Kids First! Film Festival starts June 13

Barb Forsyth

The award-winning fourth annual University of Hawaii Kids First! Film Festival returns with four summer Sundays of free family films. This year’s screenings—suitable for children ranging in age from 2 to tweens—include green themes, animations adapted from beloved children’s literature, plus stories about kids and pets from around the world.

Kids First!, a project of the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, is the largest traveling children’s film festival in the world. Curated locally by UH Manoa’s Outreach College, Kids First! films are free of gratuitous violence; race, gender, or religious bias; inappropriate content; and condescension towards children. Age-appropriate groupings of films entertain through a balance of animation and live action, plus varied themes from different cultures. To add to the festivities, door prizes are awarded at all screenings. Parents, grandparents, friends and neighborhood kids—everyone can enjoy the Festival because it’s juried by kids, parents, teachers, and child advocates nationwide to qualify for the Festival. Perhaps best of all, it’s free.

The screenings are the following Sundays at 3:00 the UH Manoa Art Auditorium:

June 13, Ages 5-10: Surf’s Up!
    Features a short animation on the perils plastic poses in our oceans plus a feature with Barbie as a champion surfer who sets out to save the ocean kingdom.

June 27, Ages 3-8: Animated Shorts: Storybook and Song
  Award-winning animated short films bring outstanding children’s picture books to life. The best in children’s literature is rendered by esteemed authors, illustrators and musicians, with narration by well-known actors.

July 11, Ages 2-5: Go Green Go!
    Wubbzy, a cute, crooked-tailed animated character, teaches pre-schoolers fun lessons - with plenty of singing and dancing - about ecology and personal responsibility. Preceded by a short storybook animation, In the Small, Small Pond, narrated by Laura Dern.

July 18, Ages 8-12: Worldwide Kids & Critters
    Short live-action and animated films from around the world (all in English) deal with universal themes of families and pets with creativity and wit.

For information, visit or call 956-9883.