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

Archive for November, 2007

Vuze and PBS Launch Content Alliance

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Vuze, the fast-growing online entertainment platform, with an established audience of 11 million viewers, today announced that it has inked a content deal with PBS to provide selected PBS programming on a download-to-own basis.

Available immediately, Vuze will offer PBS programs including HISTORY DETECTIVES, NOVA, and SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN FRONTIERS; and PBS KIDS programs such as CAILLOU and TELETUBBIES, as well as programming from selected local PBS stations. This content can be found at http://www.vuze.com/.

“Vuze continues to deliver the best entertainment from the leading networks to our massive audience of viewers,” said Gilles BianRosa, CEO of Azureus, the company behind Vuze. “Our relationship with PBS continues to flourish, and we’re hard at work partnering with like-minded companies to provide the Vuze community with the most engaging and immersive content today and in the future.”

“Making our content available through Vuze is a terrific way to reach our viewers in a new way and provide our award-winning programming in the format they want,” said Andrew Russell, Senior Vice President, PBS Ventures. “We are also thrilled that Vuze is working with us to distribute remarkable programming from select local PBS stations.”

Episodes of the new PBS programming will be available for download in standard and high-resolution quality. In early October, Vuze launched the Open Entertainment Platform. The new platform empowers publishers with a full set of tools and options to monetize and share their content for free to an installed base of 11 million. Vuze offers a high-resolution streaming experience in addition to full download of content.

To date, Vuze has signed over 100 content partners, including A&E;, BBC, CBC, G4 TV, Geneon, The History Channel, Ministry of Sound TV, National Geographic, Showtime, Starz Media, The Poker Channel, TV Guide Channel and many more.

About Vuze
Vuze is the world’s most popular entertainment platform for high-res digital content, video and games. With an installed base of 11 million unique client downloads in its first nine months, more than 500,000 new viewers joining per week and more than 100 content partners to date, Vuze is experiencing unprecedented organic growth. Vuze attracts and features high quality content from a growing roster of global television networks, premier production studios and thousands of maverick content creators, on the most advanced, most open entertainment platform ever created. Vuze is developed by Azureus Inc., with offices in Palo Alto, Paris, and New York.
About PBS
PBS is a media television stations and reaches more than 75 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is a leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of other educational services. PBS’ premier kids’ TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online continue to be parents’ and teachers’ most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.

Aardman Animations Support Sampaign for Disabled

Monday, November 12th, 2007

A new campaign to challenge and change attitudes towards disability is being launched by Leonard Cheshire Disability this week and is previewed online today.

The charity has teamed up with Aardman Animations to create a highly original campaign called Creature Discomforts. The awareness campaign is based on the much-loved Creature Comforts series but features the hallmark plasticine characters with disabilities, combined with the real voices and experiences of disabled people.

The Aardman Animations team has created new characters for Leonard Cheshire Disability’s campaign including a bull terrier in a wheelchair, a stick insect with a walking stick and a tortoise on crutches. The campaign highlights the disadvantage and discrimination that disabled people experience every day, largely as a result of the ignorance of the wider population.

The animations are based on the genuine voices of disabled people describing in their own words the negative attitudes and barriers they experience, which separate them from society. The Creature Discomforts characters also appear in adverts that will be seen online, in magazines, at bus stops and on the Tube from this Thursday.

One of the four animations addresses a common assumption that people in wheelchairs are not able to speak for themselves. The animation opens with Spud the Slug, who is in an electric wheelchair saying: “…that many people say – oh you’re in a wheelchair – you’re rubbish. You can’t do anything. A lot of it, it is ignorance.”

Peg the Hedgehog appears next, sitting in her wheelchair having a cup of tea. She says: “People have assumed that wheels mean… nothing up here in the brain, you know.” Flash the Sausage Dog appears last, saying: “Because we’re in a wheelchair doesn’t mean to say we’re not capable of thinking. Now let’s get things put right. Not just for disabled, for everybody. So we can all work in harmony together.”

Each of the four animations ends with the message “change the way you see disability.” Bryan Dutton, Director General, Leonard Cheshire Disability said: “We want people to change the way they see disability, to think and act differently and to make a positive difference to the lives of disabled people.

“Disabled people experience unnecessary social barriers which are created largely through ignorance. In the twenty-first century it is unacceptable that such negative attitudes to disability still persist. Everyone has a part to play in creating a world in which disabled people are included in every aspect of life.

“Creature Comforts is well known and much-loved for its ability to bring home messages in a simple, everyday way. Our Creature Discomforts campaign builds on this, making a serious point with humour.”

Steve Harding-Hill, the Director of Creature Discomforts at Aardman Animations said: “Leonard Cheshire Disability’s new campaign is an important step towards changing everyone’s attitudes to disability. Working on it has been an amazing experience for us all at Aardman.

“Taking the real voices and experiences of disabled people and creating animated stories that are informative, entertaining and poignant has been an immense but incredibly satisfying challenge.”

For a preview of the campaign visit www.CreatureDiscomforts.org. The characters will also appear in adverts at bus stops, in newspapers, magazines and online. In January, the animations will be aired on ITV.

Baby First TV Wins Award

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

BabyFirstTV the only premium network in the United States dedicated to providing rich, positive content for babies and toddlers, is an honored recipient of an iParenting Media Award for one of the “Greatest Products of the Year for 2006.” After evaluating hundreds of products by their experienced reviewers team, iParenting Media classifies BabyFirstTV as a superior product in the children’s television category among only seven other winners.

“We are proud and delighted to be an iParenting Media Award Winner,” said Sharon Rechter, executive vice president, Business Development and Marketing and one of BabyFirstTV’s founders. “The feedback and recognition we have received from our subscriber base has been incredibly positive and earning this award further demonstrates BabyFirstTV’s mission of providing high-quality, engaging and delightful content for babies and their parents.

With support from its Advisory Board of leading experts in children’s education, psychology and development, BabyFirstTV ensures its programming is of high quality and appropriate for children under the age of three. The Board provides their “stamp of approval” on all BabyFirstTV programs to verify they offer a safe, positive learning environment with no commercials, no violence and no over-sensory stimulants.

Featuring 80 percent original content and programming from popular children’s DVDs, BabyFirstTV provides opportunities for parents to bond, learn and explore with their baby. With interactive subtitles and unique color-coded programming that demonstrates the educational value of each program from language to math to music, BabyFirstTV provides parents with the tools to transform television into an active learning opportunity with their child. The network also offers a series just for parents offering tips and advice on various parenting topics.

“I think this is a fine channel,” said an iParenting Media Award’s reviewer. “Many of the segments are charming and certainly educational. Several of the segments introduced original ways of presenting ideas and the graphics were nice too.”

The network is currently available for $9.99 a month on DirecTV and DISH network and offers hundreds of hours of high-quality original programming including award-winning DVD content for less than the price of a single baby DVD.

About BabyFirstTV

BabyFirstTV is the first network in the U.S. dedicated to providing rich, innovative and inspiring content designed to enhance baby’s development in a delightful and engaging way. Supported by leading child development experts, the network is specifically tailored to meet the needs of babies in a safe and engaging commercial-free learning environment. Featuring 80 percent original content, BabyFirstTV offers parents a positive way to bond with baby and help foster learning and development. BabyFirstTV is a distinguished iParenting Media Award winner of one of the “greatest products of the year in 2006.” For more information, go to www.BabyFirstTV.com.

NY Times Commits to Three-Year Sponsorship of Gotham Awards

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 6, 2007 — Reaching new audiences nationwide, IFP, the producer of the Gotham Awards announced today that it has signed a three-year sponsorship agreement with The New York Times at the premiere level, which will include the creation and national distribution of an annual eight-page Gotham Awards special advertising section. This year’s awards will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn.

The Gotham Awards honor independent film. The New York Times will preview the 17th Annual Gotham Award nominees, current and past honorees and the public events that are planned leading up to the awards in a special advertising section, to be published in the newspaper on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

“The New York Times has been a leading supporter of the Gotham Awards since their inception and we’re thrilled to take this relationship to the next level,” said Michelle Byrd, executive director of IFP. “It’s an exciting opportunity to bring even greater recognition to the best independent films and the people behind them.” “As a major supporter of independent film and filmmakers, The Times is delighted to commit our resources as a premiere sponsor of the Gotham Awards,” said Virginia French, group vice president of advertising, The New York Times.

For the first time, the ceremony will be held in Brooklyn, the heart of New York City’s resurgent film industry. IFP also recently announced new distribution partnerships with Netflix, the Documentary Channel and NYC TV — New York City’s public television station — that will bring this year’s Gotham Awards ceremony to an estimated audience of more than 20 million viewers, the widest ever for the Awards.

Along with moving the award ceremony to Brooklyn, IFP is also launching the Gotham Awards Independent Film Series, a month-long series of public events, including conversations, retrospectives and screenings highlighting Gotham Award nominees and honorees. The events will be held from Nov. 6 to Nov. 27 at leading cultural institutions throughout the city, including the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the IFC Center. Nominees for this year’s Gotham Awards, announced on Oct. 22, include Craig Zobel’s “Great World of Sound,” topping the list with three nominations; Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild”; and Noah Baumbach’s “Margot at the Wedding.”

A total of 28 films received nominations in six categories: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You. In addition to the competitive awards, the Gotham Awards will also present Gotham Tributes to six individuals in recognition of their influential work in the film industry.

Sponsors of the Gotham Awards include: Axium, The New York Times, Deluxe, NYC TV, Rainbow Media and Variety. The award ceremony will be broadcast locally via NYC TV during the first week of December. Additional digital content from the show and surrounding public programs related to the Gothams will be carried on IFP’s Web site at http://www.ifp.org/.

IFP’s mission is to nurture and celebrate independent film and filmmakers, and to foster a vibrant and sustainable independent filmmaking community. IFP seeks to empower individuals with the language of film and enrich the world of film with a diversity of voices. It passionately believes that creating opportunities for independent, original and often controversial films to be made and seen is an essential part of a free, open and intellectually curious society. It is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in New York City with 10,000 members throughout the world. More at http://www.ifp.org/.

About The New York Times CompanyThe New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a leading media company with 2006 revenues of $3.3 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers, WQXR-FM and more than 30 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, Boston.com and About.com. The Company’s core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.


Friday, November 2nd, 2007

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics in a report issued in October, 2007: Consistent, heavy television viewing (more than two hours a day) throughout early childhood can cause behavior, sleep and attention problems. In the new study, “Children’s Television Exposure and Behavioral and Social Outcomes at 5.5 Years: Does Timing of Exposure Matter?” researchers assessed data from the Healthy Steps for Young Children national evaluation effort pertaining to the effects of early, concurrent and sustained television exposure at age 2.5 years, and again at age 5.5 years. The effects of having a television in the child’s bedroom were measured at age 5.5. Sixteen percent of parents reportedthat their child watched television more than two hours a day at age 2.5 years only (early exposure), 15 percent reported that their children watched more than two hours of television daily at 5.5 years only (concurrent exposure), and 20 percent reported more than two hours of television viewing daily at both times (sustained exposure). Forty-one percent of children had a television in their bedroom at age 5.5. Sustained television viewing was associated with sleep, attention and aggressive behavior problems, and externalizing of problem behaviors. Concurrent television exposure was associated with fewer social skills. Having a television in the bedroom was associated with sleep problems and less emotional reactivity at age 5.5. Early exposure to television for more than two hours a day, which decreased over time, did not cause behavior or social problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no television viewing for children under age 2, and no more than two hours of daily media exposure for ages 2 and older.

Sesame Street on the Go

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Take Sesame Street with you on the road – to the supermarket, to the doctor’s office, your car, the gym. The Sesame Street podcast is a new series of free, portable video episodes focusing on listening, reading comprehension, and vocabulary building. Sign up to get the video episodes automatically delivered to your computer or video-enabled media player. http://www.sesameworkshop.org/podcasts

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