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Archive for September, 2012

KF Youth Film Critic Webinars Start this Week

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

KF_FilmCritics_218x225.jpgThe 2013 KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search is nearly ready to launch (Oct. 3). Being a KIDS FIRST! youth film critic is an exciting experience, and we are hosting a series of online “be a great film critic” webinars for kids (ages 7 to 14) interested in entering the competition. The webinars will teach them how to analyze a film elements to be included in their review, how to videotape the review and how to upload it to the campaign’s voting website. We will incorporate basic media literacy skills in the webinars and discuss the purpose of a film critic and film reviews.

Make your review – your KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search entry – the best it can be. And while you’re at it, make yourself a wiser viewer of film and media content. This is valuable information, so take advantage of it and sign up for our free webinars. Space is limited, so sign up now.

The three-webinar series starts this week and runs three consecutive Thursdays (Sept. 13, 20 and 27). If you are unable to attend one or more of the live presentations, you can view the recorded webinar (the link will be on http://www.kidsfirst.org/ after the live webinar).

How to Read a Film
KIDS FIRST! focuses on the messages and meanings in media directed toward children – that is, the content of the film or program, rather than the impact of any advertising that may accompany it.

Make Your Review Sizzle
We’ll discuss what comprises a great film review and how to make your voice – your thoughts and opinions – heard, both in your written and video reviews.

Looking Good On Camera
Performing on camera is a blast, once you pick up a few tricks to make yourself seen and heard in the best possible way.

Additionally, take a look at these links to simple guidelines and tips for entering your reviews:
Tips for Creating Reviews

Guidelines for Entering

Official Rules

And listen to tips from our KIDS FIRST! youth film critics

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Happy Grandparents Day from KIDS FIRST! and Grand Magazine

Friday, September 7th, 2012

GrandMagazine_SeptOct2012.jpgKIDS FIRST! and Grand Magazine wish all you grandparents a very happy Grandparents Day this Sunday, September 9.

As a special offer to our KIDS FIRST! family, Grand Magazine is giving a free 2-year subscription to everyone who signs up now at www.grandsub.com.

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Be a KIDS FIRST! Youth Film Critic for 2013

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

KF_FilmCritics_218x225.jpgInterview stars and directors on the red carpet. Attend film previews and share your impressions of the movie with peers the world over. Being a KIDS FIRST! youth film critic is the experience of a lifetime. (And parents – there’s an education component to all this. Visual media is a pervasive element of contemporary life,a nd we’ve developed our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics program to teach kids to critique the visual messages they’re bombarded with as well as write reviews about media they enjoy.)

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search opens Oct. 3. We’ll have the list of films at that time for you to choose from to review, but we’ve prepared resources you can start looking at NOW to learn how to make your review th best it can be. And one of this year’s KIDS FIRST! youth film critics, Brianna Beaton, age 12, is eager to share important tips she follows when reviewing a film and creating a video presentation of her review. Check out the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search webpage for tips on how to submit, guidelines, official rules and a short video from many of our youth film critics sharing their experience.

And sharing her view of the experience from the parent’s perspective, the mother of one of our first KIDS FIRST! youth film critics says, “My daughter’s experience with KIDS FIRST! has opened many doors for her within her own person, allowing her to strive for excellence in her written and oral presentations and to always ask the deeper questions about messages and meanings in media directed to children. Her confidence in public speaking has greatly increased as well as her feelings of value and worth of her own opinions and thoughts.” (Sarah Jane Geraldi, mother of Raven Devanney, a 2011 KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search winner.)

The contest is open until midnight, Dec. 31, but the earlier you submit your entry, the better your chance to win. Entries are posted on a public website where friends, family and everyone interested can vote for their favorite review. The top 20 will be finalists, which we’ll announce the beginning of January, and the winning four will be chosen from among the finalists by a celebrity panel of judges. Winners will be announced the middle of January.

Kids, you’ll have a blast entering this contest. So get ready to take part.

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‘The Possession’ – Chilling but not Terrifying

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Possession.jpgHorror does not have to rely on gore to make its impact on the minds of its audience. The master of the genre, Alfred Hitchcock, gives ample proof of that. Just so, also, does PG-13-rated The Possession. Its horror runs deeper than just a “boo” reaction. Says KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Raven Devanney, “This film definitely gave me the chills.” Although the 15-year-old also says the film “wasn’t the scariest I’ve seen,” she doesn’t recommend it to kids younger than 13. For a scare that goes beyond a film entertainment, consider: The Possession is based on a true story!

The Possession
Reviewed by Raven Devanney
(Check back soon to KIDS FIRST! to see Raven’s full review on video.)

The Possession, starring Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick, is a spine-tingling thriller about a young girl named Em who becomes possessed by an evil spirit.

I really enjoyed this film. It wasn’t the scariest I’ve seen, but that is to be expected because of its rating, PG-13. I liked the cinematography because the more the plot thickened, the darker and more glooming the visuals got. The special effects were pretty good as well. However, some of the effects toward the end of the film were a little disappointing.

The acting in this film was good to some extent, although some of the interactions between the family members were a bit unrealistic. For instance, the way Em’s mother reacted to her child being possessed on the kitchen floor was a little odd. Em was screaming and crying on the floor, stuffing her face with raw meat, and her mom just stood there. If that was me in that situation, I know my mom would have run to me and seen what the matter was, so it seemed rather unrealistic.

My favorite scene would probably have to be the end. It was just so evil and unexpected. I don’t want to give it away, but the reaction that the audience and myself had to it was great. It really threw me off guard and I couldn’t stop talking about it after the film. I’m not sure if I have a favorite character, because each of the characters had the same amount of enjoyable qualities and flaws. So it’s hard to pick one.RavenDevanney_180x250_1.jpg

One thing that really stood out to me was how subtle and gradual Em transformed from an innocent child to the host of an evil spirit. This film definitely gave me the chills, but, like I said, it wasn’t terrifying. Everyone has a different tolerance level when it comes to horror, but I would recommend this film for ages 13 and up.

Overall, The Possession deserves four to five stars! Check it out in a theater near you.

Photos: The Possession poster (top), Raven Devanney (bottom)

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