The KIDS FIRST! Film Festival showcases new and classic children's films, TV programs and DVDs from studios, independent producers and youth producers. KIDS FIRST! partners with more than 50 venues that showcase its selections for their kids and family programming. Please read our festival description carefully and do not submit if anything is unsuitable to you.

This is a great way to spread your promotional budget by submitting once to KIDS FIRST! and reaching 50 festivals by doing so. That does not mean all 50 festivals will play it but it will be offered to all of them for their consideration.

Before you submit: Please read our description below and go to for additional information on how our festival works.

This is critical: Note that KIDS FIRST! film festival partners do not pay licensing fees and the films that are played at their events are offered for FREE to their clients. There is no individual admission charged although there may be an overall festival admission fee.

Please do not submit if you want to receive a licensing fee. It is non-negotiable.

Each KIDS FIRST! venue partner offers their own awards and prizes.

Accepted feature films will get a First Look opportunity for distribution by Engine 15 Media Group and Soundview Media Partners.

Accepted titles must meet or exceed the KIDS FIRST! criteria and be appropriate for exhibition on a large screen.
Criteria include:
NO gratuitous violence or abuse
NO inappropriate sexual behavior
NO bias in terms of race, gender, culture or religion
NO condescension toward children
NO replicable unsafe behavior

Include in your description the age group you film is most suitable for. DO NOT say "all ages"! DO NOT say, "ages 5 to 100"! Be specific. i.e. Ages 5 to 15. If suitable for adults as well, you may add, adults will enjoy too.

Once accepted, a film may not be pulled from the Festival by the filmmaker for any reason. By submitting your film, you are agreeing to comply with this and all other requirements.

By submitting your film, you are warranting that you are authorized to commit the film for screening and accept full responsibility to provide the correct format of your film to our venue partners for festival play.

By submitting this film, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Once we accept your film through filmfreeway, you will receive an automated notification which includes the deliverables we need in order to proceed adding your film to our festival. You will be asked to send us an electronic file of your film if it is a short, of its trailer if a feature. Once received, we will upload your film to our password protected film programmer's site on vimeo. This is not a public site. It is for screening and downloading purposes only by our venue partners. We do not have an online film festival. If this is a problem for you, don't submit your film to us as this is the only way we can promote it to our 50+ venue partners.

Feature films will only have their trailer on our film programmer's site. When one of our partners needs a full length screener, we will contact you directly to request either an electronic file or a hard copy be sent to them. We will also put you in contact with them to provide appropriate promotional materials.

Once your film gets booked by one of our partners, you will receive an update from our database which generates weekly updates on all new bookings. When you see your booking, we strongly recommend that you contact the individual festivals yourself to see in what ways you can be of assistance in promoting your screening and, whether or not you plan to attend the event.

We strongly encourage attending any festival your films is shown at, if logistically possible. Additionally, we strongly suggest that you promote your screening/s to your personal network of friends and family.

Screening times and dates are solely at the discretion of our venue partners so, please communicate with them, not KIDS FIRST! once your film has been accepted.

Overall Rating
  • Kristin Herby

    This was my first film festival. I wasn’t able to attend but I heard it was wonderful.

    October 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Kristin for your kind comments. We are fans of your work also. Stay in touch.

  • I was honored to have my film selected by Kids First! They were very quick to respond to my questions.

    October 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks fro your kind comments David. We appreciate you and your wonderful film. Very happy to have you participate in our festival. KIDS FIRST!

  • Xstine Cook

    Kids First! Always advocating for independent filmmakers and providing truly career changing opportunities. A great festival!

    August 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Xstine. Appreciate your kind comments. Love your work!

  • One of the best film festivals that i have experienced

    June 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Harish for your kind comment. We are found of you and your commitment to quality films for youth and families also.

  • Very impressed with this festival. Thanks, Ranny & co., for diffusing children’s films far and wide!

    May 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Nicola. Appreciate your kind words!
    Ranny and KF team.