Jury Coordination and Notes

Archive for March, 2022

CODA * Very Inspiring Film With A Moral Message And Comedy    

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music by wanting to go to Berklee College of Music and her fear of abandoning her parents.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “CODA is a very inspiring film with an overall good script and moral message. There are many morals to this film, but the main one is that no matter what you suffer from or who you are—or even how you look—we are all humans. We should all be treated equally, and we are each unique in our own way.” See his full review below.

CODA
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

CODA is a very inspiring film with an overall good script and moral message. I also love the comedy in this movie.

CODA is about an 18-year-old named Ruby who is the only one in her family of four without a hearing impairment. Her father is a fisherman, and she needs to help her dad with fishing since he can’t hear. For example, if he violates a fishing code, the Coast Guard calls him, but he cannot respond because he can’t hear the call.  That’s when Ruby comes in handy. Ruby’s passion is singing. Her dream is to go to the Berklee College of Music. She finds out about a chorus group and joins it, which leads to some conflicts—primarily that her family relies on her, but she also wants to live her life and go to college.

CODA, which stands for “child of deaf adults”, is an outstanding film (with many awards and nominations) that is a remake of the 2014 French film, La Famille Bélier. Sian Heder wrote and directed this beautiful adapted screenplay. Not only is this film heartwarming and comical at the same time, but it also lets the audience experience what it is to be deaf to the point of feeling vulnerable by not experiencing the joy of a live concert. My favorite part is when Ruby performs a song on stage with her family watching in the crowd. This is the most interesting and heartwarming scene because when they cut out the audio you get to see the dad’s point of view. You really feel what he experiences as a deaf person.

There are many morals to this film, but the main one is that no matter what you suffer from or who you are—or even how you look—we are all humans. We should all be treated equally, and we are each unique in our own way. CODA does have some sexual scenes and foul language.

I give CODA 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. CODA is available now on Apple TV. 

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Por Mi Hija * Gripping And Evocative – Encourages Dialogue About Immigration

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

A young couple from Mexico decides to come to the U.S. in search of the “American Dream” — illegals in a foreign country, no family, no friends. They are forced to confront the choices they have made.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Por Mi Hija is a gripping, evocative film; it does its part to encourage dialogue about immigration and the journeys of illegal immigrants to the U.S. while greatly entertaining audiences. The film’s cinematography further enhances the engaging storyline.” See his full review and interview with director, Fernando Rodriguez below.

Por Mi Hija

By Eshaan M, age 16, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Por Mi Hija is a gripping, evocative film; it does its part to encourage dialogue about immigration and the journeys of illegal immigrants to the U.S. while greatly entertaining audiences. The film’s cinematography further enhances the engaging storyline.

Por Mi Hija follows Leo (Christopher Bustos) and Emma (Daniela Vidaurre), a newlywed couple from the small town of Jalostotitlán, Mexico. Leo’s friend helps him get a job in Fresno, California, and the two head north as illegal immigrants to start a new life.  Soon they must confront the reality that their new life in America isn’t all that it’s cut out to be.

The acting, cinematography, and storyline of the film all come together to make Por Mi Hija a unique experience. The film jumps back and forth in time, using color and light to indicate these shifts. Director Fernando Rodriguez ensured this isn’t disorienting to audiences; rather, he keeps viewers interested throughout the hour-long feature film. Rodriguez also wrote the script, which contains a melodious mix of Spanish (about 90%) and English (about 10%).

Bustos, Vidaurre, and young Luciana Elisa Quiñonez, who plays the character of the same name, deliver their lines with beautiful conviction. Their eyes speak just as they do, and their body language syncs up perfectly with the mood of the scene. The cinematography is remarkable as well; especially towards the beginning and during tense scenes—the use of light and framing of scenes adds layers to the film.

Por Mi Hija promotes staying together despite difficulties, taking risks, never running from challenges, and, at its heart, the film’s all about empathy: empathy for immigrants, yes, but also for all those around you. Por Mi Hija contains racism, blood, slight profanity, and alcohol.

I give Por Mi Hija 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Por Mi Hija is available now on digital and DVD.

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A Fun Charlie Brown Spin-Off Focusing On The Life Of Charlie Brown’s Dog Snoopy

Tuesday, March 8th, 2022

The world’s most iconic dog is ready for his close-up. Dive into new adventures with the happy-dancing, high-flying, big-dreaming beagle, who’s joined by best friend Woodstock and the rest of the “Peanuts” gang.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Samantha P. comments, “The Snoopy Show is a fun spin-off series from Charlie Brown’s many movies and shows. This animated series is enjoyable for young audiences because it focuses on the life of Charlie Brown’s dog Snoopy.” See her full review below.

The Snoopy Show

By Samantha P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The Snoopy Show is a fun spin-off series from Charlie Brown’s many movies and shows. This animated series is enjoyable for young audiences because it focuses on the life of Charlie Brown’s dog Snoopy. This show has the same style as the originals, which makes it interesting to watch, especially if you are a fan of the Charlie Brown classics!

Each episode follows Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown (Ethan Pugiotto) and Charlie Brown’s friends as they get into different hilarious situations. Woodstock and Snoopy have creative and intriguing solutions to problems they face, like wanting a fishbowl so they can become astronauts, or writing a story for a competition. Every episode is unique and has a creative storyline.

This series has interesting anthropomorphic characters, because Snoopy, along with his animal friends, walks on two legs and has many human characteristics. Snoopy (Terry McGurrin) doesn’t talk, but he makes many noises like yelling, grunting, sighing and laughing for his character. Woodstock (Rob Tinkler) does something similar for Woodstock. Every episode has about three five-minute shows within it. The first episode has three stories about the backstory of Snoopy, which is really interesting.

Every episode has a different theme; some common themes are selflessness, perseverance and coming-of-age.

I give The Snoopy Show 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 11. The Snoopy Show returns for season two on Apple TV Friday, March 11, 2022.

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