KIDS FIRST! has endorsed 1391 total Video titles

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This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
AMERICAN SUPERMARKET
AMERICAN SUPERMARKET - SAGE DRAKE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 10-16
Description - A short experimental film, working as an essential worker, the largest supermarket in Northern California. Took pictures with a cell phone as a photo diary during the coronavirus crisis.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - American Supermarket is a short "micro" film that explores the difficulties of employees working at supermarkets during the COVID19 pandemic in 91 seconds.

What is compelling about this film is that it covers a very current and relevant topic. I felt much more educated about how difficult it is to work as an supermarket worker during this pandemic. Keep in mind that it is very short and doesn't go into specifics. It gives you a glimpse of what's going on, enough to make you think about it in a new way.

It shows how many people still brought bags of their own into the market, even after being told not to and the litter of disposable gloves tossed aside by customers after exiting the store. It really points out the thoughtlessness of these actions and makes the viewer wonder why people behave that way. This film gives you a good perspective about how careful these workers are being in order to keep the customers safe. The film takes place in a fairly sizeable supermarket, which is important to the story, because it gives a clearer view of the many problems at supermarkets during this pandemic. The background music has sort of a "street" feel to it. It's really the perfect music for this film and makes it more intense.

There are no actors in this film; we only see long shots of people from a distance and no one is recognizable. I want to compliment the director, Sage Drake, for his excellent work getting his message across in this film. He drives home his message quite clearly and you walk away with a new understanding of how crazy things have become for essential workers during these times. This is well produced and should play well on the big screen. There are problems with some of the text overlaying the film that need to be fixed - missing words or mixed up tense.

The message of this film is that we all need to be careful during this pandemic. We need to honor these essential workers - at supermarkets as well as elsewhere - and be respectful of the rules that are in place to protect the workers, ourselves and everyone else. This film taught me that essential workers are going through a lot and we need to do better at respecting them.

I give American Supermarket 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Allison B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - American Supermarket is a short "micro" film that explores the difficulties of employees working at supermarkets during the COVID19 pandemic in 91 seconds.

What is compelling about this film is that it covers a very current and relevant topic. I felt much more educated about how difficult it is to work as an supermarket worker during this pandemic. Keep in mind that it is very short and doesn't go into specifics. It gives you a glimpse of what's going on, enough to make you think about it in a new way.

It shows how many people still brought bags of their own into the market, even after being told not to and the litter of disposable gloves tossed aside by customers after exiting the store. It really points out the thoughtlessness of these actions and makes the viewer wonder why people behave that way. This film gives you a good perspective about how careful these workers are being in order to keep the customers safe. The film takes place in a fairly sizeable supermarket, which is important to the story, because it gives a clearer view of the many problems at supermarkets during this pandemic. The background music has sort of a "street" feel to it. It's really the perfect music for this film and makes it more intense.

There are no actors in this film; we only see long shots of people from a distance and no one is recognizable. I want to compliment the director, Sage Drake, for his excellent work getting his message across in this film. He drives home his message quite clearly and you walk away with a new understanding of how crazy things have become for essential workers during these times. This is well produced and should play well on the big screen. There are problems with some of the text overlaying the film that need to be fixed - missing words or mixed up tense.

The message of this film is that we all need to be careful during this pandemic. We need to honor these essential workers - at supermarkets as well as elsewhere - and be respectful of the rules that are in place to protect the workers, ourselves and everyone else. This film taught me that essential workers are going through a lot and we need to do better at respecting them.

I give American Supermarket 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Allison B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 2 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SWIMSUIT SEASON, THE
SWIMSUIT SEASON, THE - ANTONINO VALVO
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGE 7-18
Description - Ayman, an overweight boy, is determined to face his insecurities by spending a day in a public pool. But the "swimsuit proof" will be full of little obstacles that will put the boy in trouble.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Swimsuit Season is visually pleasing due to the bright, summery visuals and chill music. But this film also shares an insight into experiences that aren't shown very much in mainstream media. I find films to be more appealing when they tackle an important, controversial or underrated issue in order to bring light or spread awareness.

The story takes place in summer with a boy that just wants to go to the pool, but the way others perceive him quickly changes the mood of his day.

I like that the film focuses on a topic that is often overlooked in mainstream media - body image. It sends a message to impressionable young kids. While the scenes and camera angles are pretty standard, the colors are extremely vibrant and truly emanate the feeling of summer. I don't know how the filmmakers brought that kind of color quality to the film but kudos to them for making it happen. The boy's original swimsuit is ruined as he attempts to lock his stall before someone else walks in on. The red swimsuit that he is forced to buy from the pool store is vital in showing the discomfort he feels starting that point onward in the film. This film is set at a pool. There are changing stalls, a little store, other kids enjoying themselves in it, and young boys walking in pairs around. The music is perfect for a hot summer day. The boy is an adorable kid that wants to enjoy a day at the pool. One of his cutest moments is when he sees the pool, the slide, and all the other kids enjoying their day and he smiles to himself. This just shows how the little things can mean so much to someone and reminds me that I take a lot of things for granted. Then, there's a conflict with other boys shaming him. But he rises to the occasion, much to our relief - only to be subjected to the bullying once again. My favorite part is when the boy wraps the towel around his neck like a cape, puts on his swim cap and goggles and prepares to jump into the pool. Imagination is a wild thing and makes us see the world much differently. We usually grow out of it or at least a form of it, but kids have this fantastic filter less imagination and I love it!

This film tells us not to take things for granted and enjoy the little things. It shows us how our words, especially negative ones, affect others. We get a message about not letting things stop us also.

I give The Swimsuit Season 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 16.

No matter what age you are, you can learn from the messages in this film. Reviewed by Anokhi L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Swimsuit Season appeals to me, because the issue of this short film is about body shaming and bullying, something that is very real for kids today.

The storyline is about an over weight kid in Italy who goes to a water park. He is ashamed of his weight so he goes to the girls bathrooms to change into his bathing suit. When he discovers his bathing suit has a hole in it he goes to go to the front desk to ask for another swimsuit. While he puts on sunscreen two kids pick on him calling him a fat loser. He starts to yell at them, but he then he has a daydream about being a super hero. Then, the bullies hit him with a water balloon.

I like how the boy daydreams about being a hero. He doesn't care how his reflection looks in the water. I like the scene when he puts on his googles and wears his towel like a cape. The setting is in a water park in Italy. The dialogue is in Italian with English subtitles. I like the song during the daydream scene. It is the perfect choice. The camera work is well executed. The audio is clear. This would play well at a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. I recommend this film because children need to learn to stand for themselves and accept themselves the way they are. There is nothing wrong about looking look different from other people. Being different is being unique.

The moral of this film is: it doesn't matter how you look or what type of body shape we have, we can love ourselves the way we are and we need to learn to stand for ourselves.

I give The Swimsuit Season 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 7 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 5 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DREAM STORE
DREAM STORE - PAWEL OLEARCZYK
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGE 10-18
Description - Kacper visits the Dream Store for his 10th birthday. From Poland
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The concept of Dream Store is interesting, although the ideas never quite fully develop. Some scenes are confusing or have no explanation. However, it's a cool concept even though I don't really understand the rules of this universe and it is entertaining.

The storyline is about a young boy who goes to a Dream Store to buy a dream.

The story has a nice concept, although it is a bit odd and confusing. There are many scenes that I just don't understand. The cinematography is quite acceptable. The costumes are suitable to the story. The most interesting location is the dream store itself. However you don't get to see much of it. The music gives a very whimsical and mysterious vibe, which works really well for the style of the film. There are two instances of visual effects and both of them are pretty decent. The actors are quite good. I especially like the Dream Store guy. I like the ideas the film sparks and the possibilities it creates. It has a good message that kids will enjoy. The best line in the film is "you can't return a dream."

The message of the film is about being patient with your dreams. Some people may be concerned when the parents leave the young boy alone with the Dream Store guy, who they have just met and have no idea of who he is. Nothing happens, but it would be considered irresponsible to many.

I give Dream Store 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. You should know that the dialogue is in Polish with English subtitles. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The concept of Dream Store is interesting, although the ideas never quite fully develop. Some scenes are confusing or have no explanation. However, it's a cool concept even though I don't really understand the rules of this universe and it is entertaining..

The storyline is about a young boy who goes to a Dream Store to buy a dream.

The story has a nice concept, although it is a bit odd and confusing. There are many scenes that I just don't understand. The cinematography is quite acceptable. The costumes are suitable to the story. The most interesting location is the dream store itself. However you don't get to see much of it. The music gives a very whimsical and mysterious vibe, which works really well for the style of the film. There are two instances of visual effects and both of them are pretty decent. The actors are quite good. I especially like the Dream Store guy. I like the ideas the film sparks and the possibilities it creates. It has a good message that kids will enjoy. The best line in the film is "you can't return a dream."

The message of the film is about being patient with your dreams. Some people may be concerned when the parents leave the young boy alone with the Dream Store guy, who they have just met and have no idea of who he is. Nothing happens, but it would be considered irresponsible to many.

I give Dream Store 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. You should know that the dialogue is in Polish with English subtitles. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
Runtime: 25 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MY TAGALONG
MY TAGALONG - JERRY WANG
Series: FOREIGH STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-18
Description - A story about two Gemini brothers' journey on the earth. The Older brother wants to enjoy the trip himself, but his younger brother always follows him and makes a lot of troubles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love the animation style and storyline of the short student film My Tagalong! The vibrant colors and cartoonish style are perfect for a child audience and make for a great viewing experience. I especially love the illumination of the Gemini signs on the brothers' foreheads. The storyline is very wholesome and told in a way that is neither preachy nor too light.

The storyline centers on two Gemini brothers and their escapades around the world, from continent to continent. The older brother wants to enjoy the trip by himself, but his younger brother follows him everywhere and meddles in his fun.

It's an interesting story. I like the overarching theme and moral of the film, which is very positive.

I like the concept of two alien brothers traveling the Earth and exploring new places - that might be the sci-fi and adventure fan in me talking. It is fascinating to see how Jerry Wang animated all of the scenes as unique and distinguishable from one another. Several shots are absolutely stunning and captivating. My favorite shot is the confrontation scene with the protective boar - the high-speed action is captured, it seems, to relish every moment and imprint it in the viewer's mind, from the minute texture details of light scratches to the tusks of the wild boar. As both of the brothers are Gemini aliens, their clothing and overall look suits them. I love the clearly outlined, pointy cloaks and spiked hair - the attention to detail is obvious here. I love all the intricate detail that went into designing every location in this short film - the African savanna, the swamps, the starry night-sky, the Gemini planet and the forest - the use of color is very clever and every place pops in a different way.

The music of this film is by a Chinese artist and has great personality! The film begins with bright, medium-tempo and medium-volume music. When the climax is reached, the music grows in volume, pace, and intensity. Afterwards, it slowly recedes to a calming lull for the resolution. I also like the sound effects - the sparkles, thumps, roars, grunts and rain sounds are all very realistic and enhance the viewing experience even more. The animation is what drives this short film though; it's meticulously crafted and an absolute sight to behold. The smooth transitions and realistic action sequences (no walking like an Egyptian here!) are also wonderful. I especially like how the animation, together with the music, brings the characters even further to life. Jerry Wang is the director, writer, and producer of the film, and provides most of the human sound effects as well. Wang's producing skills stand out the most; it's evident the film is neatly tailored, the idea is well thought out, and the characters are deep from the moment you press play.

The message of the film is: siblings are your best friends from birth, so try to never do anything to harm them. They always have your back, after all. It does contain one act of violence, though not realistic, when a boar gores the younger brother. Though it is unrealistic and there is no blood or gore, viewer discretion is advised.

I love the change in the character of the older brother - from a slightly self-centered and perpetually annoyed at the beginning of the short film, he becomes a kind, sweet kid.

I give My Tagalong 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It has a beautiful message, fun animation, and characters who you'll grow to know and love through the six minutes of the short film. It would make a great addition to a film festival. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love the animation style and storyline of the short student film My Tagalong! The vibrant colors and cartoonish style are perfect for a child audience and make for a great viewing experience. I especially love the illumination of the Gemini signs on the brothers' foreheads. The storyline is very wholesome and told in a way that is neither preachy nor too light.

The storyline centers on two Gemini brothers and their escapades around the world, from continent to continent. The older brother wants to enjoy the trip by himself, but his younger brother follows him everywhere and meddles in his fun.

It's an interesting story. I like the overarching theme and moral of the film, which is very positive.

I like the concept of two alien brothers traveling the Earth and exploring new places - that might be the sci-fi and adventure fan in me talking. It is fascinating to see how Jerry Wang animated all of the scenes as unique and distinguishable from one another. Several shots are absolutely stunning and captivating. My favorite shot is the confrontation scene with the protective boar - the high-speed action is captured, it seems, to relish every moment and imprint it in the viewer's mind, from the minute texture details of light scratches to the tusks of the wild boar. As both of the brothers are Gemini aliens, their clothing and overall look suits them. I love the clearly outlined, pointy cloaks and spiked hair - the attention to detail is obvious here. I love all the intricate detail that went into designing every location in this short film - the African savanna, the swamps, the starry night-sky, the Gemini planet and the forest - the use of color is very clever and every place pops in a different way.

The music of this film is by a Chinese artist and has great personality! The film begins with bright, medium-tempo and medium-volume music. When the climax is reached, the music grows in volume, pace, and intensity. Afterwards, it slowly recedes to a calming lull for the resolution. I also like the sound effects - the sparkles, thumps, roars, grunts and rain sounds are all very realistic and enhance the viewing experience even more. The animation is what drives this short film though; it's meticulously crafted and an absolute sight to behold. The smooth transitions and realistic action sequences (no walking like an Egyptian here!) are also wonderful. I especially like how the animation, together with the music, brings the characters even further to life. Jerry Wang is the director, writer, and producer of the film, and provides most of the human sound effects as well. Wang's producing skills stand out the most; it's evident the film is neatly tailored, the idea is well thought out, and the characters are deep from the moment you press play.

The message of the film is: siblings are your best friends from birth, so try to never do anything to harm them. They always have your back, after all. It does contain one act of violence, though not realistic, when a boar gores the younger brother. Though it is unrealistic and there is no blood or gore, viewer discretion is advised.

I love the change in the character of the older brother - from a slightly self-centered and perpetually annoyed at the beginning of the short film, he becomes a kind, sweet kid.

I give My Tagalong 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It has a beautiful message, fun animation, and characters who you'll grow to know and love through the six minutes of the short film. It would make a great addition to a film festival. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 7 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MEHNDI & ME
MEHNDI & ME - LAURA P. VALTORTA
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Description - A lawyer living in South Carolina discovers camaraderie through henna tattoos.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Mehndi & Me is a beautiful representation of a cultural art form and beauty practice in multiple South Asian countries. It's short and sweet and also brings awareness to an underrated form of art. The film tells the story of a woman named Laboni Sarker who is a Bangladeshi immigrant and does mehndi (temporary henna tattoos).

I like how this film tells the story of Laboni and her history with mehndi but, it goes on a tangent about the daughters and their dance. If the film was longer, they could afford to do that, but in a short film like this it's an unnecessary distraction that takes from the main theme of the film.

The interview style segments of this film allow Laboni to tell her story. However, the scenes feel a little random - as if they are similar enough to be thrown together. Most of the people in the film are wearing everyday clothing except Laboni who wears a sari which makes her standout and it represents her culture, which is appropriate. The film is set in what appears to Laboni's house where she practices mehndi. The background music, by Laboni, it captures the cultural feeling and fits well with the subject of the film. The key influencers are Laboni, her daughters and the three women who are getting their Mehndi done. They drive the story through their interaction. The questions prompt more storytelling and gives a better insight into the mehndi.

This is a nice tribute to the art form and brings awareness about mehndi. I have taken classes in mehndi design when I visited India a few years ago. It was basic mehndi design and this film sparked an interest in me to take up the practice again and try some more advanced designs. My favorite part of the film is when the woman asks Laboni's daughters if they dance and if other girls comment on their mehndi. I can relate to both of these things in my life, which is sweet, as it means I can share similar experiences with other girls like myself.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 14. We need more cultural representation in mainstream media and films like these are a start to make that a norm. The next generation should grow up in a world where they can see themselves on TV and relate to characters they see. This film qualifies as Asian American and multi-cultural in focus.

Reviewed by Anokhi L, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mehndi & Me is a thought-provoking short film which explores an interesting and less-documented topic. The traditional art of mehndi has little space in the limelight of modern cinematography, and this film provides a fresh take on the South Asian art and culture. It is also interesting to hear from a professional henna artist.

Filmmaker Laura Valtorta uncovers a new world of artistry, camaraderie, and tradition in her exploration of mehndi, traditional South Asian henna tattoos. Laboni Sarkar, a Bangladeshi henna artist, speaks with Valtorta about the permeation of Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani traditions and concepts in Western society and shares the perspective of a first-generation immigrant on her beloved culture.

The story of mehndi is ages old, and Laboni Sarkar outlines what it is, as well as when it is used, and where it comes from. The camera work in this short film is high-quality overall; I especially like the close-up shots of the mehndi application and interview scenes. However, at some points, the cameraman's head is seen in the shot. I noticed, during a close-up shot of Sarkar, the camera seems to dip down and shake for a bit, and then stabilizes. There are no costumes per se except that Sarkar wears a beautiful green sari, representing her Bangladeshi heritage. The entire film was shot at Laura's house, in Columbia, SC, during a mehndi application appointment with Laboni. I like the lo-fi feel of the set, but the lighting could have been a bit better, as could have the sound quality. I love the Bengali songs playing in the background. They provide a serene and yet elegant quality to the film.

Laura Valtorta is the director, producer and writer. Lynn Cornfoot is the editor and creates a wonderful viewing experience. But, Laboni Sarkar stands out the most as an expert on Bangladeshi culture and mehndi. Her showcased talents and casual camera presence are great additions to this film. This film promotes cultural awareness and understanding.

As a South Asian American, there is little I don't know about South Asian culture, but this short film taught me several new things about mehndi. I love the soundtrack - a Bengali song picked out by Laboni Sarkar. It is elegant and befitting to the film. I give Mehndi & Me 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It promotes cultural awareness and learning more about other cultures, which is a great aspect to include at film festivals in such a multi-cultural, diverse age as 2020 and in the melting pot nation we live in. This would play well in the USA, as well as in other countries. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Criti
Runtime: 7 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
INTRUDERS - INTRUSOS
INTRUDERS - INTRUSOS - SOCIEDAD ACTORAL HISPANOAMERICANA
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 10-16
Description - This short film explores values ??such as teamwork, friendship, solidarity, equality and equity. A group of students from an arts school organize and review pending projects for the production of a short film that represents their final cycle work and, with it, the opportunity to advance to the next grade. The day of filming, already at the house that will be a filming location and while the equipment, props and so on go down, someone watches them from the inside. No one in the group realizes that they are being watched, much less the experience that awaits them.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Intruders is a very intriguing short film. The dialogue is in Spanish with English subtitles and it made in the USA. It really makes you think about the difficult situation that immigrants are faced with when coming to the U.S. The subject is very serious, but also digestible for younger viewers, which is amazing. The story might be difficult for some to understand, but this film does it very well and is definitely entertaining and interesting at the same time.

The film follows a group of students in Florida that go to an abandoned house to shoot a short film. When rumors of the house being haunted begin to spread, panic ensues.

Not many films that aren't documentaries attempt to teach about the struggles of immigrants. How this film presents that in the storyline is interesting and, even for younger kids, is easy to relate to. The story is very entertaining; some parts are even quite funny. There is something about watching kids running around trying to figure out why supernatural events are happening that is so fun to watch!

The camera work is quite acceptable. One particularly interesting shot takes place, near the end of the film, when they do almost a looping shot around a room. The costumes are very appropriate for the time and place, which is current day, in Florida. There are two different locations used - the bus and the house. Both locations are right on point. The house is supposed to be abandoned in such a way that no one wants to buy it. The house seems a little too clean for being abandoned, but you can overlook that. What has the most impact on this film is definitely the sound effects. At times, the audio and video seem a bit out of sync and the youth actors are a bit flat at times, but neither detract too much from the film. Also, the subtitles are slightly off. I do recommend that the filmmaker fix those before it is exhibited.

The message of this film is "it is important that you listen to other people's stories, even if they will never apply to you."

I learned about how difficult immigrating is at school. However, watching this film made me realize how much more I have to learn on this topic.

I give Intruders 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. This film would be an excellent way to teach kids about immigration issues and it is definitely entertaining. It would play well as KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals, especially those focused on social issues. Reviewed by Exxie P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Intruders is a very intriguing short film. The dialogue is in Spanish with English subtitles and it made in the USA. It really makes you think about the difficult situation that immigrants are faced with when coming to the U.S. The subject is very serious, but also digestible for younger viewers, which is amazing. The story might be difficult for some to understand, but this film does it very well and is definitely entertaining and interesting at the same time.

The film follows a group of students in Florida that go to an abandoned house to shoot a short film. When rumors of the house being haunted begin to spread, panic ensues.

Not many films that aren't documentaries attempt to teach about the struggles of immigrants. How this film presents that in the storyline is interesting and, even for younger kids, is easy to relate to. The story is very entertaining; some parts are even quite funny. There is something about watching kids running around trying to figure out why supernatural events are happening that is so fun to watch!

The camera work is quite acceptable. One particularly interesting shot takes place, near the end of the film, when they do almost a looping shot around a room. The costumes are very appropriate for the time and place, which is current day, in Florida. There are two different locations used - the bus and the house. Both locations are right on point. The house is supposed to be abandoned in such a way that no one wants to buy it. The house seems a little too clean for being abandoned, but you can overlook that. What has the most impact on this film is definitely the sound effects. At times, the audio and video seem a bit out of sync and the youth actors are a bit flat at times, but neither detract too much from the film. Also, the subtitles are slightly off. I do recommend that the filmmaker fix those before it is exhibited.

The message of this film is "it is important that you listen to other people's stories, even if they will never apply to you."

I learned about how difficult immigrating is at school. However, watching this film made me realize how much more I have to learn on this topic.

I give Intruders 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. This film would be an excellent way to teach kids about immigration issues and it is definitely entertaining. It would play well as KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals, especially those focused on social issues. Reviewed by Exxie P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 18 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FOX TALES, SUMMER NIGHT
FOX TALES, SUMMER NIGHT - DARRAN KUAH
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 3-7
Description - Little Snow is gifted with a magical powers to conjure up magic by writing with her tails! But being a playful cub, she will get into all sorts of silly troubles and adventure because of it!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The 2D animated short Fox Tales, Summer Night has very entertaining characters and a unique educational angle. This film is visually appealing and professionally executed, thanks to animation by Darren Kuah.

The story follows Snow, a young fox, who has the ability to conjure up magic by writing with her tail. When her parents set rules for Snow and her siblings, she tries to find loopholes with her powers and gets into a sticky situation.

The immersive and enthralling storyline captured my attention for the entire six minute span. I found myself wondering what would happen next, and especially enjoyed the educational angle in the last quarter of the film. It's wonderful to learn new things from films and I'm happy to say that Fox Tales, Summer Night taught me more about the legend of Hou Yi, a Chinese folktale.

The camera work, though relatively simple, helps carry the short film's plot steadily and with stability. The most masterful animation and camera work occurs during the 'shooting down the Sun' scenes. The characters are quite intricate; all the animals look realistic and are anthropomorphic, with the ability to speak. The film takes place in a forest somewhere in Asia (most likely Singapore or China, given the myths mentioned). Crisp and detailed, the animation adds a playful aura to the production. The music and sound effects, which are minimal, serve as either a comedic or emphatic purpose or are smooth segues to the next scene. The tracks seem like royalty-free music, but for a cartoon-style short film, that's okay. Sebastian Law directed and wrote the film. Chia Su Ping voice-acts the role of Snow with great conviction; her bright and clear delivery adds sharpness to the role and makes Snow's persona three-dimensional. She truly steals the show! Nadia Ramlee lends her voice to Didi, a grey fox who is Snow's friend. Ramlee portrays the role in a commendable manner. You learn a bit about Chinese myths, specifically that of Hou Yi from this film. The delicately sprinkled-in comedy with jokes and chuckle-eliciting dialogue are totally aligned with the sense of humor of older viewers as well as the target audience. It makes a lovely addition to the film.

The message of the film is that "rules exist for a reason, and if you break them, there will be consequences." The story encourages kids to be obedient to their parents.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7, plus adults. This would make a lovely addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival with its sweet message, fun animation and a one-of-a-kind educational angle. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The 2D animated short Fox Tales, Summer Night has very entertaining characters and a unique educational angle. This film is visually appealing and professionally executed, thanks to animation by Darren Kuah.

The story follows Snow, a young fox, who has the ability to conjure up magic by writing with her tail. When her parents set rules for Snow and her siblings, she tries to find loopholes with her powers and gets into a sticky situation.

The immersive and enthralling storyline captured my attention for the entire six minute span. I found myself wondering what would happen next, and especially enjoyed the educational angle in the last quarter of the film. It's wonderful to learn new things from films and I'm happy to say that Fox Tales, Summer Night taught me more about the legend of Hou Yi, a Chinese folktale.

The camera work, though relatively simple, helps carry the short film's plot steadily and with stability. The most masterful animation and camera work occurs during the 'shooting down the Sun' scenes. The characters are quite intricate; all the animals look realistic and are anthropomorphic, with the ability to speak. The film takes place in a forest somewhere in Asia (most likely Singapore or China, given the myths mentioned). Crisp and detailed, the animation adds a playful aura to the production. The music and sound effects, which are minimal, serve as either a comedic or emphatic purpose or are smooth segues to the next scene. The tracks seem like royalty-free music, but for a cartoon-style short film, that's okay. Sebastian Law directed and wrote the film. Chia Su Ping voice-acts the role of Snow with great conviction; her bright and clear delivery adds sharpness to the role and makes Snow's persona three-dimensional. She truly steals the show! Nadia Ramlee lends her voice to Didi, a grey fox who is Snow's friend. Ramlee portrays the role in a commendable manner. You learn a bit about Chinese myths, specifically that of Hou Yi from this film. The delicately sprinkled-in comedy with jokes and chuckle-eliciting dialogue are totally aligned with the sense of humor of older viewers as well as the target audience. It makes a lovely addition to the film.

The message of the film is that "rules exist for a reason, and if you break them, there will be consequences." The story encourages kids to be obedient to their parents.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7, plus adults. This would make a lovely addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival with its sweet message, fun animation and a one-of-a-kind educational angle. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 6 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
VOODOO
VOODOO - AUDREY LINH THACHER
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10 - 16
Description - A greedy boy refuses to share his Cafe du Monde beignets with his sister and suffers the consequences in Voodoo City.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Audrey Linh Thacher's student produced film Voodoo has some great elements of humor and a sweet message, but there is no real resolution to the conflict. The first few seconds of comedic injury due to the Voodoo doll are funny. However, after 30 seconds passes, the humor wears off. It becomes less of a comedy and more of vindictive rage. Still, as a student film, I give it credit for its simple, yet clear story delivered in just over two minutes.

The storyline is about how a young boy who refuses to share sweets with his sister, and suffers consequences when his sister buys a voodoo doll. After she sticks needles into the voodoo doll, the boy feels such pain that he runs across the state lines of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia to escape, but can't. All this time the girl keeps stabbing the doll to no end, until (after the credits) she throws it into a blender. We only hear the result of that, but it rather undermines the message of the short film.

It is difficult to make a running montage not seem either pre-rehearsed or nauseatingly shaky and real. Linh Thacher manages to balance that out in the cinematography and editing. I especially love the shots of the highway billboards announcing the boundaries of each state. The attention to detail to Louisiana culture, with the boy's fleur-de-lis baseball cap, is something that sticks out in my mind as exceptional. For a movie about voodoo, Louisiana is a great setting. My favorite location is the very colorful streets in New Orleans. The music by Vibe Mountain is a good choice for a film with no dialogue; the quick tempo keeps the viewer engaged. Another plus is that it does not sound like royalty-free music!

Audrey Linh Thacher directed, wrote and stars in Voodoo. Though only sixteen years old, she has a great camera presence and pulls off her role with ease. Although the last part might be because her actual brother plays her brother. Gavin Vu Thacher, much like his sister, acts with grace. I enjoyed Gavin's comedic performance, which is undeniably funny despite the drawn-out injury sequences. Vu Thacher's acting is also very believable.

The message of the film is to be kind to those dear to you and share. The film does show some negative behavior that is not addressed when the girl takes out her pent-up anger on her brother by using a voodoo doll and keeps stabbing it, ultimately throwing it into the blender. This is an unhealthy coping mechanism and a bad example for kids. It addresses the occult topic of voodoo, which may be an issue for some.

I give Voodoo 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 16, plus adults. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Audrey Linh Thacher's student produced film Voodoo has some great elements of humor and a sweet message, but there is no real resolution to the conflict. The first few seconds of comedic injury due to the Voodoo doll are funny. However, after 30 seconds passes, the humor wears off. It becomes less of a comedy and more of vindictive rage. Still, as a student film, I give it credit for its simple, yet clear story delivered in just over two minutes.

The storyline is about how a young boy who refuses to share sweets with his sister, and suffers consequences when his sister buys a voodoo doll. After she sticks needles into the voodoo doll, the boy feels such pain that he runs across the state lines of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia to escape, but can't. All this time the girl keeps stabbing the doll to no end, until (after the credits) she throws it into a blender. We only hear the result of that, but it rather undermines the message of the short film.

It is difficult to make a running montage not seem either pre-rehearsed or nauseatingly shaky and real. Linh Thacher manages to balance that out in the cinematography and editing. I especially love the shots of the highway billboards announcing the boundaries of each state. The attention to detail to Louisiana culture, with the boy's fleur-de-lis baseball cap, is something that sticks out in my mind as exceptional. For a movie about voodoo, Louisiana is a great setting. My favorite location is the very colorful streets in New Orleans. The music by Vibe Mountain is a good choice for a film with no dialogue; the quick tempo keeps the viewer engaged. Another plus is that it does not sound like royalty-free music!

Audrey Linh Thacher directed, wrote and stars in Voodoo. Though only sixteen years old, she has a great camera presence and pulls off her role with ease. Although the last part might be because her actual brother plays her brother. Gavin Vu Thacher, much like his sister, acts with grace. I enjoyed Gavin's comedic performance, which is undeniably funny despite the drawn-out injury sequences. Vu Thacher's acting is also very believable.

The message of the film is to be kind to those dear to you and share. The film does show some negative behavior that is not addressed when the girl takes out her pent-up anger on her brother by using a voodoo doll and keeps stabbing it, ultimately throwing it into the blender. This is an unhealthy coping mechanism and a bad example for kids. It addresses the occult topic of voodoo, which may be an issue for some.

I give Voodoo 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 16, plus adults. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 2 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-16 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LAPIS DE LUMINE - KALEE DEHAMER
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-18
Description - A young herbalist sets out on her own to take up the family business with the help of a magical family heirloom. When the necklace is stolen, she gives chase, but what she finds at the end of her pursuit is not what she was expecting...is she prepared to handle it?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love the deep storyline and awesome 2D animation style of Lapis de Lumine! This short film is a great fantasy example of helping others with the gifts you have. I also love the unique cartoonish animation style; it really enhances the viewing experience.

The storyline follows a young herbalist that takes on the challenge of managing the family business with an ancient heirloom - a gold necklace. When the necklace is stolen, she gives chase but soon has to reevaluate her priorities.

The story had me glued to my seat for the entirety its seven minutes. I was waiting to see what would happen next and how each of the characters would evolve. Despite not having any dialogue, the main and ancillary characters have many nuances that the short film explores well.

The detail put into every frame is excellent. My favorite scene, as far as cinematography is concerned, is definitely the chase scene, where the protagonist sprints through the beautifully animated woods. The costumes fit the time period, which appear to be sometime from 1400 - 1600. I particularly like the protagonist's, which looks like it took inspiration from the clothing of medieval Europe or the Middle East. That's a cool touch! I love the setting; the herbalist's shop is small and quaint and the woods are magnificent! Kalee DeHamer's sets are terrific. The background music enhances the already wonderful viewing experience. Serene and calm as the film begins, the music picks up pace and intensity, then slows down, and picks up pace again - the trajectory of the music is a lot like the plot rollercoaster of the film.

The sound effects in this short film are very believable - the crunch of shoes on the ground and the sound of ambient nature all make the viewer feel like they are side-by-side with the protagonist. Kalee DeHamer is the director, producer, writer, animator and storyboard artist of the film. An absolute jack of all trades, DeHamer's animating and production skills are stand-out quality. I love the animation of this film; it's super cute and playful!

The message of Lapis De Lumine is to help others with the gifts and assets you have, as there is always someone who needs those gifts/skills/assets more than you. This film made me want to learn more about herbalism.

I give Lapis de Lumine 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This is a very high-quality film that promotes responsibility, kindness and a generous attitude. This is perfect for a film festival! Herbalism is central to the plot of this film. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love the deep storyline and awesome 2D animation style of Lapis de Lumine! This short film is a great fantasy example of helping others with the gifts you have. I also love the unique cartoonish animation style; it really enhances the viewing experience.

The storyline follows a young herbalist that takes on the challenge of managing the family business with an ancient heirloom - a gold necklace. When the necklace is stolen, she gives chase but soon has to reevaluate her priorities.

The story had me glued to my seat for the entirety its seven minutes. I was waiting to see what would happen next and how each of the characters would evolve. Despite not having any dialogue, the main and ancillary characters have many nuances that the short film explores well.

The detail put into every frame is excellent. My favorite scene, as far as cinematography is concerned, is definitely the chase scene, where the protagonist sprints through the beautifully animated woods. The costumes fit the time period, which appear to be sometime from 1400 - 1600. I particularly like the protagonist's, which looks like it took inspiration from the clothing of medieval Europe or the Middle East. That's a cool touch! I love the setting; the herbalist's shop is small and quaint and the woods are magnificent! Kalee DeHamer's sets are terrific. The background music enhances the already wonderful viewing experience. Serene and calm as the film begins, the music picks up pace and intensity, then slows down, and picks up pace again - the trajectory of the music is a lot like the plot rollercoaster of the film.

The sound effects in this short film are very believable - the crunch of shoes on the ground and the sound of ambient nature all make the viewer feel like they are side-by-side with the protagonist. Kalee DeHamer is the director, producer, writer, animator and storyboard artist of the film. An absolute jack of all trades, DeHamer's animating and production skills are stand-out quality. I love the animation of this film; it's super cute and playful!

The message of Lapis De Lumine is to help others with the gifts and assets you have, as there is always someone who needs those gifts/skills/assets more than you. This film made me want to learn more about herbalism.

I give Lapis de Lumine 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This is a very high-quality film that promotes responsibility, kindness and a generous attitude. This is perfect for a film festival! Herbalism is central to the plot of this film. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 8 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAGIC CAMERA
MAGIC CAMERA - RODNEY S. ROBINSON
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-15
Description - A young girl struggles to come to terms with her grandmother's death. Through the use of her imagination and an old camera she seeks to hold on to precious memories and hopes to bridge the emotional gap that exists between her and her mother.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The mysterious and magical plot makes the short film, Magic Camera, captivating and left me wanting more. The relationships between the characters are believable. The story line is very entertaining. Death grief and love all play important and mystical roles that make the film eye catching.

The storyline follows Karin and her mom when they go to her deceased Gran's house. Karin takes a camera that Gran told her was magic. She and her friend take pictures at places her Gran had been before and Karin sees something magical in the photos.

I like the concept of the girl having a camera that is magic to connect to her grandmother that she misses. I also like the ending because it leaves the viewer wondering if what she saw was real. The flashbacks are really well executed and add more detail to the story and use costumes appropriate to the time frame. The close ups help the viewer see the expressions of the characters more clearly. The items in Gran's house are staged well to look as if they belonged in an elderly person's home. The park scene is filmed at a perfect time because the background isn't too busy or distracting. The background music at the beginning sets the tone as mysterious and sad. The special effects with the photographs show a ghostly image in them and very believable.

Congratulations to Rodney Robinson who wrote and directed this film. It has an interesting plot with intriguing ideas. The characters have believable relationships on camera. The bond between the grandmother (Jane Hallstrom) and Karin (Kirana Kuie) is sweet and well performed. The relationship between Karin and her mom, Angela (Emily Tynan McDaniel), is typical of parent and teen relationships - with a little tension. Angela's relationship with Gran is similar in the flashback scene. Karin's friendship with her friend, Terri (Carley Oreck) shows how friends can be supportive when needed. My favorite scene is the one where Karin takes a photograph of the empty bench and, when she gets the photograph back, it shows her ghostly Gran staring back at her. It brought tears to my eyes. Who among us hasn't wanted to see someone we love for one last time.

The message of this film is "death can't destroy the strong, mysterious bond of love."

I give Magic Camera 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 15. This short film stands out because it is an intriguing story that will capture and hold the viewer's interest. It deals with coping with death and has a spiritual aspect to it. Reviewed by Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The mysterious and magical plot makes the short film, Magic Camera, captivating and left me wanting more. The relationships between the characters are believable. The story line is very entertaining. Death grief and love all play important and mystical roles that make the film eye catching.

The storyline follows Karin and her mom when they go to her deceased Gran's house. Karin takes a camera that Gran told her was magic. She and her friend take pictures at places her Gran had been before and Karin sees something magical in the photos.

I like the concept of the girl having a camera that is magic to connect to her grandmother that she misses. I also like the ending because it leaves the viewer wondering if what she saw was real. The flashbacks are really well executed and add more detail to the story and use costumes appropriate to the time frame. The close ups help the viewer see the expressions of the characters more clearly. The items in Gran's house are staged well to look as if they belonged in an elderly person's home. The park scene is filmed at a perfect time because the background isn't too busy or distracting. The background music at the beginning sets the tone as mysterious and sad. The special effects with the photographs show a ghostly image in them and very believable.

Congratulations to Rodney Robinson who wrote and directed this film. It has an interesting plot with intriguing ideas. The characters have believable relationships on camera. The bond between the grandmother (Jane Hallstrom) and Karin (Kirana Kuie) is sweet and well performed. The relationship between Karin and her mom, Angela (Emily Tynan McDaniel), is typical of parent and teen relationships - with a little tension. Angela's relationship with Gran is similar in the flashback scene. Karin's friendship with her friend, Terri (Carley Oreck) shows how friends can be supportive when needed. My favorite scene is the one where Karin takes a photograph of the empty bench and, when she gets the photograph back, it shows her ghostly Gran staring back at her. It brought tears to my eyes. Who among us hasn't wanted to see someone we love for one last time.

The message of this film is "death can't destroy the strong, mysterious bond of love."

I give Magic Camera 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 15. This short film stands out because it is an intriguing story that will capture and hold the viewer's interest. It deals with coping with death and has a spiritual aspect to it. Reviewed by Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 14 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
OUR SHOT
OUR SHOT - SAGE DRAKE
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 7 - 18
Description - Filmmaker Sage Christian Drake shares his feelings and passion for his latest experimental film on life appreciation and the limited time that we all carry.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Our Shot is appealing because it makes you feel that you are not alone and it's up to you to choose how to cope with difficult times. The corona-virus brings many struggles, which can lead people to anger and depression. The director uses black and white picture to define the initial mood, then he switches to colorful pictures to portrait hope and happy times. Our Shot, by Sage Drake, is a collection of photographs from all over the world showing how people have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are coping through dark times. The film also expresses hope for the future. What I like about this story is how, at first, all hope is loss and the film is in black and white, but soon into the movie hope is regained and the film changes to full color. What I do not like is the first scene showing a long Shakespeare quote. It is difficult to read and understand it in a very short period of time. I felt that the message in the film, in many ways, resembles a TV commercial. The visuals are pictures of everyday people experiencing their lives in different situations. The use of color is very interesting. The narrator (Rachel Amanda Bryant) uses a powerful and clear voice to engage the audience. While there is no acting or costumes, per se, the director chooses pictures with people wearing or not wearing masks. The locations are a variety of places in the world where people took these pictures. The music is heartwarming since it gives first a melancholic mood and then a more uplifting one. The music is powerful and matches the narrator's story. This film makes people feel good and promotes the concept that there is hope and that each of us have a "shot" to make it better. This film reminds me how important my health, friends and family are. It also nudges us to stay positive during the pandemic, as this is not for the rest of our lives. My favorite part of the film is when we see the rainbow and things become positive and colorful. This film is important for the times in which we are living. While younger kids might find the film boring and uninteresting, especially the first scene with the Shakespearean quote, youth and adults both will identify with the message.

The message of this film is: when times are dark, always push yourself to the light. I give Our Shot 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults.

Reviewed by Liam K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Our Shot is appealing because it makes you feel that you are not alone and it's up to you to choose how to cope with difficult times. The corona-virus brings many struggles, which can lead people to anger and depression. The director uses black and white picture to define the initial mood, then he switches to colorful pictures to portrait hope and happy times. Our Shot, by Sage Drake, is a collection of photographs from all over the world showing how people have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are coping through dark times. The film also expresses hope for the future. What I like about this story is how, at first, all hope is loss and the film is in black and white, but soon into the movie hope is regained and the film changes to full color. What I do not like is the first scene showing a long Shakespeare quote. It is difficult to read and understand it in a very short period of time. I felt that the message in the film, in many ways, resembles a TV commercial. The visuals are pictures of everyday people experiencing their lives in different situations. The use of color is very interesting. The narrator (Rachel Amanda Bryant) uses a powerful and clear voice to engage the audience. While there is no acting or costumes, per se, the director chooses pictures with people wearing or not wearing masks. The locations are a variety of places in the world where people took these pictures. The music is heartwarming since it gives first a melancholic mood and then a more uplifting one. The music is powerful and matches the narrator's story. This film makes people feel good and promotes the concept that there is hope and that each of us have a "shot" to make it better. This film reminds me how important my health, friends and family are. It also nudges us to stay positive during the pandemic, as this is not for the rest of our lives. My favorite part of the film is when we see the rainbow and things become positive and colorful. This film is important for the times in which we are living. While younger kids might find the film boring and uninteresting, especially the first scene with the Shakespearean quote, youth and adults both will identify with the message.

The message of this film is: when times are dark, always push yourself to the light. I give Our Shot 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults.

Reviewed by Liam K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
Runtime: 6 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
YARNE
YARNE - ANDREW KRAKOWER
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 10-18
Description - The money earned by 11-year-olds Sonam and Tashi for doing prayers is only enough to share one small Coke. Sonam is lucky to even get a sip before Tashi, the monastery bully, drinks the entire bottle. Yarne is an annual six-week period when Buddhist monks remain within the monastery grounds for focused study and practice, yet for child monks, it's more like house arrest. Tired of wasting his money, Sonam decides to save up every rupee he earns during Yarne to buy a soccer ball, but first he will have to stand up to Tashi.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The beautiful settings and rich cultural education provided by the short film Yarne make it a wonderful watch. This short film offers a rare glance of the monk's life outside of the prayer room. I appreciate that director Andrew Krakower does not romanticize the image of the child monks excessively. He shows that they too are human and creates incredibly realistic characters based on his own experiences in Kathmandu. I also love the incredible architecture and culture shown in the film. The film team captures the essence of monastic life through majestic panoramic shots of intricate murals inside the monastery and the greenery-filled grounds.

Named for the period of time when Buddhist monks stay inside the monastery, praying throughout the day, Yarne is the story of Sonam and Tashi, 11-year old monks in Kathmandu. With the money they earn, they barely can afford a single bottle of Coke and Sonam can barely sneak a sip in before Tashi, the bully, drinks the rest of the bottle. Tired of wasting his money, Sonam decides to save up every rupee he earns to buy a soccer ball, but first, he will have to muster the courage to stand up to Tashi.

This is a story that is relatable to many, not in the context of monastic life, but in the context of bullying. This is an empowering film to shows to an audience of children, as it encourages them to stand up for themselves. It also shows them the value of money. All of the dialogue is very organic and natural. Yarne does not seem scripted whatsoever.

The cinematography is top-class. The camera work emphasizes the beauty of the culture, the theme and the storyline. My favorite shots are inside the monastery during prayers. The murals of the monastery, the calligraphy of the ancient texts and even the creases in the monk's robes are crisp and sharply detailed. I also am impressed by the stability of the shots the children took - despite running around while holding the camera, there is little to no blur.

All of the monks wear traditional saffron and crimson kasaya, a type of triple-layered robe. This is befitting of the storyline and time period. Those who are not monks wear traditional Nepalese clothing like kurtas, or tunics. Yarne is shot mostly in Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in the town of Boudhanath, on the outskirts of Kathmandu. This monastery is led by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher, author, monk and meditation master Ven. Tulku Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, who appears in several scenes. The monastery is ages old and is absolutely magical. I'll go as far as to say that the beauty of the setting transformed the viewing experience for me.

The music of Yarne is completely in Tibetan and Nepalese, with songs like Nyingjemo, Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha and Rinchen Trengwa Chod. Some of these songs have religious ties as well. Many of the songs are sung by the monks in the monastery but many Nepalese and Tibetan talents have lent their voices to the film. The music adds a new level of exoticism and enjoy-ability, so to speak, to the viewing experience of the film. The music really encapsulates all the emotions.

Andrew Krakower is the director, writer and producer of Yarne. Dawa Dorjee plays Tashi and Sonam is portayed by Konchok Rangdol. I enjoyed Rangdol's performance. His skill at delivery and his realistic expressions sell the role. Dorjee is also incredibly persuasive in his performance as Tashi; he really gets into the role! After watching this film, I learned more about the life of a monk and Buddhism. I loved the character of Sonam - he's so endearing! Ven. Tulku Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche appears in this film, which is a rarity.

The message is to stand up for yourself. There are one or two instances of the young monks roughhousing and messing with one another, and the adults don't address this behavior. Bullying is also shown. But there is an active message against such behavior.

I give Yarne 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults, This heartwarming and educational film would be a wonderful addition to a youth and family film festival. After all, it's not often you come across a short film in the Tibetan language. Of course the film is subtitled in English. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The beautiful settings and rich cultural education provided by the short film Yarne make it a wonderful watch. This short film offers a rare glance of the monk's life outside of the prayer room. I appreciate that director Andrew Krakower does not romanticize the image of the child monks excessively. He shows that they too are human and creates incredibly realistic characters based on his own experiences in Kathmandu. I also love the incredible architecture and culture shown in the film. The film team captures the essence of monastic life through majestic panoramic shots of intricate murals inside the monastery and the greenery-filled grounds.

Named for the period of time when Buddhist monks stay inside the monastery, praying throughout the day, Yarne is the story of Sonam and Tashi, 11-year old monks in Kathmandu. With the money they earn, they barely can afford a single bottle of Coke and Sonam can barely sneak a sip in before Tashi, the bully, drinks the rest of the bottle. Tired of wasting his money, Sonam decides to save up every rupee he earns to buy a soccer ball, but first, he will have to muster the courage to stand up to Tashi.

This is a story that is relatable to many, not in the context of monastic life, but in the context of bullying. This is an empowering film to shows to an audience of children, as it encourages them to stand up for themselves. It also shows them the value of money. All of the dialogue is very organic and natural. Yarne does not seem scripted whatsoever.

The cinematography is top-class. The camera work emphasizes the beauty of the culture, the theme and the storyline. My favorite shots are inside the monastery during prayers. The murals of the monastery, the calligraphy of the ancient texts and even the creases in the monk's robes are crisp and sharply detailed. I also am impressed by the stability of the shots the children took - despite running around while holding the camera, there is little to no blur.

All of the monks wear traditional saffron and crimson kasaya, a type of triple-layered robe. This is befitting of the storyline and time period. Those who are not monks wear traditional Nepalese clothing like kurtas, or tunics. Yarne is shot mostly in Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in the town of Boudhanath, on the outskirts of Kathmandu. This monastery is led by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher, author, monk and meditation master Ven. Tulku Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, who appears in several scenes. The monastery is ages old and is absolutely magical. I'll go as far as to say that the beauty of the setting transformed the viewing experience for me.

The music of Yarne is completely in Tibetan and Nepalese, with songs like Nyingjemo, Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha and Rinchen Trengwa Chod. Some of these songs have religious ties as well. Many of the songs are sung by the monks in the monastery but many Nepalese and Tibetan talents have lent their voices to the film. The music adds a new level of exoticism and enjoy-ability, so to speak, to the viewing experience of the film. The music really encapsulates all the emotions.

Andrew Krakower is the director, writer and producer of Yarne. Dawa Dorjee plays Tashi and Sonam is portayed by Konchok Rangdol. I enjoyed Rangdol's performance. His skill at delivery and his realistic expressions sell the role. Dorjee is also incredibly persuasive in his performance as Tashi; he really gets into the role! After watching this film, I learned more about the life of a monk and Buddhism. I loved the character of Sonam - he's so endearing! Ven. Tulku Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche appears in this film, which is a rarity.

The message is to stand up for yourself. There are one or two instances of the young monks roughhousing and messing with one another, and the adults don't address this behavior. Bullying is also shown. But there is an active message against such behavior.

I give Yarne 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults, This heartwarming and educational film would be a wonderful addition to a youth and family film festival. After all, it's not often you come across a short film in the Tibetan language. Of course the film is subtitled in English. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 15 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WITHOUT A MAP
WITHOUT A MAP - NACHO ROS
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 13-18
Description - Rebeca is a teenager who plans to jump into the void; She used to be a happy girl, but just like Alice in Wonderland, one day she was lost in an unpredictable world. Without north and without references it seems very complex to find a way back.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Without A Map, a masterpiece of a film, explores a massive spectrum of emotions. It deals with dark topics and handles them gently, with an overarching message of positivity. The high-quality cinematography enraptured me and held me under the illusion that I was watching a high-budget feature film.

The story follows Rebeca, who stands at the edge of a hospital roof, contemplating jumping off. Her mother recently passed, her depressed father does not interact with her and she is failing several classes at school. Rebeca believes her life has no meaning anymore. Without references, a map, or anyone to guide her, Rebeca finds it incredibly hard to find a way back to her old life... until she meets Elena.

Though depressing at some parts, Rebeca goes on an inspiring and beautiful journey over the course of the film. The message of hope, love and belonging combine to make this film relatively uplifting in the end.

Without a Map has high-quality cinematography that successfully emphasizes the characters and their actions when compared to the background - a perfect approach in such a character-centric film. The beginning shot, in stark black and white, left an incredible impression on me, but I also found the scenes at the hospital to be masterfully captured. The costumes fit the storyline and time period typical of what is worn in contemporary times. This film takes place in Madrid, Spain. The scenes in the forest at the beginning enrapture you, but the setting is overshadowed by the characters and plot. The music in successfully and deeply underscores the emotions in each scene, with a dynamic and unique tempo, volume and mood. It drives the action in the climax and enhances the viewing experience. Nacho Ros Bernal directs and writes this film. Paula Ram�rez and Tania Medina play Rebeca and Elena respectively and both put on equally compelling performances. Their expressive acting and passionate characterizations crescendo in the final scene with un abrazo fuerte - that is, a good, long hug.

The message of the film is: if you feel lonely or depressed, know that there are always people who care about you and are alongside you. Your life is priceless.

This film does show kids doing risky things that kids might imitate (an attempted suicide). The scene when Elena, the teacher, enters Rebeca's bedroom and has an emotional heart-to-heart with her feels magical and has real emotional power to it. This film has dark thematic elements, but a message of hope at the end.

I give Without a Map 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Without A Map, a masterpiece of a film, explores a massive spectrum of emotions. It deals with dark topics and handles them gently, with an overarching message of positivity. The high-quality cinematography enraptured me and held me under the illusion that I was watching a high-budget feature film.

The story follows Rebeca, who stands at the edge of a hospital roof, contemplating jumping off. Her mother recently passed, her depressed father does not interact with her and she is failing several classes at school. Rebeca believes her life has no meaning anymore. Without references, a map, or anyone to guide her, Rebeca finds it incredibly hard to find a way back to her old life... until she meets Elena.

Though depressing at some parts, Rebeca goes on an inspiring and beautiful journey over the course of the film. The message of hope, love and belonging combine to make this film relatively uplifting in the end.

Without a Map has high-quality cinematography that successfully emphasizes the characters and their actions when compared to the background - a perfect approach in such a character-centric film. The beginning shot, in stark black and white, left an incredible impression on me, but I also found the scenes at the hospital to be masterfully captured. The costumes fit the storyline and time period typical of what is worn in contemporary times. This film takes place in Madrid, Spain. The scenes in the forest at the beginning enrapture you, but the setting is overshadowed by the characters and plot. The music in successfully and deeply underscores the emotions in each scene, with a dynamic and unique tempo, volume and mood. It drives the action in the climax and enhances the viewing experience. Nacho Ros Bernal directs and writes this film. Paula Ram�rez and Tania Medina play Rebeca and Elena respectively and both put on equally compelling performances. Their expressive acting and passionate characterizations crescendo in the final scene with un abrazo fuerte - that is, a good, long hug.

The message of the film is: if you feel lonely or depressed, know that there are always people who care about you and are alongside you. Your life is priceless.

This film does show kids doing risky things that kids might imitate (an attempted suicide). The scene when Elena, the teacher, enters Rebeca's bedroom and has an emotional heart-to-heart with her feels magical and has real emotional power to it. This film has dark thematic elements, but a message of hope at the end.

I give Without a Map 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 19 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DAYS WE SHARE, THE
DAYS WE SHARE, THE - CHANTAL GABRIEL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10 - 18
Description - A passive, high school artist's friendship with her bold but insecure best friend becomes more strained when her best friend has other ideas on how they should adjust to their first year of high school together.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Nelisa Nieto's performance is spectacular in The Days We Share. Her acting talent plus very relatable storyline and realistic locations are all plusses. The only thing that falls short is the camerawork. Still, this film is definitely one of a kind!

The plot follows a high school girl, Riley (Nelisa Nieto), as she works with her crush, Peter (Jason Sanchez), to fix problems with her best friend, Michelle (Megan Ramon). Peter helps by telling her to think of people as stars.

The storyline is pretty good and includes friendship, romance, and self- expression. The mood changes throughout because of Riley's wide range of emotions. The cinematography in this film is not great, especially at the beginning. The camera shakes in the Art Club scene and, throughout the entire film, the camera angles aren't very good. Sometimes, the camera cuts off parts of the actors' faces. The costumes definitely suit the story line because these high schoolers are just normal kids, and the costumes represent that. Riley wears jeans, sneakers, and a baseball cap. I like this costume. The makeup that Michelle wears also shows her personality. The sets and locations are great! There is one scene where the location is un-definable, but all the rest are great. The setting of the bleachers, which is where the bonding scenes between the two friends happen, is perfect and the high school indoor designs are realistic, too. My favorite is Riley's bedroom. I can connect personally to that location. Overall, the acting performances are effective.

The protagonist is Riley, played by Nelisa Nieto who portrays this role quite well and is one of my favorite parts of this film. Megan Ramon's performance as Michelle lacks luster. Her vocal skills are good, but her facial expressions aren't quite there and she doesn't put much into her body movements or gestures either. I like when Peter talks about relating stars to people, saying that stars have cycles. This makes me want to learn more about star cycles. My favorite part of this film is Nelisa Nieto's performance as Riley. Her facial expressions, vocal acting and body language are just a few of the amazing acting skills she uses in this film. Nelisa Nieto is also in the film Critical Thinking and many other short films.

The message of this film is to express yourself and be honest with your friends.

I give The Days We Share 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. This film is definitely appropriate for youth and family film festivals. It is designed for older kids, so parents would like it as well. Reviewed by Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Nelisa Nieto's performance is spectacular in The Days We Share. Her acting talent plus very relatable storyline and realistic locations are all plusses. The only thing that falls short is the camerawork. Still, this film is definitely one of a kind!

The plot follows a high school girl, Riley (Nelisa Nieto), as she works with her crush, Peter (Jason Sanchez), to fix problems with her best friend, Michelle (Megan Ramon). Peter helps by telling her to think of people as stars.

The storyline is pretty good and includes friendship, romance, and self- expression. The mood changes throughout because of Riley's wide range of emotions. The cinematography in this film is not great, especially at the beginning. The camera shakes in the Art Club scene and, throughout the entire film, the camera angles aren't very good. Sometimes, the camera cuts off parts of the actors' faces. The costumes definitely suit the story line because these high schoolers are just normal kids, and the costumes represent that. Riley wears jeans, sneakers, and a baseball cap. I like this costume. The makeup that Michelle wears also shows her personality. The sets and locations are great! There is one scene where the location is un-definable, but all the rest are great. The setting of the bleachers, which is where the bonding scenes between the two friends happen, is perfect and the high school indoor designs are realistic, too. My favorite is Riley's bedroom. I can connect personally to that location. Overall, the acting performances are effective.

The protagonist is Riley, played by Nelisa Nieto who portrays this role quite well and is one of my favorite parts of this film. Megan Ramon's performance as Michelle lacks luster. Her vocal skills are good, but her facial expressions aren't quite there and she doesn't put much into her body movements or gestures either. I like when Peter talks about relating stars to people, saying that stars have cycles. This makes me want to learn more about star cycles. My favorite part of this film is Nelisa Nieto's performance as Riley. Her facial expressions, vocal acting and body language are just a few of the amazing acting skills she uses in this film. Nelisa Nieto is also in the film Critical Thinking and many other short films.

The message of this film is to express yourself and be honest with your friends.

I give The Days We Share 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. This film is definitely appropriate for youth and family film festivals. It is designed for older kids, so parents would like it as well. Reviewed by Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 16 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
RED BALLOON
RED BALLOON - AVI FEDERGREEN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 9-18
Description - A devoted father overcome with despair over his young son's illness learns that true freedom comes from love and letting go.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Red Balloon has the ability to capture so many different emotions in only ten minutes of the film. We were filled with suspense as to what the red balloons were all about. We were sad to learn that the red balloons serve to help brighten a sick boy's day and filled with happiness that the balloon has the ability to set this boy free. This film has a great deal of appeal in the way it brings about so many different feelings.

Red Balloon, a short film by Avi Federgreen, tugs at your heart as you witness a father's struggle to cope with his son's illness. He comes to realize that by protecting his son from his illness, he is actually preventing him from enjoying some last memorable moments.

Avi Federgreen is able to project a powerful message to viewers, which is what I like best about this film. A few moments of happiness is worth so much more than months or even years of misery. I watched the film a few times to actually understand the story line, because the message is a powerful one. I wouldn't say that is a reason to dislike the film, yet it may not be clear to younger viewers.

The cinematography is as perfect as it can get. The filming is clear, the weather conditions are perfect, especially on the boardwalk. I especially like the angles on the red balloon that gets caught on the branch of the tree. The costumes are perfect for an average family that is represented here. Red Balloon starts off with a boardwalk scene as we watch Tim jogging to purchase a balloon from a vendor on the boardwalk. The wind brings the balloon to life and the other families along the path make the scene believable. The home setting is a typical home which makes it easy for viewers to relate to. The sets and locations are not overdone in any way that might take away from the message of the story. The background music enhances the storyline without being obtrusive. And, the song at the end of the film "Let Go" by Adaline, is special to the film's message. The song is sensitive and could easily bring tears to the eyes of the viewers. It is the perfect touch to the ending of this film. There is a visual effect that I noted when Tim accidentally releases one of the Red Balloons and we watched the balloon fly freely in the air and get caught on a branch, which represents the story line quite well.

Tim (Gord Rand), the father and main character, shows us his emotions in a very real way. His son (Etienne Kellici) is also very expressive with his actions and words. Both the mother and sister (Rakhee Morzaria, Mia SwamiNathan), although we didn't see them much, offer additional strength to this film by showing their love for their sick family member. My favorite actor in this short film is the balloon vendor (Patrick McKenna) because, as a stranger, he goes far and beyond to help a stranger who he detects is experiencing pain. You easily gain a strong sense of his compassion.

Red Balloon sends its viewers a very heartfelt message that sometimes it is best to set something free rather than holding onto it for your own benefit. The balloon which is attached to a string has the ability to be set free if the string is let go. We are not always ready to see that balloon fly freely to the sky, because we may wish to keep it near, so that we can continue to enjoy it. The balloon in this film is a symbol of life - the sick boy's life. His parents wish to keep him safe and protected, yet the boy is not happy contained in his room. After a conversation with his son, Tim realizes that by protecting his son from his illness, he is actually preventing him from enjoying some last memorable moments.

There is so much to learn about symbolism in this film. The filmmakers are so creative in this storyline and get their message across quite clearly. It may take some viewers longer then others to "get it" and, they may not understand the message until the ending of the film, but symbolism has great strength. By far, my favorite part of the film is at the end where there is a great memory made by Tim and his son. After purchasing yet another red balloon from the boardwalk vendor, the two sit together by the edge of the water, share a few words and some smiles and then release the balloon. The boy seems to love watching his balloon fly freely into the sky as if he himself was set free.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 9 to 18, plus adults, Red Balloon has a beautiful message to be shared with families and would make a great addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Red Balloon has the ability to capture so many different emotions in only ten minutes of the film. We were filled with suspense as to what the red balloons were all about. We were sad to learn that the red balloons serve to help brighten a sick boy's day and filled with happiness that the balloon has the ability to set this boy free. This film has a great deal of appeal in the way it brings about so many different feelings.

Red Balloon, a short film by Avi Federgreen, tugs at your heart as you witness a father's struggle to cope with his son's illness. He comes to realize that by protecting his son from his illness, he is actually preventing him from enjoying some last memorable moments.

Avi Federgreen is able to project a powerful message to viewers, which is what I like best about this film. A few moments of happiness is worth so much more than months or even years of misery. I watched the film a few times to actually understand the story line, because the message is a powerful one. I wouldn't say that is a reason to dislike the film, yet it may not be clear to younger viewers.

The cinematography is as perfect as it can get. The filming is clear, the weather conditions are perfect, especially on the boardwalk. I especially like the angles on the red balloon that gets caught on the branch of the tree. The costumes are perfect for an average family that is represented here. Red Balloon starts off with a boardwalk scene as we watch Tim jogging to purchase a balloon from a vendor on the boardwalk. The wind brings the balloon to life and the other families along the path make the scene believable. The home setting is a typical home which makes it easy for viewers to relate to. The sets and locations are not overdone in any way that might take away from the message of the story. The background music enhances the storyline without being obtrusive. And, the song at the end of the film "Let Go" by Adaline, is special to the film's message. The song is sensitive and could easily bring tears to the eyes of the viewers. It is the perfect touch to the ending of this film. There is a visual effect that I noted when Tim accidentally releases one of the Red Balloons and we watched the balloon fly freely in the air and get caught on a branch, which represents the story line quite well.

Tim (Gord Rand), the father and main character, shows us his emotions in a very real way. His son (Etienne Kellici) is also very expressive with his actions and words. Both the mother and sister (Rakhee Morzaria, Mia SwamiNathan), although we didn't see them much, offer additional strength to this film by showing their love for their sick family member. My favorite actor in this short film is the balloon vendor (Patrick McKenna) because, as a stranger, he goes far and beyond to help a stranger who he detects is experiencing pain. You easily gain a strong sense of his compassion.

Red Balloon sends its viewers a very heartfelt message that sometimes it is best to set something free rather than holding onto it for your own benefit. The balloon which is attached to a string has the ability to be set free if the string is let go. We are not always ready to see that balloon fly freely to the sky, because we may wish to keep it near, so that we can continue to enjoy it. The balloon in this film is a symbol of life - the sick boy's life. His parents wish to keep him safe and protected, yet the boy is not happy contained in his room. After a conversation with his son, Tim realizes that by protecting his son from his illness, he is actually preventing him from enjoying some last memorable moments.

There is so much to learn about symbolism in this film. The filmmakers are so creative in this storyline and get their message across quite clearly. It may take some viewers longer then others to "get it" and, they may not understand the message until the ending of the film, but symbolism has great strength. By far, my favorite part of the film is at the end where there is a great memory made by Tim and his son. After purchasing yet another red balloon from the boardwalk vendor, the two sit together by the edge of the water, share a few words and some smiles and then release the balloon. The boy seems to love watching his balloon fly freely into the sky as if he himself was set free.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 9 to 18, plus adults, Red Balloon has a beautiful message to be shared with families and would make a great addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 10 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 9-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SITTER, THE - LIGHT HOUSE STUDIO
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-18
Description - A babysitter accidentally accepts a sitting job for a dog. Kids can be a nightmare, but so can pets...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Love the idea of The Sitter. Pets can definitely be a challenge to take care of. Animals can have temper tantrums and personalities just like humans. I wish that the story was developed a bit more. It's off to such a great start. For a student production, this has a lot going for it.

The storyline is about a unprepared teen aged girl who takes a babysitting job only to discover, once she arrives that it's for a dog, rather than a child.

I love this idea for a short film. Dog-sitting has to be as hard as babysitting. The girl doesn't ask a lot of questions during the initial call with the dog's owner and once she arrives, the owner tosses a leash, treats and toys at her and scrambles. Only when she goes into the house does she discover that she's dog-sitting, not babysitting. The lighting, sound and camerawork are all quite good. The costumes are believable. The setting of the house and yard are typical middle class and appropriate. The background music works well and the dog, Weezy Duke, is adorable and plays his role exceptionally well. The film is written, directed and acted by Dylan Duke who pulls the whole thing off quite well. My favorite scene is the ending when the Sitter brings the dog to the door to greet the owner as she arrives home. She acts as if nothing happened while the owner was away.

The message of this film is to ask more questions before accepting a job or assignment.

I give The Sitter 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It's a fun idea and kids will like the dog. This should play well at KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Love the idea of The Sitter. Pets can definitely be a challenge to take care of. Animals can have temper tantrums and personalities just like humans. I wish that the story was developed a bit more. It's off to such a great start. For a student production, this has a lot going for it.

The storyline is about a unprepared teen aged girl who takes a babysitting job only to discover, once she arrives that it's for a dog, rather than a child.

I love this idea for a short film. Dog-sitting has to be as hard as babysitting. The girl doesn't ask a lot of questions during the initial call with the dog's owner and once she arrives, the owner tosses a leash, treats and toys at her and scrambles. Only when she goes into the house does she discover that she's dog-sitting, not babysitting. The lighting, sound and camerawork are all quite good. The costumes are believable. The setting of the house and yard are typical middle class and appropriate. The background music works well and the dog, Weezy Duke, is adorable and plays his role exceptionally well. The film is written, directed and acted by Dylan Duke who pulls the whole thing off quite well. My favorite scene is the ending when the Sitter brings the dog to the door to greet the owner as she arrives home. She acts as if nothing happened while the owner was away.

The message of this film is to ask more questions before accepting a job or assignment.

I give The Sitter 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It's a fun idea and kids will like the dog. This should play well at KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 6 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
X MARKS THE SPOT - LIGHT HOUSE STUDIO
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-13
Description - A pair of air-headed adventurers embark on a treasure hunting journey as contestants on the up-and-coming survival show, "X Marks The Spot." Do they find the secret riches? Maybe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - X Marks The Spot is a thoroughly enjoyable, lighthearted and funny short film. I love the plot; it felt as if they were holding my hand throughout the story. The humor is smart and witty. The beginning is creative in that it seems like an ad.

The story line is about two girls going on a treasure hunt and having to put their survival skills to the test. They find a rock instead of gold but discover that the true treasure is their sense of accomplishment.

The story has a witty storyline and an adventurous plot, although the plot lacks detail and is a bit confusing. The camera angles are interesting and match the story perfectly. For the most part, the cinematography is great. The costumes are very typical for two modern girls. They didn't over do or under do it - great job in costumes. The sets are perfect. The park works well. It makes it seem as if the girls are on an actual treasure hunt. Their house is beautifully decorated and perfect for the scene where they watch the advertisement from the couch. There is little background music to speak of and no special effects. But they weren't needed. The actors and set designers stand out. The sets are unique to the storyline and the actors portray how great their friendship is. The one weakness is in the transitions, which were a bit awkward. My favorite part is when the girls find the rock and display it on the pedestal. That is funny and sweet.

The moral of the story is that friendship is the best treasure you can ever have.

I give X Marks The Spot 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13. Reviewed by Samantha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - X Marks The Spot is a thoroughly enjoyable, lighthearted and funny short film. I love the plot; it felt as if they were holding my hand throughout the story. The humor is smart and witty. The beginning is creative in that it seems like an ad.

The story line is about two girls going on a treasure hunt and having to put their survival skills to the test. They find a rock instead of gold but discover that the true treasure is their sense of accomplishment.

The story has a witty storyline and an adventurous plot, although the plot lacks detail and is a bit confusing. The camera angles are interesting and match the story perfectly. For the most part, the cinematography is great. The costumes are very typical for two modern girls. They didn't over do or under do it - great job in costumes. The sets are perfect. The park works well. It makes it seem as if the girls are on an actual treasure hunt. Their house is beautifully decorated and perfect for the scene where they watch the advertisement from the couch. There is little background music to speak of and no special effects. But they weren't needed. The actors and set designers stand out. The sets are unique to the storyline and the actors portray how great their friendship is. The one weakness is in the transitions, which were a bit awkward. My favorite part is when the girls find the rock and display it on the pedestal. That is funny and sweet.

The moral of the story is that friendship is the best treasure you can ever have.

I give X Marks The Spot 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13. Reviewed by Samantha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 4 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-13 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LONESOME - LIGHT HOUSE STUDIO
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-18
Description - A lonely house cleaner finds a friend in a homeless cat, making both their worlds much brighter.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Lonesome is a short and sweet film capturing how a cat benefits both its and a house cleaner's lives! Its use of color changing perfectly highlights the shift in emotions. It also inspires me to look into the benefits of adopting pets for both pets and humans.

The storyline is about a lonely housekeeper whose life is brightened by the discovery of a stray cat.

I like how the adoption benefits both parties. The stray cat is no longer forced to depend on its friend for food, and the house cleaner is no longer miserable at the thought of going to work. One part that stands out is the transition from a more traditional style of film to a slideshow of pictures with the cat. The costumes fit the storyline of the film. The black and white beginning switches to bright colors which illustrates the contrast before and after the emotional changes. I like how the discovery of the cat results in more enthusiasm from the house cleaner when cleaning the house. The music enhances the tone of the story. The switch from bleak music at the beginning, to suspenseful music when chasing the cat, to upbeat music at the end helps us events from different perspectives. A moment that stands out is the sudden shift between gloomy music and more vibrant music during the quest to track down the cat. The film has no special effects, but the closest is when the film suddenly changes from black and white to color. I interpret this as the cat literally "brightening" the housekeeper's world and putting an end to the previous monotony. The actor is Murray Susen, who also writes, directs and edits the film. Sam Gorman and Will Goss are both mentors. Although I do not know how much of the driving force behind the film is Susen's, he definitely stands out the most for his multiple roles. The film inspired me to research the effect of pets on loneliness. I discovered that pet owners have been found to have lower levels of loneliness, and cats and dogs in particular are effective at reducing anxiety. My favorite part of this film is the discovery of the stray cat. Even though all of the previous clues pointed to it, I was still shocked.

The message of this film is that companionship goes a long way and it does not have to be human companionship. Although the change is dramatically shown by the shift in color, the effects are the same in real life. Companionship does not have to come from a human. Pets have many of the same benefits as, and are easier to maintain, than friendships or romantic relationships.

I give Lonesome 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. This film is genuinely enjoyable while also displaying the advantages of companionships and pets and would make a wonderful addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Eden T.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lonesome is a short and sweet film capturing how a cat benefits both its and a house cleaner's lives! Its use of color changing perfectly highlights the shift in emotions. It also inspires me to look into the benefits of adopting pets for both pets and humans.

The storyline is about a lonely housekeeper whose life is brightened by the discovery of a stray cat.

I like how the adoption benefits both parties. The stray cat is no longer forced to depend on its friend for food, and the house cleaner is no longer miserable at the thought of going to work. One part that stands out is the transition from a more traditional style of film to a slideshow of pictures with the cat. The costumes fit the storyline of the film. The black and white beginning switches to bright colors which illustrates the contrast before and after the emotional changes. I like how the discovery of the cat results in more enthusiasm from the house cleaner when cleaning the house. The music enhances the tone of the story. The switch from bleak music at the beginning, to suspenseful music when chasing the cat, to upbeat music at the end helps us events from different perspectives. A moment that stands out is the sudden shift between gloomy music and more vibrant music during the quest to track down the cat. The film has no special effects, but the closest is when the film suddenly changes from black and white to color. I interpret this as the cat literally "brightening" the housekeeper's world and putting an end to the previous monotony. The actor is Murray Susen, who also writes, directs and edits the film. Sam Gorman and Will Goss are both mentors. Although I do not know how much of the driving force behind the film is Susen's, he definitely stands out the most for his multiple roles. The film inspired me to research the effect of pets on loneliness. I discovered that pet owners have been found to have lower levels of loneliness, and cats and dogs in particular are effective at reducing anxiety. My favorite part of this film is the discovery of the stray cat. Even though all of the previous clues pointed to it, I was still shocked.

The message of this film is that companionship goes a long way and it does not have to be human companionship. Although the change is dramatically shown by the shift in color, the effects are the same in real life. Companionship does not have to come from a human. Pets have many of the same benefits as, and are easier to maintain, than friendships or romantic relationships.

I give Lonesome 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. This film is genuinely enjoyable while also displaying the advantages of companionships and pets and would make a wonderful addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Eden T.
Runtime: 4 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TEST FLIGHT
TEST FLIGHT - EMMA FREW
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Description - A bunny witch attempts to get her vegetable themed broomstick to fly.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The animated short film Test Flight is wonderfully warm and exciting. With exceptional music and direction, the theme of perseverance is so brilliantly executed through director Emma Momoko Frew's excellent style. The colors are vibrant and the characters are all around adorable!

The storyline follows a bunny witch who attempts to get her vegetable-themed broomstick to fly with the help of an already successful friend.

I love this story. Although predictable at times, it is an excellent way to present a powerful theme about not giving up to young people. The flying sequences at the end are wonderfully executed, especially the attention to detail. The costumes are vibrant and colorful, suiting the story well. The backgrounds are simple, yet helpful in creating a realistic magical environment for the characters. The music is so alive and exciting. I love the welcoming and inviting tones and sounds. Another standout are the colors and animation by Kia Kortelainen, Loren Bugyi, Ishaan Thompson and Kyle Bullock. It adds a lively element to the story. My favorite part is the funny side character that is already a successful witch. He adds humor to the story and is supportive of the protagonist.

The message of Test Flight is to not give up and keep trying to reach your greatest purpose and potential.

I give Test Flight 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 10, plus adults. It is creative and clever and would be fun for any film festival for youth and families. Reviewed by Erin M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The animated short film Test Flight is wonderfully warm and exciting. With exceptional music and direction, the theme of perseverance is so brilliantly executed through director Emma Momoko Frew's excellent style. The colors are vibrant and the characters are all around adorable!

The storyline follows a bunny witch who attempts to get her vegetable-themed broomstick to fly with the help of an already successful friend.

I love this story. Although predictable at times, it is an excellent way to present a powerful theme about not giving up to young people. The flying sequences at the end are wonderfully executed, especially the attention to detail. The costumes are vibrant and colorful, suiting the story well. The backgrounds are simple, yet helpful in creating a realistic magical environment for the characters. The music is so alive and exciting. I love the welcoming and inviting tones and sounds. Another standout are the colors and animation by Kia Kortelainen, Loren Bugyi, Ishaan Thompson and Kyle Bullock. It adds a lively element to the story. My favorite part is the funny side character that is already a successful witch. He adds humor to the story and is supportive of the protagonist.

The message of Test Flight is to not give up and keep trying to reach your greatest purpose and potential.

I give Test Flight 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 10, plus adults. It is creative and clever and would be fun for any film festival for youth and families. Reviewed by Erin M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 3 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KOBI'S TOAST
KOBI'S TOAST - 12 PING�INOS S.L
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8 -18
Description - Kobi is a hungry red squirrel who wants something to eat. When some toasts POP out and surprises Kobi, he discovers his new love for toast. Kobi goes on a trip to a toast world - and he only wants more!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kobi's Toast is just so cute. It's a fun, but somewhat twisted story. It's cute and also kind of dark. The animation is colorful and the music really brings it to life.

The story is about Kobi, a hungry squirrel, who discovers an abandoned breakfast of eggs and bacon. He tries the bacon, but hates it and spits it out. He then tries toast and falls in love so much so that he ends up in the toaster and is toasted.

I like Kobi and how cute he is, but the fact that he ends up burning in a toaster is just dark. The 2D animation is very high quality and you can't help but fall in love with the squirrel and wonder what will happen next. The action takes place on the window sill where the window is open wide enough for Kobi to sneak in and steal some breakfast and then, on the kitchen counter. Both are well illustrated and seem like realistic possibilities. The music is upbeat and fun; when Kobi fantasizes about toast it becomes very dream like. It builds at the end when he pops out of the toaster. That scene feels comical, but is also somewhat dark. We're not sure exactly what happens to Kobi when he pops out of the toaster. Kobi is the sole character and is a very lovable and very determined red squirrel. The graphics and background music really make this suitable for a young audience. My favorite scene is the fantasy sequence which is really wild, colorful and fun. Kobi could become an icon on T-shirts or made into plush Kobi toys.

The message of this short film is about loving food so much that it becomes dangerous. You should be forewarned that the scene with the squirrel in the toaster with smoke coming out, along with him popping out as a piece of toast might be disturbing to younger kids.

I give Kobi 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18, plus adults.

Reviewed by Samantha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kobi's Toast is just so cute. It's a fun, but somewhat twisted story. It's cute and also kind of dark. The animation is colorful and the music really brings it to life.

The story is about Kobi, a hungry squirrel, who discovers an abandoned breakfast of eggs and bacon. He tries the bacon, but hates it and spits it out. He then tries toast and falls in love so much so that he ends up in the toaster and is toasted.

I like Kobi and how cute he is, but the fact that he ends up burning in a toaster is just dark. The 2D animation is very high quality and you can't help but fall in love with the squirrel and wonder what will happen next. The action takes place on the window sill where the window is open wide enough for Kobi to sneak in and steal some breakfast and then, on the kitchen counter. Both are well illustrated and seem like realistic possibilities. The music is upbeat and fun; when Kobi fantasizes about toast it becomes very dream like. It builds at the end when he pops out of the toaster. That scene feels comical, but is also somewhat dark. We're not sure exactly what happens to Kobi when he pops out of the toaster. Kobi is the sole character and is a very lovable and very determined red squirrel. The graphics and background music really make this suitable for a young audience. My favorite scene is the fantasy sequence which is really wild, colorful and fun. Kobi could become an icon on T-shirts or made into plush Kobi toys.

The message of this short film is about loving food so much that it becomes dangerous. You should be forewarned that the scene with the squirrel in the toaster with smoke coming out, along with him popping out as a piece of toast might be disturbing to younger kids.

I give Kobi 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18, plus adults.

Reviewed by Samantha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 3 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KIDS WHO SAVE THE WORLD
KIDS WHO SAVE THE WORLD - AGNES LESTI
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-12
Description - This live-action episode follows Zeb on a beach clean as he explains why it is important to protect our waters and sea creatures, and what we can all do to reduce plastic waste.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The extraordinary cinematography, incredible concept, and most importantly, the wonderful interviewee make this UK produced, short film Kids Who Save the World a great inside look at how young people see pollution on our planet. The beautiful candid shots of five-year-old Zeb helping clean up the beach convey the story very well. I love the concept and the structure of this film. That, and its thoughtful design make it memorable.

The documentary is narrated by young Zeb who he describes the efforts he and his family take to reduce plastic use, and the dangerous effects plastic has on the ocean life.

I particularly enjoyed the shots on the beach. It is an excellent choice to shoot on the beach to give the audience inside look at the dangers of pollution and what this family is doing to help. The opening sequence introducing Zeb is very well executed. Showing him at home in his own environment shows us what a well-rounded kid he is. Zeb makes a wonderful narrator. His thoughtful and thorough answers give us insight into the awareness of a young child about pollution. The direction of this film is also quite outstanding, with wonderful visuals from the get go and throughout. The close-ups of the ocean as well as Zeb's face show us the intensity of the subject and what is being done about it. I love seeing young people combating pollution around the world and the idea of showing others ways they can be more green. The film's director, Adam Tyler, is a five-time BAFTA Children's Award winning director and writer.

The message of this film is to drive home the importance of effects of pollution and how young people are instrumental in combating climate change.

I heartily give Kids Who Save the World 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. This film is an excellent choice for a youth and family film festival, because it is well crafted, thoughtful and timely. Reviewed by Erin M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The extraordinary cinematography, incredible concept, and most importantly, the wonderful interviewee make this UK produced, short film Kids Who Save the World a great inside look at how young people see pollution on our planet. The beautiful candid shots of five-year-old Zeb helping clean up the beach convey the story very well. I love the concept and the structure of this film. That, and its thoughtful design make it memorable.

The documentary is narrated by young Zeb who he describes the efforts he and his family take to reduce plastic use, and the dangerous effects plastic has on the ocean life.

I particularly enjoyed the shots on the beach. It is an excellent choice to shoot on the beach to give the audience inside look at the dangers of pollution and what this family is doing to help. The opening sequence introducing Zeb is very well executed. Showing him at home in his own environment shows us what a well-rounded kid he is. Zeb makes a wonderful narrator. His thoughtful and thorough answers give us insight into the awareness of a young child about pollution. The direction of this film is also quite outstanding, with wonderful visuals from the get go and throughout. The close-ups of the ocean as well as Zeb's face show us the intensity of the subject and what is being done about it. I love seeing young people combating pollution around the world and the idea of showing others ways they can be more green. The film's director, Adam Tyler, is a five-time BAFTA Children's Award winning director and writer.

The message of this film is to drive home the importance of effects of pollution and how young people are instrumental in combating climate change.

I heartily give Kids Who Save the World 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. This film is an excellent choice for a youth and family film festival, because it is well crafted, thoughtful and timely. Reviewed by Erin M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 3 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GIRLS SHOULD STAY AT HOME
GIRLS SHOULD STAY AT HOME - ANAND MENON
Series: FOREIGN STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-18
Description - A look at how three women in Mumbai, India have battled adversity to hold their own.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love the societal aspect of the documentary Girls Should Stay at Home. It shows how powerful women truly are and how they should still be treated like they were 3,000 years ago. This documentary reminds women that, although it may seem like we are regressing in society, women can still prevail.

This documentary profiles three women in a raw, down-to-earth style. The women discuss their struggles living in an unfair society where it is difficult for women to advance. Despite this, the women tell their success stories and how they made it to where they are today.

Being a woman, of course, I enjoyed the story. Interviewing women in modern day India who discuss their challenges and what daily life is like for them is inspiring. The women don't sugarcoat their experiences getting to where they have arrived, which shows the audience that yes, the journey may be very rough, but it is possible.

I enjoyed that the shots are not strictly of the women being interviewed. We get a sense of a typical day for a woman in India. We also see shots of these women in their personal environment. It is a small added touch, but without those shots I feel as if it would be more difficult to try and immerse ourselves in their lives. Observing the women in their own homes or places where they spend a lot of their time males it very more personal as opposed to interviewing in a studio. The music in the beginning seems to be authentic Indian music which is played while subtitles describe Indian culture; I enjoyed that. Since these women all play themselves, there is no judgment on "acting." All the women articulate well and seem quite comfortable in front of a camera. The director seems to be the key influencer. Neel Menon directs, writes and produces this film. Having to complete all the tasks to create a documentary can be tough and he does it with such grace. There seem to be some audio issues in part three, but otherwise, the production values are excellent. I was born and raised in America and I love learning about different cultures as it broadens my outlook on life. It is intriguing to learn that women in India were worshipped and deemed equal with men centuries ago and now there has been a shift where that is not the case. That is something I would like to research more. Some of my favorite parts are the beginning when the background information is accompanied by sitar music.

The message of the film is that women should never be thought of as less than men.

I give Girls Should Stay at Home 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. I believe that all people should watch this documentary, regardless of gender identity. It is up-lifting. People should be aware of what women can accomplish and perhaps it will inspire women to go against the norm and fulfill what they love to do in life. Those interested in Indian culture and in women's rights would find this particularly appealing. Reviewed by Tor Ferrante, KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Girls Should Stay At Home features three women's experiences with sexism and how they worked to overcome prejudices! It offers crucial advice and encouragement to young women and girls facing many of the same obstacles.

The storyline follows three women that explain how they overcame prejudices and give advice to women and girls looking to do the same.

I like how the three women's experiences differ wildly, but their advice applies to almost any situation. Although they dealt with a variety of financial, physical, and societal hurdles, they all managed to succeed and even become famous for doing so.

A shot that impressed me is the scene where the camera keeps pace with Ms. Prandit. It is surprisingly smooth for a handheld camera, especially one turning to focus on the subject. The film itself is a series of interviews with real women, so no costumes are necessary. The attires fits the setting of the documentary.

Since the film is a documentary about the lives of several women, the locations mostly consist of their homes. However, I see the shot on the basketball court differently after learning about how this woman had to travel every time she wanted to practice. The music is minimal and is reserved for the beginning and transitions between interviews. Although it helps to diminish the awkward silence, the sitar music does not fit the somber facts being displayed in the beginning. The film is made by Neel Menon. Geeta Chauhan, the first woman interviewed, is an international basketball star. Rajandi Pandit, the second woman, is India's first female private investigator and has received numerous awards. Anita Lobo, the third woman, is Mumbai's only female traffic warden and has been the subject of multiple news articles. The person who stands out the most is Ms. Chauhan for how many obstacles she had to face and how successful she later became.

The message of this film is to never let pressure from society or your peers tell you what you can and cannot do. If any of the women had listened and obeyed, they would have never become as successful and happy as they currently are.

This film encouraged me to continue learning about science and influenced me to research statistics on gender equality around the world. The results I found were extremely sobering and made me realize how important these women's messages are. My favorite part is when Ms. Chauhan says that she is planning to participate in the Paralympics. After hearing about all the setbacks she overcame, learning that she finally triumphed was thrilling.

I give Girls Should Stay Home 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. This film addresses serious issues with gender roles and encourages girls to subvert those roles and be independent. This counts as a special interest topic, specifically feminism.

Reviewed by Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 10 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HE WHO FOLLOWS - LIGHT HOUSE STUDIO
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10 - 16
Description - A boy goes out for a lonesome stroll in the woods. But somehow, even when he's just by himself, he's not alone.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - He Who Follows is a thrilling short film, filled with suspense right up to the end! The viewers get an eerie feeling that someone is following the boy and the suspense builds up bit by bit, getting more and more exciting as the film develops. The ending itself is intriguing and keeps the viewer wanting more.

The storyline follows a boy as he hikes in the woods. While he's walking, he has a creepy feeling that someone is following him. He keeps turning around, trying to catch a glimpse of who is there. When he thinks he finally sees someone, he panics and runs to escape.

The story begins in the woods with the boy walking over and around various obstacles - all of which seem quite realistic and harmless. The suspense builds up as the boy hears noises and encounters various things that add to the intrigue. It all leads to a great cliffhanger at the end. I was surprised and impressed when the boy's "double" appears in one scene. The scene inside the concrete culvert adds intrigue and suspense. The angles and flashlight are well done. The music and sound effects keep the tense and eerie mood throughout, adding another level of suspense. The special effect of the boy's double is impressive. I was amazed to learn that Ben Berthy is the actor, director and producer. He portrays the actions and emotions of fear very well. The overall quality of the production is clear, from visuals to audio to editing. My favorite scene is the culvert scene. The culvert is dark; he has a broken flashlight and someone is coming closer. These all add up to create a creepy and thrilling mood and it makes it more suspenseful.

The message is that things may not be what you think they are. You may not be alone when you think you are. Someone may be watching.

I give He Who Follows 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 16. I think it will appeal to youth audiences who enjoy watching suspenseful thrillers. Reviewed by Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - He Who Follows is a thrilling short film, filled with suspense right up to the end! The viewers get an eerie feeling that someone is following the boy and the suspense builds up bit by bit, getting more and more exciting as the film develops. The ending itself is intriguing and keeps the viewer wanting more.

The storyline follows a boy as he hikes in the woods. While he's walking, he has a creepy feeling that someone is following him. He keeps turning around, trying to catch a glimpse of who is there. When he thinks he finally sees someone, he panics and runs to escape.

The story begins in the woods with the boy walking over and around various obstacles - all of which seem quite realistic and harmless. The suspense builds up as the boy hears noises and encounters various things that add to the intrigue. It all leads to a great cliffhanger at the end. I was surprised and impressed when the boy's "double" appears in one scene. The scene inside the concrete culvert adds intrigue and suspense. The angles and flashlight are well done. The music and sound effects keep the tense and eerie mood throughout, adding another level of suspense. The special effect of the boy's double is impressive. I was amazed to learn that Ben Berthy is the actor, director and producer. He portrays the actions and emotions of fear very well. The overall quality of the production is clear, from visuals to audio to editing. My favorite scene is the culvert scene. The culvert is dark; he has a broken flashlight and someone is coming closer. These all add up to create a creepy and thrilling mood and it makes it more suspenseful.

The message is that things may not be what you think they are. You may not be alone when you think you are. Someone may be watching.

I give He Who Follows 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 16. I think it will appeal to youth audiences who enjoy watching suspenseful thrillers. Reviewed by Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 4 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BEAVER, FROG AND FROG BFF
BEAVER, FROG AND FROG BFF - COREY SNYDER
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 2-5
Description - In the paper puppet musical, Beaver Frog and Frog (BFF), two best friend frogs lose each other when their pond is drained by builders, but are brought back together by an optimistic beaver who builds a dam that saves their environment and brings back their pond. BFF sparks a curiosity in creation care by shining a light on real animals who really help each other in nature!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beaver, Frog and Frog BFF is a throwback to classic 80s style animated paper puppet show. I was looking forward to watching this film, however half way through my attention wandered due to the repetitive music, all of the same tempo.

The story follows two talking, singing frogs, that are best friends, meet a new friend, the beaver, that joins them in this musical comedy about love with a strong underlying environmental message.

There are some funny parts to the story such as when the frogs thought they were separated for life, but were just on the other side of the log from each other. The beaver's French accent is a bit quirky and adds comedy value to his character. My favorite character is the raccoon. He isn't a main part, but he steals the scenes with his pop in cameos when he holds up signs saying what he thinks. Both the frogs are excellent singers. The lip syncing of the characters' mouths and their singing is well done. It makes you believe that the puppets are actually singing the songs. I like the unique paper puppets, especially the beaver with his realistic wet fur look. The set is a swamp located. The layers of the hills and musical reeds give depth to the set and the flies adds to the swampy feeling. The only shortcoming is the music, which is very repetitive. This film reminds me how small things can have a big impact on the environment and, although we may not think about actions we take on daily basis may add to these issues.

The message of this film is that we sometimes have feelings for each other, but don't admit it until it's almost too late. This theme applies to the frogs, but carries over to the bigger concern about the environment and the damage we are doing to nature. We need to take action before it is too late.

I give Beaver, Frog and Frog BFF 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. Reviewed by Katie F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Beaver, Frog and Frog BFF is a throwback to classic 80s style animated paper puppet show. I was looking forward to watching this film, however half way through my attention wandered due to the repetitive music, all of the same tempo.

The story follows two talking, singing frogs, that are best friends, meet a new friend, the beaver, that joins them in this musical comedy about love with a strong underlying environmental message.

There are some funny parts to the story such as when the frogs thought they were separated for life, but were just on the other side of the log from each other. The beaver's French accent is a bit quirky and adds comedy value to his character. My favorite character is the raccoon. He isn't a main part, but he steals the scenes with his pop in cameos when he holds up signs saying what he thinks. Both the frogs are excellent singers. The lip syncing of the characters' mouths and their singing is well done. It makes you believe that the puppets are actually singing the songs. I like the unique paper puppets, especially the beaver with his realistic wet fur look. The set is a swamp located. The layers of the hills and musical reeds give depth to the set and the flies adds to the swampy feeling. The only shortcoming is the music, which is very repetitive. This film reminds me how small things can have a big impact on the environment and, although we may not think about actions we take on daily basis may add to these issues.

The message of this film is that we sometimes have feelings for each other, but don't admit it until it's almost too late. This theme applies to the frogs, but carries over to the bigger concern about the environment and the damage we are doing to nature. We need to take action before it is too late.

I give Beaver, Frog and Frog BFF 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. Reviewed by Katie F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 10 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
STAR BRIGHT
STAR BRIGHT - PROMOFEST
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGE 1-5
Description - Emmy (5 years old) has always dreamed of flying through the stars with his best friend GooRoo, the giant bear. A starry night, GooRoo and Emmy make acquaintance with a lovely tiny star that will help them learn about the nature of their friendship and how our dreams are sometimes closer than we thought. (From Spain)
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - tar Bright is a magical animated short film from Spain about two friends on a dream-like adventure. I like the animation which is done in a classic style with beautiful vibrant colors complemented by a soft, gentle trance like musical score. This is ideal to a younger audience as it will captivate their attention. The cute characters, colorful landscape and soft music all take place in the ideal timeframe of seven minutes.

This storyline tells the tale of a little girl and her favorite teddy bear as they embark on a wonderful adventure through a magical forest where they share memories which lead them to make an interesting new friend.

Every little girl has a favorite teddy. This film is nostalgic as it reminds me of my friendship with my own teddy rabbit. When I was younger we used to go on many magical adventures together. I enjoyed the old style animation which is beautifully smooth and modern. The little girl wears a cute little dress and the bear is humanized by his little paper hat. They go from a cute, cozy bedroom to an imaginary, magical forest filled with dream colors and fantastical creatures.

The story is told by the music. For example, when the friends are flying the music is happy, light and bouncy with a quick tempo. When the bear feels left out the music slows down to convey a sad emotion. Truly the music helps make the magical forest come to life. My favorite part of the film is when they send all the pictures flying up to a star, which gives off a realistic vibrant glow. The animation style gives real depth to the scene bringing a 3D feel to 2D animation.

The message of Star Bright is that true friendship can never be broken and that it is okay to have other friends.

I give Star Bright 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. It is a family friendly film and would fit well in a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Katie F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - tar Bright is a magical animated short film from Spain about two friends on a dream-like adventure. I like the animation which is done in a classic style with beautiful vibrant colors complemented by a soft, gentle trance like musical score. This is ideal to a younger audience as it will captivate their attention. The cute characters, colorful landscape and soft music all take place in the ideal timeframe of seven minutes.

This storyline tells the tale of a little girl and her favorite teddy bear as they embark on a wonderful adventure through a magical forest where they share memories which lead them to make an interesting new friend.

Every little girl has a favorite teddy. This film is nostalgic as it reminds me of my friendship with my own teddy rabbit. When I was younger we used to go on many magical adventures together. I enjoyed the old style animation which is beautifully smooth and modern. The little girl wears a cute little dress and the bear is humanized by his little paper hat. They go from a cute, cozy bedroom to an imaginary, magical forest filled with dream colors and fantastical creatures.

The story is told by the music. For example, when the friends are flying the music is happy, light and bouncy with a quick tempo. When the bear feels left out the music slows down to convey a sad emotion. Truly the music helps make the magical forest come to life. My favorite part of the film is when they send all the pictures flying up to a star, which gives off a realistic vibrant glow. The animation style gives real depth to the scene bringing a 3D feel to 2D animation.

The message of Star Bright is that true friendship can never be broken and that it is okay to have other friends.

I give Star Bright 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. It is a family friendly film and would fit well in a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Katie F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 7 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PIECE OF ME
PIECE OF ME - PROMOFEST
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Description - An 8-year-old boy begins to lose his best friend, an elderly lady, as her memories fade way to Alzheimer's. Determined to help, he embarks on a journey to rekindle the memories of their friendship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Piece of Me is an excellent short film that offers an excellent inside look at one of most heartbreaking diseases. It showcasing the effects of Alzheimer's on those affected from many angles. In just twenty minutes, tears are guaranteed!

The film follows a caretaker's son who befriends an elderly woman with dementia and, as she loses her memory, he tries his best to be a reminder of her past.

I love that the story shows many perspectives of Alzheimer's Disease. From loved ones, to those actually affected. The camera work is excellent. One shot I especially love is where they are doing a puzzle and the pieces outline the frame. The costumes and sets are very simple and suite the story. The music is well written and helps create a warm tone to the film. The two leading actors are excellent. They perfectly capture their respective character's emotions. My favorite part is the ending! It is personal and well executed.

The message of this film is about the importance of caring for your loved ones and appreciating the time you have with them.

I give Piece of Me 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 18, plus adults. I felt it very personally as dementia runs in my family and, where you are familiar with the disease or not, you will feel an emotional connection. Reviewed by Erin M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Piece of Me is an excellent short film that offers an excellent inside look at one of most heartbreaking diseases. It showcasing the effects of Alzheimer's on those affected from many angles. In just twenty minutes, tears are guaranteed!

The film follows a caretaker's son who befriends an elderly woman with dementia and, as she loses her memory, he tries his best to be a reminder of her past.

I love that the story shows many perspectives of Alzheimer's Disease. From loved ones, to those actually affected. The camera work is excellent. One shot I especially love is where they are doing a puzzle and the pieces outline the frame. The costumes and sets are very simple and suite the story. The music is well written and helps create a warm tone to the film. The two leading actors are excellent. They perfectly capture their respective character's emotions. My favorite part is the ending! It is personal and well executed.

The message of this film is about the importance of caring for your loved ones and appreciating the time you have with them.

I give Piece of Me 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 18, plus adults. I felt it very personally as dementia runs in my family and, where you are familiar with the disease or not, you will feel an emotional connection. Reviewed by Erin M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 20 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



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