to the KIDS FIRST!® Home
Pollock, Newsletter Editor
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
me, the great hope is that now, with these ...video recorders
and stuff coming out, that ... some little girl from Ohio
will ...make a beautiful movie ...and for once the so-called
professionalism about movies will be destroyed forever and
it will really become an art form." -Francis Ford
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
July 4, 2006 Issue #7
Christine L. Pollock, Editor
Ranny Levy, Publisher
1. Letters from the Editor, President,
2. Web Store Features
4. New Endorsements
5. Festival Titles
6. New Members/Renewing Members
7. Member News
8. Media News
9. Family and Parenting News
10. Purgatory House by Christine L. Pollock
11. Crafts and Activities: Young
Children Creating Film from Dr. Toy and "My First Film"
12. Festival City Schedule and Events
13. Special Offers
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is
granted with complete attribution.
Significance of Sound
- Interview with Jeff Kinder, audio
director at Magick Lantern Digital Studio
Bridges, Actor and Father
Jinkins and Fantastic Film Festival Events
KIDS FIRST!® logo store
Your purchase of hats, T-shirts, baby jumpers, bibs,
and totes benefit KIDS FIRST!®
an Affiliate of the
KIDS FIRST!® Web Store
Coalition for Quality Children's Media is a national,
not-for-profit organization founded in 1991. Because we
believe that media profoundly affect children, our mission
is to 1) teach children critical viewing skills and 2) to
increase the visibility and availability of quality children's
2006 Jan 3 / Jan
18 / Feb 7 / Feb
21 / Mar 14/ Mar
28 / Apr 4 / Apr
25 / May 2/ May
16 / June 6
Links to newsletters from 2005 or earlier
may be found at the bottom of this page
Welcome to KIDS
FIRST!® NEWS. All articles are by Coalition for Quality Children's
Media unless otherwise noted.
Have you ever
gone to a film you thought would be all right, only to leave the
theater in a daze because the film was incredibly powerful. A month
later, you're still thinking about it and realize that it has changed
the way you view life. This happened to me after viewing the KIDS
FIRST! festival title, Purgatory
House. I viewed it in preparation for the article below,
and highly recommend it for parents to watch with their teens. It's
a bit controversial, but very thought-provoking, and opens wide
doors for discussion. For
the younger children, I have to highly recommend Under
the Stars and Stripes and the Danger
Rangers, Mission 547 The Safety Rules listed in our webstore
highlights. The patriotic one is one of the best I've seen of its
genre, and the Danger Rangers is a favorite among my children and
their friends. They are constantly requesting to watch it, and have
learned some great safety tips. As
always, I welcome your input. If you have comments on titles we
have endorsed; notices of media awards, publications, and products;
or suggestions for articles. . . Please drop me a line.
Last night my
five-year-old grandson and I were driving to the cinema to see "Cars."
It was a rainy night, unusual weather for New Mexico. In the distance,
a bolt of lightning shot across the sky. Aden said, "Granny
Ranny, I see thunder." I replied, "I thought you could
*hear* thunder but *see* lightning." Aden replied, "Yeah,
I see lightning." I thought he might not like me correcting
him but he couldn't care less. He just moved onto the next question
and asked, "Let me get this straight. lightning can electrocute
you, right? Then what happens? Do you die?" I was surprised
by him using the word "electrocute" and also by asking
about dying so I asked where he learned about these ideas. "TV."
There you go. It's Granny Ranny and Aden talking about television
again. I just love hearing about the things he learns from watching
television. He knows enough to tell me that certain shows "are
not Granny Ranny approved." And, he knows that I am a sucker
to be easily convinced to take him to any great kids' movie showing
on the big screen because we both agree that it's more fun to watch
them on the big screen.
was not a disappointment. We loved every minute of it, including
five minutes when we had to evacuate the theater for a false fire
alarm. All in all, it was a great evening spent with my grandson.
When I got to my office the next day, I checked our database to
see if we had endorsed any videos that talk about thunder and lightning.
Not surprising at all, I found four, including a fairly recent title
called Caillou: Goodbye Winter, Hello Springtime, where Caillou
is afraid of the storms, and learns how to count for thunder. Another
is an older title called Why is the Sky Blue, from Libraryvideo.com
that answers the question: How fast is lightning? and more. I found
these by going to our website and doing a search first on the word
lightning, which didn't turn up anything and then on the word thunder
which found both of these. Try it yourself next time your child
or grandchild challenges you. Let me know what you find.
and President, KIDS FIRST!®
JUROR TRAINING PROGRAM
about what kids watch? Want to do something about it? Become a KIDS
FIRST!® juror. It's easy. Take our online training. It will
take you about four hours to complete and we will provide you with
your own personal trainer. The $40 fee is 100% reimbursable once
you evaluate six titles for KIDS FIRST!® . You may keep any
movie you approve. What a wonderful way for teachers, librarians,
parents, and daycare providers to build their own quality media
library while helping evaluate movies for others. To register or
get more information, please visit
our KIDS FIRST!® juror's page.
FIRST!® WEB STORE FEATURES
Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman. The first DVD in
the Choose Your Own Adventure series, The Abominable Snowman follows
three siblings on a quest to rescue their Uncle in the Himalayan
region of Nepal. The DVD prompts the child on-screen every 3-7 minutes
to make choices about which path to follow. DVD.
65 min.; $11.19; Age: 6-12. Lean Forward Media.
the Stars and Stripes. A children's celebration of America,
the heart of this production is its emphasis on the commonality
of people and the strength to be found in unity, friendship and
peace. Provides America's kids a voice. VHS 60 min.; $7.98; Age:
5-12. Golden Films.
Big Space Shuttle. Explores the behind-the-scenes action at
the space shuttle program, including the astronaut training, the
crew roles, shuttle maintenance and orbital gravity experiments.
DVD. 65 min.; $11.96; Age: 6-10. Little Mammoth Media.
States of America...and More Stories to Celebrate Our Country.
Carefully adapted stories about the states, based on books and songs
by Laurie Keller, Woody Guthrie and Francis Scott Key. The Star
Spangled Banner is performed by Aretha Franklin, This Land
is Your Land is sung by Arlo Guthrie. DVD. 65 min.; $14.95;
Age: 5-18. Scholastic Entertainment.
the Campfire. Superior recording of a lovely voice with a lot
of range. Folk songs have lots of heritage, texture and history.
Imminently listen-able and sing-along-able. Perfect for music programs
in Scouts, schools or churches or family singing in the car. Audio.
30 min.; $12.79; Age: 6-18. KT Music Productions, Inc.
Rangers, Mission 547 The Safety Rules. Introducing The Danger
Rangers brought to you by an Emmy & Oscar winning creative
team headed by Howard Kazanjian (Star Wars). Empowering safety information
is taught to children as they are entertained by the lovable animal
superheroes' adventures, comedy and songs. DVD. 28 min.; $10.39;
Age: 3-9. Educational Adventures.
New Endorsements can be found at
*** = Titles
receiving the highest scores are given a three-star rating.
** = Titles that meet or exceed the criteria receive a two-star
* = Titles that meet the baseline criteria but require some extra
consideration on the part of the viewer receive a one-star rating.
Genius Baby: Baby Goes Outside. A fun, educational program that
explores animals and nature seen outside designed to be enjoyable
for babies. Makes use of live action video, puppets, 3D-animation,
still images, sound and words in three languages - English, Spanish,
and French. Adult Juror Comments: Enjoyable music, puppets, live
action, and visuals. Encourages adult participation and adult-child
interaction. Allows time for parents to talk about each image on-screen.
Enjoyable music. Well produced. Useful as a tool for children to
recollect things they're already learned. Kid Juror Comments: Enjoyed
most of it. It didn't hold their attention for very long unless
their was active adult participation. They seemed to love the puppets
and the penguin. One child kissed a puppet onscreen. One pretended
to be an elephant. At times it was too slow. DVD. 29 min.; $9.95;
Age: 1-3. SERENITY MEDIA.
Felix and Friends: His Magic Bag of Tricks. Each episode follows
Baby Felix the cat and his magic bag of tricks as he embarks on
a journey full of adventures. Also along for the journey are his
friends, Baby Kitty, Mimi, Skippy, Mookie and Tattoo. Adult Juror
Comments: Seeing cartoon characters from my youth was enjoyable
but some of the messages here are not in good taste. There is a
lot of emphasis on cheating and misleading. It's all in fun but
sends a poor message to viewers. For example, Baby Felix doesn't
like how the other team is playing so he starts cheating by stealing
bases and blocking pitches to the other team. A member of the other
team shows anger by slamming his bat into the ground repeatedly.
Kid Juror Comments: It's great. It's fun. Even the kids noticed
the poor behavior and commented on it. "They remind me of Grandpa
and us when they go fishing. The bulldogs remind me of some of the
kids at school who are bullies. Get it? Bull dogs -bullies."
"If you could really have a fishing contest, it would be fun."
DVD. 110 min.; $14.98; Age: 4-8. FIRST NATIONAL PICTURES.
Girl To Woman. Explores multicultural coming of age rites and
traditions, providing a new paradigm in reproductive health education
that is designed to inspire girls to cherish their bodies, develop
a positive self image, and make empowered choices. Adult Juror Comments:
Very open and informative discussion about menstruation. Probably
best watched with an adult. Points out how every girl is unique
in terms of timing and physical atttributes, gives proper names
for anatomical parts, and offers a look at rites of passage ceremonies
worldwide. Doesn't discuss conception of a baby at all. Sticks to
topic on hand. Kid Juror Comments: Definitely a topic kids are sensitive
about. Eleven-year-old girls commented: "It shows what to expect
when I get my first period. I'm not as fearful or confused now.
It's a normal part of becoming a woman." They enjoyed seeing
how other cultures celebrate this rite of passage, and loved seeing
how Indian girls are feasted and given gifts in their honor. DVD.
50 min.; $24.95; Age: 9-13. WOMAN WISDOM CORP.
FROM KIDS FIRST!® FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL 2006
For a complete list of all Festival titles currently
being shown, visit
the Explorer: Animal Adventures. A. 99 min.
Save Diego is the latest Dora the Explorer home video title
that introduces Diego, Dora's cousin, who is an animal rescuer.
The main episode takes place in Diego's rainforest as Dora and her
friends come to his rescue. Includes two main episodes, one of which
is a never-before-seen and two bonus episodes. Ages 2-5. Paramount
Squarepants: Karate Island. A. 83 min.
Consists of 7 brand new episodes from season 4, each approximately
11 minutes in length. These episodes follow the enthusiastic SpongeBob
and his pals as SpongeBob's enthusiasm continuously get him into
trouble. Ages 5-12. Paramount Home Entertainment.
Bears: Hearts at Sea. A. 88 min.
Set sail with the Care Bears for heartwarming, high-seas adventure.
When you join the Care Bears, you'll learn that with enough caring
you'll always find smooth sailing. Includes seven episodes: Hearts
at Sea, Cheer Bear's Chance, A Hungry Little Guy, The Thing That
Came to Stay, A Day Without Tugs, The Fabulous Care Bears' Safety
Game and A Rhyme in Time. Ages 2-5. Lionsgate Family Entertainment.
Puppy Days: Puppy Sports Spectacular. A. 90 min.
Clifford enjoys fun and games with his puppy pals in eight larger-than-life
adventures. They play everything from basketball to hopscotch, and
even make up their own games like the wacky Wall-Hit-Ball. Not only
does Clifford find tons of sporting action, but he also discovers
the value of teamwork and good friends. The whole family will learn
that it truly doesn't matter who wins the game - it's how you play
with your pals that makes you a bigger and better dog. Includes
8 episodes. English and Spanish dubbed. Ages. 2-5. Lionsgate Family
Timmy Power Hour 3. A. 119 min.
Jimmy and Timmy are together again and boy, are they in trouble!
Join Jimmy Neutron (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius)
and Timmy Turner (The Fairly OddParents) in their third adventure
together as they discover how powerful they can be when they mix
science and magic. Includes four bonus episodes: Fairly OddParents
"Odd, Odd West" and "That's Life" and Adventures
of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius "Ultra Sheen" and The Feud."
Spanish and English. Ages 5-8. Paramount Home Entertainment.
School of their Own. A. 59 min.
What is the power of education to create democracy? The Riverside
School is a unique educational environment in remote Nepal that
educates low-caste and tribal children, half of whom are girls.
But the school - and many schools in Nepal -are threatened by a
bloody 7-year civil war in which children are caught in the middle.
In 'A School of Their Own,' we follow the struggle of these children
to learn and how it intersects with the struggle of the country
to find its way to democracy. Ages 12-18. Rabble Rouser Productions.
AND RENEWING MEMBERS
Please welcome these new or renewing members
and visit their web sites.
Puppetworks, LLC. Amalgamated Puppetworks was established in 2004
with the goal of bringing the best in puppets and puppetry to family
entertainment. After more than a decade of original, live shows,
we now offer FIFTEEN MINUTES, a fresh, funny DVD series that's fit
for the world at large. http://www.amalgamatedpuppetworks.com.
From the Heart
In March, Dancing
from the Heart, which is especially appropriate for highschool
students, as well as adults, screened very successfully for the
Youth Interns and public at the Explora! Children's Museum in Albuquerque,
NM, as a part of the nationwide KIDS FIRST! Film and Video Festival.
Andrew Garcia and Marilyn Hunt attended, for a lively interchange
with the young people. In July, "Dancing from the Heart"
will be shown in tandem with appearances by Andrew Garcia and dancers
and Marilyn Hunt at the Living Ritual: World Indigenous Dance Festival
[ www.livingritual.ca ], to be
held at the Woodland Cultural Centre (Brantford, Ontario) and York
University (Toronto), July 14-16.
Buena Vista International Television InksMulti-year,
Multi-genre agreement with Turkish Broadcaster TRT
Some of the Disney/Pixar animated features to make their Turkish
TV debut include Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Finding
Nemo and A Bug's Life in addition to Walt Disney Pictures'
Pocahontas and Brother Bear. TRT picked up Disney
animated TV series including American Dragon: Jake Long,
Disney's Recess, Disney's Aladdin, The Series and
101 Dalmatians (The Animated Series) as well as Mickey
Mouse Clubhouse and Little Einsteins.
Hikes Indecency Fines
The U.S. Congress on Wednesday sent President George W. Bush a bill
to boost fines tenfold to $325,000 on broadcast television and radio
stations that violate decency standards, a victory for conservative
FAMILY AND PARENTING NEWS
Street's Elmo, Grover and Cookie Monster Highlight Healthy Eating
Beginning September 2006, Del Monte vegetables featuring Elmo (green
beans), Grover (sweet peas) and Cookie Monster (corn) on packaging,
along with on-pack activities, will be available at grocery stores
(four-packs) and club retailers (eight-packs). The new Del Monte
products support Sesame Workshop's Healthy Habits for Life
initiative, which aims to help kids/families lead healthier lives
through better nutrition, physical activity, and hygiene.
Purgatory House by Christine L. Pollock
don't know which impressed me most--the thought-provoking content
House, one of the KIDS FIRST! film festival titles, or the
fact that the film was written by a fourteen-year-old. Either way,
the movie has a powerful message, which has the potential of saving
lives. Purgatory House begins where most stories end, chronicling
the afterlife journey of a lonely teenage girl who has committed
suicide, abandoning her life of turmoil and drug addiction in search
of unconditional love. Told in nonlinear fashion, this stylistic
dark-comedy/fantasy offers a quirky, uncensored glimpse into the
mind of today's American youth.
producer/director of Purgatory House, met Celeste Davis,
screenwriter and lead actor, through a Big Sister program when Davis
was 11 years old. Around the time Davis turned 12, she had lost
interest in school and was struggling with her home life and friendships.
Davis began writing as an outlet to express herself. She began to
write a story called Purgatory House, which paralleled her
own life in certain ways: her search to fit in, her efforts to deal
with the teen drug culture surrounding her, to find meaning for
her life, and to connect with a Higher Power. When she turned 13,
and landed herself in a teen shelter, Baer felt scared for her.
She told Davis they'd make her story into a 5-minute short film
that she could star in. Baer believes that acting saved her own
life as a child, and knowing that Davis had written a piece about
suicide, Baer was hoping to give Davis something exciting to turn
her feelings of despair into something positive. After Baer typed
what Davis had written, and read it, she realized that it was almost
feature length, and that Davis's insightful story had to be told
in its entirety.
Davis made her
screen debut as Silver Strand, a character she based on her own
life. Baer found visual effects artists and sound design team on
the Internet. Famous actors and musicians such as Jim Hanks, Johnny
Pacer, John Devin Witt, Natalie Merchant, Eric Bazilian, and Larisa
Stow joined the low-budget team because they believed in the film's
message. Their participation, as well as others, taught Baer that
when you do good in the world, people rush to support you.
Baer, this is such an exciting time to be alive if you are an aspiring
filmmaker. 3-chip digital video cameras (like the Canon XL2) are
professional quality and yet priced at a consumer level. You can
even edit your movie on your home computer with simple-to- use software
programs. She just completed a short film called Morbid Curiosity,
and the total cost to make it was about $300! Many high schools
and even churches or recreation centers have cameras that they make
available to young people.
Baer gives some
great advice: Tell a compelling story. Watch movies. Study the classics.
Take your time. Learn about movies. Create quality. Turn your angst
into something creative. Art is about honesty. Dare to dream, and
work hard to make your dreams into reality.
to have all kinds of ideas, and Baer looks forward to seeing what
her creative mind will come up with next. Baer hopes that Davis'
movie can be an inspiration to other young writers. In addition
to winning many awards (see website for details), Purgatory House
has been picked up for DVD distribution by Image Entertainment.
Through the KIDS FIRST! film festival and in schools or at home,
Baer hopes that kids and parents all across the country will watch
this movie together, and have some important conversations about
spirituality, and positive ways to cope with the challenges of life.
Dr. Toy's Tips on Use of Video by Stevanne Auerbach, PhD. /Dr.Toy
www.drtoy.com Smart Play /Smart
Children Creating Film - Children have great creative ability
to express themselves in different ways. The challenge as parents
and teachers is to provide as many varied choices as possible so
they can learn and discover what they are capable of. What they
enjoy, they will return to explore more deeply. Some children might
like to use drawing or film to express themselves. Those interested
in exploring this further might be interested in DVD
Home Moviemaking: A Beginners Guide.
- "My First Film."
cards, pencil with eraser
go to craft
KIDS FIRST!® Film and Video Festival
Join us as we travel around the country with film festivals. Find
out when we will be in a town near you. For details read
Literacy Summer Institute (Project LookSharp) Ithaca NY.
Wheelock College. Boston, MA. Media Literacy In A Violent Society
Institute. For more info: [email protected]
July 15, 2006.
Deadline. As we finalize all of our KIDS FIRST! programming for
the next quarter, which will begin playing July 15, the deadline
for producers to submit their films to us for our fourth quarter
festivals is also July 15. You can easily use our online
form to submit your titles or submit through withoutabox.com.
As always, if you have any questions about how to submit your title,
July 16, 2006.
Brooklyn Children's Museum.
Pinky Dinky Doo East Coast Tour with Jim Jinkins.
July 16 - 21,
2006. Los Angeles, CA. American Indian Summer Institute. Presented
by the FOX Entertainment Group Diversity Development Department
in association with the Native Media and Technology Network for
18-25-year-old American Indian participants. The Institute covers
100% of the cost of the program and related expenses, including
lodging and meals. Round-trip travel to Los Angeles is not included
as part of these expenses. Native American participants can apply
for up to $500 for airfare through NAPT's Producer Opportunity Fund.
Information at http://www.nativetelecom.org/producers_guidelines_oppfund.html.
Appalachian State University, Boone NC. Digital Media In The
Classroom, week long course. Details: http://pm.appstate.edu/~goodmanj/5636/5636sum06.html.
2006. Albuquerque, NM. New Mexico
Media Literacy Project. Summer 2006 Catalyst Institute,
an intensive four-day training experience in media literacy concepts
and skills. NMMLP staff and guest speakers lead participants in
workshops, exercises, video screenings and discussions designed
to deepen understanding of media issues and provide a solid foundation
for media activism.
August 15, 2006.
Deadline. Call for Submissions: Current TV, in partnership with
the Third Millennium Foundation, launches Seeds of Tolerance
initiative encouraging viewers to submit short videos that tell
a story of tolerance. The grand prize is $100,000. Guest judges
for the summer-long contest are Paul Haggis, Edward Norton, Melissa
Etheridge and Margaret Cho, plus others. Submissions can be accepted
at Current's web site at www.current.tv/tolerance.
1, 2006 The Phoenix East/Mesa Hilton, Tucson, AZ. The
28th National Media Market. The National Media Market presents
an exceptional opportunity for media professionals who purchase
for public libraries, universities, media/technology centers and
educational broadcasting to screen the newest and best quality motion
media from 55 prominent producers and distributors. Professional
Development sessions, workshops and roundtable discussions further
enhance the Market experience.
Boston, MA. 5th Annual Summit of the Coalition
for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Consuming Kids: Marketing
in Schools and Beyond. The summit will "bring together
distinguished scholars, activists, parents, and educators to discuss
how marketing undermines childrens health and well-being and
what we can do about it. The 2006 summit features a special focus
on marketing in schools."
Canada's National Media Education Week. The first of its kind in
Canada, this week will highlight the importance of media literacy
and Web literacy as key learning areas in the information age. Read
Through the combined efforts of Corporations for Character, KIDS
FIRST!® , and your generous donation, we can fulfill our mission
to provide positive, encouraging movies into each of more than one
million children's hospital beds. This effort will provide entertainment
for children while they are confined in a hospital. To support KIDS
FIRST!® Cares, click
here. All credit card transactions are secure.
The Old Schoolhouse is the must have magazine for homeschoolers
and right now they are offering a deal that is hard to pass up.
With your 2- year subscription you will get approximately $300 in
FREE homeschool materials - 19 complete gifts - and FREE shipping.
here or call TOS at 1-888-718-HOME. The Old Schoolhouse is the
magazine for homeschoolers. Please call today as gift inventory
is limited to the first 5000 new subscribers.
Become a Coalition for Quality Children's Media Member
If you've found our e-zine and web site helpful, please consider
becoming a member of KIDS FIRST!® Members help underwrite the
various projects of this organization. The Coalition for Quality
Children's Media relies on the generous support of its members and
donors to support its programs. An individual/family membership
is only $25/year. An organizational membership is $100/year. An
independent producer membership is $200. To join, go to: http://www.kidsfirst.org
or contact our office at 505.989.8076 or KIDS
OUR MEMBERS' SITES ******************
Please visit our website for an up-to-date list of Coalition members
by clicking here: http://www.kidsfirst.org/kidsfirst/html/whomem.htm.
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CQCM AND KIDS FIRST!®
FIRST!® is the not-for-profit Coalition for Quality Children's
Media's initiative that evaluates and rates children's media - videotapes,
CD-ROMs and television - using a highly acclaimed method that has
been praised by parents and educators alike. It utilizes professionally
designed criteria and evaluation tools and engages a volunteer jury
comprising child development professionals, teachers and parents
nationwide and children of diverse geographic, socioeconomic and
ethnic backgrounds. KIDS FIRST!® endorsed titles appeal to people
around the world and include many programs on topics important to
children's development. KIDS FIRST!® -endorsed titles are available
on CQCM's award-winning Internet site, in the KIDS FIRST!® Film
and Video Festival and in reviews we provide to more than 75 publications.
evaluates feature films, television programs, videos, CD-ROM, DVDs
and audio recordings. For an application form and application deadlines,
visit our website at http://www.kidsfirst.org,
call our office (505.989.8076).
Coalition for Quality Children's Media, 112 W. San Francisco St.
, Suite 305A, Santa Fe, NM 87501.