Up to date information about children's entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Register Now for KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Online Boot Camps in June, July and August

June 4th, 2020

If you’re passionate about movies and see yourself in front of the camera as an entertainment reporter or actor, look no further, this is the camp for you!  This summer, due to the COVID-19 pandemic our KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Boot Camps are all online. We have three camps meeting for one week each in June, July and August. Each camp meets for 2 hours a day, Monday through Friday. During the camp you will be coached by seasoned professionals and learn to…

  • Critique and write film reviews
  • Learn how to videotape your reviews
  • Interview talent on Zoom and in person
  • Promote your YouTube videos

After completing this camp, you’ll be invited to join our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics national team of reporters where you get to watch and review films before they are released, interview celebrities live and online, attend behind-the-scenes events for new film and digital releases.

Sound like what you’re looking for!
Go here to register or for additional information. 

https://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/

Camp dates and times
June 22 – 26
July 13 – 17
August 10 – 14
All classes meet 12:00 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Time/ 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Pacific Time

Class fee is $110. To register, go to https://forms.gle/zaP1SZ6Q9TUe4e459

What do you do at camp?

  • Develop vocabulary and criteria to critique and write reviews.
  • Watch, analyze and discuss films.
  • Examine behind-the-scenes contributors (directors to editors).
  • Review film in written and video format daily.
  • Learn how to create videotaped reviews.
  • Learn how to record and edit your own reviews in front of a green screen.
  • Learn and practice how to interview celebrities online or in person.
  • Meet working actors, writers, producers, film critics and other entertainment professionals.ork collaboratively with your team members.
  • Learn about filmmaking programs that are available to you.
  • Share your knowledge with parents, peers and the public.

Take a look at one of our previous camps!

Contact us if you would like additional information

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KIDS FIRST! Partners with Xerb.tv to Launch Family Streaming Service

April 2nd, 2019

KIDS FIRST! and Xerb.tv launched a new, ad-free digital streaming service for high quality children’s programming earlier this spring. The content is curated from filmmakers from all around the world and the bulk of the revenue from the channel will go directly to the filmmakers. The rapidly growing Xerb.tb is providing KIDS FIRST! a platform to deliver a collection of family-friendly content that is inspirational, enriching and motivational.

“What the KIDS FIRST! Digital Channel (https://xerb.tv/channel/kidsfirst) offers families is engaging, informative and fun content with pro-social values that both kids and parents love,” comments Ranny Levy, founder and president of KIDS FIRST! “It’s not so easy to find programming like this in the jungle of digital channels, but KIDS FIRST! has 28 years experience in doing just that.”

The partnership came about when Levy met Xerb.tv founder, Eric Streeper, at a film event in Santa Fe, NM, where both companies are headquartered. Streeper, a Santa Fe native, spent eight years working in tech/entertainment in Los Angeles. The idea to create Xerb.tv came after working for a wildly popular YouTube star who, despite having a very large audience, wasn’t generating very much revenue from the platform. Streeper saw an opportunity to help filmmakers take control of their work and develop an audience to support it. While visiting his hometown two years ago, the creative and entrepreneurial energy there impressed Streeper and he realized it was the ideal place to launch his new media company. “Our goal is to level the playing field for creators,” Streeper proclaims, “and help them access the same resources that the big entertainment companies have.” When he met Levy he thought, “What a great way to give families access to programming that has been vetted by parents and kids reviewers alike through their extensive review process.”

KIDS FIRST! has a team of more than 100 kids and adults that review and recommend films with no algorithms involved. The KIDS FIRST! reviewers go through extensive training to assure continuity in film selection. The films on the channel represent the diversity of the filmmakers who made them –  from a documentary following the first Roma/Gipsy youth soccer team in Italy to one about educating girls in India. A high school student has created an animated series about the Mars Rovers. A Spanish film follows a 9-year-old boy dealing with loss. Another short is about a girl and her pet pig. A music video tells what it’s like to be an engineer. A feature film explores a changing mother/son dynamic and another one reveals the true story of an 11-year-old foster child with brittle bone disease who overcame his problems and directs his first musical. For a quick overview of the channel, check out the trailer at https://bit.ly/2T5LL1fLinks

KIDS FIRST! Channel: https://xerb.tv/channel/kidsfirst
KIDS FIRST! website: https://www.kidsfirst.org
Xerb website: https://xerb.tv
KIDS FIRST! and Xerb assets: https://landing.xerb.tv/assets

Stats
Number of films: 129
Number of filmmakers: 50
Number of countries: 17
Number of languages: 13
Price: $5.99/month

ABOUT KIDS FIRST! KIDS FIRST! Digital Channel is project of the 28-year-old national nonprofit (501-c-3) Coalition for Quality Children’s Media whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media. KIDS FIRST! Digital Channel is an online space where kids and families can watch movies that both inspire and teach – and where parents don’t have to worry about what their kids are watching. A former educator, Levy created an award-winning PBS show, produced an ACE-nominated television show and managed an independent film production and distribution company in the mid 80s. In 1991, Levy founded the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media and its KIDS FIRST! program. The KIDS FIRST! Digital Channel features original animated programming, music videos, feature length films and international programming from 17 different countries, teaching about people and cultures world-wide. You can access the channel at https://xerb.tv/channel/kidsfirst

About Xerb.tv Xerb.tv is a streaming service, similar to Netflix, but different. Xerb.tv allows independent filmmakers and organizations to create tailored subscription channels and share them with a devoted fan-base. Xerb.tv is  changing how creators get paid online, how they build their audience, and how they collaborate with each other — all in an incredibly simple way. The future of content is independent. Are you a content creator, or want to run a channel? If you want to engage directly with an audience that loves your work and build a sustainable business around what you’re passionate about, we want to hear from you! Send us a message and come join our beta partner program. Xerb.tv is built for you.



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Submit to KIDS FIRST! Film Festival Now! It’s like submitting to 50 festivals all at once!

April 2nd, 2019

We are accepting submissions for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. If you have a great film for kids and families that you wish to get played at venues all across the country, this is your opportunity to submit it. We have more than 50 venue affiliates who use the KIDS FIRST! vetted programming for their youth and family programs. Each KIDS FIRST! venue partner offers awards and prizes, and may cover your travel expense to attend. There is a plethora of potential awards awaiting you. Just think, for one entry fee, you have 50 venues considering your film. That makes our application fee dirt cheap! Upcoming deadlines are:

April 6, 2019: Early Bird Deadline
May 18, 2019: Regular Deadline
June 89, 2019 : Late Deadline

The KIDS FIRST! Film Festival showcases new and classic children’s films, TV programs and DVDs from studios, independent producers and youth producers. Please read our festival description carefully and do not submit if your film does meet our baseline criteria. This is a great way to spread your promotional budget by submitting once to KIDS FIRST!, you reach 50 venues. That does not mean all 50 festivals will play yours, but it will be considered.

Please be sure to note that KIDS FIRST! Film Festival partners do not pay licensing fees. The films that are played at their events are offered for FREE. There is no individual admission charged, although there may be an overall festival admission fee.

Each KIDS FIRST! venue partner offers their own awards and prizes. KIDS FIRST! does not award prizes or awards. Accepted feature films will get a First Look opportunity for distribution by Engine 15 Media Group and Soundview Media Partners. We are looking for indie and student productions, short, features and documentaries. We have special categories for Faith Based programs, Spanish language programs, environmental programs and episodic titles.

  • NO gratuitous violence or abuse
  • NO inappropriate sexual behavior
  • NO bias in terms of race, gender, culture or religion
  • NO condescension toward children
  • NO replicable unsafe behavior

To enter, go here.

For more information, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org/submit-a-title/

To see the latest films added to our festival, go here: https://www.kidsfirst.org/filmfestival/selections.html

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Calling All Miami Based Youth Film Buffs! June 18-22 @ Doral Academy

March 26th, 2018

There are still a few spots left for KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp Miami – June 18-22. If you are a a youth, age 12-16 who

Loves, really love films…

Loves talking about the latest films…

Would love to interview celebrities on the Red Carpet…

We have a camp for you! Register now to attend camps in the following cities at the dates listed below.

2018 CAMP SCHEDULE

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp teaches critical thinking and viewing skills. On a daily basis, campers watch and review the latest films, in written and video format. Kids  work collaboratively in small teams as they learn on-camera and behind the camera skills. They develop and practice interviewing skills and talk with media professionals, in person and on Skype. The camp prepares kids to join the national KIDS FIRST! Film Critics team, if they so wish. Whether or not they select to do join the team, their take away is a week filled with learning experiences that prepare them for college and will last a lifetime. Here’s story by ABC Eyewitness News Entertainment Reporter Sandy Kenyon about our 2017 New York City camp. http://abc7ny.com/entertainment/movie-critics-of-the-future-learn-craft-in-brooklyn/2264053/

Note: Some partial scholarships are available. Please note application deadlines. Apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/DN4iDFURen28dkLZ2

For more details, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/2018.BootCamp.html

Take a look at our 2017 Camp!

LIMITED ENROLLMENT. CAMPS ARE FILLED ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS.

 

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Call for Film Critics – Deadline Jan. 15, 2018

June 16th, 2017

KFFC.BootCamp.2015.jpgIf you have a child between the age of 8 and 18 who is interested in joining our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics team, please have them enter our national search. Visit our application site, read the instructions and send in your application along with your child’s written and videotaped review of a film, rated G, PG or PG-13, that has been released in the last 6 months. For more info and to enter go to: http://2013critic.kidsfirst.org/

Our last deadline to apply for a position as one of our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics is October 15. We are looking for kids in major cities but, other cities will be considered as well. The difference is that they kids will most likely not be attending press screenings or other live events. They will review films from online screeners or DVDS. We will be accepting no more than 10 new reporters during this application process and your application will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis. There is no charge to participate in this program but there is a $65 fee for the training program and you are expected to provide your own equipment (camera, tripod, microphone, computer) as well as transportation to events.

For more information about our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics program, please take a look at our deck here:
Target Cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Santa Fe, Vancouver, Nashville, Honolulu, Miami and Washington DC.

Here’s your chance to…

  • Watch and review the latest films!
  • Meet and interview celebrities!
  • Report from the red carpet and premieres!
  • Talk on our weekly radio show about films you have seen and interview celebrities.

For more info and to enter go to: http://2013critic.kidsfirst.org/

Or, call our office. 505.989.8076.

Check out some of our coverage of our 2016 Film Critics Boot Camp in New York.

http://abc7ny.com/entertainment/young-film-critics-learning-their-craft-at-boot-camp-in-brooklyn/1464473/
http://abc7ny.com/entertainment/bryce-dallas-howard-talks-role-in-disneys-petes-dragon/1467351/

 

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Auditions for KIDS FIRST! Film Critics at DreamWorks, Nov 4

October 26th, 2016

KFFC.2016.Nov.jpgCalling all kids who love film and love to be on camera! Do you have a child who loves film, loves talking about film and loves to be on – camera? If so, we have a program for you – the national, KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, a project of the 25-year old Coalition for Quality Children’s Media.

KIDS FIRST! is pleased to be holding auditions at the DreamWorks’ Glendale Campus on November 4, 2016 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. The auditions are open to any child between the age of 8 and 17. To audition, you must register online at the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Audition site no later than November 2, 2016. Go to www.kidsfirst.org to register. Only registered youth and their guardian will be allowed onto the DreamWorks Campus.

As part of your Audition Registration, you will need to include a 200 word review of any; film or TV show released in the last 6 months, rated PG-13 or younger. Auditions will be limited to 50 children. Special consideration will be given to youth who are bilingual in Spanish and English.

Participation in the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics program is voluntary. None of the reporters are paid. However, the program offers a unique opportunity for youth to attend press screenings and red carpet events, learn to critique and review films, present their reviews on-camera and interview celebrities. Many of the KIDS FIRST! Film Critic have found employment in the entertainment field as a result of their involvement in this program.

Brianna B. (age 16), comments, “Being a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic has provided me with skill sets that will last a lifetime.  Who knew from being a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, I would have one of my quotes on the back of the DVD, Mom’s Night Out, appear on a national syndicated TV show, The Daily Buzz and interview so many great celebrities.”

Rather than talk abstractly about media, the KIDS FIRST! reporters are given a voice and their reviews reach up to 7 million people per release through KIDS FIRST! blogs on Huffington Post, Kidzworld.com, WorkingMother.com, Grandmagazine.com and its very robust YouTube Channel.

Gerry O.’s mom comments, “This program not only teaches kids how to be better communicators, more pleasant company and knowledgeable movie gurus, it gives them so much more. These kids will be able to socialize and speak properly, write great essays, participate intelligently in debates and become confident leaders. Last spring, Gerry was invited to present some of his film ideas to Morgan Freeman’s production team after interviewing Freeman on the red carpet three times in a period of six week. Gerry has completed over 100 reviews and is now close to reaching 200! Gerry has taken numerous workshop at YouTube Space LA, representing KIDS FIRST! as one of only 10 channels accepted. He has interviewed a number of industry greats including Brad Bird, Morgan Freeman, Ty Burrell, George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Zoe Saldana, John Ratzenberger, Tara Strong and many more.

“We are delighted that DreamWorks has provided space for us for these auditions,” comments Ranny Levy, Founder and President KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media. “In the past, we have taught our KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Boot Camps in Los Angeles on the Disney and Paramount lots. Some of our 14 KIDS FIRST! reporters from the Los Angeles area are starting to age out and we are looking for some younger kids to step in when they head off to college. It’s exciting to do this audition in Los Angeles which has a large Spanish speaking population because we have a keen interest in kids who are bilingual.”

The bilingual component is co-hosted by the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN). KIDS FIRST! has enjoyed a partnership with HITN which co-hosted and provided sponsorship for KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Boot Camps in Brooklyn for the past two summers. “We are so excited to support the continued efforts that create opportunities to build a pipeline of youth that includes increasing numbers of bilingual reporters and film critics,” says Ed Greene, VP for Partnerships at HITN.

Who: Open to any child in the greater Los Angeles area, age 8 to 17 with special consideration for bilingual skills in Spanish and English.

What: KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Auditions

Where: DreamWorks Glendale Campus, 1000 Flower St., Glendale, CA 91201

When: November 4, 2016, 4:00- 6:00 p.m.

Register here: http://bit.ly/2dr5t2m

About KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media: The Coalition for Quality Children’s Media is a national, nonprofit (501-c-3) organization founded in 1991 whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media. The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics are a group of 50+ youth reporters, age 8 to 18, nationwide who review new film and TV releases, interview talent and share their views on entertainment geared for kids. Their reviews and interviews reach more than 7 million people every month. KIDS FIRST! is supported by major entertainment industry leaders, teachers, librarians, media professionals, lobbyists, policymakers, child advocates, educators, parents and families nationwide. For more info, go here: http://slides.com/rannynm/deck-02802409-3352-462d-b30e-949e5ffba6c3

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