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

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.

Fly-In Screening for Planes

August 2nd, 2013

PlanesFlyInIMG_1926_R.jpgHow Cool is this?
“Disney’s Planes” held a very special preview at ‘The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,’ EAA AirVenture in Osh Kosh, WI, where aircraft took a break to see a whole different kind of action at the air show: a fly-in screening of the animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer.

Six Back-to-School Tips from Huntington Learning Center

July 29th, 2013

It is back-to-school time, and if your student’s summer has been filled with trips to the pool, hanging out with friends, television and video games, and other leisurely activities, now is the time to transition from summer to school mode. “We always encourage families to relax and enjoy the less structured pace of summertime,” says Eileen Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center. “However, there are several things you can do toward the end of summer break that are immensely helpful in getting students ready to return to the classroom.” Huntington offers these six back-to-school tips:

  1. Set goals. Goal-setting is a great way to help your child reflect on last school year and think ahead about what he or she wants to accomplish and avoid this year. Talk with your child about the things he or she is excited and anxious about and have him or her set several goals and measurable milestones. You can do this just before classes start or during the first week of school.
  2. Organize the desk and home. Get your house back into “school shape” by designating spots for important school papers that come home, a family calendar, backpacks, shoes and jackets, and a homework station. Your child’s homework station could be a desk in a bedroom or other room. Make sure it is stocked with the supplies he or she will need for the school year, and have your child help get the space ready.
  3. Reestablish a schedule. Talk with your child about the school-day routine, including wake-up time, school hours, homework time, dinner time and any extracurricular activities in which he or she will participate during the week. In the week or two before school, try to have your child go to bed and wake up at approximately the same times as during the school year.
  4. Review school work and information. Being prepared will help your child ease into the first weeks of school. Review assignments, spelling words and other work from the previous school year. Amp up the reading these final few weeks of summer. And find out as much as possible about what is to come: your child’s teacher, class schedule, classroom locations and more.
  5. Set a positive tone. A child who struggled last year might dread going back to school, so it is important to help him or her get into the right mindset for school success. Let your child know that you are there to support him or her no matter what. Talk about things he or she is looking forward to this year—and offer ideas if he or she needs some encouragement—and point out some of the good parts of last year. Be optimistic and encourage your child to embrace the same outlook.
  6.  Arrange for tutoring help if needed. If last year was difficult, don’t wait to reach out for help this year. Help your child build his or her skills, preparedness and confidence with a customized, one-to-one tutoring program. Call Huntington today to discuss your child’s needs and schedule a diagnostic evaluation before the new school year begins. We’re here to help your student.

For information on franchise opportunities, visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.

Apple Said to Near Time Warner Cable Deal for TV Programs

July 3rd, 2013

AppleTV.jpg

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is nearing a deal with Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) to give subscribers of the cable television service access to channels via Apple TV, people with knowledge of the negotiations said.

The companies plan to announce an agreement within a few months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The iPhone maker is also hiring Pete Distad from online-video service Hulu LLC, where he was senior vice president in charge of marketing and distribution, to help Apple executives in negotiations with media and cable companies, two people with familiar with the matter said.

A deal with Time Warner Cable would be a first with a cable company for Apple, which said last month that it’s also adding content from Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s HBO and Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ESPN. Apple is aiming to bolster sales of the $99 set-top box amid competition from Roku Inc.’s device andMicrosoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Xbox. Meanwhile, media and service providers have been seeking more outlets to deliver shows to customers, who are opting for on-demand viewing and watching fewer scheduled shows. For details, go to  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-02/apple-said-to-near-time-warner-cable-deal-for-tv-programs.html

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