The film festival is an annual video contest that encourages young filmmakers to create short movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery-winning books. Every year, the best movies are shown at special-event screenings in several cities.
Participating in the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival gives you an opportunity to teach many different skills. Here are a few:
1. Your kids will learn to summarize. Gelling a novel down to 90 seconds is not easy. Your kids will have to learn to identify the most important themes, characters, and plot elements and decide which of these will help them to explain the story best.
2. Your kids will learn how to tell a story. A 90-second story is much different than a 250-page story, so there's quite a bit of creativity and construction that happens in the making of each of these films. The 90-second version needs to be coherent and cohesive--no small feat!
3. Your kids will learn about acting. Acting and literature go together like...well, like Shakespeare and MacBeth. Your kids will never forget the Newbery-winning book they choose to act out for their film because they will have added a new dimension to their understanding of it. Plus, acting is fun!
4. Your kids will become little techies. It takes some skills to record and edit a film. Chances are, your kids already video themselves for fun. Now they'll get to use those fledgling skills to video and edit a real movie. Editing takes time and patience, and it might require watching a few how-to Youtube videos along the way. This is good training for how they'll have to learn new skills as adults.
After all is said and done, they'll have a finished product they'll feel proud of. It's a great memento to send to grandparents and friends, and hey, they just might win!
The deadline for the sixth annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is January 7, 2017. There's still plenty of time to put your film together. Don't forget to look at this handy guide of tips, tricks, and strategies.
Want to combine your 90-minute Newbery film with a literature unit for your homeschool curriculum? Here are a few literature unit studies of Newbery-winning books:
Onion John by Joseph Krumgold
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale