Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

“Stranger” Give Us a Lovely Snapshot of Rural Life in Iran

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Stranger5.jpgA new KIDS FIRST! Film “Stranger” just joined the film festival lineup. Set in a beautiful rural village in Iran, a new teacher moves to the village to educate the children. A young widow attracts the attention of the teacher, but a local, wealthy (and married) villager is in love with the widow. The villager schemes to run the teacher out of town and torches the school to force him to leave. The teacher saves a student caught in the fire, but leaves so the village can live in peace.

MuchStranger4.jpg of the interest of this film is the view of life in rural Iran that we never see. The basic issues woman’s right in Iranian society are portrayed here with the men wearing polo shirts and the women dressed from the 14th century. The male dominated society is portrayed when the wealthy villager forces his wife to accept the possibility of the young widow living in their home and the widow’s brother threatens to beat her if she does not obey his orders. However, the widow does own a small piece of property that her recently deceased father bequeathed to her.

The film is beautifully shot and although sub-titled, easy to follow. Recommended Ages: 12-18. Runtime 90 minutes.

From WorldKids in Mumbai, Three Films to Captivate You

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

how-i-taught.jpgFrom our wonderful film partners at WorldKids in Mumbai, India come three extraordinary tales of everyday life. I am captivated by the lighthearted, yet wise young children in “How I Taught My Grandmother to Read” and “Victor and the Vanquished (Kaun Jeeta Kaun Hara).” These children share their lives with grandparents and live a less complicated live as we would see it, but in the grandmother’s words in “How I Taught My Grandmother to Read,” not knowing how to read is quite like being blind. In “Victor and the Vanquished” young Pappu is learning that arguments in a family or marriage are not about winning, but sometimes about losing gracefully.

“True Insight (Samyaktva)” recalls the magic realism of the 13th century Indian literature where miracles and symbolism explained the timeless wisdom of the sages. Samyaktva integrates subtle moral reasoning with dramatic narrative and depicts the sheer importance and power of ancient Indian wisdom as the path to peace.

From WorldKids, Mumbai. Available this summer in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival Sections “How I Taught My Grandmother to Read” 42 minutes, English subtitles, Ages 8-12 

“Victor and the Vanquished (Kaun Jeeta Kaun Hara)” 40 minutes, English subtitles, Ages 8-12  “True Insight (Samyaktva)” 49 minutes, English subtitles, Ages 12-18 

Finn on the Fly is Back!

Friday, January 15th, 2010

finn.jpgOne of my all time indie favorites, Finn on the Fly is back in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for 2010. This wacky story about a dog turned into a boy has all the funny, silly humor you might anticipate (think of where dogs drink when in the house) but also a great story about friendship and loyalty. And he plays a mean game of Frisbee! This is one not to miss. 
   
Finn on the Fly is a story about friendship, loyalty and learning to trust your instincts. Finn, a cool, life-loving’, Frisbee-playing dog, and his owner, shy 13-year-old Ben, suddenly find their lives changed when Finn is accidentally transformed into a human being when Dr. Madeline Madsen’s experiment goes wrong. Once on two legs, Finn teaches Ben to feel the wind in his fur, catch Frisbees like a dog and, ultimately, to find his own pack. Starring Ana Gasteyer (The Women, Saturday Night Live, What Women Want), Matthew Knight, Ryan Belleville, Brendon Firla and David Milchard. Directed by Mark Jean (Homecoming)
 

Filmmakers – Ready to win a trip to Orlando for you and your family?

Monday, October 5th, 2009

omms_2l_visitorl.jpgYou’ve heard of it. You watch it on YouTube, but the ad industry has pooh poohed this advertising medium for a long time. “For most of its brief history, CGA has consisted of shabbily produced, usually pointless and typically self-referential imitations of the very professional advertising it seeks to replace.” This quote is from Bob Garfield’s latest column in Advertising Age. He does go on to admit, “But suddenly we are obliged to re-evaluate, thanks to Etsy.com.” 

 

Granted Etsy.com, the incredible site for handmade goods, has really cute 30 second ads made by “amateurs,” but what about Doritos and their Crash the Super Bowl Contest? Doritos once again have launched the Crash the Super Bowl Contest with prizes ranging from $25,000 to $1,000,000. 

 

Now KIDS FIRST! introduces their own CGA contest in partnership with the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Filmmakers are invited to submit their three minute short with the theme “Orlando Makes Me Smile.” There will be two winners in two categories, with both receiving trips to Orlando for 4 people, including airfare, lodging, rental car and theme park tickets. The two categories are Short Indie Film and Short Student Film. Student filmmakers must be between the ages of 13-18. 

 

Winning film will be premiered at the Florida Film Festival in April and filmmakers receive 4 filmmaker passes to this great festival. The Winners will also be screened in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. 

 

The film festival submission process launches Oct. 15th and information will be available then at www.kidsfirst.org.

 

 

KIDS FIRST! partners with IronKids to produce IronFlix!

Monday, June 1st, 2009

unstablefablestortoise_small.jpgThis coming weekend at The Pier in St. Petersburg, IronKids will hold its second event of the season, drawing youth ranging from 6 to 15 years of age. Friday night at 7:30 pm at Straub Park, enjoy the free family film from The Henson Company, Tortoise vs. Hare. The IronFlix series, presented by KIDS FIRST! continues on Saturday, 10 am at The Pier.
 

The IronFlix lineup
Friday, June 5, 7:30pm, Straub Park, St. Petersburg
Firefly and the Stars (short film)
From The Jim Henson Company,  Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare
Saturday, June 6, starts at 10am
The Pier Community Room
10am: Stuart Little: Going for the Gold
12 Noon: Adventure Patrol: Totally Rocks
12:30pm: Kid Guides: Certified Kids Camp Curacao
12:55pm: Michael, Michael Motorcycle
3:30pm: Emmanuel’s Gift

The triathlon, supported by local partners including the City of St. Petersburg and Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, is Sunday and begins at 8:00 am at Spa Beach located alongside The Pier.  Families will also be encouraged to take part in the interactive elements of event weekend, such as the Expo and IronFlix, both of which are free to the public.

“St. Petersburg is thrilled to host the IronKids Triathlon this summer,” said Mayor Rick Baker.  “I applaud the IronKids mission and am thankful that they have chosen St. Petersburg for their Florida event.  It will give kids throughout the region an opportunity to not only compete, but to learn about fitness and have fun while they’re doing it.”

Distances for the IronKids Race will vary, depending on the age of participants:
–           Junior (ages 6 to 8): 50-yard swim, 2-mile bike and 500-yard run
–           Intermediate (ages 9 to 11): 150-yard swim, 4-mile bike and 1-mile run
–           Senior (ages 12 to 15): 300-yard swim, 8-mile bike and 2-mile run

To register www.ironkids.com
Download the film flyer here

KIDS FIRST! Festival Title Labou Launched by MGM!

Friday, May 29th, 2009

One of the hits of the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival a year ago was the pirate tale, Labou. Now, this wonderful story of best friends, a totally weird creature from the swamps of Louisiana and dead pirates is available at all the big stores, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Amazon on May 19th.
You can get Labou t-shirts, posters and hats at www.laboustuff, but check out the film at www.LabouTheMovie.com.
Congrats to everyone from KIDS FIRST! 

Two KIDS FIRST! Titles Rolling out in May

Monday, May 4th, 2009

trainmaster-mti-sm.jpgThe Train Master releases to DVD May 12th, immediately following National Train Day May 9th . Moving Pictures Film & Television LLC acquired The Train Master in late 2008 and the film is also available on Starz Pay for View.
Monterey Media, a long time sponsor of KIDS FIRST!, acquired Bracelet of Bordeaux this year and plans the theatrical for May 18th. The DVD releases July 14th  Check out more information www.montereymedia.com/independent/bracelet_of_bordeaux.html
Another KIDS FIRST! title, The Controller was featured on Starz Family and Friends in April.
Train Master
62 year old Jeremiah Wilson is truly the Train Master of Willamette Western Railroad. He lives, breaths, and eats railroad. When Brett Banner, 32 year old heir to New York Eastern talks his dad into purchasing Willamette Western, there is immediately a clash between himself and Jeremiah. Jeremiah is fired by Brett two years from retirement and turns into a angry, depressed grandfather. When Brett’s nine year old son Justin realizes Jeremiah’s grandson Thomas can drive a locomotive, he kidnaps and holds Thomas’ favorite dinosaur ransom. Justin, Thomas and 3 other children board an old engine in for repairs and accidentally turns it into runaway engine causing a chain reaction of events. Available on Amazon.com
Bracelet of Bordeaux
Written by: Frank Eakin
Directed by: Casey Kelly
Starring: Ally Claire Carson, Kelsey Edwards, Shane Kelly, Shane Savage
Someone is dognapping the canine citizens of Chem City, Texas! Two pre-teen girls overcome danger and conspiracies as they set out to solve the crime and administer justice with the help of a magical bracelet. As the girls battle the Mob, a punk gang and a crooked cop, they learn something about friendship, courage and the importance of hanging with the right crowd.

25th Annual USA KidFilm January 24th & 25th in Dallas

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

finn_sm.jpgFor the 5th straight year, KIDS FIRST! is providing great programming for the USA KidFilm festival in Dallas. This year’s top film is one of the KIDS FIRST! favorites for the year, Finn on the Fly. This wacky film from Canada is about a boy, his dog (Finn) and a nutty neighbor whose experiments cause Finn to turn into a boy. . . Finn on the Fly screened at the Santa Fe Film Festival and will also be screened this spring at a number of KIDS FIRST! festivals, including Tiburon Film Festival, Beloit Film Festival, and Sedona International Film Festival. Check out where this fun film is screening at www.kidsfirst.org/fest.

Santa Claus Comes to Town and KIDS FIRST! attends the 5th International Film Festival Summit

Friday, December 12th, 2008

iffs.jpgSanta Claus made an appearance at the screening of Finn on the Fly and gave away Eloise: Little Miss Christmas, Thomas and Friends: Ultimate Christmas and The Happy Elf to all the kids attending. They also received Wubbzy stickers and toys at the Santa Fe Film Festival, Saturday, December 6th.
The 5th Annual IFFS has held in Las Vegas this week. Both Ranny Levy and Ann Church from KIDS FIRST! attended the summit that started Sunday, December 7th. Ranny participated on a panel discussion regarding year around programming. This is an important summit for film festivals to attend as it is truly the only networking location for festival people. I was able to finally meet many of the festival directors that we have worked with over a number of years, including Denver, Ashland, Oxford, Atlanta and made some incredible contacts interested in children’s programming.
Many of the events addressed and were moderated by the large festivals, Sundance, Tribeca and Telluride, but the small breakout sessions were the gems of the summit. Additionally, afternoon gatherings allowed for easy interaction between the attendees and sponsors, B-Side, Without a Box and IMDb. The summit ran a full 2 ½ days and one way to determine the success is that on the final afternoon, the room was still full and the conversations still interesting.
As with many young festivals, there is still much that can be added to help the small to mid size festivals.  This year’s hot topic seemed to be about film distribution and the economy, with some sessions designed to help with budgeting and board retention. I suggest that if you are a festival director or programming, this should be on your radar for next year. www.filmfestivalsummit.com

Finn on the Fly at the Santa Fe Film Festival Dec. 6th

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

finn_sm.jpgSaturday at 10 am at the DeVargas Theater, join KIDS FIRST!, the Santa Fe Film Festival, Los Alamos National Bank for a FREE screening of Finn on the Fly. Also showing is the delightful short, Dear Fatty. Santa will be there before the show with goodies, including Wubbzy give aways. Tickets are FREE, but need to be pickedup in advance at the festival box office at 519 Cerrillos. For more info www.santafefilmfest.com. See you there!

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