90 Second Newberry Film Festival Decatur Book Festival Edition Call for Submissions


This year, the Decatur Book Festival will host a special screening of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival — an annual video contest in which kid filmmakers create movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery-winning books in 90 seconds or less. The festival screens annually in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland . . . and now Decatur!

We’re encouraging young filmmakers in the Atlanta area to submit their own 90-Second Newbery movies for possible inclusion in this August’s screening.

Ever since 1922, the Newbery Medal has been recognized as the most prestigious award in children’s literature. But it turns out that any book, no matter how worthy and somber, becomes pleasingly ludicrous when compressed into 90 seconds. The movies we’ve received in the past years have been ingenious, hilarious, and impressive — from musicals to stop-motion Claymation, from puppet shows to Minecraft! You can check out some of the best movies we’ve received here.

Teachers, here’s a fun project that will get your students reading Newbery winners. Students, here’s an excuse to mess around with video equipment. Librarians, here’s an activity to do with your teen advisory boards. Homeschoolers, here’s a good long-term project that teaches everything from close reading to scriptwriting to storyboarding, directing, and video editing! Anyone can enter. Everyone wins!

The rules:

  1. Your video should be 90 seconds or less. (Okay, okay: if it’s two minutes long but absolute genius, we’ll bend the rules for you. But let’s try to keep them short.)
  2. Your video has to be about a Newbery award-winning (or Newbery honor-winning) book. Here’s a list of all the winners.
  3. No book trailers! No video book reports! We’re looking for full-on dramatizations, with mostly child actors, that manage to tell the entire story of the book in 90 seconds.
  4. Upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo or whatever and email me the link. Make the subject line be “90 SECOND NEWBERY DECATUR” and please tell me your name, age, where you’re from, and whatever other comments you’d like to include, including whether you’d like me to link to your personal site. You can give an alias if you want; I understand privacy concerns.
  5. Sending the link to me grants me (James Kennedy) the right to post it on my blog and to other websites where I sometimes post content (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and to share at public readings, school visits—and hopefully the “90-Second Newbery” Film Festival screenings!
  6. The deadline for inclusion in this year’s Decatur Book Festival screening of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is August 15, 2014.

Intimidated? Don’t know where to start? I recommend checking out this handy guide of tips, tricks, and strategies for making a 90-Second Newbery. Usable as a classroom curriculum!

See you at the movies!





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