90 second newbery film festival

90 Second Newbery Film Festival 2014!

With Newbery season upon us, it’s also time for the 3rd annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. It’s a video contest in which kid filmmakers create movies that tell the stories of Newbery award-winning books in 90 seconds or less. These movies are funny, ingenious, and impressive!

(Curious? We’ve gathered 25 of some of the best entries here, from a shadow-puppet version of Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon to a full-scale musical of William Pene du Bois’ The Twenty-One Balloons.)

The film festival has had sold-out shows from the start, with crowds of hundreds, including the young filmmakers themselves — who often get to meet the author whose book they filmed! These FREE screenings are in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, and Tacoma, co-hosted by festival founder and author James Kennedy (The Order of Odd-Fish) and superstar children’s authors such as Jon Scieszka, Kate DiCamillo, Rebecca Stead, Blue Balliett, and more.

This year James is honored to have as co-hosts authors Libba Bray, Katherine Applegate, Jenni Holm, Keir Graff, and others.

90 second newbery film festival

Below are the screening dates, co-hosts, and links to reserve your seat (since this free event is popular, it often “sells out”).

February 1, 2014 Screening in CHICAGO at the Vittum Theatre (1012 N. Noble, Chicago). With co-host Keir Graff. 3-5 pm. Reserve a seat.

February 8, 2014 Screening in OAKLAND, CA at the Rockridge branch of the Oakland Public Library (5366 College Ave, Oakland). With co-host triple Newbery Honor winner Jenni Holm. 12 pm – 1:15 pm.

February 8, 2014 Screening in SAN FRANCISCO at the San Francisco Public Library main branch (100 Larkin St.). With co-host Newbery Medal winnerKatherine Applegate. 4-5:30 pm. Reserve a seat.

March 1, 2014 Screening in TACOMA, WA at the Tacoma Library Main Branch (1102 Tacoma Avenue South). 3-5 pm.

March 2, 2014 Screening in PORTLAND, OR at da Vinci Arts Middle School (2508 NE Everett Street, Portland). 3-5 pm.

March 22, 2014 Screening in NEW YORK CITY at the New York Public Library main branch (476 5th Ave, New York, NY) in the Bartos Forum. With co-host Printz Medal winner Libba Bray. 3-5 pm. Reserve a seat.

If you want to see what previous screenings have been like, here are write-ups of previous shows at the New York Public Library (with co-host Jon Scieszka and special guest Rebecca Stead), Chicago Public Library, and Multnomah County Public Library (with Laini Taylor) in Portland, OR.

It’s never too early to get started on your 90-Second Newbery for next year! All the details about the film festival, including details of the screenings, rules, and a few of the best videos I’ve received, can be found here: http://www.90secondnewbery.com

Hope to see you at the movies!

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. This is so cool! I would love for my kids to make some movies like these when they are a little older!
    maryanne recently posted…Easy Kids Activities: Make Stick PuppetsMy Profile

  2. How did I NOT know about this? As someone whose production company does filmmaking with kids, I LOVE this! I plan to have some participants from our Gen Arts programs next year. Thanks so much for sharing this.
    Jennifer Fischer recently posted…The 10 Best Multicultural Children’s Books We Read in 2013My Profile

  3. Brittnei

    I’ve never heard of 90 Second Newberry but it sounds like an interesting opportunity for kids and bloggers to join. Thanks for sharing it with us at Countdown in Style! Don’t forget to stop by Friday to see if you are featured!
    Brittnei recently posted…Pinterest Party & Cash Giveaway Blogger OpportunityMy Profile

    • Hi Brittnei,
      Thanks so much for hosting Countdown in Style. Thanks for coming to my post. I’m trying to get the word out about the 90 Second Newbery Film Festival. I think it’s a wonderfully creative way for kids to play around with a video camera and act out a favorite Newbery book. It would be especially perfect for a class project or book club for kids but I can see it being a fun playdate too!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Highlighting Multicultural Children’s Books & Kid Lit Blog HopMy Profile

  4. I love it! I haven’t read the book, but now I have an idea of what it’s about. The kids did a great job. I wish I was somewhere nearby to take my son to see one of the festivals. Thanks for sharing and linking up with Countdown in Style! Don’t forget to come back on Friday to see if you were featured!

    April recently posted…I’ve Never Had A Meltdown Like TheseMy Profile

    • Hi April,
      If you are not near a theater that is playing the 90 Second Newbery Film Festival, you can watch them (even a few!) via video. I am going to do that with my kids when they need books to read. I think it will help them decide that they want to read next. I don’t know if I can get my kids to make one; every year I try but they don’t seem motivated. Maybe it should be a book club for kids event…
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Highlighting Multicultural Children’s Books & Kid Lit Blog HopMy Profile

  5. Mia I am going to try to get to the one in Oakland! Whew! I’m glad I read this before it was too late 🙂 Quick question, if there is no info on reserving a seat, I assume that its first come first serve?
    -Reshama @ Stackingbooks
    Reshama recently posted…Kid Lit Blog Hop #32My Profile

  6. Thanks Mia! Looking forward to it!-Reshama
    Reshama recently posted…Kid Lit Blog Hop #32My Profile

  7. I love the possibilities with kid-made films. Thanks for sharing this at the After School Linky Party!
    Deceptively Educational recently posted…Snowboarding Math SlalomMy Profile

  8. Thanks for sharing this creations by young readers! Cheryl, Hop Hostess
    Cheryl Carpinello recently posted…Meet MG Fantasy Author Alicia RivoliMy Profile

  9. I would have loved to be a part of this film festival. Too bad.
    Mike Huiwitz recently posted…The Revelation EffectMy Profile

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