90-Second Newbery Film Festival

Do you have creative kids or students who want to make a movie? If so, then let them know about the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival! To participate, all you need to do is make a 90 second video based on any Newbery Award winner. It’s a great opportunity for kids to delve into a book in an active way. Because it combines creativity and reading, it’s the perfect project for kids who love to read, and it may just spark the interest of that reluctant reader that you know!

There has been much debate among parents and educators on combining literacy with technology. At KidLit TV we believe there is a place for both literacy and technology, and what makes an activity extra fun is when one discovers how to combine the two. This activity is a perfect example of tech + reading and we love it. So we’re sharing with teachers and parents the “how to” to get you started.

1. Select a Filming Location

Choose a convenient location that’s in keeping with your story.  To keep everything fun, simple and budget-friendly, look around your neighborhood and your home.

2. Factor in the Time

How long will it take to make a movie?

Make a schedule for yourself. You will need to:

  • brainstorm
  • write the script or rundown
  • film
  • edit
  • post your video to a video sharing website (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.)

For simple movies that are no longer than one minute, everything on your schedule can be completed in just a few hours.

A great tip: Make sure you plan on the important, technical parts of your videos in advance so you save the fun for the day of the filming.

3. Props & Costumes:

Keep it simple and cheap! Here are a few budget-friendly and less time-consuming list of choices you can make:


  • Dig through your closet for old Halloween costumes.
  • Borrow clothes from family friends.
  • Visit your local flea market, party shop and dollar store.
  • Search for used costumes online.
  • Visit local yard/garage sales.


  • Go through boxes of old toys.
  • Make your own. (There are many online tutorials to follow).
  • Sometimes schools have old props from plays and musicals. Ask your school if they have a lending policy.
  • Visit flea markets, party shops, and thrift and dollar stores.
  • Ask your friends for donations.

Sometimes all you need is a few props, dresses, suits and wigs to get your movie started. The best advice: KEEP IT SIMPLE!

3. Technology:

Video Skills: If you need to learn video tips and tricks on a budget, James Wedmore created an entire channel just for you! His videos are for beginner to intermediate level videographers.

Software: If you haven’t already, check out our iMovie tips that are essential before you get started on your video with kids. And you can check out links to Wondershare on our website, too.

Making home movies and short films with your kids is fun and will turn an ordinary day into an unforgettable adventure. But the deadline for this year’s 90-Second Newbery is October 23rd, so you’d better get started! If you make your own props or costumes send us your pics — we would love to see them!

The 90 Second Newbery Film Festival 2015
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