Dear Bookish Children of Minnesota (and their assorted Educators and Media Specialists, and Book-Purveyors),
Obviously, I do not have to tell you what the Newbery Medal is – you see those stickers on books all across the land – but some of you may not have heard of the 90-second Newbery Film Festiva. And what’s more many of you may not know that the film festival is coming here! To Minnesota! For kids, by kids, and it will be AWESOME!
Let’s back up a bit. Let’s have the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival explain itself in its own words, shall we?
The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is an annual video contest in which kid filmmakers create movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery-winning books in 90 seconds or less. Every year, the best movies are shown at gala in screenings New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, and Tacoma—co-hosted by founder James Kennedy and other award-winning children’s authors such as Jon Scieszka, Libba Bray, Kate DiCamillo, Blue Balliett, and many more!
This is an amazingly fun program, started by James Kennedy (author of Order of the Odd-Fish), and this year, there will be a screening here in Minnesota! On Saturday, February 28! Co-hosted by me, Kelly Barnhill (author of some other books)! Need proof? Look! (And I’d like to point out that this is my first screen shot of my whole life. You may praise me at your earliest convenience.)
This is how it works:
You read a Newbery-Medal-or-Honor-winning book. There are lots to choose from. You make a video acting out the whole story in just 90 seconds. Think it’s impossible? Think again:
Or this silent-film-style gem:
If you need some inspiration, take a look at this list of the top 25 90-Second Newbery films OF ALL TIME!
Anyway, here’s the rules (I’m copying them from the site):
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 send me the link at kennedyjames [at] gmail [dot] com. Make the subject line be “90 SECOND NEWBERY” 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 the FOURTH annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is December 20, 2014.
Got it? Let’s review: Read a book that has a Newbery sticker on it. Make a video re-telling the story. Do it with friends! Do it with family! Make your teddy bears act out Dicey’s Song or Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH or whatever! Send it to Mr. Kennedy by December 20, and mark your calendars, and plan on meeting me at the Minneapolis Central Library on February 28! More details to come. And maybe someone should tell me what on earth I should wear to this thing. Current fashion concept: sequined dress with Converse sneakers and perhaps stripey tights. Thoughts?
Seriously though, I can’t wait to watch your videos. This is going to be the best!