Up to date information about children’s entertainment - film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Paramount Pictures’ JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT is Awarded First Grownups Seal

January 23rd, 2014

JackRyan.jpgAARP today announced the launch of the AARP Movies for Grownups® Seal, which recognizes films that have a special appeal to 50+ audience members.  The first film to receive the Movies for Grownups Seal is Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions’ JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT, starring Chris Pine and directed by and co-starring Academy Award®-nominee Kenneth Branagh.

To receive AARP’s new Movies for Grownups Seal, a film must be selected by AARP’s Movies for Grownups editorial team, which dedicates hundreds of hours each year to screening eligible blockbusters and independent films, identifying movies with a distinct relevance to the 50+ audience. AARP’s Movies for Grownups Seal is the latest extension of the Movies for Grownups franchise, a highly-respected entertainment platform which was launched in 2002 by the editors of AARP The Magazine and features weekly film reviews, award-winning radio and YouTube programs, film festivals, an annual Movies for Grownups Awards gala and year-round coverage in AARP The Magazine and on AARP.org.

“We are delighted to announce the debut of the Movies for Grownups Movie Seal and are thrilled to award this distinction to JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT,” said Myrna Blyth, SVP and Editorial Director of AARP Media.  “Returning the beloved Tom Clancy character of Jack Ryan to the big screen, the film features performances by 50+ talents including director and co-star Sir Kenneth Branagh and co-star Kevin Costner. We believe the film will hold strong appeal for the 50+ demographic, which is responsible for one in four of all opening weekend ticket sales.”

Films selected to receive AARP’s Movies for Grownups Seal are invited to participate in AARP’s Movies for Grownups Marketing Powerhouse program, selecting their choice of marketing packages. The marketing program for JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT will include promotion on AARP.org and AARP’s digital Daily News Alert, as well as across AARP’s social media channels.  In addition, Paramount Pictures worked with AARP to arrange for screenings of JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT for AARP members in eight markets across the U.S. ahead of the film’s nationwide release.

“We are thrilled to be the very first picture to receive this seal of approval on behalf of such an important and discerning audience of adult filmgoers represented by AARP,” said LeeAnne Stables, EVP of Worldwide Marketing Partnerships, Paramount Pictures.  “The combination of this suspenseful thriller and the talents of Chris Pine, Kevin Costner and director Kenneth Branagh is something moviegoers of all ages will appreciate.”

JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT is playing in theaters now.

Based on the CIA analyst created by the late espionage master Tom Clancy, JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT is a blistering action thriller that follows Ryan (Chris Pine, “Star Trek”) from his quiet double-life as a veteran-turned-Wall Street executive to his all-out initiation as a hunted American agent on the trail of a massive terrorist plot in Moscow.

Ryan appears to be just another New York executive to his friends and loved ones, but his enlistment into the CIA secretly goes back years.  He was brought in as a brainy Ph.D. who crunches global data – but when Ryan ferrets out a meticulously planned scheme to collapse the U.S. economy and spark global chaos, he becomes the only man with the skills to stop it. Now, he’s gone fully operational, thrust into a world of mounting suspicion, deception and deadly force. Caught between his tight-lipped handler Harper (Academy Award®-winner Kevin Costner), his in-the-dark fiancée Cathy (Keira Knightley) and a brilliant Russian oligarch (Kenneth Branagh), Jack must confront a new reality where no one can seem to be trusted, yet the fate of millions rests on his finding the truth.  With the urgency of a lit fuse, he’s in a race to stay one step ahead of everyone around him.

Produced by Mace Neufeld, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, David Barron and Mark Vahradian.  Based on characters created by Tom Clancy.  Written by Adam Cozad and David Koepp.  Directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Looking for our next Film Critics

January 16th, 2014

KFCA.2014.jpg

Our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search is active again in select cities now through Feb. 28. We are looking for kids ages 7 to 17 in the following cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Santa Fe, Vancouver and Washington DC.

Here’s your chance to.

  • Watch and review the latest films!
  • Meet and interview celebrities!
  • Report from the red carpet and premieres!
  • Talk on our weekly radio show about films you have seen and interview celebrities.

To enter, go to http://2013critic.kidsfirst.org/

You only have to send us a written and videotaped review of any movie, rated PG-13 or younger, currently playing in theaters or released on DVD within the last 6 months.

Contact our office if you have questions. Email admin@kidsfirst.org or call 505.989.8076.

50 Films you MUST watch before Oscar Night 2014

December 17th, 2013

Awards.jpgThanks to my friend Marshall for this list. Here are his recommendations, based on critics’ awards, industry buzz and personal opinion.

1.    12 Years a Slave

2.    American Hustle

3.    Gravity

4.    Captain Phillips

5.    Nebraska

6.    Inside Llewyn Davis

7.    The Wolf of Wall Street

8.    Her

9.    Saving Mr. Banks

10.  Dallas Buyers Club

11.  Lee Daniel’s The Butler

12.  Philomena

13.  August: Osage County

14.  Blue Jasmine

15.  Rush

16.  All is Lost

17.  Fruitvale Station

18.  Frozen

19.  Enough Said

20.  Before Midnight

21.  The Great Gatsby

22.  Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

23.  Short Term 12

24.  Prisoners

25.  The Wind Rises

26.  Frances Ha

27.  Labor Day

28.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

29.  Lone Survivor

30.  Blue is the Warmest Color

31.  Iron Man 3

32.  The Book Thief

33.  Pacific Rim

34.  Monsters University

35.  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

36.  Spring Breakers

37.  Mud

38.  The Croods

39.  Oz: The Great and Powerful

40.  Stories We Tell

41.  The Invisible Woman

42.  Despicable Me 2

43.  Star Trek: Into Darkness

44.  The Lone Ranger

45.  Ernest & Celestine

46.  The Past

47.  20 Feet from Stardom

48.  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

49.  Blackfish

50.  Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Awards Show Schedule:

People’s Choice Awards - Wednesday, January 8th (CBS)
Golden Globes - Sunday, January 12th (NBC)
Critics Choice (BFCA) Awards - Thursday, January 16th (The CW)
Screen Actors Guild Awards - Saturday, January 18th (TNT / TBS)
The Grammys - Sunday, January 26th (CBS)
BAFTA Awards – Sunday, February 16th (BBC America)

Independent Spirit Awards - Saturday, March 1st (IFC)
Academy Awards - Sunday, March 2nd (ABC)

KIDS FIRST! Endorsement / Film Festival Deadlines Last Extension - Dec 15

November 30th, 2013

KIDSFIRSTlogohighres.jpgWe have extended our deadline for both endorsement submissions and film festival submissions to December 15. That’s right, you have a little just a few more days to get your films, DVDs, web series, apps and audios into us for 2013 endorsements and film festival inclusion.

Remember, unlike awards programs that limit the number of awards given out, any title that meets our endorsement criteria and is deemed to be child friendly, gets an endorsement. If it’s not endorsed, we even tell you exactly why. That way, you can fix it and re-submit.

You have until December 15 to submit your audio recordings, films, DVD, apps, web series and games.  Screenplays are accepted year round.

Also, we have reduced our application fees! How cool is that.

Our member fees are only $100 per title for films, DVDs, audio, games and web series. Apps and screenplays are $55. Non-member fees are slightly more.

Check it out at  http://www.kidsfirst.org/submit-a-title/

Send us your wonderful children’s media.  We are ready and waiting!

Results will be published about 30 days after each deadline.

Netflix add Scholastic Shows As Kids Head Back to School

August 19th, 2013

Netflix.jpgAs vacations wind down, school supplies stack up and everyone begins to get back into the school-year routine, Netflix has even more to offer families as they head back to school. Recently, Netflix Inc. and Scholastic Media, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announced a distribution agreement that will make popular television series and video content produced by Scholastic Media available to Netflix subscribers in the United States, Canada, UK, Ireland and Latin America.  This is the first time many of the Scholastic titles have been available in the streaming format.

Starting on Aug. 15, The Magic School Bus® (seasons 1-4; all 52 episodes), will be available exclusively for SVOD to Netflix members in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland and Latin America.  Additionally, Goosebumps® (seasons 1-4; all 74 episodes) will be available in the US, Canada, UK and Ireland.  The deal also includes several non-exclusive titles based on award-winning and best-selling books from the Scholastic Storybook Treasures™ line – including such classics as Harry the Dirty Dog, Danny and the Dinosaur, Chrysanthemum, The Snowy Day and The Mouse and The Motorcycle, and movies such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories and Stellaluna, which are now available in the US and Canada. Many of the titles have never been previously available to consumers on TV or online.

“When we first added The Magic School Bus and Goosebumps for our members in the US and Canada earlier this summer we knew they would perform well, but after seeing just how popular they were we decided to expand our relationship with Scholastic and bring these great shows to more of our markets,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix.  “We are very happy to be the streaming home for popular classics from Scholastic Media.”

“We are delighted Netflix has recognized the power of Scholastic’s iconic and award-winning global brands,” said Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Media and Executive Vice President of Scholastic Inc. “We are thrilled to see the shows are as popular as ever – which is validated by the Netflix subscribers we’re so happy to serve.”

Additional series that are available in the U.S. and Canada as part of the agreement include I SPY®, The Baby-Sitters Club®, Dear America®, Horrible Histories®, Dragon™, Turbo Dogs™ and Sammy’s Story Shop.
For more information, go to  www.netflix.com and  www.scholastic.com.

BBFC Investigates Kids’ Download Habits

August 8th, 2013

MovieDownload_1.jpgA new online study, commissioned by the Industry Trust for IP Awareness in partnership with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), finds that a quarter of children and teens download or stream movies from unofficial sources that offer no guidance on age ratings.

The study asked 1,000 U.K. consumers, ages 11 to 15, about their online viewing habits. A third (37 percent) of younger children, ages 11 and 12, admit to having recently downloaded or streamed a film rated for ages 15+ from a pirate website. One in five of those 11 to 15 (21 percent) say they use pirate websites to keep up with what friends and older siblings are watching. More than a quarter in the same age group (27 percent) say their parents don’t know what films they are watching online, and a third (32 percent) wouldn’t feel comfortable with younger siblings copying their viewing behavior. For more info, go to http://worldscreen.com/articles/display/40504

Hub Network sets Sat., Oct 26 for its inaugural Halloween Bash

August 7th, 2013

Hub Network has set Saturday, Oct. 26, as the date for its inaugural Halloween Bash. The newest kids net didn’t waste much time jumping on the signature-event bandwagon–and it’s going big. The live-to-tape special will take place at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, be exec-produced by Bob Bain (Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards and Fox’s Teen Choice Awards) and produced by Paul Flattery, and air five to seven times around the holiday. A “spooktacular” event is the perfect dovetail with Hub’s cache of safe-scary programming including Goosebumps and RL Stine’s The Haunting Hour. The Halloween Bash will include entertainment, plus a nationwide costume competition with finalists from every state. “We’re trying to celebrate all kinds of families, stimulate imagination and creativity and I think we’re going to be blown away by the level of what we see and the creativity,” Hub president/CEO Margaret Loesch tells CynKids exclusively. “Think about it–a whole class of from a school in southern Illinois [where I lived for a while when I was a child] could be the winner. Or a couple, or an individual. We want it to be very egalitarian. Anybody can win if they have the best costume. They don’t have to sing or dance; they just have to have a great imagination.” Celeb host, presenters, judges and musical acts are sure to be in abundance and will be announced shortly.

Are you destined to be a TV host?

August 6th, 2013

Are you a morning person? Sprout is giving aspiring actors and fans the opportunity to audition for the role of live morning show host with its launch of a national competition to find the next great preschool TV host. Now through August 31, hosting hopefuls can upload a 60-second audition video including their rendition of Sprout’s “Happy Birthday Song” at SproutOnline.com. Each day in August, Sprout will put the most notable videos on its YouTube channel, giving fans the opportunity to watch and participate in the Sprout Host Hunt. A live event will be held in LA on Aug. 23 at Universal CityWalk where Carly, one of The Sunny Side Up Show co-hosts, will join Chica - the world’s most famous chicken–to entertain fans and help prepare contestants for their audition. Three finalists will be flown to the set of The Sunny Side Up Show in Philadelphia in September, where they will have the chance to audition with Chica live in front of the show’s producers. The Sprout Host Hunt winner will be announced in December.

Think Twice (Or More) Before Social Posting

August 6th, 2013

While social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, are popular for sharing photos and other aspects of people’s lives, many users are worried that their postings could someday cost them their job. According to a new survey from FindLaw.com, the most popular legal information website, more than a quarter of young social media users think that something they posted could come back to haunt them.The survey found that 29% of users of Facebook, between the ages of 18 and 34, have posted a photo, comment or other personal information that they fear could someday either cause a prospective employer to turn them down for a job, or a current employer to fire them if they were to see it. The survey covered Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and other popular social media.

A form of “day-after remorse” seems to be evident, says the report. Close to the same percentage of young social media users, 21%, say that they have removed or taken down a photo or other social media posting because they feared it could lead to repercussions with an employer.

Users are taking other precautions as well. The survey found that 82% of young social media users say that they pay at least some attention to their privacy settings. Only 6% said that they pay no attention and only use the default settings when using social media.

Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney-editor with FindLaw.com, says “… people love using social media to share their thoughts and life experiences… drawback is that many comments, photos and other information may not be looked upon favorably by employers… taking down or removing a post or photo may not be enough… the information may continue to live on in other parts of the Internet… assume that anything posted could live on the Internet forever… think accordingly before hitting the ‘Post’ button.”

More about FindLaw and the report may be found here.

Calling All Shorts

August 5th, 2013

B&B Theatres is delighted to announce that, for the second year in a row, they will be holding their B&B Theatres Film Fest: Shorts! The flagship student fest in 2012 was a success, but will be bigger and better this year with the addition of an Amateur/General division – meaning people of all ages are welcome to participate. They are happy to invite people with an interest in film, and those who have never explored the medium, to create films that are 15 minutes or less and submit them to be played on the BIG SCREEN at one of the selected B&B Theatres locations. If there is local participation, expect YOUR B&B Theatre to be one of those participating in showing the Festival.

This is a wonderful chance to invite B&B Theatres movie-goers to be a part of the movie-going experience, and serves as an outlet for the creativity of local talents. Who knows, maybe one of these filmmakers will be the next Spielberg!
Submissions: B&B Theatres is accepting submissions from July 2nd – September 10th, 2013. Submissions must be completed via www.regonline.com/bbfilmfest2013.

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