Free Kids 90-Second Newbery Film Festival
Where: Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street,. Third Floor 3N-6. Lab Event subject to cancellation and/or location change. Always call or check the CPL website before heading over.
When: Sunday, March 8, 2020, 1:45PM – 3:30PM Reserve your seat in advance to ensure admittance.
Kids and families, come to the seventh annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival—a yearly video contest in which kid filmmakers create weird short movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery Award-winning books in about 90 seconds.
The screening is hosted by children’s authors James Kennedy (The Order of Odd-Fish) and Keir Graff (The Matchstick Castle).
The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is an annual video contest in which young filmmakers create weird short movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery-winning books in about a minute and a half. (Ever since 1922, the Newbery Medal has been recognized as the most prestigious award in children’s literature.)
Who can make movies for this film festival? It’s a big range: elementary schoolers, junior high kids, high schoolers, even college students. Adult help OK!
Every year, we show the best movies we receive at special-event screenings in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Boston, Tacoma, and other cities—co-hosted by festival founder James Kennedy (author of the young-adult fantasy The Order of Odd-Fish) and other award-winning children’s authors.
The movies we’ve received have been ingenious, hilarious, and impressive—from musicals to stop-motion Claymation, from puppet shows to Minecraft! Check out 25 of the best 90-Second Newbery videos right here.
Here’s the rules:
1. Your video should be about 90 seconds. (Okay, okay: if it’s three minutes 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 (with helpful links to corresponding movies!)
3. We’re not looking for book trailers, video book reports, or just someone merely summarizing the book into the camera. We’re looking for full-on MOVIE DRAMATIZATIONS, with mostly child actors, that manage to tell the entire story of the book in 90 seconds. (That is, your movie shouldn’t conclude with a narrator saying stuff like, “And if you want to know more, just read the book.” Give us the whole story—abbreviated, and dramatized.)
4. Upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo or whatever and send me the link at james [at] 90secondnewbery [dot] com. (Note that there is one “r” in “Newbery,” not two! And please actually email me. If you just “share” the video from YouTube, that makes it difficult for me to respond to you.) 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 provide an alias if you want; I understand privacy concerns. Complete details on how to submit your movie here.
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 general deadline for the ninth annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is January 10, 2020. (Minneapolis entries have a later deadline of February 21, 2020.)
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, storyboarding to directing, and cinematography to video editing!
Intimidated? Don’t know where to start? Check out our Video Resources page for a step-by-step primer on how to make a 90-Second Newbery video, plus lots of other tips, tricks, and tutorials.
About the Chicago Public Library
1871: After the Chicago Fire, Thomas Hughes, a member of British Parliament and children’s author who had visited Chicago in 1870 supports a plan to donate more than 8,000 books to Chicago. Chicago citizens petition for a free public library. Previous libraries were private membership-only organizations. The Children’s Library at Harold Washington Library Center is named after Thomas Hughes
1872: The Illinois Library Act of 1872, authorized cities to establish tax-supported libraries throughout the state. In April, the City Council passed an ordinance proclaiming the establishment of Chicago Public Library.
1873: The Chicago Public Library opens at the southeast corner of LaSalle and Adams streets in a circular water tank that survived the fire. The library moved several times during its first 24 years, including an 11-years on the fourth floor of City Hall.
1874: A delivery station system of outposts served Chicago’s neighborhoods mostly in stores. Patrons could call for a book, which was delivered by horse-drawn carriage to the outpost nearest their home. By the early 1900s deposit stations accounted for two-thirds of the circulation of the Chicago Public Library.
1897: October 11, the Central Library, on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Randolph streets, opens in what is now the Chicago Cultural Center. The building cost about $2 million, was designed by Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge. The building was designed to be practically incombustible. Preston Bradley Hall, contains a dome and hanging lamps by Tiffany Glass.
1904: Isabella N. Blackstone donates funds to construct the first branch library, located in the Hyde Park and Kenwood neighborhoods. The library was modeled after the famous Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
1916: Chief Librarian Henry E. Legler presented a library plan calling for an network of neighborhood library locations to bring library service within the walking distance for every person in Chicago. The plan called for several regional libraries with more comprehensive collections. The first regional library, the Henry E. Legler Regional Library, opened in 1920 in West Garfield Park.
1918: Carl B. Roden, who began work as a library page in 1886, was appointed chief librarian. Over 32 years (1918-1950) he increased staff, holdings, circulation and total expenditures exponentially. The Carl B. Roden Branch in the Norwood Park neighborhood, where he resided, is named in his honor.
1960s: CPL added a significant number of neighborhood branch libraries, via new construction or leasing storefronts or reading rooms. By 1985, there were 76 branches.
1991: The new main library the Harold Washington Library Center opened October 7.
1995: Chicago Public Library established its website.
1996: A three-year, $65 million capital improvement plan begins building or renovating 52 neighborhood libraries.
2000: $44 million in neighborhood library construction begins.