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The Order of Oddfish

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90-Second Newbery: Thanks, Portland and Tacoma! Next: New York City

March 14, 2014

This is overdue, but THANKS to Tacoma and Portland for fantastic back-to-back 90-Second Newbery Film Festival screenings on March 1 and 2!

The Tacoma Public Library really pulled out all the stops for the March 1 screening, as you can see in their video above. We packed the house! The library actually provided popcorn, rolled out a red carpet with paparazzi for the filmmakers . . . and I kid you not, even crafted custom Oscar-like 90-Second Newbery statuettes for each filmmaker, laser-cut from wood at the library’s Maker Lab!

Here I am with co-presenter Catalyst and co-host “Sir Douglas” (playing the role of “England’s foremost John Newbery expert”), holding those ingenious trophies (which also smelled awesome, like a campfire):

I received lots of great 90-Second Newbery videos from Tacoma because of librarian Sara Sunshine Holloway, who brilliantly integrated 90-Second Newbery moviemaking seminars into the library’s yearlong programming. Thanks, Sara!

Here is Sara (she’s the redhead in sunglasses) with some of the young filmmakers whose movies were shown at the Tacoma screening. (Click here to check out all the 90-Second Newbery movies I received from Tacoma this year!)

We not only had a great screening in Tacoma, but also the next day in Portland! This year we moved the program from the Multnomah County Public Library (thanks for the first two years, fellas!) to the more spacious auditorium at Da Vinci Arts Middle School. The space suited the film festival well! Biologist-turned-writer Amber Keyser proved a game and witty co-host, and many of the Portland filmmakers came onstage, including the folks at Portland Community Media who made this hallucinatory 90-Second Newbery adaptation of William Bowen’s wackadoodle 1922 Honor Book The Old Tobacco Shop: A True Account of What Befell a Little Boy in Search of Adventure.

Here are the perpetrators:

Jacob (whom we’ve featured on the blog before, here and here) even brought up one of the puppets used in the movie, and made it talk, hilariously and sorta terrifyingly:

I stand by my statement: Jacob’s bizarre puppet would’ve made a wonderful third co-host for the rest of the evening. Get him with another puppet, and it could’ve been a kind of Statler-and-Waldorf for Ms. Keyser’s and my hijinks. What has more gravitas that a puppet? To ask the question is to answer it.

The final 90-Second Newbery screening for the season is March 22 in New York City, with co-host Libba Bray! We’ve already “sold out” all 500 seats at the Bartos Forum at the NYPL’s flagship branch, the Stephen A. Schwarzman building. Looking forward to it!