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.

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 considered.

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. ie.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
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    Joe Chang

    It's a great film festival, I love it very much!

    August 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Joe, and we love you an your films. We appreciate your kind comments.

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    Cynthia Pepper

    They are an awesome organization!

    April 2017
    Response from festival:

    Awe, thanks Cynthia. You are one of our favorite filmmakers. Love your work!

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    Mads Johan Ƙgaard

    Absolutely an essential festival, especially if you want to reach younger audience! On top of that give you amazing feedback, and huge opportunities to be screened in more festivals. One of the best choices we have done in regards to film festivals! A must summit! ;)

    March 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Mads, we love you and your work too! Thanks for your kind comments.

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    Jeff Rudkin

    Overall good experience. The do a good job of promoting the films.

    March 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Jeffrey, You are the bomb. There is no one else in this country who holds a candle to the program you have created for middle school kids interested in making films. You are just amazingzing as my youth film critics would say.

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    hasan najmabadi

    This fesival is Great .....

    January 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Hasan for your kind words. We appreciate that. And, we love you and your work.