KIDS FIRST! has endorsed 1477 total Video titles

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This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
VAMPIRES DON'T DANCE - TRAVIS FRICK
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Description - When the evil witch Castra steals his wings--how will Little Fang protect Vampire City?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Vampires Don't Dance is a modern, silent black and white film that is full of suspense! I like the close-up shots and the simplicity of the set. Because it is silent, you can imagine the sounds and dialogue. The filmmaker is five years old.

This is the story of a little vampire who is searching for dinner. Along the way he has to fight off an evil which who is wearing a scary mask.

The storyline is very original and allows you to use your imagination of what is being said or thought. The cinematography is quite wonderful. The black and white film really suits the topic. The close-ups of the vampire's face, feet and cloak swishing around brings forward the beauty of the actor's movements. The black cloak and the mask for the evil character help define them. The entire film is shot in a small space with large looming fence and a central wooden sculpture that the vampire uses to lie down on. The small space makes the characters feel even larger and closer to the viewer. There are crackling sounds on the recording record, which makes it seem authentic and when the music stopped, only the crackling remains. It feels almost like the live music that played during old silent movies. Smoke is used just before the confrontation between the vampire and the evil masked character which creates a little suspense. The vampire is played by Arthur Frick, who is also the film's writer and director. My favorite part of the film is that it is written by a five-year-old boy with an amazing imagination. I wish that more five-year-olds would make their own movies.

The moral of the film is that good vampires who want to save the world can triumph over evil witches.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. This film offers a great opportunity to watch a silent black and white movie, which is uncommon these days. Reviewed by Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Vampires Don't Dance is a modern, silent black and white film that is full of suspense! I like the close-up shots and the simplicity of the set. Because it is silent, you can imagine the sounds and dialogue. The filmmaker is five years old.

This is the story of a little vampire who is searching for dinner. Along the way he has to fight off an evil which who is wearing a scary mask.

The storyline is very original and allows you to use your imagination of what is being said or thought. The cinematography is quite wonderful. The black and white film really suits the topic. The close-ups of the vampire's face, feet and cloak swishing around brings forward the beauty of the actor's movements. The black cloak and the mask for the evil character help define them. The entire film is shot in a small space with large looming fence and a central wooden sculpture that the vampire uses to lie down on. The small space makes the characters feel even larger and closer to the viewer. There are crackling sounds on the recording record, which makes it seem authentic and when the music stopped, only the crackling remains. It feels almost like the live music that played during old silent movies. Smoke is used just before the confrontation between the vampire and the evil masked character which creates a little suspense. The vampire is played by Arthur Frick, who is also the film's writer and director. My favorite part of the film is that it is written by a five-year-old boy with an amazing imagination. I wish that more five-year-olds would make their own movies.

The moral of the film is that good vampires who want to save the world can triumph over evil witches.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. This film offers a great opportunity to watch a silent black and white movie, which is uncommon these days. Reviewed by Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 5 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
RAMON - NATALIA BERNAL
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGE 8-14
Description - Ram�n, an 8-year old Mexican kid, week after week practices kickboxing with care and passion. After much training, Ram�n is finally participating in his first national championship. At the end of the fight and for the first time in his life, Ram�n will learn the meaning of winning and losing.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Ram�n is a short documentary from Colombia showing a young boy working to achieve his dreams of practicing kickboxing. The film shows a little bit of his training and his first major competition. It is an enjoyable story that shows an unusual sport for children, and it highlights the importance of the discipline and family support.

We see how Ram�n practices daily to become better and better at kickboxing. Now, it is time to put into play what he has learned in his training during his first major championship.

The story is simple, as it shows what Ram�n goes through during his training and how he does in his first big fight. It also shows how involved his family is in his process, which is interesting. His family's support helps makes him feel confident and to know that whether he wins or not, the important thing is to do his best.

The camera work is well done; it follows Ram�n during his practices and shows various elements around him. We are given insight into life and can appreciate his culture and the aspects on his daily life because we see it all. The locations take place at Ram�n's house and the various places where he practices kickboxing. We also see his city, his home, and where he goes to for the competition. The background music comes in intermittently and helps drive up the action. There are sound effects that add a certain comical tone to the documentary and lighten up the mood throughout the film. This is a short documentary, the key character is Jos� Ram�n Garc�a Nava, the protagonist, Giselle Geney, Alejandro Coronado, Andr�s Monta�a, and Natalia Bernal are the producers of the film. Natalia Bernal is the director as well.

My favorite part of the film is when we get to see children being children, even though they are participating in a sport that requires concentration, focus and discipline. Ram�n has a stuffed toy that he takes everywhere with him, and even his parents play with it. This is refreshing to see, because even though he is serious about becoming more expert as his young age, he is still a child and developing just like other children.

The message of the film is to show how kickboxing can be a healthy exercise or sport for children. Kickboxing helps develop discipline, exercise and self-control, plus the participate moves around a lot and becomes more flexible. The other big part related to the ending of this film is that sometimes we may win and sometimes we may lose, but the important thing is to give our best every single time. Losing allows us to reflect in what we can improve, and it gives us the ability to reflect in how to do something better the next time.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 14. The film shows family bonding, while participating in an aggressive sport. It promotes healthy game behavior and reminds us that, even though we can do our best and practice hundreds of times, all are humans and can lose or win equally. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ram�n is a short documentary from Colombia showing a young boy working to achieve his dreams of practicing kickboxing. The film shows a little bit of his training and his first major competition. It is an enjoyable story that shows an unusual sport for children, and it highlights the importance of the discipline and family support.

We see how Ram�n practices daily to become better and better at kickboxing. Now, it is time to put into play what he has learned in his training during his first major championship.

The story is simple, as it shows what Ram�n goes through during his training and how he does in his first big fight. It also shows how involved his family is in his process, which is interesting. His family's support helps makes him feel confident and to know that whether he wins or not, the important thing is to do his best.

The camera work is well done; it follows Ram�n during his practices and shows various elements around him. We are given insight into life and can appreciate his culture and the aspects on his daily life because we see it all. The locations take place at Ram�n's house and the various places where he practices kickboxing. We also see his city, his home, and where he goes to for the competition. The background music comes in intermittently and helps drive up the action. There are sound effects that add a certain comical tone to the documentary and lighten up the mood throughout the film. This is a short documentary, the key character is Jos� Ram�n Garc�a Nava, the protagonist, Giselle Geney, Alejandro Coronado, Andr�s Monta�a, and Natalia Bernal are the producers of the film. Natalia Bernal is the director as well.

My favorite part of the film is when we get to see children being children, even though they are participating in a sport that requires concentration, focus and discipline. Ram�n has a stuffed toy that he takes everywhere with him, and even his parents play with it. This is refreshing to see, because even though he is serious about becoming more expert as his young age, he is still a child and developing just like other children.

The message of the film is to show how kickboxing can be a healthy exercise or sport for children. Kickboxing helps develop discipline, exercise and self-control, plus the participate moves around a lot and becomes more flexible. The other big part related to the ending of this film is that sometimes we may win and sometimes we may lose, but the important thing is to give our best every single time. Losing allows us to reflect in what we can improve, and it gives us the ability to reflect in how to do something better the next time.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 14. The film shows family bonding, while participating in an aggressive sport. It promotes healthy game behavior and reminds us that, even though we can do our best and practice hundreds of times, all are humans and can lose or win equally. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST!
Runtime: 7 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-14 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
NESTING, THE - CHRISTIANE HITZEMANN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Description - While struggling with her grandmother about the household lead, a young girl has to cope with her mother's seemingly fatal illness: cancer.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Nestling almost made me cry. It's beautiful and hopeful in a way a film delicately and well made only can be. The story completely engaged me, drawing me into the mind of the main character, a young girl, in a way that felt both honest and pleasant. The clever use of symbolism and subtext that the film presents drew me in deeper. This is really an extraordinary film and I highly recommend it.

The story follows a young girl, Ela, adjusting to her mother's return from a hospital where she was being treated for cancer.

The story works well for several reasons. It builds carefully, establishing later events in the very beginning of the film. The plot fascinated me, leaving just enough questions to keep me guessing, but not enough so I was confused. Finally, every event burns with hopefulness and a lightness that keeps the story from getting too dark.

The camera work has a soft look to it, giving the film a calm, serene feel. This feeling makes certain moments in the film that were upsetting feel distinctly less worrisome. For instance, Ela accidentally ends up killing the tiny bird she's caring for. The scene when she discovers the body is upsetting, but the way we view it makes it less distressing. One of my favorite shots is the opening one, a close-up of the little bird. The entire shot rapidly establishes important facts for the story and is incredibly pretty, especially the way it slowly zooms out and shows the rest of the bird and its nest.

There is one major set at the Ela's pastel house. I love this set. It is very detailed, from how the cabinets are constructed, to how its objects are built to fit into the setting. One of my favorite details is how the little bird's nest is visible during the climatic argument of the movie. This detail gives a calm feeling to the film. There are three main characters in the film - Ela (young girl), her mother and her grandmother. All three are exceptionally well acted, especially Ela Aktepe who plays the young girl Ela and who comes across as both fragile and strong, tired and awake; and scared, but fearless. The screenplay is filled with symbolism, and beautifully presented. My favorite part of the film occurs when Ela, after discovering her bird is dead, goes to her mother and grandmother and tells them the little bird flew away. For me, this scene is exceptionally well acted, and also well-written. It is also such an unexpected moment that I could not stop watching after.

The film's message is that even if life throws you curveballs, it is always best to keep your head up.

I give The Nestling 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It has an important message and is well written and acted, however it does address the topic of death and there is a pretty graphic image of a dead bird. The dialogue is in German with English subtitles. Reviewed by Sandrine A., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Nestling almost made me cry. It's beautiful and hopeful in a way a film delicately and well made only can be. The story completely engaged me, drawing me into the mind of the main character, a young girl, in a way that felt both honest and pleasant. The clever use of symbolism and subtext that the film presents drew me in deeper. This is really an extraordinary film and I highly recommend it.

The story follows a young girl, Ela, adjusting to her mother's return from a hospital where she was being treated for cancer.

The story works well for several reasons. It builds carefully, establishing later events in the very beginning of the film. The plot fascinated me, leaving just enough questions to keep me guessing, but not enough so I was confused. Finally, every event burns with hopefulness and a lightness that keeps the story from getting too dark.

The camera work has a soft look to it, giving the film a calm, serene feel. This feeling makes certain moments in the film that were upsetting feel distinctly less worrisome. For instance, Ela accidentally ends up killing the tiny bird she's caring for. The scene when she discovers the body is upsetting, but the way we view it makes it less distressing. One of my favorite shots is the opening one, a close-up of the little bird. The entire shot rapidly establishes important facts for the story and is incredibly pretty, especially the way it slowly zooms out and shows the rest of the bird and its nest.

There is one major set at the Ela's pastel house. I love this set. It is very detailed, from how the cabinets are constructed, to how its objects are built to fit into the setting. One of my favorite details is how the little bird's nest is visible during the climatic argument of the movie. This detail gives a calm feeling to the film. There are three main characters in the film - Ela (young girl), her mother and her grandmother. All three are exceptionally well acted, especially Ela Aktepe who plays the young girl Ela and who comes across as both fragile and strong, tired and awake; and scared, but fearless. The screenplay is filled with symbolism, and beautifully presented. My favorite part of the film occurs when Ela, after discovering her bird is dead, goes to her mother and grandmother and tells them the little bird flew away. For me, this scene is exceptionally well acted, and also well-written. It is also such an unexpected moment that I could not stop watching after.

The film's message is that even if life throws you curveballs, it is always best to keep your head up.

I give The Nestling 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It has an important message and is well written and acted, however it does address the topic of death and there is a pretty graphic image of a dead bird. The dialogue is in German with English subtitles. Reviewed by Sandrine A., KIDS FIRST!
Runtime: 12 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
NEXUS, THE - CALEB PAUL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-18
Description - "The Nexus" is a sci-fi-horror-thriller short film. It follows a young group of pop-culture loving, bike riding kids searching to find their missing friend. But along the way, they discover there may be more to his disappearance than meets the eye.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Nexus is suspenseful and thrilling. This student made film is quite appealing as it has a traditional, one of which is seen in much of popular media. The format starts off lovely and ends by scoring a little below the mark.

The storyline follows what happens after a kid goes missing and a group of his friends band together to find him.

The storyline is not what stands out the most in this film. There are several scenes that look far too similar to the popular series, Stranger Things. This seems like a coincidence, except that every exchange appears to be something from the popular show. It's clear that the writer has taken inspiration from popular media, but since such these vital parts are unoriginal, that should be taken into consideration. Considering this is the work of a seventh grader, it is difficult to fault even the plot when the production is so well done.

The cinematography is incredible; every shot is breath-taking, and you have to give credit to the cinematographer, Caleb Reese Paul, who shot this at age 12. I especially enjoyed a scene where the camera is angled so that we see the perspective of the 'goo' the children are examining. All the shots are very professional and creative but this one stands out. The locations at the house and woods are all very fitting for the sci-fi story. The background music is very techno, which immediately supports the sci-fi vibe the director is striving for. The lighting is well done, especially for the scenes that take place at night, when it's a challenge to see the characters and keep the darkness. At one point, there is a bright pink light that is signaling us (the viewers) that these children are entering another dimension of sorts. While we do have to use our imaginations for this, the director took great initiative as it wasn't difficult to visualize at all. The work that stands out the most is the cinematography; much of the film emphasizes the beauty of the shots, rather than its contents. We never learn much about the characters, either in their backstory or purpose, but the actors that play them are clearly skilled. They make the scenes feel natural, which is not always the case in student made films. The cast includes Lily Buchanan, Griffin Wallace Henkel and John Mahanna plus Caleb Reese Paul, who is also director, writer and producer. Caleb is a 12-year-old actor who has toured the country playing Peter in the Broadway national Tour of Finding Neverland and plays the son of Jeremy Sito and Mara Davi on the Dick Wolf series FBI.

The message of this film is to "be safe and don't go monster hunting. You should know that it contains mild profanity.

I give The Nexus 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Joshitha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Nexus is suspenseful and thrilling. This student made film is quite appealing as it has a traditional, one of which is seen in much of popular media. The format starts off lovely and ends by scoring a little below the mark.

The storyline follows what happens after a kid goes missing and a group of his friends band together to find him.

The storyline is not what stands out the most in this film. There are several scenes that look far too similar to the popular series, Stranger Things. This seems like a coincidence, except that every exchange appears to be something from the popular show. It's clear that the writer has taken inspiration from popular media, but since such these vital parts are unoriginal, that should be taken into consideration. Considering this is the work of a seventh grader, it is difficult to fault even the plot when the production is so well done.

The cinematography is incredible; every shot is breath-taking, and you have to give credit to the cinematographer, Caleb Reese Paul, who shot this at age 12. I especially enjoyed a scene where the camera is angled so that we see the perspective of the 'goo' the children are examining. All the shots are very professional and creative but this one stands out. The locations at the house and woods are all very fitting for the sci-fi story. The background music is very techno, which immediately supports the sci-fi vibe the director is striving for. The lighting is well done, especially for the scenes that take place at night, when it's a challenge to see the characters and keep the darkness. At one point, there is a bright pink light that is signaling us (the viewers) that these children are entering another dimension of sorts. While we do have to use our imaginations for this, the director took great initiative as it wasn't difficult to visualize at all. The work that stands out the most is the cinematography; much of the film emphasizes the beauty of the shots, rather than its contents. We never learn much about the characters, either in their backstory or purpose, but the actors that play them are clearly skilled. They make the scenes feel natural, which is not always the case in student made films. The cast includes Lily Buchanan, Griffin Wallace Henkel and John Mahanna plus Caleb Reese Paul, who is also director, writer and producer. Caleb is a 12-year-old actor who has toured the country playing Peter in the Broadway national Tour of Finding Neverland and plays the son of Jeremy Sito and Mara Davi on the Dick Wolf series FBI.

The message of this film is to "be safe and don't go monster hunting. You should know that it contains mild profanity.

I give The Nexus 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Joshitha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 13 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
WOLF PACK, THE - LYDIA BRUNA
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 7-18
Description - They couldn't be more different: Tilly, Queen of pranks, Sophie, a sporty Tomboy, Lilia who loves to experiment with make up and styling and Marla, who's always with her nose in a book. All four have been sent to a forest camp by their parents, to find new friends. They're four quite different loners, who happen to be in the same camp and at first don't really know what to do with each other. Finally during the big adventure parcours they start discovering each other's strengths. But the parcours isn't the only obstacle: apparently a Waldschrat lives in the forest. A mystical creature, a shape shifter, who lives in the deep woods and stubbornly, defends its territory. Only the bravest of the brave manage to get past it. �Nonsense" the girls think at first. But maybe there's some truth about it after all?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Wolf Pack is very wholesome and the story is relatable, especially to outcast kids.

The story follows four lonely kids that are sent to a camp and forced to partake in a group adventure.

Each character is unique and they have fantastic chemistry. I became very invested in their friendship. The cinematography is quite good. Nothing stands out, aside from one scene showcasing a kid's struggle with gender, where the camera pans to a male bathroom sign. The costumes perfectly showcase the differences in each of the kids' personalities. The strength of this film is in its characters which are well defined and well-acted. They all have equal screen time and feel genuine. The acting and the bond between the characters is what held my attention most. Both are very genuine and the emotional scenes are very well acted.

The message is that being yourself is important, and so is the power of friendship.

I give The Wolf Pack 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. This film is very relatable to kids, and could teach them a good moral. The dialogue is in German with English subtitles.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Wolf Pack is very wholesome and the story is relatable, especially to outcast kids.

The story follows four lonely kids that are sent to a camp and forced to partake in a group adventure.

Each character is unique and they have fantastic chemistry. I became very invested in their friendship. The cinematography is quite good. Nothing stands out, aside from one scene showcasing a kid's struggle with gender, where the camera pans to a male bathroom sign. The costumes perfectly showcase the differences in each of the kids' personalities. The strength of this film is in its characters which are well defined and well-acted. They all have equal screen time and feel genuine. The acting and the bond between the characters is what held my attention most. Both are very genuine and the emotional scenes are very well acted.

The message is that being yourself is important, and so is the power of friendship.

I give The Wolf Pack 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. This film is very relatable to kids, and could teach them a good moral. The dialogue is in German with English subtitles.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 15 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
LET'S TALK ABOUT FARTS - GREG RUNNELS
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Description - A team of experts discuss flatulence.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What kid doesn't like talking about farts! The kids who are interviewed in Let's Talk About Farts are hilarious. The narrator is informative.

This film explains the biology behind farts and the multiple words used to describe them. Parents interview their children about different types of farts, while the children interpret farts using sound effects made by their mouths.

This film does not have a true story line, but is informative. I guess you could call it a documentary. I enjoyed the multiple voices of the different kids. The narrator is filmed in a clear way in portrait mode which allows the audience to focus on her and gives off a professional look. The interviews were filmed by the parents and are more informal with some shakiness. The children are interviewed in their own homes, sometimes on couches and sometimes at a table. This makes the film feel very natural, but also makes it more difficult to control the quality. The sound effects of farts made by the children add humor. The only shortcoming of it is that the sound is very uneven - loud at one point, too soft at another. It includes a short animated video of the stomach and gas bubbles which allows the viewer to better understand the science of farts.

This is a documentary type of film so all of the actors play themselves. The main character is the narrator, Dr. Mercer, who is a gastroenterologist and an expert in everything related to the gut. My favorite part is when a mother asks her son "Do spiders fart?" The son answers, "nooooooooo!" That scene made me laugh out loud.

The theme of the film is: everybody farts and it's normal.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. This is a funny film that would make a great interstitial at a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. It will surely make people laugh. Reviewed by Nyara A.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What kid doesn't like talking about farts! The kids who are interviewed in Let's Talk About Farts are hilarious. The narrator is informative.

This film explains the biology behind farts and the multiple words used to describe them. Parents interview their children about different types of farts, while the children interpret farts using sound effects made by their mouths.

This film does not have a true story line, but is informative. I guess you could call it a documentary. I enjoyed the multiple voices of the different kids. The narrator is filmed in a clear way in portrait mode which allows the audience to focus on her and gives off a professional look. The interviews were filmed by the parents and are more informal with some shakiness. The children are interviewed in their own homes, sometimes on couches and sometimes at a table. This makes the film feel very natural, but also makes it more difficult to control the quality. The sound effects of farts made by the children add humor. The only shortcoming of it is that the sound is very uneven - loud at one point, too soft at another. It includes a short animated video of the stomach and gas bubbles which allows the viewer to better understand the science of farts.

This is a documentary type of film so all of the actors play themselves. The main character is the narrator, Dr. Mercer, who is a gastroenterologist and an expert in everything related to the gut. My favorite part is when a mother asks her son "Do spiders fart?" The son answers, "nooooooooo!" That scene made me laugh out loud.

The theme of the film is: everybody farts and it's normal.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. This is a funny film that would make a great interstitial at a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. It will surely make people laugh. Reviewed by Nyara A.
Runtime: 2 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
H-SQUAD - AARON DAVID HARRIS
Series: INDIE SHORT AGES 5-12
Description - A father attempts to teach his five children the value of using their superhuman abilities more responsibly. One of his children, however, needs to learn that lesson the hard way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed H-Squad because it has things that humans can't do in real life, which makes it interesting and fun to watch. It has lots of characters with different powers which makes it cool.

H-Squad is about five kids who have powers. Their mom is out on the job and their dad has to help all of them learn what their abilities are and how to use them.

I like that the powers are all different and that one kid, Austin, has a lot of powers and has trouble communicating and listening. This is all done in 2D animation, which is pretty well executed, although the colors lack contrast and definition. Sometimes there is a color bleed from characters to background. There are a lot of variations of muted brown and green. The sound effects when they use their super powers are cool. The voice-over actors are perfectly cast. I really like all the kids. When they get into fights, it really caught my attention. I like when they make up or apologize. One issue I have is that the mouth movements don't match the voices. That's a problem. I love the scene when the dad calls "You're a Hero" for help from his spouse and leaves a message saying, "Hey honey, it's me. I knew that raising kids with super powers would be hard on us and honestly, I'm not sure if I measure up." What wonderful honesty! It's a great message and speaks for the whole film. My favorite scene is when Andrew shape-shifts into a wolf and tries to attack Arthur.

The message of this film is that you're never alone, even when you're alone. You have someone there that supports you and loves you; just keep pushing through and you'll get there eventually.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Kids would like this film and find it interesting. Reviewed by Makena P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - H-Squad is a fantastic animated series that teaches an amazing lesson! It has a semi-relatable plot based on a real family, not to mention the amazing supernatural abilities it displays. This is a perfect series for a film festival!

The storyline is about a family of superheroes that use their powers in everyday life. However, when the mother is busy fighting crime, the father has to raise the five kids and try to teach them how to use their powers responsibly. Sometimes, it doesn't go the way it's supposed to, and the kids have to learn lessons the hard way.

What I like about the story is that it has an issue that some parents face today, raising children alone or, most of the time, alone. However, it also includes compelling supernatural abilities that the characters have. This is a topic that a lot of people like to watch, so it's a good way to reel people in. In addition, the story was inspired by a real family. How cool is that?! It's a great way to showcase their lives while adding an interesting twist to them.

This is a 2D animated series. There are lots of scenes that are very interesting and impressive. For one, the scene when Arthur transports to somewhere different is cool. He fades out and there are only sparkles left behind. This is amazing animation, and something that is very hard to do, so props to Aaron David Harris and the rest of the animation team. Another thing that really sets this series aside from others is that this is in 2D. This element is produced when individual drawings are sequenced together over time. Therefore, someone draws all these images and puts them together. Again, this is incredibly profound.

The background music and sound effects are very good in the series. They match all of the events, and emphasize what is happening. For instance, the sound effect that stands out the most is when Arthur teleports. There are sparkling images and a sparkling sound effect when he disappears. This shows us his powers. There are many characters in this show. The biggest ones, so far, are Bria Mae, Arthur and Mr. Harris. They all are very important because they make the story progress. Bria Mae plays a big role in helping Arthur have more responsibility with his powers because she helps with his selflessness. Arthur also plays a key role because he is the troublemaker in the family, and causes a lot of the conflicts that take place. He also has the most control over his powers, which means that he can use them for many situations. The actors that play them - Crystal Cohen and Brielle Rankins - have very good chemistry, and typical of sibling relationships. The person that stands out the most is Aaron Harris who plays Mr. Harris. He is taking care of all of the kids on his own and you can hear the struggle in the actor's voice. It is clear that he is channeling some of his own experiences in his acting. Not only does Aaron Harris voice Mr. Harris, but he is the creator, director, editor, storyboard artist and the writer of the show. This is SO impressive! To do all of this, and make it look good is very impressive.

The message of this show is that with great power comes great responsibility. All of the members of the family have supernatural powers. However, without being taught how to use them responsibly, they cannot be used.

My favorite part of this show is when Bria Mae helps Arthur with his selflessness, which is essential in helping Arthur master his powers. This also shows a positive sibling relationship. Even though they fight sometimes, they are there for each other when they need it most.

I give this show 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 11. It's very intriguing and can prove to do well with this age group. H-Squad is a very kid-friendly and family friendly series with an uplifting message and a fascinating plot. Reviewed by Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 14 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
PICKLED - JINGYU ZHANG
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 6-18
Description - Pickled is a two-and-half minute 2D animated short about a young chili pepper who dreams to become a dish of delicious and dazzling food, but things do not go as planned as the chef decides to throw her into a glass jar to be pickled.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The short film Pickled is endearing. I love the animation and the music. By the end of this film you will be smiling!

The story is about a chili pepper that wishes to be in exotic and spicy dishes. Then, he gets tossed into a jar with carrots to be pickled and everything turns upside down for this pepper. But, he learns a valuable lesson.

I like this film because it is entertaining and really cute. It also had a few valuable messages. The animation is 2D and is executed very well. I like the bright colors and the various shots of the chili. The setting takes place in a restaurant as well as the chili pepper's dream. The music has a Chinese influence and is very happy, but calm. The characters include a chili pepper, carrots, a chef, a mom and a daughter. There is very little dialogue, which allows the viewer to focus on visual elements of the film. The animation reminds me of early Disney films, with a slightly nostalgic quality. My favorite scene is at the end, when the girl eats the soup.

The message of the film is to always look on the bright side.

I give Pickled 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adult will find this irresistibly cute too. Reviewed by Ava H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The short film Pickled is endearing. I love the animation and the music. By the end of this film you will be smiling!

The story is about a chili pepper that wishes to be in exotic and spicy dishes. Then, he gets tossed into a jar with carrots to be pickled and everything turns upside down for this pepper. But, he learns a valuable lesson.

I like this film because it is entertaining and really cute. It also had a few valuable messages. The animation is 2D and is executed very well. I like the bright colors and the various shots of the chili. The setting takes place in a restaurant as well as the chili pepper's dream. The music has a Chinese influence and is very happy, but calm. The characters include a chili pepper, carrots, a chef, a mom and a daughter. There is very little dialogue, which allows the viewer to focus on visual elements of the film. The animation reminds me of early Disney films, with a slightly nostalgic quality. My favorite scene is at the end, when the girl eats the soup.

The message of the film is to always look on the bright side.

I give Pickled 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adult will find this irresistibly cute too. Reviewed by Ava H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 3 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CHIPS - DAISY COSTELLO
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-18
Description - In this moving and playfully fantastical drama, a grieving 10-year-old girl discovers that when she accidentally feeds her late grandfather's ashes to her goldfish 'Chips', he talks. BAFTA and Emmy nominated Scottish actor Peter Mullan voices Chips. Winner of the 2019 ARRI Alexa Challenge with Directors UK.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The short film, Chips is very heartfelt and made me feel as if I was inside the story. The ending is very surprising.

The story is about a young girl who unexpectedly loses her grandpa. When she feeds her grandfather's ashes to her goldfish, Chips, he talks! It's a catharsis for her as she finally can get the feelings out that she has been waiting to express.

The storyline is a bit bumpy; it doesn't make a lot of sense at some points. It gives off a certain message because of the settings, for example, when she is in the rain or at the river. The camera quality is really excellent, from the long shots to the close-ups. I especially love some of the shots with the fish and the girl. This film is from the UK and the shots in the town look very true to a small village on the sea. The background music is well selected and adds to the tone of the film. When the fish begins to talk, that is amazingly realistic. The actors all are quite delightful, particularly the Sarah McCardie who plays the girl. But also Sophie Lawson, who plays her mom is also excellent and, my favorite is Peter Mullan who voices the fish, Chips. My favorite scene is when the girl takes her fish/grandfather on an outing. The quality is probably the highest film quality I have ever seen for a short film from the lighting, to the camera work, the sets, the acting - all of it. I love the ending!

The message: Sometimes you just need a little imagination.

I give this short film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, also adults. Reviewed by Ava H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Through heartbreak comes comfort and adventure in an unusual manner! Chips captures the story of an upsetting situation which leads us to a very exciting experience purely by chance. I especially enjoyed it as it is set in a quaint Scottish seaside village and reminds me, as a Scot, of summer holidays up north.

The story follows a young girl who has recently lost her grandfather. She is reminiscing through touching his ashes from the urn and is called for dinner. When she cleans her fingers in her pet gold fish's bowl something magical happens.

I like the creativity behind the storyline. I also love the unexpected twist of the talking goldfish and the contrast between the girl being sad and upset at the funeral to being excited to come home from school every day to see Chips, the gold fish.

I like the camera angles and the bird's eye view of the beautiful Scottish scenery. The costumes are in keeping with the story and its events. This is set in a fishing village in Scotland. It captures the beautiful scenery and village life very realistically. There is a contrast in music which helps us to understand how the main character, Seana, is feeling. Seana, the young heartbroken girl, is played by newcomer, Sophie Lawson. Her performance is very believable when talking and interacting with her gold fish, and emotional when at the funeral. Chips, the gold fish, is voiced by Peter Mullan, and is one of my favorite characters. I love the unexpected twist when he can talk, it shows imagination. Peter Mullan (Chips) has been in Braveheart, Harry Potter amongst numerous other productions spanning over 30 years. Sarah McCardie (Alisa, the mum) is known for These Foolish Things and Big City Park.

The message of the story is that you can use your imagination to relive happy memories. It also highlights to me the importance of always being kind as you never know what's around the corner.

My favorite part of the film is when she hears her grandfather whistling and turns around to see no one there; she continues to walk and hears it again. This time she realizes that it's the gold fish.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 14, plus adults. It is a very family friendly film. This could be used as an educational film to assist children who are grieving. Reviewed by Katie F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 14 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
HOME OF MY MEMORIES - JAVIER MENDEZ LAFON
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 7-18
Description - This 7 years in the making short film will bring back all the memories of those who teaches us something invaluable. "A kid find his passion through the experience of his grandfather, all of those teachings come alive in a truly wonderful way."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - House of My Memories tackles an upsetting universal experience and does so in an appealing way with beautiful, expressive animation. This exquisite film really honors the people we have lost but who still live within our hearts. It is a perfect intergenerational film for KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals.

The story is about a boy who finds his passion by working with his late grandfather.

The story is emotional and easy to understand, despite the lack of dialogue. The cinematography is very unique, especially in the scenes where the boy and his grandfather are working together. There is a very genuine connection between the boy and his grandfather. I like how the film showcases their progress. The main location, the grandfather's workshop is well rendered and nostalgic in a way. The characters are beautifully illustrated with great facial expressions and body movement. The boy appears as so na�ve and inquisitive as he works side by side with his grandfather, learning how to make things in the workshop. I like the scene showing them in multiple phases of their work together. The background music is light and noninvasive, just as pleasant as the visuals. All the animation is super detailed and serene. The colors especially pop. I particularly enjoyed the ending. It brought a smile to my face. I imagine this film would look even better on a bigger screen.

Although death is upsetting, the memories people leave behind are invaluable.

I give House of My Memories 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. This is a very sweet film about a tough subject that we'll all experience. Losing a grandparent, or a relative that we are close with, can be a very emotional situation, but the memories of being with them lingers and brings us comfort, as we see in this film.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - House of My Memories tackles an upsetting universal experience and does so in an appealing way with beautiful, expressive animation. This exquisite film really honors the people we have lost but who still live within our hearts. It is a perfect intergenerational film for KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals.

The story is about a boy who finds his passion by working with his late grandfather.

The story is emotional and easy to understand, despite the lack of dialogue. The cinematography is very unique, especially in the scenes where the boy and his grandfather are working together. There is a very genuine connection between the boy and his grandfather. I like how the film showcases their progress. The main location, the grandfather's workshop is well rendered and nostalgic in a way. The characters are beautifully illustrated with great facial expressions and body movement. The boy appears as so na�ve and inquisitive as he works side by side with his grandfather, learning how to make things in the workshop. I like the scene showing them in multiple phases of their work together. The background music is light and noninvasive, just as pleasant as the visuals. All the animation is super detailed and serene. The colors especially pop. I particularly enjoyed the ending. It brought a smile to my face. I imagine this film would look even better on a bigger screen.

Although death is upsetting, the memories people leave behind are invaluable.

I give House of My Memories 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. This is a very sweet film about a tough subject that we'll all experience. Losing a grandparent, or a relative that we are close with, can be a very emotional situation, but the memories of being with them lingers and brings us comfort, as we see in this film.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
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
PIVOT PAYING IT FORWARD - TOM DIDONATO
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - How do people overcome a pandemic? They pivot. This film uncovers the journeys of businesses and communities paying it forward during a crisis. A small glimmer of hope during unprecedented times, created by people coming together.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - PIVOT Paying it Forward will be very appealing for many people. While watching, I found myself overwhelmed with hope. The documentary shows people coming together and serving others in a way that pushes me to volunteer more myself. The film radiates a sense of community, making the film hard to look away from. It's hopeful in a time without hope; happy in a time without happiness.

This documentary follows businesses and communities paying it forward during the 2019-20 pandemic, showing many instances of people serving others in their community.

I love this storyline. I like how the film shows so many examples of people helping others. I like that it shows the effects of one person's acts of kindness and how that spread from person to person, and improve the world by doing so. I also like that the film discusses the pandemic, admitting it's a struggle, but also choosing to look on the bright side.

The camerawork is very good; one shot that impressed me is at a dog rehabilitation place. The film focuses on the dogs rather than the people, showing several close-ups of some very cute dogs. This focuses the film on the impact, not the performer of a good deed, and draws the audience deeper into the story. The film takes place in several locations - a horse farm, church, several food banks, rehabilitation centers and an un-kept lawn. The film features multiple people and the work they are doing including David Burke, world class chef and Brian Schwartz, who mows lawn for the elderly. All of the people in the film are fascinating and richly defined.

The message of this film is that hope must always be held and that helping others is always a good thing.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It has an important message and is a beautifully made, hopeful documentary that uplifts you as the viewer. This qualifies as a pandemic special interest topic. Reviewed by Sandrine A., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - PIVOT Paying it Forward will be very appealing for many people. While watching, I found myself overwhelmed with hope. The documentary shows people coming together and serving others in a way that pushes me to volunteer more myself. The film radiates a sense of community, making the film hard to look away from. It's hopeful in a time without hope; happy in a time without happiness.

This documentary follows businesses and communities paying it forward during the 2019-20 pandemic, showing many instances of people serving others in their community.

I love this storyline. I like how the film shows so many examples of people helping others. I like that it shows the effects of one person's acts of kindness and how that spread from person to person, and improve the world by doing so. I also like that the film discusses the pandemic, admitting it's a struggle, but also choosing to look on the bright side.

The camerawork is very good; one shot that impressed me is at a dog rehabilitation place. The film focuses on the dogs rather than the people, showing several close-ups of some very cute dogs. This focuses the film on the impact, not the performer of a good deed, and draws the audience deeper into the story. The film takes place in several locations - a horse farm, church, several food banks, rehabilitation centers and an un-kept lawn. The film features multiple people and the work they are doing including David Burke, world class chef and Brian Schwartz, who mows lawn for the elderly. All of the people in the film are fascinating and richly defined.

The message of this film is that hope must always be held and that helping others is always a good thing.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It has an important message and is a beautifully made, hopeful documentary that uplifts you as the viewer. This qualifies as a pandemic special interest topic. Reviewed by Sandrine A., KIDS FIRST!
Runtime: 16 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SOME KIND OF HEAVEN

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SOME KIND OF HEAVEN
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SOME KIND OF HEAVEN - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - Behind the gates of a palm tree-lined fantasyland, four residents of America's largest retirement community, The Villages, FL, strive to find solace and meaning.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This documentary is very interesting. It has the best cinematography I've ever seen in a documentary and it covers quite a serious subject with respect.

This documentary follows four residents of The Villages, a massive retirement home in Florida - Anne and Reggie, a married couple; Barbara, a widow; and Dennis, a man who doesn't actually live at The Villages. Anne struggles with her marriage, due to Reggie's drug addiction and worsening mental health. Barbara's husband died four months before filming and she is nervous about dating again. Dennis lives in his van, and hangs around The Villages in hopes of finding a wealthy woman in his last few years.

Before this film, I had never heard of The Villages. I found the story of its residents fascinating. The Villages is often referred to as "The Disneyworld for Retirees," and when you hear that, you imagine a perfect place to spend the later part of your life. The problem with utopias is that they're basically impossible. And the goal of the film is to showcase that The Villages is not a perfect utopia. It follows the struggles of these four people and how they can't just escape their pain with tennis or acting classes. One thing I like about this film is that it doesn't come off as malicious. It's not trying to expose The Villages for being a place of fake happiness or mock the residents or anything like that. Instead I got the impression that the director wanted to tell a story about real people trying to cope with their problems and I can respect that.

The cinematography is one of the stand-out aspects of this film. Every shot looks staged, as if they were from a typical fiction movie. There's a surprising amount of close-ups for a documentary. It was to the point that I didn't actually believe I was watching a documentary at first. I'm very impressed with the cinematography - shout-out to David Bolen, the cinematographer.

There is a lot to learn from this film. Life is full of pain and struggles; and, as sad as it may sound, that's inescapable. It's impossible to always be happy, even in the utopic Disney World for Retirees.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It comes out January 15, 2021.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Runtime: 45 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
APOLLO 11: QUARANTINE

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APOLLO 11: QUARANTINE
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APOLLO 11: QUARANTINE - NEON
Series: FEATURE, AGES 11-18
Description - Apollo 11 astronauts spend three weeks in medical quarantine after safely returning to Earth in the summer of 1969.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Apollo 11: Quarantine is a uniquely relatable found-footage style film that is sure to allure space fans, history buffs and everyone else, too! The creators of this film have pieced together parts of old footage from newsfeeds and other sources to tell a grand story of astronauts in quarantine.

Now, more about that story! The film follows the crew of the Apollo 11 spaceflight that first landed humans on the moon (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins) in their 21-day quarantine in the summer of 1969. Scientists weren't sure if they had made contact (and maybe even brought back) dangerous lunar microorganisms like bacteria, so the astronauts had to be contained and swabbed and scrubbed down regularly. But the Apollo 11 crew weren't as isolated as you'd think: they kept contact with the outside world through a pane of thick glass. This film shows the activities that went on during those 21 days and how much patience and emotional strength the astronauts had to show; it took a lot of resilience for the roving moon-explorers, but they pulled through!

To the fun stuff, now! Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins are the lead "characters" in the film. Todd Douglas Miller brilliantly edited together all of the individual incredible clips. Besides the editing, the music and small intercut scenes of footage shot in the 21st century both help create the ambiance for the film. I also have to say that the audio work is quite interesting; I didn't think that audio from the late '60s was surround sound or stereo. I watch the film with headphones on and was surprised that the audio in parts of the film (like when the crew uses walkie-talkies) goes from one ear to the other. Quite modern for the mid-to-late 20th century!

Apollo 11: Quarantine promotes the message of resilience and sticking through anything that comes your way. The film shows exactly how difficult it was for the crew of Apollo 11 to be quarantined for 21 days, interacting with the outside world through a glass pane or capsule. But they pulled through, and President Gerald Ford congratulated them with a proud speech on Day 21 of their quarantine, the last day.

I give Apollo 11: Quarantine 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Adults will enjoy this film as well. Apollo 11: Quarantine will be released exclusively in IMAX� on January 29, 2021, and on Premium On Demand on February 5, 2021.

Reviewed by Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 30 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
MAGGIE, AN ENVIRONMENTAL STORY
MAGGIE, AN ENVIRONMENTAL STORY - DONNA GUTHRIE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 4-18
Description - A four-minute, family-friendly, musical animated film about Maggie Mae, a constant shopper who buys things she doesn't need. When she gets buried in styrofoam, tissue, and silly purchases, she learns to recycle and reuse.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A valuable lesson full of color and with a catchy song! MAGGIE MAY, An Environmental Story is a short film that teaches a great lesson which has never been more important than right now. The animation of the characters is well done and makes the story more appealing. The way the story is narrated, using music, makes the lesson easier to learn and to remember for future scenarios.

Aunt Maggie May loves to travel, and she collects souvenirs after each trip. However, she will have to learn how to deal with all the trash in her house, and she will learn a great lesson about helping the environment.

The continuity of the storyline is great. It shows how something small can lead to a bigger problem if is not addressed early enough. It also shows how adults and their behaviors can have major effects on children, such as how the little girl was observing all the actions that Aunt Maggie May did regarding her trash. The story develops in a way that both the problem and the solution are easy to identify and to apply to real life scenarios.

The animation of the film portrays daily aspects very accurately. Each detail is well-designed and full color, which makes them appealing and easy to associate. The film shows different places that are easy to recognize, such as a house, the store, the planet Earth and the recycling plant. The transitions between each scene help to the continuity of both the story and the song.

As this is an animated short film that focuses on Aunt Maggie May and her niece, each location reflects their daily lives. The shots that include the Earth are well done, as they show most countries where the plane is flying from above. The music by Elliot Sheridan is the main factor of the film. It narrates the storyline and moves the scenes according to what is being sung at the moment. The song is catchy and the words easy, which makes it easier to learn and to remember. The instruments can be all heard and appreciated by the watcher. The song is energetic, joyful and it helps to highlight the overall lesson of the film.

The animation by Kevin Mark is remarkable. Each character is well designed and is easy to recognize who is who and what role they have in the film. All the details of the film are well executed; there are some scenes that mix fantasy characters, which makes it more appealing. Donna W. Guthrie is the director, writer, and producer, and she delivers an engaging and relevant film.

The message is that recycling can make a difference to the planet. The words "recycle, reduce and reuse" have great impact, and how we decide to act will mark our future and that for the coming generations. Collecting memories does not mean to collect trash and unnecessary materials, as the most valuable things in life cannot be bought or collected on shelves. Showing younger generations how they can start changing the world by just recycling can lead to a better future.

The film makes me want to learn about ways to recycle and how I can use those ways in my community. It makes me want to look for recycling plants near me and take all my trash and recycle to help the planet. The scenes where Aunt Maggie Way and her niece are going through all the trash and the recycling bins are so much fun to watch! They really show all the details and the emotions in the characters' faces well. I like those scenes because they show how recycling works and how to separate the trash, so the viewers will learn to recycle in their own communities.

I give MAGGIE MAY, An Environmental Story 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18, plus adults. This film shows recycling in such a simple way that everyone can watch it and still learn the main message. With the use of the music and the colors, younger children will understand the importance of recycling better. Recycling is an action that families should practice at each of their homes so the world can continue to be the beautiful and diverse planet that we all know. This would play well in any festival that includes films about the environmental, recycling, activism and family. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A valuable lesson full of color and with a catchy song! MAGGIE MAY, An Environmental Story is a short film that teaches a great lesson which has never been more important than right now. The animation of the characters is well done and makes the story more appealing. The way the story is narrated, using music, makes the lesson easier to learn and to remember for future scenarios.

Aunt Maggie May loves to travel, and she collects souvenirs after each trip. However, she will have to learn how to deal with all the trash in her house, and she will learn a great lesson about helping the environment.

The continuity of the storyline is great. It shows how something small can lead to a bigger problem if is not addressed early enough. It also shows how adults and their behaviors can have major effects on children, such as how the little girl was observing all the actions that Aunt Maggie May did regarding her trash. The story develops in a way that both the problem and the solution are easy to identify and to apply to real life scenarios.

The animation of the film portrays daily aspects very accurately. Each detail is well-designed and full color, which makes them appealing and easy to associate. The film shows different places that are easy to recognize, such as a house, the store, the planet Earth and the recycling plant. The transitions between each scene help to the continuity of both the story and the song.

As this is an animated short film that focuses on Aunt Maggie May and her niece, each location reflects their daily lives. The shots that include the Earth are well done, as they show most countries where the plane is flying from above. The music by Elliot Sheridan is the main factor of the film. It narrates the storyline and moves the scenes according to what is being sung at the moment. The song is catchy and the words easy, which makes it easier to learn and to remember. The instruments can be all heard and appreciated by the watcher. The song is energetic, joyful and it helps to highlight the overall lesson of the film.

The animation by Kevin Mark is remarkable. Each character is well designed and is easy to recognize who is who and what role they have in the film. All the details of the film are well executed; there are some scenes that mix fantasy characters, which makes it more appealing. Donna W. Guthrie is the director, writer, and producer, and she delivers an engaging and relevant film.

The message is that recycling can make a difference to the planet. The words "recycle, reduce and reuse" have great impact, and how we decide to act will mark our future and that for the coming generations. Collecting memories does not mean to collect trash and unnecessary materials, as the most valuable things in life cannot be bought or collected on shelves. Showing younger generations how they can start changing the world by just recycling can lead to a better future.

The film makes me want to learn about ways to recycle and how I can use those ways in my community. It makes me want to look for recycling plants near me and take all my trash and recycle to help the planet. The scenes where Aunt Maggie Way and her niece are going through all the trash and the recycling bins are so much fun to watch! They really show all the details and the emotions in the characters' faces well. I like those scenes because they show how recycling works and how to separate the trash, so the viewers will learn to recycle in their own communities.

I give MAGGIE MAY, An Environmental Story 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18, plus adults. This film shows recycling in such a simple way that everyone can watch it and still learn the main message. With the use of the music and the colors, younger children will understand the importance of recycling better. Recycling is an action that families should practice at each of their homes so the world can continue to be the beautiful and diverse planet that we all know. This would play well in any festival that includes films about the environmental, recycling, activism and family. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 4 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BROKEN DOLL
BROKEN DOLL - FILMSTOFESTIVALS DISTRIBUTION AGENCY
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 11-18
Description - Ariel is a teenager who enjoys figure skating. Sometimes when he passes by the neighborhood football field, the boys who are playing make fun of him for being different. At school, he receives mockery and paper planes from his pals. One of those papers is the invitation to the prom party. He decides to assist. The night of the party, he is getting ready to go. Something triggers inside him and he makes a decision.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really like this film because it brings out a very important message and it represents the LGBT community. It shows the viewers that it is okay to be yourself and not let others determine your path. In this film, a teenager is having a hard time becoming who they want to be because of all the people around them that tease and call them names. They are able to find their true selves in the end.

The story is about a teen that is bullied for being different. Everyone in the community laughs at them for being themselves and it's very hard for them to transition and realize that it doesn't matter what others think, the only opinion that you should care about is your own.

I like the emotion in the film and the deep feelings it shows through the beautiful animation. The expressions on the main characters' faces are very heartbreaking and made me feel sad for them.

At the beginning of the film there is a scene where the protagonist is skating on a rink with their long hair flowing as they glide along. In just four minutes we are transported to a skating rink, town, the main character bedroom, and a high school. It all fits so perfectly together like a puzzle and I really appreciate all the minute details that went into creating this so we could understand what was going through the mind of the protagonist.

The background music consists of a piano playing softly throughout the film and it carries the animation with very soothing sounds.

The animators, Gaspar Aguirre and Rom�n Sovrano, draw out the perfect storyline and give every moment thought and care. You can really tell how much effort they put into bringing this story to life.

The message is don't listen to anyone if they are causing you distress, the only opinion that matters is your own. It contains profanity but nothing drastic. Broken Doll has a really important message and I think a lot of people will find it helpful and inspiring to see it for themselves.

My favorite part of this film is when the main character finally stops caring about what everyone else thought and does what makes them happy.

I give Broken Doll 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Reviewed by Winter F. and David O.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like this film because it brings out a very important message and it represents the LGBT community. It shows the viewers that it is okay to be yourself and not let others determine your path. In this film, a teenager is having a hard time becoming who they want to be because of all the people around them that tease and call them names. They are able to find their true selves in the end.

The story is about a teen that is bullied for being different. Everyone in the community laughs at them for being themselves and it's very hard for them to transition and realize that it doesn't matter what others think, the only opinion that you should care about is your own.

I like the emotion in the film and the deep feelings it shows through the beautiful animation. The expressions on the main characters' faces are very heartbreaking and made me feel sad for them.

At the beginning of the film there is a scene where the protagonist is skating on a rink with their long hair flowing as they glide along. In just four minutes we are transported to a skating rink, town, the main character bedroom, and a high school. It all fits so perfectly together like a puzzle and I really appreciate all the minute details that went into creating this so we could understand what was going through the mind of the protagonist.

The background music consists of a piano playing softly throughout the film and it carries the animation with very soothing sounds.

The animators, Gaspar Aguirre and Rom�n Sovrano, draw out the perfect storyline and give every moment thought and care. You can really tell how much effort they put into bringing this story to life.

The message is don't listen to anyone if they are causing you distress, the only opinion that matters is your own. It contains profanity but nothing drastic. Broken Doll has a really important message and I think a lot of people will find it helpful and inspiring to see it for themselves.

My favorite part of this film is when the main character finally stops caring about what everyone else thought and does what makes them happy.

I give Broken Doll 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Reviewed by Winter F. and David O.
Runtime: 4 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 11-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MY OTHER SON
MY OTHER SON - FILMSTOFESTIVALS DISTRIBUTION AGENCY
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 6-18
Description - Sometimes with the sons, it happens as with the drawing, they do not come out as you imagined. This is Gusti's story. A father who goes through bewilderment and denial, to the most unconditional love for his new son, upon discovering that he has Down Syndrome.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - My Other Son is so beautiful and emotional because is a personal story. It is a story about a father and his reaction when facing something unexpected. The film truly captures the emotions of its characters and shows each aspect Gusti goes through during his new journey. Many parents can relate to this story and feel connected with each scene, and that is truly unique. Also, each part when the story shows bonding moments between the father and his son are so good and they really portray the key lesson of the film.

Gusti becomes the father of a beautiful, but a different boy. He goes through different emotional reactions as he faces the reality of his son and what it will mean for Gusti and his family, but he finds beauty in the unexpected.

This is truly one of the most creative, touching and unique films I have ever seen! It is a beautiful story from a parent's perspective about the unexpected having a positive outcome. This short film uses so many artistic techniques, is filled with color and creativity; each scene has a unique personal touch. Many parents will relate to the story, as it is about Down Syndrome and the realities that many go through during those first moments when their child is diagnosed. But the main point is the great relationship between the father and his son.

The film has so many different uses of camera work and techniques. All the shots are full of animation, color, techniques and an artistic perspecvied. One refreshing touch is the set-up of the film, as it is animated through canvas over a table, giving the idea that the father is narrating his story. This makes it feel more personal and appealing to the viewer.

The film made want to read more about parents with Down Syndrome children and how they have overcome any doubts or fears they had at the beginning. It is beautiful to see and learn how love can overcome anything, and in situations just as unexpected as this one, it is even stronger.

I loved this film from the beginning to the end. The credits have a beautiful surprise that brought tears to my eyes because I was able to watch true joy, happiness and love. But my favorite part is definitely a quote from the dad, "Love doesn't count chromosomes." This quote captures the message of the film, and is such a powerful statement. Love should be unconditional, and love should guide those who are starting this new stage of their lives.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 18, plus Adults. Gustavo Alonso is the director and the writer; Noem� Fuhrer and Graciela Mazza are the producers. This team has created a beautiful story with a relevant message. The message is very relevant and the fact that is a narrated personal story makes it more honest and unique. Many families will relate to having those fears and doubts in cases like the one presented, but the film can help as emotional support and as inspiration when the challenges seem overwhelming.

Reviewed by David L, KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - My Other Son is so beautiful and emotional because is a personal story. It is a story about a father and his reaction when facing something unexpected. The film truly captures the emotions of its characters and shows each aspect Gusti goes through during his new journey. Many parents can relate to this story and feel connected with each scene, and that is truly unique. Also, each part when the story shows bonding moments between the father and his son are so good and they really portray the key lesson of the film.

Gusti becomes the father of a beautiful, but a different boy. He goes through different emotional reactions as he faces the reality of his son and what it will mean for Gusti and his family, but he finds beauty in the unexpected.

This is truly one of the most creative, touching and unique films I have ever seen! It is a beautiful story from a parent's perspective about the unexpected having a positive outcome. This short film uses so many artistic techniques, is filled with color and creativity; each scene has a unique personal touch. Many parents will relate to the story, as it is about Down Syndrome and the realities that many go through during those first moments when their child is diagnosed. But the main point is the great relationship between the father and his son.

The film has so many different uses of camera work and techniques. All the shots are full of animation, color, techniques and an artistic perspective. One refreshing touch is the set-up of the film, as it is animated through canvas over a table, giving the idea that the father is narrating his story. This makes it feel more personal and appealing to the viewer.

The film made want to read more about parents with Down Syndrome children and how they have overcome any doubts or fears they had at the beginning. It is beautiful to see and learn how love can overcome anything, and in situations just as unexpected as this one, it is even stronger.

I loved this film from the beginning to the end. The credits have a beautiful surprise that brought tears to my eyes because I was able to watch true joy, happiness and love. But my favorite part is definitely a quote from the dad, "Love doesn't count chromosomes." This quote captures the message of the film, and is such a powerful statement. Love should be unconditional, and love should guide those who are starting this new stage of their lives.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 18, plus Adults. Gustavo Alonso is the director and the writer; Noem� Fuhrer and Graciela Mazza are the producers. This team has created a beautiful story with a relevant message. The message is very relevant and the fact that is a narrated personal story makes it more honest and unique. Many families will relate to having those fears and doubts in cases like the one presented, but the film can help as emotional support and as inspiration when the challenges seem overwhelming.

Reviewed by David L, KIDS FIRST!
Runtime: 11 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BOY WHO WOULD BECOME A KNIGHT, THE
BOY WHO WOULD BECOME A KNIGHT, THE - GIANMARCO D'AGOSTINO
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-15
Description - "The Boy who would become a Knight" tells, with live action and stop motion animations, a moment of transition in the life of Luigi, a child from Florence at the end of the Fourteenth century.

Thanks to the words of the family weaver and a precious embroidered blanket, the adventures of the young Tristan come to life before Luigi's eyes, to teach him what skills a knight must have.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Boy Who Would Become a Knight tells a tale with a great lesson! This film presents the story of Luigi and how he dreams to become a knight. It film uses music and animation to reveal the tale, which helps to get the message across to the audience. The accuracy of the time period and the high quality of the film helps make the lesson easy to discover at the end.

Luigi becomes afraid of the consequences he may face after a fight with the barber's son. With the help of the family weaver and his tales, he discovers the story of Tristan, and what being a Knight really means.

The story is constructed in such a way that the public can identify the main qualities of a knight - brave, ready for the action, kind, stable and passionate. Even though all these characteristics are necessary, the story highlights the most important of all in the end. The film presents a real-life situation with Luigi and it creates a comparison with the story of the knight to help him see what really is important at the end of the day. This connection is valuable and highlights the message of the film.

The camera work of the film captures the essence of the time period. It shows all the details in both the settings and the characters' costumes. In the animated portion of the film, the scenes are changing and are never static. The costumes suit the time period of the film. They show accurately how a royal or high class family would dress and live during the fourteenth century. The location where everything takes place is a castle. There are many doors, the rooms are huge and everything is incredibly detailed. In the beginning of the film, I felt as if I was walking through the castle, appreciating the beautiful architecture, the paintings on the walls, and the strong columns and stairs.

the music has the classic melodies and tones of medieval music, which is appropriate for the time period. It helps during the transitions between conversations and in the animated part of the film.

All the visual effects take place when the family weaver starts to narrate the story of Tristan and one of his adventures as a knight. The story takes life when the weaver shows Luigi the embroidered blanket he is working on. From there, all the scenes that show the story are animated with both embroidered details and drawings to show what is happening during the film. Lorenzo Degl'Innocenti plays the family weaver; he stands out the most since he is the narrator of the story and helps young Luigi learn the skills that knights must have. Luigi is played by Pietro Leoni and his mother is played by Elena Talenti. The director of the film is Gianmarco D'Agostino and he co-writes the story with Matteo Bortolotti.

The message can be summarized by a quote from the film: A knight does not obey his sword; he is guided by love because love conquers all. This is an important reminder, especially during those moments in life where we feel overcome by anger, frustration or we need to think before acting. A strong word or fight will not achieve anything and they will make the situations worse. But a loving response, with kind words, not only achieves a determined goal, but also helps create better relationships with those around us.

I love the locations and scenery of this film. As someone who appreciates details and is very interested in architecture and design, the scenes at the beginning of the film are intensely captivating. I love seeing the dimensions of the castle and the many great details in the paintings, the furniture and in all the construction. The actors in the film include Lorenzo Degl'Innocenti, Pietro Leoni and Elena Talenti.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15, plus adults. The most moving element was structuring the story through the traditional embroidered blanket.

Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Boy Who Would Become a Knight tells a tale with a great lesson! This film presents the story of Luigi and how he dreams to become a knight. It film uses music and animation to reveal the tale, which helps to get the message across to the audience. The accuracy of the time period and the high quality of the film helps make the lesson easy to discover at the end.

Luigi becomes afraid of the consequences he may face after a fight with the barber's son. With the help of the family weaver and his tales, he discovers the story of Tristan, and what being a Knight really means.

The story is constructed in such a way that the public can identify the main qualities of a knight - brave, ready for the action, kind, stable and passionate. Even though all these characteristics are necessary, the story highlights the most important of all in the end. The film presents a real-life situation with Luigi and it creates a comparison with the story of the knight to help him see what really is important at the end of the day. This connection is valuable and highlights the message of the film.

The camera work of the film captures the essence of the time period. It shows all the details in both the settings and the characters' costumes. In the animated portion of the film, the scenes are changing and are never static. The costumes suit the time period of the film. They show accurately how a royal or high class family would dress and live during the fourteenth century. The location where everything takes place is a castle. There are many doors, the rooms are huge and everything is incredibly detailed. In the beginning of the film, I felt as if I was walking through the castle, appreciating the beautiful architecture, the paintings on the walls, and the strong columns and stairs.

the music has the classic melodies and tones of medieval music, which is appropriate for the time period. It helps during the transitions between conversations and in the animated part of the film.

All the visual effects take place when the family weaver starts to narrate the story of Tristan and one of his adventures as a knight. The story takes life when the weaver shows Luigi the embroidered blanket he is working on. From there, all the scenes that show the story are animated with both embroidered details and drawings to show what is happening during the film. Lorenzo Degl'Innocenti plays the family weaver; he stands out the most since he is the narrator of the story and helps young Luigi learn the skills that knights must have. Luigi is played by Pietro Leoni and his mother is played by Elena Talenti. The director of the film is Gianmarco D'Agostino and he co-writes the story with Matteo Bortolotti.

The message can be summarized by a quote from the film: A knight does not obey his sword; he is guided by love because love conquers all. This is an important reminder, especially during those moments in life where we feel overcome by anger, frustration or we need to think before acting. A strong word or fight will not achieve anything and they will make the situations worse. But a loving response, with kind words, not only achieves a determined goal, but also helps create better relationships with those around us.

I love the locations and scenery of this film. As someone who appreciates details and is very interested in architecture and design, the scenes at the beginning of the film are intensely captivating. I love seeing the dimensions of the castle and the many great details in the paintings, the furniture and in all the construction. The actors in the film include Lorenzo Degl'Innocenti, Pietro Leoni and Elena Talenti.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15, plus adults. The most moving element was structuring the story through the traditional embroidered blanket.

Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 7 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
LITTLE COWBOY, THE
LITTLE COWBOY, THE - TOBIAS GRUBER
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 6-12
Description - The 10-year-old Valentin wants to become an author. Although he writes great essays, he always stutters while reading and is bullied by his schoolmates. But when cowboy Billy suddenly shows up and decides to take Valentin on a trip, big changes are coming up.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Little Cowboy is a quirky coming of age short film that audiences of all ages will relate to. Everyone has felt like an outcast in some way or another, and this film tells a narrative in a way that is both natural and magical all at once. It deals with serious topics while feeling lighthearted and sweet.

The storyline follows Valentin, only 10 years old, but teeming with ambition to become a writer. These ambitions, it seems, are crushed when he is unable to speak because of his stutter. Bullied and cast off by his classmates, he finds himself in the world of a mysterious cowboy who takes him on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.

The plot is clich� at times - run-of-the-mill backstory and predictable. There is the element of magical realism and a quirky side character to contrast. It would seem that these elements should not mesh, but they do. The story is tried and true, and the director's artistic take makes it that much better. It does feel that it might fare better as a full-length feature.

The cinematography is astounding. The camera quality is rich and the shots feel intentional. The scene where Billy the Cowboy is first introduced has a dream-like quality to it. The scene where Valentin is walking toward the stage at the end of the film brings you with him so that the audience feels all of his anxieties. Visually, the film is outstanding. The costumes fine a rare balance of intention and realism. Valentin's glasses, the teacher's red lipstick, the bully's headband, Billy's rustic hat. Every small detail adds dimension to the character without overdoing it. Location wise, the film fares above average, but not outstanding. The barn stands out as the best scene location out of the film. The background music is one of the short film's weaknesses. The background sounds are unnoticeable the way they should be. However, the background music, particularly when Valentin faces difficulty, is off-putting and distracting. On the other hand, the Western music during the cowboy scenes is very fitting. The cinematographer and Billy stand out in their performances. The camerawork shows a person who knows their craft. Billy plays his role in a way that is not over-the-top, a threshold easily broken when playing a role such as a cowboy. My favorite part of the film is the scene in the barn when we are introduced to Billy. I did not know that hay could translate so beautifully on film. It is immersive and magical, but also subtle. It is the perfect transition to the second act of the film and keeps the film feeling light and airy.

The Little Cowboy clearly shows its audience the value of trusting oneself despite the difficulties faced in life. Just as Valentin is optimistic in the face of troubles, the film is lighthearted throughout - a valuable attribute of a coming of age film for young viewers.

I give The Little Cowboy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Joy P., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Little Cowboy is a quirky coming of age short film that audiences of all ages will relate to. Everyone has felt like an outcast in some way or another, and this film tells a narrative in a way that is both natural and magical all at once. It deals with serious topics while feeling lighthearted and sweet.

The storyline follows Valentin, only 10 years old, but teeming with ambition to become a writer. These ambitions, it seems, are crushed when he is unable to speak because of his stutter. Bullied and cast off by his classmates, he finds himself in the world of a mysterious cowboy who takes him on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.

The plot is clich� at times - run-of-the-mill backstory and predictable. There is the element of magical realism and a quirky side character to contrast. It would seem that these elements should not mesh, but they do. The story is tried and true, and the director's artistic take makes it that much better. It does feel that it might fare better as a full-length feature.

The cinematography is astounding. The camera quality is rich and the shots feel intentional. The scene where Billy the Cowboy is first introduced has a dream-like quality to it. The scene where Valentin is walking toward the stage at the end of the film brings you with him so that the audience feels all of his anxieties. Visually, the film is outstanding. The costumes fine a rare balance of intention and realism. Valentin's glasses, the teacher's red lipstick, the bully's headband, Billy's rustic hat. Every small detail adds dimension to the character without overdoing it. Location wise, the film fares above average, but not outstanding. The barn stands out as the best scene location out of the film. The background music is one of the short film's weaknesses. The background sounds are unnoticeable the way they should be. However, the background music, particularly when Valentin faces difficulty, is off-putting and distracting. On the other hand, the Western music during the cowboy scenes is very fitting. The cinematographer and Billy stand out in their performances. The camerawork shows a person who knows their craft. Billy plays his role in a way that is not over-the-top, a threshold easily broken when playing a role such as a cowboy. My favorite part of the film is the scene in the barn when we are introduced to Billy. I did not know that hay could translate so beautifully on film. It is immersive and magical, but also subtle. It is the perfect transition to the second act of the film and keeps the film feeling light and airy.

The Little Cowboy clearly shows its audience the value of trusting oneself despite the difficulties faced in life. Just as Valentin is optimistic in the face of troubles, the film is lighthearted throughout - a valuable attribute of a coming of age film for young viewers.

I give The Little Cowboy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Joy P., KIDS FIRST!
Runtime: 27 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 6-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SWEET TASTE OF DARKNESS
SWEET TASTE OF DARKNESS - MITRA RAEESMOHAMMADI
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 15-18
Description - Whatever we see around us is not reality, but it is our perception of reality. An impression that is influenced by our various internal and external factors, and this is only one side of the story, the other side is the inner world and its outer reflection of the human beings that we see... This is a story of a seven-year-old boy who identifies with the character of Batman. He encourages his friends to cross the stairs and the streets in the dark with their eyes closed and his mother, who is tired and disgusted with her life because they both have a common reason with different approaches and views...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The short foreign film Sweet Taste of Darkness has an emotional message, but it is a bit unclear. I appreciate the way it portrays Iranian culture and cityscape, but there are so many scenes that are not clearly explained and, even though this is to build anticipation for the ending, there are unanswered questions at the end.

The storyline follows a kid that uses his admiration for Batman to cope with different situations at his home and at school, and he tries his best to assimilate everything that is going on around him.

The film accurately portrays how people may feel about a condition or disease, in this case - blindness. The boy knows something is not right but, because he has not been informed about what is going on, he cannot completely understand it. He can see similarities between his father and Batman, which is what causes him to admire Batman and his powers. This is the main storyline. Some of the other scenes are confusing in relation to the main storyline, and they generate different feelings.

The camera work is good with multiple angles from scene to scene. The kid wears a Batman costume at the beginning of the film to emphasize his admiration for him. The locations and sets are well chosen and they give us insight into the child's life at home, school and with his friends. The background music isn't particularly noticeable until the end when it adds to the emotional moment of understanding what is happening in the child's life. Each actor portrays its characters well. They are passion when arguments break out. The mother's face tells all, whether it be pressure or sadness. The innocence of the child helps you understand why he sees the situation in one way and not particularly how it is actually happening. There are some moments when the shots are difficult to see, especially during scenes with low light.

The film shows how a kid perceives the blindness of his father and how he copes with that. Because he assumes his father cannot see, he tries to do everyday actions with his eyes closed. This shows the empathy of the kid toward his father. However, the film also shows the emotional toll that the father's condition has brought to the family, especially to the mom. She is perceived as tired, ashamed and sad over what her life has become. Because of all these factors, the message of the film is to make viewers understand how a health condition can have a great impact on families, and that is necessary to explain to children what is going on and teach them how to cope so they know how to react in settings outside home. It does show kids doing risky things that kids might imitate. The film touches on blindness and its effect on the family, but it does not explain the condition itself. It also doesn't show ways to effectively cope with blindness. The scene when the father is playing with his child and the way the mother observes and smiles is touching. It is one of only two times she is shown smiling during the whole film. It shows how at the end, she is willing to learn how to live with her husband's condition.

Because the kid is trying to imitate Batman, he puts himself in danger by doing activities with his eyes closed. When one of his friends tries to imitate him and he is injured both times. Once, by falling on the stairs and then by getting hit by a car. These are actions that small kids could easily imitate and result in injuries. Also, even though it adds to the drama sense of the film, there are arguments and discussions throughout the film, which are normal in scenes like those, but for a child it can be shocking the level of yelling or the mother scolding her child in a strong way. Because of how the scene plays out, one assumes that she smacks him, but that is not shown.

I give Sweet Taste of Darkness 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18, plus adults.

Even though there is no physical violence and the moments the children injure themselves are not shown, they show high-risk behaviors that could be imitated by children. The film is best suited for a more mature audience that understands how a condition like blindness can have a great impact on the entire family. The representation of Iranian culture and exposure to the condition is something that definitely makes this film relevant. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The short foreign film Sweet Taste of Darkness has an emotional message, but it is a bit unclear. I appreciate the way it portrays Iranian culture and cityscape, but there are so many scenes that are not clearly explained and, even though this is to build anticipation for the ending, there are unanswered questions at the end.

The storyline follows a kid that uses his admiration for Batman to cope with different situations at his home and at school, and he tries his best to assimilate everything that is going on around him.

The film accurately portrays how people may feel about a condition or disease, in this case - blindness. The boy knows something is not right but, because he has not been informed about what is going on, he cannot completely understand it. He can see similarities between his father and Batman, which is what causes him to admire Batman and his powers. This is the main storyline. Some of the other scenes are confusing in relation to the main storyline, and they generate different feelings.

The camera work is good with multiple angles from scene to scene. The kid wears a Batman costume at the beginning of the film to emphasize his admiration for him. The locations and sets are well chosen and they give us insight into the child's life at home, school and with his friends. The background music isn't particularly noticeable until the end when it adds to the emotional moment of understanding what is happening in the child's life. Each actor portrays its characters well. They are passion when arguments break out. The mother's face tells all, whether it be pressure or sadness. The innocence of the child helps you understand why he sees the situation in one way and not particularly how it is actually happening. There are some moments when the shots are difficult to see, especially during scenes with low light.

The film shows how a kid perceives the blindness of his father and how he copes with that. Because he assumes his father cannot see, he tries to do everyday actions with his eyes closed. This shows the empathy of the kid toward his father. However, the film also shows the emotional toll that the father's condition has brought to the family, especially to the mom. She is perceived as tired, ashamed and sad over what her life has become. Because of all these factors, the message of the film is to make viewers understand how a health condition can have a great impact on families, and that is necessary to explain to children what is going on and teach them how to cope so they know how to react in settings outside home. It does show kids doing risky things that kids might imitate. The film touches on blindness and its effect on the family, but it does not explain the condition itself. It also doesn't show ways to effectively cope with blindness. The scene when the father is playing with his child and the way the mother observes and smiles is touching. It is one of only two times she is shown smiling during the whole film. It shows how at the end, she is willing to learn how to live with her husband's condition.

Because the kid is trying to imitate Batman, he puts himself in danger by doing activities with his eyes closed. When one of his friends tries to imitate him and he is injured both times. Once, by falling on the stairs and then by getting hit by a car. These are actions that small kids could easily imitate and result in injuries. Also, even though it adds to the drama sense of the film, there are arguments and discussions throughout the film, which are normal in scenes like those, but for a child it can be shocking the level of yelling or the mother scolding her child in a strong way. Because of how the scene plays out, one assumes that she smacks him, but that is not shown.

I give Sweet Taste of Darkness 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18, plus adults.

Even though there is no physical violence and the moments the children injure themselves are not shown, they show high-risk behaviors that could be imitated by children. The film is best suited for a more mature audience that understands how a condition like blindness can have a great impact on the entire family. The representation of Iranian culture and exposure to the condition is something that definitely makes this film relevant. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 20 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 15-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WHAT ABOUT MY BAG?
WHAT ABOUT MY BAG? - SAGE DRAKE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 12-18
Description - A short quirk comedy about a young essential grocery worker who meets up a very difficult customer during the covid-19 crisis.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A comical take of a relevant situation! What About My Bag? is the story that many grocery workers have been facing since the start of the pandemic. The film takes a comical tone in showing a tense situation. I wish the film had better addressed the importance of following the guidelines set by stores during the pandemic and how truly essential grocery store workers are.

The film follows Natalie, a grocery worker that has to face the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic at work. This time, she has to deal with a very stubborn customer as she tries to make her understand the guidelines of the store.

The film is accurate in portraying the reality that many grocery workers continue to face during this pandemic. Many customers do not follow the guidelines, which are just set to protect them and protect store staff. It is fun that the film adds comical details, maybe with the intention to make it not quite so serious. However, the story at times feels a little too long, since it is a back and forth conversation without any outside details or other characters involved.

The camera angles are appropriate and the backgrounds are easy to identify and associate with in terms of common places. Some shots where the characters are speaking are a little too close, as they are speaking directly to the camera and not to the other character. But overall, the camera work is good and realistically captures the facial expressions and gestures of the characters. The location is a grocery store parking lot. The background music adds to the comical scenes in the film and the absurdity of the conversation. Most of the time the music is playful as the characters go back and forth, but it increases in a tense scene, adding to the dramatic tone as well. The grocery worker is played by Natalie Mangiante and the customer is played by Venee Lotusfire Call-Ferrer. Both actors show a range of emotions - frustration, sadness, stress, anger and doubt. Even with the masks on, their eyes, tone of voice and gestures are express what the story is in a way that you can't miss. There is one scene where the grocery worker is so frustrated with the customer that, in a made-up scenario, she takes the bag and uses it to suffocate her. This does not occur during the film and is a brief sequence, but it may be something that parents would not be comfortable with or that children could imitate. My favorite part is when the film addresses the audience and in a message thanks the essential workers. During these difficult times, these workers are driving the country and they are risking their lives to protect others and help others. Some of them may have many necessities, fears, and situations at home, but they are constantly working to do the best that they can do to help those who are in a more severe condition or who are trying to keep the "normal" during these times. The grocery worker is played by Natalie Mangiante, who has acted in at least eight other films and has written and directed some of those same films. The customer is played by Venee Lotusfire Call-Ferrer.

The director explains that this is a film about a personal story that happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The message emphasizes how simple it is to follow guidelines in order to stay safe and minimize the risk of being infected with covid and how bad people look when they do not do this and put their feelings over the safety of others.

I give What About My Bag? 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The film shows a current and relevant situation that is occurring every day in the United States and across the globe. By watching this short film, many families will see how easy is to just follow guidelines and how bad it looks when we put our emotions or our pride before thinking about the impact that our decisions may cause in others around us. Reviewed by David O, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A comical take of a relevant situation! What About My Bag? is the story that many grocery workers have been facing since the start of the pandemic. The film takes a comical tone in showing a tense situation. I wish the film had better addressed the importance of following the guidelines set by stores during the pandemic and how truly essential grocery store workers are.

The film follows Natalie, a grocery worker that has to face the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic at work. This time, she has to deal with a very stubborn customer as she tries to make her understand the guidelines of the store.

The film is accurate in portraying the reality that many grocery workers continue to face during this pandemic. Many customers do not follow the guidelines, which are just set to protect them and protect store staff. It is fun that the film adds comical details, maybe with the intention to make it not quite so serious. However, the story at times feels a little too long, since it is a back and forth conversation without any outside details or other characters involved.

The camera angles are appropriate and the backgrounds are easy to identify and associate with in terms of common places. Some shots where the characters are speaking are a little too close, as they are speaking directly to the camera and not to the other character. But overall, the camera work is good and realistically captures the facial expressions and gestures of the characters. The location is a grocery store parking lot. The background music adds to the comical scenes in the film and the absurdity of the conversation. Most of the time the music is playful as the characters go back and forth, but it increases in a tense scene, adding to the dramatic tone as well. The grocery worker is played by Natalie Mangiante and the customer is played by Venee Lotusfire Call-Ferrer. Both actors show a range of emotions - frustration, sadness, stress, anger and doubt. Even with the masks on, their eyes, tone of voice and gestures are express what the story is in a way that you can't miss. There is one scene where the grocery worker is so frustrated with the customer that, in a made-up scenario, she takes the bag and uses it to suffocate her. This does not occur during the film and is a brief sequence, but it may be something that parents would not be comfortable with or that children could imitate. My favorite part is when the film addresses the audience and in a message thanks the essential workers. During these difficult times, these workers are driving the country and they are risking their lives to protect others and help others. Some of them may have many necessities, fears, and situations at home, but they are constantly working to do the best that they can do to help those who are in a more severe condition or who are trying to keep the "normal" during these times. The grocery worker is played by Natalie Mangiante, who has acted in at least eight other films and has written and directed some of those same films. The customer is played by Venee Lotusfire Call-Ferrer.

The director explains that this is a film about a personal story that happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The message emphasizes how simple it is to follow guidelines in order to stay safe and minimize the risk of being infected with covid and how bad people look when they do not do this and put their feelings over the safety of others.

I give What About My Bag? 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The film shows a current and relevant situation that is occurring every day in the United States and across the globe. By watching this short film, many families will see how easy is to just follow guidelines and how bad it looks when we put our emotions or our pride before thinking about the impact that our decisions may cause in others around us. Reviewed by David O, KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 8 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
INSIDE OUT (2021)
INSIDE OUT (2021) - FILMSTOFESTIVALS DISTRIBUTION AGENCY
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 14-18
Description - Dami�n suffers bullying from his classmates because of their suspicion about his sexual orientation. Unable to defend himself, he tries to overcome this situation alone, as Agust�n and his band increase their hostility. Bullying scales and continues through social network, when bullies post a video of Dami�n and Sebasti�n -who has a crush on Dami�n-, after forcing them to kiss each other. While watching the video, Dami�n suddenly recognizes himself through other eyes, as he stares Sebastian �s picture of him. Dami�n regrets having rejected Sebasti�n, and finally realizes that the only way out, is through. After suffering a new and more humiliating attack, Dami�n decides to face his fears and let his feelings flow.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In just 13 minutes, the film portrays the colliding of the four worlds all teens must navigate in the age of technology: school, family, themselves and social media. Viewers will feel every emotion, and anyone who has been marginalized in their lives will resonate strongly.

The film follows teenage Damian as he navigates adolescence when his classmates bully him and another boy for being gay. Viewers witness his struggles to maintain his studies and interact with family as he wrestles with the complexities of not conforming to hetero-normative standards of the world he grows up in.

The story is modern and very relatable for this day and age when teenagers are no longer just dealing with school and home life, but the world of the Internet. Although the world is becoming increasingly progressive, Inside Out shows how difficult it still is for those who identify as LGBTQ+.

The camera work enhances the emotions in a way that feels natural but very clear. Viewers are with Damian, not watching him. The reversing, use of focus and handheld camera style makes the events feel close and personal, rather than something being presented to an audience. The costumes are simple and not distracting. The school uniforms are true to the time period and setting. Like costumes, the sets and locations are simple and not distracting. They are relatable and do the job. The background music is well embedded in a way that maintains the ambience and does not break the fourth wall. Damian and the bully's acting stand out as poignantly emotional in ways that will touch the audience. The camera work also plays a significant role in Inside Out. The film has a rough, "handmade" feeling, but is professional enough to be taken seriously. The director tells a story, and tells it well. It does not feel like a beginner film and executes the message thoroughly in a short period of time.

Inside Out is a heavy but hopeful film for any teenagers that may struggle with their identity in adolescence.

I give Inside Out 5 out of 5 stars and recommend if for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It is a modern story that needs to be told. It would play in any festival that focuses on LGBTQ+ or educational films. Reviewed by Joy P., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - In just 13 minutes, the film portrays the colliding of the four worlds all teens must navigate in the age of technology: school, family, themselves and social media. Viewers will feel every emotion, and anyone who has been marginalized in their lives will resonate strongly.

The film follows teenage Damian as he navigates adolescence when his classmates bully him and another boy for being gay. Viewers witness his struggles to maintain his studies and interact with family as he wrestles with the complexities of not conforming to hetero-normative standards of the world he grows up in.

The story is modern and very relatable for this day and age when teenagers are no longer just dealing with school and home life, but the world of the Internet. Although the world is becoming increasingly progressive, Inside Out shows how difficult it still is for those who identify as LGBTQ+.

The camera work enhances the emotions in a way that feels natural but very clear. Viewers are with Damian, not watching him. The reversing, use of focus and handheld camera style makes the events feel close and personal, rather than something being presented to an audience. The costumes are simple and not distracting. The school uniforms are true to the time period and setting. Like costumes, the sets and locations are simple and not distracting. They are relatable and do the job. The background music is well embedded in a way that maintains the ambience and does not break the fourth wall. Damian and the bully's acting stand out as poignantly emotional in ways that will touch the audience. The camera work also plays a significant role in Inside Out. The film has a rough, "handmade" feeling, but is professional enough to be taken seriously. The director tells a story, and tells it well. It does not feel like a beginner film and executes the message thoroughly in a short period of time.

Inside Out is a heavy but hopeful film for any teenagers that may struggle with their identity in adolescence.

I give Inside Out 5 out of 5 stars and recommend if for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It is a modern story that needs to be told. It would play in any festival that focuses on LGBTQ+ or educational films. Reviewed by Joy P., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Runtime: 13 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 14-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DOG YEARS
DOG YEARS - TIM CLAGUE
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 3-7
Description - A preschool live action TV series for 3-6 year olds. Dash the dog tells stories from his time growing up with Anna and her family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dogs Years offers the most adorable way to teach valuable lessons! A television series from the UK, it is designed for preschool children and is filled with so many colors, music, good acting, and valuable lessons. The simplicity of the storylines combined with the comical tone and having everything narrated from the point-of-view of a dog (with a British accent) makes the series appealing for children.

The story follows the dog Dash and his many adventures. With each adventure, he learns more about his family and himself, and teaches those lessons to his adorable puppies.

Each episode starts with a general picture of what the storyline will focus on. As the episode continues, the story develops and Dash has to face a problem and find a way to solve it. The stories are simple enough for a child to focus on and to understand and they teach relevant life lessons such as asking for help, how unfamiliar things are not necessarily bad and how to inform an adult when a stranger approaches us. These lessons teach little children some social skills and ways to deal with difficult situations. The only shortcoming I have for this series is that it lacks an opening. Each episode just sort of jump starts with a situation and doesn't quite have anything to lead the viewer into it.

The camera work is great; there are two main types of shots in each episode. The first is from Dash's perspective, so we see what he sees. The others are general shots from someone else's perspective. Combined, these make the episodes entertaining and show how Dash's view may not actually be entirely accurate. All the episodes take place at Dash's home, in various rooms, with interactions with various family members.

The music is simple, joyful and playful. It adds to the comic tone of the episodes. The main character is Dash. At the beginning of each episode, Dash talks to his two puppies. As the story starts, we meet other characters in Dash's family. Dad is played by Doug Cockle, Mom by Claudia Barba and the little Anna is played by Esther Toward. Each family member brings their unique set of skills and character to the story. Tim Clague, who voices Dash makes him sound innocent and simple enough for little children to understand. My favorite scenes are definitely the ones with the puppies. At the beginning of each episode, the puppies are usually featured. Also, I like the variety of lessons that are presented at the end of each episode, and even I can use some of the advice as a college student.

Each episode has a unique message ranging from personal lessons to skills that will be helpful not only at home, but in other social settings. My only problem with this series is that each episode just sort of jump starts with a situation and doesn't quite have anything to lead the viewer into it. This series was offered to us to review and evaluate as a collection of short 6 minute short films, but submitted as a 70 minute run time, which makes it a bit confusing. I think programmers would find it difficult to program in the way it was submitted. It is super cute, it just needs a bit of an introduction to the beginning and, if all the segments were to be played at a festival, would need a way to make them flow one into the other.

I give Dog Years 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7, plus adults. Reviewed by David O. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dogs Years offers the most adorable way to teach valuable lessons! A television series from the UK, it is designed for preschool children and is filled with so many colors, music, good acting, and valuable lessons. The simplicity of the storylines combined with the comical tone and having everything narrated from the point-of-view of a dog (with a British accent) makes the series appealing for children.

The story follows the dog Dash and his many adventures. With each adventure, he learns more about his family and himself, and teaches those lessons to his adorable puppies.

Each episode starts with a general picture of what the storyline will focus on. As the episode continues, the story develops and Dash has to face a problem and find a way to solve it. The stories are simple enough for a child to focus on and to understand and they teach relevant life lessons such as asking for help, how unfamiliar things are not necessarily bad and how to inform an adult when a stranger approaches us. These lessons teach little children some social skills and ways to deal with difficult situations. The only shortcoming I have for this series is that it lacks an opening. Each episode just sort of jump starts with a situation and doesn't quite have anything to lead the viewer into it.

The camera work is great; there are two main types of shots in each episode. The first is from Dash's perspective, so we see what he sees. The others are general shots from someone else's perspective. Combined, these make the episodes entertaining and show how Dash's view may not actually be entirely accurate. All the episodes take place at Dash's home, in various rooms, with interactions with various family members.

The music is simple, joyful and playful. It adds to the comic tone of the episodes. The main character is Dash. At the beginning of each episode, Dash talks to his two puppies. As the story starts, we meet other characters in Dash's family. Dad is played by Doug Cockle, Mom by Claudia Barba and the little Anna is played by Esther Toward. Each family member brings their unique set of skills and character to the story. Tim Clague, who voices Dash makes him sound innocent and simple enough for little children to understand. My favorite scenes are definitely the ones with the puppies. At the beginning of each episode, the puppies are usually featured. Also, I like the variety of lessons that are presented at the end of each episode, and even I can use some of the advice as a college student.

Each episode has a unique message ranging from personal lessons to skills that will be helpful not only at home, but in other social settings. My only problem with this series is that each episode just sort of jump starts with a situation and doesn't quite have anything to lead the viewer into it. This series was offered to us to review and evaluate as a collection of short 6 minute short films, but submitted as a 70 minute run time, which makes it a bit confusing. I think programmers would find it difficult to program in the way it was submitted. It is super cute, it just needs a bit of an introduction to the beginning and, if all the segments were to be played at a festival, would need a way to make them flow one into the other.

I give Dog Years 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7, plus adults. Reviewed by David O. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors
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
ZAMZOOM'S ANIMAL ADVENTURES
ZAMZOOM'S ANIMAL ADVENTURES - ROTATING PLANET PRODUCTIONS
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-11
Description - Join Zamzoom - an enthusiastic space animal - and his sharp-as-a-whistle partner, Orbie, on an uproarious intergalactic expedition to Earth to discover the planet's most strange and extraordinary creatures. Zamzoom's examinations of the wildlife on planet Earth can make for some silly misconceptions. Thankfully, his partner Orbie is always nearby to set him straight - tapping into Earth's database, Orbie knows how to spit facts. She can be a little overprotective, but it's hard, after all, holding a whole planet's worth of information in her circuits. Together, our odd duo team provides comical debates and science in bite-sized pieces, perfect for kids! Each episode blends exciting 2D animation with real and spectacular wildlife footage.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - While well-intentioned, Environmental Video's content is only average and we do not find it inspiring enough to accept it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Whereas it may be useful for an audience under age 5, the tips are pretty standard and the presentation here lacks professionalism. There is little new information being presented in the short film.

This short film covers small tips to incorporate into everyday life to help the environment. It covers the three basic points of environmental conservation very briefly.

The video is lacking in providing new information that would a youth audience would find interesting. It does not stand out as being contemporary or current. The presentation lacks pizzazz. The production values are quite average from the camera angles to the editing. The audio level is very low. I had to boost my speakers to their highest setting to listen to it and, even then, the audio level is too low. It seems to have been filmed in someone's home, which is okay, but the lighting is poor in many scenes. Going between black and white and color doesn't seem to make sense. There is little background music and the sound effects a bit distracting - they are at least twice as loud as the narrative, which hurts your ears. They do not blend well into the video. The narrator is reading from a script and looks down at it quite often as she is speaking. She is quite adorable but little is done to make her performance engaging. Although the film is short and sweet, and we admire the filmmaker's efforts, the quality is unsuitable to play on a big screen. Even the title of this film lacks appeal.

The film's message is about three practical tips to help the environment.

I give Environmental Video 1.5 out of 5 stars and do not recommend it to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. The tips are outdated and the production quality is low. There are better resources and tips available and better production quality that should be strived for in a film festival entry. Reviewed by Joy P., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - While well-intentioned, Environmental Video's content is only average and we do not find it inspiring enough to accept it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Whereas it may be useful for an audience under age 5, the tips are pretty standard and the presentation here lacks professionalism. There is little new information being presented in the short film.

This short film covers small tips to incorporate into everyday life to help the environment. It covers the three basic points of environmental conservation very briefly.

The video is lacking in providing new information that would a youth audience would find interesting. It does not stand out as being contemporary or current. The presentation lacks pizzazz. The production values are quite average from the camera angles to the editing. The audio level is very low. I had to boost my speakers to their highest setting to listen to it and, even then, the audio level is too low. It seems to have been filmed in someone's home, which is okay, but the lighting is poor in many scenes. Going between black and white and color doesn't seem to make sense. There is little background music and the sound effects a bit distracting - they are at least twice as loud as the narrative, which hurts your ears. They do not blend well into the video. The narrator is reading from a script and looks down at it quite often as she is speaking. She is quite adorable but little is done to make her performance engaging. Although the film is short and sweet, and we admire the filmmaker's efforts, the quality is unsuitable to play on a big screen. Even the title of this film lacks appeal.

The film's message is about three practical tips to help the environment.

I give Environmental Video 1.5 out of 5 stars and do not recommend it to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. The tips are outdated and the production quality is low. There are better resources and tips available and better production quality that should be strived for in a film festival entry. Reviewed by Juror #22.
Runtime: 4 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-11 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WAMPUS
WAMPUS - MOLLY E. SMITH
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-12
Description - A young girl's imagination runs wild when her mother tells her of the family legend.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wampus is a short visit in the magical world of a young girl. Without elaborate storytelling or an extended run time, Molly Smith explores the power of the young imagination and demonstrates just how boundless it can be. It is simple. yet whimsical, like childhood should be.

The storyline revolves around a young girl, fully immersed in a world of her own. After tea parties with her toys and stuffed animals, she plans a camping trip in her front yard. All is swell until she learns of the bobcat called Wampus, enough to spook her into spending the night indoors.

While the film captures the magic of imagination, the plot's structure waivers at time. The events are clear and the feelings attempting to be evoked are clear, but motives and conflict are unclear. The cinematography adds to the whimsicality of the film. It is dynamic in a way that does not feel over or under-whelming. The first scene in particular immediately tells the audience that they are about to watch a story of imagination. The simplicity of the sets are what make Wampus so endearing and reminiscent of childhood. From the warm interior lighting to the seemingly endless supply of stuffed toys, Wampus excels in this department. The sound of Wampus is one of its weaker areas, but only in the first scene. Here, the music does not feel complementary. On the other hand, when the young girl meets Wampus, the music complements the scene amazingly. The visual effects are what give this short film its magical essence. In the last scene, the distorted images and fast cuts evoke a sense of fear, thus enhancing the overall plot and the scene's contribution to the film. The two actors have great chemistry. Their mother-daughter relationship is believable and feels natural throughout. The performance that stands out the most is that of the young girl (Lily Jane Chachula) She is a natural and portrays every emotion clearly and confidently. Because folklore is not commonly told in the age of technology, I did not know about the Wampus. It is valuable to pass these tales down, especially in times when oral story telling is a dying art. The dynamic between mother and daughter was beautiful to watch. It does not feel forced and portrays a very healthy relationship. This is very valuable for any audience.

Wampus shows viewers that the untainted imagination has no boundaries. Note that the last scene might be scary to young viewers.

I give Wampus 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. Although it has some pacing problems and the plot is not particularly strong, the feelings Smith is able to communicate are valuable for children, especially in times like these. Oftentimes kids are not told the importance of imagination, but this film encourages that. Reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland, Wampus is a story that I feel would charm viewers at a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Joy P., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wampus is a short visit in the magical world of a young girl. Without elaborate storytelling or an extended run time, Molly Smith explores the power of the young imagination and demonstrates just how boundless it can be. It is simple. yet whimsical, like childhood should be.

The storyline revolves around a young girl, fully immersed in a world of her own. After tea parties with her toys and stuffed animals, she plans a camping trip in her front yard. All is swell until she learns of the bobcat called Wampus, enough to spook her into spending the night indoors.

While the film captures the magic of imagination, the plot's structure waivers at time. The events are clear and the feelings attempting to be evoked are clear, but motives and conflict are unclear. The cinematography adds to the whimsicality of the film. It is dynamic in a way that does not feel over or under-whelming. The first scene in particular immediately tells the audience that they are about to watch a story of imagination. The simplicity of the sets are what make Wampus so endearing and reminiscent of childhood. From the warm interior lighting to the seemingly endless supply of stuffed toys, Wampus excels in this department. The sound of Wampus is one of its weaker areas, but only in the first scene. Here, the music does not feel complementary. On the other hand, when the young girl meets Wampus, the music complements the scene amazingly. The visual effects are what give this short film its magical essence. In the last scene, the distorted images and fast cuts evoke a sense of fear, thus enhancing the overall plot and the scene's contribution to the film. The two actors have great chemistry. Their mother-daughter relationship is believable and feels natural throughout. The performance that stands out the most is that of the young girl (Lily Jane Chachula) She is a natural and portrays every emotion clearly and confidently. Because folklore is not commonly told in the age of technology, I did not know about the Wampus. It is valuable to pass these tales down, especially in times when oral story telling is a dying art. The dynamic between mother and daughter was beautiful to watch. It does not feel forced and portrays a very healthy relationship. This is very valuable for any audience.

Wampus shows viewers that the untainted imagination has no boundaries. Note that the last scene might be scary to young viewers.

I give Wampus 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. Although it has some pacing problems and the plot is not particularly strong, the feelings Smith is able to communicate are valuable for children, especially in times like these. Oftentimes kids are not told the importance of imagination, but this film encourages that. Reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland, Wampus is a story that I feel would charm viewers at a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Joy P., KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 4 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
FAIRY GODMOTHER'S APPRENTICE
FAIRY GODMOTHER'S APPRENTICE - LESLIE BLOOM
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 9-15
Description - Henry Summers has more angst than the average teenager. He doesn't know his father, and his mother spent her entire life trying to save everyone but him, and now she's dead with nothing to show for it.

One thing might cheer him up, though: ruining his neighbor's Spring Break Restoration Project. Her name is Becca and yes, she's 10 years old. Okay, yes, that is eight years younger than him. But yes, she's a typical do-gooder, like his mother was, and it brings a smile to his face when her hopes are properly dashed.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Fairy Godmother's Apprentice is a film that mixes fantasy and twists to present a storyline in a creative and entertaining way. The production and acting in the film are very good and it seems like the overall series touches many themes that are relevant for children, teenagers and even adults. This entry is one episode of a series, so there are many elements that are unexplained and there are some situations that are introduced in this episode, but are never developed. The overall storyline is explained, but even then, there are many questions that are not answered in this episode. So, it does not stand along well.

Henry has a peculiar life. He lost his mom and has a lot of issues about her. He lives with his Nana and lacks social skills that enable him to relate to others, such as his neighbor, little Becca. Eventually, he discovers a family secret and he has to decide how to use it and how to grow as a person.

The storyline is interesting and is enhanced by many fantasy elements and twists. I would be concerned that that there are many parts of the story that lack background stories. This particular episode does not show us why Henry went to live with his Nana, why he has such a negative perspective of the world and why he does not like Becca, yet he babysits her. There are more things that are not explained. In this episode discovers his powers and yet, we never get to see what happens or what he does with them. This is part of a television series, so it makes sense that not everything is wrapped up in a tidy way and, it may just inspires kids to watch the rest of the series.

The camera work is very well done with lots of changes in perspective and capturing each location in great detail. The locations range from school settings, home, parks, streets and neighborhoods. All of them are colorful and well designed. I love the use of color in this film. There are scenes where the contrasts between colors really make the whole thing to stand out. The only memorable costume is when Nana uses her powers and reveals herself as Henry's fairy godmother. The visual effects enhance every time magic occurs with sparks, movement and magic sprinkles. The key characters are Henry, Becca and Henry's Nana, played by Teddy Van Ee, Lucia Ridao-Moore and Anita Sorel (in the same order). Henry and Becca stand out the most, at least in this episode, as the storyline revolves around them and their experiences. The actors all give believable performances. Teddy Van Ee captures even the little details and gestures that many adolescents do when they are frustrated or annoyed, and he does it in a way that it does not seem forced at all. The acting is great, and the storyline is very engaging, but I love the visual complements. There is a scene where Nana is helping two customers that love the color blue, and watching all those tones of blue is both fun and satisfyingly to look at.

The message of the overall series tries to show how dealing with our past can really open our future. There are situations that we experience that are unpleasant, but perhaps their purpose is to learn a lesson that will help others deal with a similar situation sometime in the future. Another recurrent theme of the film is the importance of family.

I give The Fairy Godmother's Apprentice 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 15, plus adults. While this film has great production and acting, keep in mind that it is one episode from a series. Is a very entertaining show about family and dealing with one's fears and past. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Fairy Godmother's Apprentice is a film that mixes fantasy and twists to present a storyline in a creative and entertaining way. The production and acting in the film are very good and it seems like the overall series touches many themes that are relevant for children, teenagers and even adults. This entry is one episode of a series, so there are many elements that are unexplained and there are some situations that are introduced in this episode, but are never developed. The overall storyline is explained, but even then, there are many questions that are not answered in this episode. So, it does not stand along well.

Henry has a peculiar life. He lost his mom and has a lot of issues about her. He lives with his Nana and lacks social skills that enable him to relate to others, such as his neighbor, little Becca. Eventually, he discovers a family secret and he has to decide how to use it and how to grow as a person.

The storyline is interesting and is enhanced by many fantasy elements and twists. I would be concerned that that there are many parts of the story that lack background stories. This particular episode does not show us why Henry went to live with his Nana, why he has such a negative perspective of the world and why he does not like Becca, yet he babysits her. There are more things that are not explained. In this episode discovers his powers and yet, we never get to see what happens or what he does with them. This is part of a television series, so it makes sense that not everything is wrapped up in a tidy way and, it may just inspires kids to watch the rest of the series.

The camera work is very well done with lots of changes in perspective and capturing each location in great detail. The locations range from school settings, home, parks, streets and neighborhoods. All of them are colorful and well designed. I love the use of color in this film. There are scenes where the contrasts between colors really make the whole thing to stand out. The only memorable costume is when Nana uses her powers and reveals herself as Henry's fairy godmother. The visual effects enhance every time magic occurs with sparks, movement and magic sprinkles. The key characters are Henry, Becca and Henry's Nana, played by Teddy Van Ee, Lucia Ridao-Moore and Anita Sorel (in the same order). Henry and Becca stand out the most, at least in this episode, as the storyline revolves around them and their experiences. The actors all give believable performances. Teddy Van Ee captures even the little details and gestures that many adolescents do when they are frustrated or annoyed, and he does it in a way that it does not seem forced at all. The acting is great, and the storyline is very engaging, but I love the visual complements. There is a scene where Nana is helping two customers that love the color blue, and watching all those tones of blue is both fun and satisfyingly to look at.

The message of the overall series tries to show how dealing with our past can really open our future. There are situations that we experience that are unpleasant, but perhaps their purpose is to learn a lesson that will help others deal with a similar situation sometime in the future. Another recurrent theme of the film is the importance of family.

I give The Fairy Godmother's Apprentice 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 15, plus adults. While this film has great production and acting, keep in mind that it is one episode from a series. Is a very entertaining show about family and dealing with one's fears and past. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 21 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 9-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
RECREATIONS COLLECTION
RECREATIONS COLLECTION - FLORENCE ROCHE
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-12
Description - Creation in action! A web series that offers a collection of video workshops: three artists explore their creative discipline and share it with children ... as well as adults! In each series of workshops, an artist, by doing, presents his or her approach. The works of art are accessible to all, and need no specialized equipment or prior learning.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I found ReCreations Collection very interesting and very sweet. It doesn't so much tell a story, but tells how to make a fun and exciting card for someone. You should know that the dialogue is in French with English subtitles.

This short film features a woman, Patsy Van Roost (also self-described as a fairy) making letters that spread joy.

The story is very interesting. It is really a documentary about a woman who spread love and joy by creating custom made letters for people. She is adorable and tells her story in an engaging, heartwarming and fascinating way.

The cinematography is well executed. One of my favorite shots is one where the letters are featured. The primary set is in Patsy's workshop where she fabricates her creations. We see a collection of paint brushes, fabrics, and all different types of materials she uses to create her magic. Every corner hides more little things that one might use in their magic making. The film's background music is fun and upbeat, with a slight jazz feeling to it. Patsy is definitely the star of this show and, as self-described as a fairy, I believe she is one. It appears that she brings joy to anyone in her universe. I have to praise the editor, because the movie is beautifully edited. The film taught me how to make a message for someone by cutting out big letters in fabric. My favorite part of the film is near the end, when Patsy shows the letter to her son.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Sandrine A., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I found ReCreations Collection very interesting and very sweet. It doesn't so much tell a story, but tells how to make a fun and exciting card for someone. You should know that the dialogue is in French with English subtitles.

This short film features a woman, Patsy Van Roost (also self-described as a fairy) making letters that spread joy.

The story is very interesting. It is really a documentary about a woman who spread love and joy by creating custom made letters for people. She is adorable and tells her story in an engaging, heartwarming and fascinating way.

The cinematography is well executed. One of my favorite shots is one where the letters are featured. The primary set is in Patsy's workshop where she fabricates her creations. We see a collection of paint brushes, fabrics, and all different types of materials she uses to create her magic. Every corner hides more little things that one might use in their magic making. The film's background music is fun and upbeat, with a slight jazz feeling to it. Patsy is definitely the star of this show and, as self-described as a fairy, I believe she is one. It appears that she brings joy to anyone in her universe. I have to praise the editor, because the movie is beautifully edited. The film taught me how to make a message for someone by cutting out big letters in fabric. My favorite part of the film is near the end, when Patsy shows the letter to her son.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Sandrine A., KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 5 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO



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