laboustuff, but check out the film at
Congrats to everyone from KIDS FIRST! 

Two KIDS FIRST! Titles Rolling out in May

Monday, May 4th, 2009

trainmaster-mti-sm.jpgThe Train Master releases to DVD May 12th, immediately following National Train Day May 9th . Moving Pictures Film & Television LLC acquired The Train Master in late 2008 and the film is also available on Starz Pay for View.
Monterey Media, a long time sponsor of KIDS FIRST!, acquired Bracelet of Bordeaux this year and plans the theatrical for May 18th. The DVD releases July 14th  Check out more information
Another KIDS FIRST! title, The Controller was featured on Starz Family and Friends in April.
Train Master
62 year old Jeremiah Wilson is truly the Train Master of Willamette Western Railroad. He lives, breaths, and eats railroad. When Brett Banner, 32 year old heir to New York Eastern talks his dad into purchasing Willamette Western, there is immediately a clash between himself and Jeremiah. Jeremiah is fired by Brett two years from retirement and turns into a angry, depressed grandfather. When Brett’s nine year old son Justin realizes Jeremiah’s grandson Thomas can drive a locomotive, he kidnaps and holds Thomas’ favorite dinosaur ransom. Justin, Thomas and 3 other children board an old engine in for repairs and accidentally turns it into runaway engine causing a chain reaction of events. Available on
Bracelet of Bordeaux
Written by: Frank Eakin
Directed by: Casey Kelly
Starring: Ally Claire Carson, Kelsey Edwards, Shane Kelly, Shane Savage
Someone is dognapping the canine citizens of Chem City, Texas! Two pre-teen girls overcome danger and conspiracies as they set out to solve the crime and administer justice with the help of a magical bracelet. As the girls battle the Mob, a punk gang and a crooked cop, they learn something about friendship, courage and the importance of hanging with the right crowd.

25th Annual USA KidFilm January 24th & 25th in Dallas

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

finn_sm.jpgFor the 5th straight year, KIDS FIRST! is providing great programming for the USA KidFilm festival in Dallas. This year’s top film is one of the KIDS FIRST! favorites for the year, Finn on the Fly. This wacky film from Canada is about a boy, his dog (Finn) and a nutty neighbor whose experiments cause Finn to turn into a boy. . . Finn on the Fly screened at the Santa Fe Film Festival and will also be screened this spring at a number of KIDS FIRST! festivals, including Tiburon Film Festival, Beloit Film Festival, and Sedona International Film Festival. Check out where this fun film is screening at

Santa Claus Comes to Town and KIDS FIRST! attends the 5th International Film Festival Summit

Friday, December 12th, 2008

iffs.jpgSanta Claus made an appearance at the screening of Finn on the Fly and gave away Eloise: Little Miss Christmas, Thomas and Friends: Ultimate Christmas and The Happy Elf to all the kids attending. They also received Wubbzy stickers and toys at the Santa Fe Film Festival, Saturday, December 6th.
The 5th Annual IFFS has held in Las Vegas this week. Both Ranny Levy and Ann Church from KIDS FIRST! attended the summit that started Sunday, December 7th. Ranny participated on a panel discussion regarding year around programming. This is an important summit for film festivals to attend as it is truly the only networking location for festival people. I was able to finally meet many of the festival directors that we have worked with over a number of years, including Denver, Ashland, Oxford, Atlanta and made some incredible contacts interested in children’s programming.
Many of the events addressed and were moderated by the large festivals, Sundance, Tribeca and Telluride, but the small breakout sessions were the gems of the summit. Additionally, afternoon gatherings allowed for easy interaction between the attendees and sponsors, B-Side, Without a Box and IMDb. The summit ran a full 2 ½ days and one way to determine the success is that on the final afternoon, the room was still full and the conversations still interesting.
As with many young festivals, there is still much that can be added to help the small to mid size festivals.  This year’s hot topic seemed to be about film distribution and the economy, with some sessions designed to help with budgeting and board retention. I suggest that if you are a festival director or programming, this should be on your radar for next year.

Finn on the Fly at the Santa Fe Film Festival Dec. 6th

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

finn_sm.jpgSaturday at 10 am at the DeVargas Theater, join KIDS FIRST!, the Santa Fe Film Festival, Los Alamos National Bank for a FREE screening of Finn on the Fly. Also showing is the delightful short, Dear Fatty. Santa will be there before the show with goodies, including Wubbzy give aways. Tickets are FREE, but need to be pickedup in advance at the festival box office at 519 Cerrillos. For more info See you there!

Saugatuck Children’s Film Festival Nov. 17-21

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

dearfatty_saugatuck.jpgsaugatucklogo.jpgBeginning Monday, November 17th, the Saugatuck Center for the Arts starts its run of KIDS FIRST! independent films. The lineup includes student films, including Super Kitten and the Power Pets, from middle schooler, Peter Gundling to one of my personal favorites, Dear Fatty. Public screenings are Saturday, November 22nd. This is the first year that KIDS FIRST! has partnered with SCA, which is located in Saugatuck, MI. 


For tickets and information, go to or call 26*-857-2399. 


In 2001 a group of citizens established a fully-recognized 501 (C) 3 not-for-profit corporation and purchased the factory building that housed the former Lloyd J. Harriss Pie Company at

400 Culver Street

, Saugatuck. With grants from the State of Michigan “Cool City” initiative, Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the ARCUS Gay and Lesbian Fund, The Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation, The Perrigo Foundation, and generous corporate and private donations, today the renovated pie factory is the home of Saugatuck Center for the Arts (SCA). The SCA runs a year-round program of high quality arts programming. 

Local news from Santa Fe and KIDS FIRST!

Friday, October 31st, 2008

balletshoes.jpgKIDS FIRST! has partnered with the Santa Fe Film Festival for children’s programming year around and its annual film festival, which is Dec. 3-7. November kicks off a new partnership with a local sponsor, Los Alamos National Bank. The bank sponsors weekly free screenings at the Film Center. The new Emma Watson film, Ballet Shoes is screening November 1st. Free tickets are available at both Los Alamos National Bank lobbies. Free kid films are every Saturday morning at 10am at the Film Center on St. Michaels Drive.

Halloween is coming soon and theaters are playing . . .

Monday, October 20th, 2008

fatalbertshalloweenspecial.jpggoosebumpswave6-a.jpgFavorites for Halloween are the R.L. Stine Goosebumps stories, One Day at Horrorland, Monster Blood and A Night in Terror Tower. As Jon Bowman, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Film Festival says, “If you are going to scare kids, this is the time of year!” The Goosebumps series has been in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for several years and will play this coming weekend at the Key West Film Society, the Film Center at Cinema Cafe, the Denver Film Society and the Austin Public Library. For the younger set, KIDS FIRST! has Fat Alberts Halloween Special. Be safe and have fun!


Creature Discomforts campaigns to change the way people think about disabilities

Monday, July 21st, 2008

flash_1.pngLeonard Cheshire Disability campaigns to change the way people think about, and respond to, disability. Since the campaign launched last November, thousands of people have expressed their desire to change their attitudes. The Creature Discomforts commercials were specially commissioned by Leonard Cheshire Disability from award-winning studio Aardman Animations.
Leonard Cheshire Disability supports over 21,000 disabled people in the UK and works in 52 countries. They campaign for change and provide innovative services that give disabled people the opportunity to live life their way.
Working Globally for Inclusive Development
Leonard Cheshire Disability works with over 250 independently managed disability organizations in 54 countries. The programs support people with disabilities and push disability up political and development agendas.
Leonard Cheshire Disability supports access to a good quality education that meets the needs of every child with disabilities
Economic independence for people with disabilities is a goal.
Health and rehabilitation
Programs build local capacity among both families and community service providers 
Support for everyday living
Mobility, transport, social activities, accessible accommodation, respite care and day services: all are included in the ongoing support programs.
Policy and campaigns
Campaigns promote the human rights of people with disabilities and push for disability to be higher on the international agenda 
Run jointly with UCL, the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre provides an evidence base for our programs Share the commercials and messages with others!

The First of May Launches on DVD

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008


KIDS FIRST! is thrilled to announce the DVD launch of The First of May. This movie was one of the first indie titles in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Through KIDS FIRST! introductions, the wonderful indie film was picked and licensed this year. 

Review By Buzz McClain — Video Business, 6/2/2008 Cast of legends led by Joe DiMaggio puts this family film over the top. 

If there is a market for films grandparents can watch with their school-age grandchildren, this one from 1999 will be at the top of the chart. Despite a mind-bending drop-in by Joe DiMaggio as a baseball sage, The First of May starts off at a creaky pace. But gentle magic happens once the principals—young Dan Byrd as an 11-year-old foster-home runaway who befriends neglected senior citizen Julie Harris—get to the circus owned by Mickey Rooney (with Charles Nelson Reilly on hand as a clown). The overarching theme of family is inescapable but conveyed carefully. The title, by the way, refers to a circus rookie. 

Shelf Talk: Compelling live-action family films without a single moment of questionable behavior are few and far between, but this one can be recommended with confidence. Legends Harris, Rooney, Reilly and the Yankee Clipper himself (in his last film appearance) will appeal to an underserviced age demographic, and Byrd recently ended a run in CW sitcom Aliens in America. The worthy 20-minute bonus “A Tribute to Joe DiMaggio” details how the baseball player became involved in the film and spent months learning his lines. Questar boosted May with a viral marketing campaign via YouTube and is developing retailer-specific promos. 

Family drama, color, G (nothing offensive), 111 min., DVD $14.99 

Extras: Joe DiMaggio tribute Director: Paul Sirmons 

First Run: DVD premiere 

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