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KIDS FIRST! Film Festival 2019
University of Hawaii at Manoa

university of hawaii
KIDS FIRST! Film Festival 2018
University of Hawaii at Manoa

University of Hawaii 2019


Beloit International Film Festival
Beloit, Wisconsin

Images Cinema


KIDS FIRST! Film Festival

Since 2000, the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival offers a showcase for short and feature films from major studios, independent producers and student filmmakers. The festival partners with more than 50 venues worldwide that host screenings of KIDS FIRST! curated films year-round. These venues include established film festivals such as the Beloit International Film Festival and the University of Hawaii at Manoa's KIDS FIRST!  Film Festival as well as children's museums, nonprofit film centers, schools and other local organizations that showcase films from the KIDS FIRST! curated collection at daily, weekly or monthly screenings. For filmmakers, it is like submitting their films to these 50+ venues.

KIDS FIRST! Film Festival is a project of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media, established in 1991 and celebrating its 30th year in 2021! As a special component of its 30th Anniversary, KIDS FIRST! is partnering with a select group of venues to host online and live events during the months of September, October and November in celebration of its 30th year. Stay tuned for additional information.

Kids really do come first at KIDS FIRST!

KIDS FIRST! really does put kids ... first! Youth are given a voice as curators, critics, volunteer staff, audience members and, of course, as filmmakers showcasing their original work. Almost one-third of the films accepted every year for festival play are from student filmmakers worldwide.


The KIDS FIRST! Film Festival accepts more than 400 films every year, with quarterly calls for submissions. To find what films are currently playing follow the links on our home page. To be accepted for the festival, programming must meet the KIDS FIRST! criteria including:

1) NO gratuitous violence or abuse;

2) NO inappropriate sexual behavior;

3) NO bias in terms of race, gender, culture or religion;

4) NO condescension toward children;

5) NO replicable unsafe behavior.

Additionally, the film must have an uplifting message and be appropriate for a youth and family audience, ages 2 through 18. All films are screened by juries of adults and kids in order to make the best selections for our audiences.

Note to Filmmakers

Before you submit, please note that KIDS FIRST! partner venues do not pay a screening fee. If you require a screening fee, please do not submit.

To submit a film

We only accept submissions through filmfreeway:

Note to Programmers

Programmers of venue affiliates can view online screeners on our password protected site on vimeo. For access, please contact us.

To become an affiliate of the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival go here.

The KIDS FIRST! Film Festival is a project of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media, a national nonprofit (501-c-3) organization established in 1991 that is a voluntary collaboration between the media industry, educators and child advocacy organizations. The mission of the Coalition is: 1) To teach children to become critical media users and; 2) To increase the visibility and availability of quality children's media.




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