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The Order of Oddfish

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90-Second Newbery in New York City

December 3, 2012

Thank you, New York City for a fantastic screening of the second annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival! Special thanks to Jon Scieszka for co-hosting, to Kate DiCamillo (A Tale of Despereaux), Margi Preus (Heart of a Samurai), and Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer) for being my special Newbery-winning guests, to Brian Floca (Moonshot, etc.) and Dan Yaccarino (Lawn to Lawn, etc.) for being my author/illustrator guests, and of course to all the kids who made the great videos! (And thanks to all the folks who came; it looked like we have 600-700 people!) And of course, thanks to Symphony Space for being a great venue:

And here are all my special guests (missing me, for some reason, and Dan Yaccarino):

From the left, that’s Jon Scieszka, Margi Preus, Brian Floca, Kate DiCamillo, and Rita Williams-Garcia.

We kicked off the film festival with Jon Scieszka and me singing the 90-Second Newbery theme song, in which I accuse him (and the audience) of not having read any Newbery winning books at all. We absolutely kill it! By which I mean, we gruesomely murder the tune and ruthlessly assassinate any sense of rhythm:

One of the highlights of the afternoon was when I got Scieszka to arm-wrestle special guest Kate DiCamillo, to settle at long-standing grudge (look at the guns on Scieszka!):

And yes, that is an Over The Top movie poster I’ve altered for the proceedings:

DiCamillo won, of course. Handily.

Many of the young filmmakers came to the screening, of course. Here’s a hands-down favorite of many who attended, a one-man-show version of The Giver by Leo Lion of Brooklyn:

We also got Quinn Harrelson to come all the way from Miami Beach, Florida . . . he’s the mastermind behind this wonderful Claymation version of Mr. Popper’s Penguins:

And let’s not forget Madison Ross’ brilliant take on Carl Hiaasen’s Hoot—done in the style of a Godzilla movie, ridiculous dubbing and all:

There were various diversions in between the films. It’s the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott next year, so we did a “75-Second Caldecott,” in which I set author-illustrators Brian Floca and Dan Yaccarino against the Newbery-winning special guests to illustrate the covers of obscure Caldecott winners in 75 seconds or less, given only the title. (Sorry, I lost all the pictures from that, though!)

Though I do have a picture of the epic dance-battle between Jon Scieszka and Rita Williams-Garcia that wound up the night:

Thanks again to all the filmmakers and everyone who helped out! Here’s a montage we ran at the end of the night, showing great moments from all the films screened that day. It was a marvelous time! (Music by Mark Greenberg of Mayfair Workshop.)

Can’t wait to see what videos I get for the film festival next year!