Kids First!

November 18, 2010 16:57 ET

KIDS FIRST!® Receives an Astounding 11 Million Votes in Its First-Ever Kids Film Critics Search

Five Young Winners Announced to Serve as Official KIDS FIRST! Film Critics for 2010-2011

SANTA FE, NM--(Marketwire - November 18, 2010) - KIDS FIRST!® announced today the winners of the first-ever Kids Film Critics Search. Since the Search began in August, an astounding 11 million votes were cast at the KIDS FIRST! partner site, A panel of celebrity judges then reviewed the top 20 finalists narrowing it down to five winners and three alternates. The five official 2010-2011 KIDS FIRST! Film Critics are Ny'Asia Bel (7) from Decatur, GA, Anthony Aranda (8) from San Diego, CA, Lauren Boxer (12) from Los Angeles, CA, Sam Connan (12) from Santa Fe, NM, and Gabriella Chu (14) from Flushing, NY. 

"The entire campaign was a huge success. Everyone from our organization was overwhelmed by the 11 million votes cast and the positive response from both media and consumers," remarked Ranny Levy. "We were extremely impressed with the quality of work from all of the contestants. Their entries were creative, well-thought out, and very fun. I'm so impressed with our winners and look forward to working with them over the next year." 

"What I love about this contest is how it ties directly into KIDS FIRST!'s core mission which is to educate children to become critical media users and to engage them in a meaningful way with entertainment properties by reviewing it for their peers," added Jay Reinbold, KIDS FIRST! Board Member.

As official KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, the five lucky winners will attend red carpet events and advance film screenings in their local markets, where they will review new family films, interview celebrities and blog about upcoming films. Three alternates have been designated to perform whenever the five are unable to cover an assignment. The alternates include Makai W. Colvin (9) from Santa Fe, NM, Raven Devanney (13) from Boulder, CO, and Phoenix Diller (15) from Lafayette, CO. 

The celebrity panel of jurors included Us Weekly film critic Thelma Adams; actress Brittany Curran (Go Figure, "Men of A Certain Age"); E! Film Critic and "Good Morning America" contributor Ben Lyons; actress Kay Panabaker (Fame, "No Ordinary Family"); Emmy Award® winning entertainment reporter George Pennacchio (ABC7 Los Angeles); and Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award winning actress Jane Seymour (The Velveteen Rabbit, "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"). 

To enter, applicants were asked to submit both a written and videotaped review of one or more of the seven official KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search titles: Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Furry Vengeance, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Secret of Moonacre, Jumping for Joy, and The Velveteen Rabbit, which are available for purchase at Toys"R"Us stores,,, and most places where DVDs are sold. The Velveteen Rabbit can also be viewed on the Starz Kids & Family Channel.

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Founded in 1991, KIDS FIRST! is a program of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media, a national, nonprofit organization, whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children's media. A voluntary collaboration comprised of more than 100,000 media professionals, lobbyists, policymakers, child advocates, educators, parents and families nationwide, the Coalition aims to teach children to become critical media users, help adults recognize the importance of teaching critical viewing skills to children, help children identify and be aware of outstanding media programming, and develop programs for children with special needs such as low-income, hospitalized or at-risk children.

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