Press Coverage

Santa Fe Film Center, thanks to photographer Linda Carfagno






University of Hawaii at Manoa

Ann Brandman, Head Programmer, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa KIDS FIRST! Film Festival

KIDS FIRST! Film Festival Honored

Manoa’s Outreach College KIDS FIRST! Film Festival received the 1st Community Film Series award at the national KIDS FIRST! Best Award Ceremony held Oct. 4 in Los Angeles.

Now in its second year, the 2008 UH KIDS FIRST! Film Festival expanded to include a special series for girls during Women's History Month in March, entitled GRLS r GR8! The summer festival saw the participation of two new partners—Maui screened a free film on its Great Lawn and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Hawai‘i offered two screenings poolside at the Sheraton-Waikiki. Total participation for all of the films in 2008 was approximately 1,175 children and adults.

"It's hard to beat a festival that screens quality, free films for families in venues that include an auditorium in a lush valley at UH Manoa, under the stars at Maui Community College, and poolside by the sea at the Sheraton-Waikiki,” says Ann Brandman, film festival director. “We're very grateful to KIDS FIRST! for selecting us as 1st Community Film Series and for their work on behalf of quality children's media."


October 2008.




Photos by Linda Carfagno


Special Appearances by



Brittany Curran accepting award


Emily Osment and Girl Scout Volunteers


Aria Wallace accepting her award with A. Church and Ranny Levy.


Kay Panabaker accepting her award.


Emily Osment "Soccer Mom"
Brittany Curran, Kunal Sharma and Writer Marc Mangum
From "Adventures of Food Boy"
Aria Wallace ("Roxy Hunter") and
Kay Panabaker ("Moondance Alexander")

On October 4 at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences the 9th Annual 2008 KIDS FIRST! Best Day and Awards Celebration celebrated studio, indie and student films in 37 categories with over 100 awards, including Best Emerging Actress going to Emily Osment (Soccer Mom) , Best Youth Actress going to Aria Wallace (Roxy Hunter) and Best Youth Talent to Brittany Curran (Adventures of Food Boy.) KIDS FIRST!  honored industry professional, Martin Blythe, with the 2008 Palmer-Vision Award.

Opening the event were special hosts, Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop, followed by a premiere screening of "Adventures of Food Boy." Cast members from the film, Brittany Curran, Kunal Sharma and writer, Marc Mangum, introduced the film. Emily Osment and Cassie Scerbo introduced the special screening of "Soccer Mom," with more awards following. The final premiere of " Roxy Hunter: Myth of the Mermaid" was introduced by its star,  Aria Wallace.  Kay Panabaker (Moondance Alexander and A Modern Twain Story: The Prince and the Pauper) received awards for her performance in both. The complete list of award winners can be found here.

KIDS FIRST!Top 100 Kid Films



Annual List Is A Comprehensive Resource Guide For Parents And Features An Array Of New Releases As Well As Timeless Classics

KIDS FIRST has announced the release of its annual Top 100 Kid Films. The list is designed as a resource guide for parents to make informed movie selections for their children that are age and content-appropriate.

The Top 100 list features a wide array of acclaimed titles that includes animation, musicals, comedy, drama, action/adventure, and fantasy films. A summary for each title is included, as well as an MPAA rating and additional insightful commentary on why the film is notable from Ranny Levy, President and Founder of KIDS FIRST!. Chosen by the public through online voting from a list of more than 196 feature films selected by the KIDS FIRST! jury system, the final list recognizes feature films with universal appeal. This films selected for the list span more than 70 years of filmmaking and includes such classics as “The Wizard of Oz,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “The Sound of Music,” together with current and new releases “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Ratatouille” and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” The complete list is available at

“The Top 100 Kid Films list is designed to give parents and educators a convenient and reliable way to offer their young viewers suggestions that are winners every time,” says Ranny Levy. “The summaries also highlight positive messages and lessons many of these films offer that go beyond simple MPAA ratings. KIDS FIRST is committed to raising awareness of quality content for kids and we hope to make both parents and children more critical viewers with resources like the Top 100 list. Films such as these are wonderful way to entertain but also an effective way to teach children about other cultures and reinforce positive messages about tolerance, cooperation, friendship and overcoming adversity.”

Video Business Story

Metro Family

Endorsement by Governor Bill Richardson




Endorsement by NM Film Office Director

Avalon Theater, Washington DC


Key West Film Society, 2008



Denver Film Society 2008


University of Hawaii at Manoa 2008



Actress Kay Panabaker will be at the Sheraton Waikiki to take questions, sign autographs and hang out during her movie, “Moondance Alexander." Bring your suit and watch the movie from inside the pool!

WHERE:  Poolside, Oceanside at the Sheraton Waikiki 

The University of Hawai'i KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, presented by UH-Manoa Outreach College, returns with a another summer of free family fun! This year, the Festival partners with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawai'i to reach more local and visiting families. In addition to the six Sunday screenings from June 8 to July 20 (except July 6) at 3pm at the UH-Manoa Art Auditorium, two additional screenings at our Sheraton Waikiki satellite venue are scheduled on June 29 and July 6 at 7pm.  The KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, a project of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media, travels to more than 100 locations nationwide each year, making it the largest kid's film festival in the world. In its ninth year, the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival offers sneak peeks at new films from major studios, classic films, independents and shorts in a variety of styles including animation and live action. The films are evaluated by juries of adults and kids and must meet the KIDS FIRST! criteria of: no gratuitous violence, no racial or cultural bias, no inappropriate content, and no condescension towards children. All of the films are FREE with door prizes given at many of the screenings. For complete information, visit For details on screenings at the Sheraton Waikiki, visit Additional plans are in the works with Maui Community College-VITEC, College for Kids Program, as well as Starwood Hotels & Resorts, for screenings on Maui. Details TBA.

Supported in part by the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawai‘i partners with The University of Hawai‘i KIDS FIRST! Film Festival with free screenings at the Sheraton Waikiki

WAIKIKI BEACH, HAWAII (June 3, 2008) – Lights! Camera! Action! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawai‘i has partnered with The University of Hawaii KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, presented by UH-Manoa Outreach College to offer free screenings of fun family movies for local residents and island visitors this summer.

Starwood Hawaii Offers Children's Film Festival Screenings

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii has partnered with the University of Hawaii Kids First! Film Festival, presented by UH-Manoa Outreach College, to offer free screenings of fun family movies. The festival runs June 8 through July 20 with six Sunday screenings at 3 p.m. at the UH-Manoa Art Auditorium (except July 6). Two of the featured films will also have repeat showings poolside at the Sheraton Waikiki: "Moondance Alexander" (showing June 8 at UH-Manoa) will repeat at the Sheraton Waikiki at 7 p.m. June 29. The film, appropriate for children ages 8 and over, features Kay Panabaker ("Nancy Drew") as the spunky 12-year old Moondance who has a hard time making friends until a chance meeting with a wild pinto changes her life. The 94-minute film also features figure skater Sasha Cohen and was awarded Best Film at the Newport Beach Film Festival. "Alice Upside Down" (showing June 22 at UH-Manoa) will repeat at the Sheraton Waikiki at 7 p.m. July 6. The 90-minute film, based on books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, features Alyson Stoner ("Cheaper by the Dozen"), Lucas Grabeel ("High School Musical"), Luke Perry and Penny Marshall, and was awarded Best Comedy Feature at the International Family Film Festival. Eleven-year-old Alice finds her life disrupted when her widowed father moves the family to a new town. Visit For details on the two screenings at the Sheraton Waikiki, visit more

Honolulu Advertiser:

Star Bulletin:

Star Bulletin:


Honolulu Advertiser:

Hawaii Moms:





Wubbzy Visits Phoenix Festival
At Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture


Santa Fe Film Festival - May Screenings
Film: Jane & the Dragon: A Dragon's Tail




Photos by Linda Carfagno (Santa Fe Film Center photographer)
People: Cynthia & Luc Koenig.

Newport Beach Film Festival 2008




Alyson Stoner from Alice Upside Down Appears at Newport Beach Film Festival and at Build a Bear - April 2008

Pennsylvania Film Institute Press Release



Maricopa News

Screening of Bugville at Maricopa Film Festival in Phoenix; Activities included coloring pages and "make a bug"

KIDS FIRST! Film Festival at Santa Fe Film Center

A project of the Santa Fe Film Festival

Supported by Los Alamos National Bank.
Photo by Linda Carfagno. Standing: Jon Bowman, Artistic Director, Santa Fe Film Festival; Junior Film Critics: starting to the left of Jon, clockwise: Charles Smith, Brandon Martinez, Ann L., Dylan Bowman, Chase Sullivan, Ashley McKenna, Mona, Tia Sullivan.

GRLS r GR8! - In Honolulu
University of Hawai'i's Outreach College

Story, Star Bulletin: Atta girl films


University of Hawaii at Manoa

In the world of GRLS by Kawehi Haug

Perhaps that old elementary school adage "girls rule, boys drool" takes things a little too far, but it's sort of the same idea. Girls rule. The University of Hawai'i's Outreach College, the division of the university that provides year-round classes for both traditional and nontraditional students, celebrates Women's History Month with a mini film fest dedicated to children's films that are all about girls.The film series, dubbed ever so text-message-savvily as "GRLS r GR8!" in a nod to the modern girl (OMG, that's like, so kewl!), takes place the first two Sundays of March and April. It kicks off with a couple of flicks for the young ones before taking it to the tweens and teens to finish out the four-installment series on April 16. Rest of the story

"GRLS r GR8!" is the theme of a mini film festival that presents girls' achievements and challenges. It's a family-friendly series — yes, boys are invited, too — that's part of the larger Kids First! film festival that launched last summer at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa and is scheduled to return this summer. The movies include "Eloise in Springtime," "Madeline: Meet Me in Paris," "Her Best Move," "The Adventures of Ociee Nash" and a collection of shorts. There are prizes at each screening, too.3 p.m. March 2 and 9, April 6 and 13 / UH-Manoa Art Auditorium / Free /

Dept. of Human Services/Commission on the Status of Women website with GRLS r GR8!

Honolulu Star Bulletin article

Independent Film News


I am very happy to announce that one of my new good friends, Anna Wilding is screening hermovie, “Buddha Wild Monk in a Hut” in New York, City on the 19th of March. Anna is an accomplished actress who not only wrote the film, she also produced and directed it as well. I am very proud to be able to feature her film on the Production Blog.

Buddha Wild Monk in a Hut has been all the rage at the film fests and is one of 65 films to be accepted into the Kids FIRST Film Festival sponsored by the American Coalition for Quality Children’s Media. The group evaluates and rates the best movies available for children and young adults and it is backed by HBO, Fox, Paramount Vantage plus many more. More...

Beloit Film Festival



The USA Film Festival Announces  
24th Annual KidFilm® Festival
January 19 - 20, 2008

usaThe USA Film Festival’s 24th annual KidFilm® Festival announces the schedule of something for taking place Saturday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20, 2008 at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas.

KidFilm is the oldest and largest children’s film festival in the United States, featuring an exciting and diverse line-up of new and classic films and videos for both children and adults.  Spotlighting a multicultural slate of programs ranging from the French Creole and Native American legends and book-based works to songs that joyfully teach, showcasing animated and live-action works, KidFilm has more

Hollywood Reporter


Salute to Mallory Lewis and LambchopMallory

Honoring the legacy of her mother, the legendary Shari Lewis, award-winning children’s entertainer Mallory Lewis brings a new puppet (Giggles) to a new generation – with some help from an old friend -- the beloved Lambchop!  Mallory brings learning through music to young audiences through her new Phonics 4 Babies program.  KidFilm will feature a live performance by Mallory Lewis and Lambchop, and kids will also receive a free DVD.  Program presented with support and partnership from KIDS FIRST! a program of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media. (Showtime: Saturday, January 19, 2:30 p.m.)
Phote: Mallory Lewis and Giggles


Special 20th Anniversary Salute to Barney the Dinosaur

Twenty years ago a former teacher from Dallas created a big purple, singing dinosaur that became a national phenomenon with children, who loved him, and parents who couldn’t get the songs out of their heads.  In the world premiere of the new direct-to-DVD release (Barney: Celebrating Around the World), Barney and friends take a magical train ride on Barney’s Imagination Unlimited and, through food, music and dance, explore the different types of festivities around the world in a multi-cultural adventure teaching the value of diversity and friendship.  (Barney will be in attendance to greet kids and parents at KidFilm.) Program presented with support and partnership from KIDS FIRST! a program of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media.
(Showtime: Sunday, January 20, 12:30 p.m.) more

Labou   Regional Premiere  Sunday, January 20, 4:30 p.m.

Adventurous Emily (Marissa Cuevas), skeptical Gavin (Darnell Hamilton), and the unruly Toddster (Bryan James Kitto) set out on a journey to find the dreaded ghost of Captain LeRouge, a pirate whose treasure-laden ship was rumored to be lost in the Louisiana bayou over two hundred years ago.  What they find is an adventure beyond their wildest imagination including a ghost pirate and the magical swamp creature "Labou," whose whistles, per Louisiana legend, are rumored to be the original inspiration for jazz.  With the help of Labou, the three unlikely friends race to stay one step ahead of two zealous southern developers and local politicians to try and discover the long lost treasure in time to save the swamps from destruction.  95 minutes.  Recommended for ages 5 and up. more

The Prince and the Pauper  World Premiere Sunday, January 20, 12:30 p.m.

Mark Twain’s classic story gets a modern twist in this fun-filled, live-action family adventure, starring Cole and Dylan Sprouse ("The Suite Life of Zack and Cody").  Eddie and Tom are two 14-year-olds with only two things in common: they both look exactly alike, and are both unhappy.  Movie star Eddie just wants a normal life, while regular kid Tom dreams of a more glamorous life.  When the two accidentally meet on the set of Eddie’s new movie, they impulsively switch places for the afternoon, each getting a taste of the life that he only dreamed was possible.  But when Eddie’s production company abruptly moves hundreds of miles away, Tom and Eddie soon find themselves in deep double trouble when no one believes who they really are.  Co-starring Kay Panabaker, Vincent Spano, Dedee Pfeiffer, and Ed Lauter.  92 minutes.  Recommended for ages 5 and up.  Program presented with support and partnership from KIDS FIRST! a program of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media. more





KIDS FIRST! Film Festival honored at educators' conference Advertiser Staff During the annual conference of the Western Association of Summer Session Administrators, held in November on Maui, the University of Hawaii-Manoa Outreach College was honored with Best Non-Credit Program award for the Kids First! Film Festival. Article URL: 

HiGirlsHawaii KidFest GRLS r GR8!



Details for GRLS r GR8

Screenings of KIDS FIRST! Film Festival Selections take place at various venues year-round.




Day and Awards Celebration


Mallory Lewis Giggles
Mallory Lewis, one of our hosts at the KIDS FIRST! Best Awards 2007, is the honored recipient of the Palmer-Vision Award, honoring those who "exemplify caring, expertise, wisdom and vision for children's educational programming."


OCT. 7 | The Coalition for Quality Children’s Media gave out more than 25 KIDS FIRST! Best Awards in Malibu, Calif., over the weekend, including five “Best of the Fest” prizes to films that represent the gamut of children’s entertainment. More

KIDS FIRST! Best Event

Nominees for KIDS FIRST! Best Awards

Winners of KIDS FIRST! Best Awards 2007


Video Business 10/11/2007

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
star Zach Mills was named best emerging actor at the KIDS FIRST! award show in Malibu on Oct. 7.

Maitland Primrose Group Joins Forces with KIDS FIRST!
To Increase the Visibility and Availability of Quality Children's Media



Forbes Online

Hollywood Reporter Online 

Suzie Shelton Performing at Brooklyn Children's Museum

Suzie Sheltonssss3

KIDS FIRST! Film Festival June 17- July 22
University of Hawai'i at Manoa

kfhiHawaii KidsHawaii Kids 7

Centennial Celebration of Film

Honolulu Weekly


"I just believe in the KIDS FIRST! program. I'll sell it with all my heart. I can't tell you how it has energized me -- I'm singing all the time!  It's like a completion of work I began in film 25 years ago, when I first came to Hawaii and wanted to set up a media arts center to promote critical viewing skills and quality media.  But how great to work with all that with kids, when they are open and curious, as well as vulnerable." Ann Brandman, Executive Director, University of Hawai'i at Manoa Outreach College  

Moving Pictures Magazine, Cannes Edition

MPCannes Ad

Pennsylvania Children's Film Festival / KIDS FIRST!


"I appreciated the care and time given by the staff of KIDS FIRST! to make sure the PA Children's Film Festival had every opportunity to be a success..and it certainly was." Laurel A. Dagnon, Board member, Pennsylvania Film Institute

BettyBrinnBetty Brinn Children's Museum



DenverFilmSocietyDenver Film Society


imagesImages Cinema


Avalon Theater, Washington, DC



USA Film Festival's KidFilm 2007

Dallas - Jan. 20, 2007

Right and below: Mary Matilyn Mouser, voice of Eloise in Starz Home Entertainment's new "Eloise in Hollywood" at USA KidFilm 2007, screen shot from Eloise in Hollywood

Photos by Jenny Langston and Ann Alexander.


Hip Hop Kidz perform to full house at the Long Island Children's Museum, January 15, 2007


KIDS FIRST! Best 2006 Nominees

Best of Fest

  • "Peep & the Big Wide World" - WGBH
  • "Little Manhattan" - 20th Century Fox
  • "Akeelah & The Bee" - Lionsgate
  • "Binta Y La Gran Idea" - Peliculas Pendelton
  • "Going to School in India" - GTS Fund

    Mary Matilyn Mouser
    Winner, Best Emerging Artist
    for her role in "Eloise"

Keke Palmer

Winner, Best Youth Female Role Model For her role in "Akeelah and the Bee





October 14th 2006
Events Include Exclusive Screening of Upcoming Feature Film “Flicka”


Women’s Museum and the State Fair of Texas

September 29 through October 22

The Women's Museum introduced the Texas Girls’ State Fair at the State Fair of Texas 2006. The purpose of Texas Girls' State Fair is to honor, recognize and showcase the achievements and interests of Texas adolescent girls. KIDS FIRST! collaborated with the Women's Museum in presenting a cross-section of films that address women and girls.



Hit the Road with Special Screenings of Preschool Series,
“Pinky Dinky Doo”
East Coast Tour with Creator Jim Jinkins



From Broadway to the Big Screen

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) and
The Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan Team up with Broadway Stars, Famous Film Animators and Renowned Artists to Present:
An Afternoon of Magic and Illusion to Benefit Disadvantaged Families and Children — Sunday, May 7, 2006 from 3 – 6 p.m. at CMOM

Newport Beach Film Festival
Shows KIDS FIRST! Films

April 21 – 23, 2006

Newport Beach Film Festival
selects a collection of KIDS FIRST! films to screen along with their features, shorts and documentaries from around the World

Newport Beach Film Festival Announces Family Film Series Lineup
Photo, right: Will Ferrell and Burble, a costumed character from Danger Rangers series

More Coverage

Images Cinema



Santa Fe Film Festival


Seattle Boat Show


 Explora Museum

LA County Museum of Art

USA Kid Film Festival

Betty Brinn Museum

New York Hall of Science


Lollipop Theater Network

Belcourt Theater

Denver Children's Museum

KIDS FIRST! Best 2005

KIDS FIRST! Best Awards 2005
Presented at Starz Denver Film Festival

  • Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus
  • Danger Rangers, Mission 547
  • Dora the Explorer
  • Mad Hot Ballroom
  • Because of Winn Dixie

    All Winners

Left to right: Chuckie, Kim Waldauer, Lisa Bull and Patrick, Paramount Home Entertainment

Best of the Fest



KidFest Beaumont, TX, Aug. 2005
Still Putting Kids First, Aug. 2005
Starz Denver Junior Film Critics, Nov. 2005


Great Neck Record, Jan 15, 2004
Daily Record, Morris County, Jan 23, 2004
Patent Trader, Feb. 12, 2004
The Journal News, Feb. 2, 2004
The Sound & Town, Feb. 6, 2004
The New York Times, Jan. 16, 2004

Entertainment News for Kids:
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