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90-Second Newbery 2018: SAN ANTONIO!

February 7, 2018

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The very first screening of this year’s season of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival just happened in San Antonio, on February 3! Above are stills from some of the Texas-made movies we featured.

This is our third year doing the 90-Second Newbery in San Antonio. It’s really taken off! This time we were lucky enough to get to screen it at the Mays Family Center at the Witte Museum. It’s a beautiful space. And check out this huge turnout. About 500 folks came! Thanks so much to the filmmakers for making the movies, and to the audience for supporting the event!

Thanks to organizers Laura Cole and her team at Bibliotech (Bexar County’s Digital Library) and Christa Aldrich and everyone at H-E-B Read 3, HEB Texas Grocery’s literacy program. And particular thanks to Judge Nelson Wolff of Bexar County for supporting the project from the beginning. Laura, Christa, and Judge Wolff all attended the screening, along with the mayor of San Antonio (who got up and made a speech to kick off the show), the sherriff, and other city political dignitaries. I was really honored!

Here are some kid filmmakers hanging out with the sherriff, Judge Wolff, and Mayor Nirenberg. And Laura and Christa, kicking off the program.

I was really delighted with my cohost this year, Katherine Catmull (The Radiant Road and Summer and Bird). She’s not only an author, but a legit actress, and she was able to nail the crazy opening song-and-dance skit (video upcoming) with verve and wit. Thanks so much for lending us your talent and hilariousness, Katherine!

We received many great entries from Texas this year. So many that we couldn’t feature them all at the screening. But here are some of the standout movies, who won CASH PRIZES for their schools thanks to the generosity of H.E.B. Read 3.

This movie of Victoria Jamieson’s 2016 Honor Book Roller Girl won an Honorable Mention and $250 for Rhodes Elementary (full review on 90-Second Newbery blog here):

Third place (and $500) went to this adaptation of Ruth Stiles Gannett’s 1949 Honor Book My Father’s Dragon by Alek C., Derek M., Aiden U., Anthony S., Julianna A., and Sarai C. of Maverick Elementary (full review here). This movie has a fun twist: it’s done in the style of the Minions of Despicable Me!

Second place, and a whopping $750, went to Madison Elementary for Vincent B. and Francisco R.’s Lego stop-motion adaptation of Gary Paulsen’s 1988 Honor Book Hatchet (full review here):

First place, and the grand prize of $1500, was awarded to Robert L. Vale Middle School, Northside ISD, for this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2009 Medal Winner The Graveyard Book (by Daniel V., Makayla B., Iyannah G., John O., and Gia B.), which is done with shadow puppets and sung to the Scooby-Doo theme song! (Full review here.)

I wish I could feature all the Texas-made movies I received in this post, but that would clutter up this already monstrous post! Here are the rest of the Texas-made movies which were featured at the San Antonio screening. Click through to check them out:


My Father’s Dragon by Aubriana V., Nathaniel S., Alejandra D.L., Valerie A., and Bryan T.

My Father’s Dragon by BiblioTech South patrons

Roller Girl by Jude, Isabella, Claire, Mariela, Dhara, Ava, Izara, Julian, and Jude

Doctor DeSoto by Isaac and Matthew

The Wednesday Wars by Milad, Magnus, and Toby

Because of Winn-Dixie by Losoya Intermediate Library/Book Club 6th grade

Holes by Kingsley Onyema Jr. and Gerardo Flores

The Giver by Vincent Lopez

The Graveyard Book by Jessica D., Cira G., Kyndal S., Autumn W.

Holes by Madeline M., Dylan S., Kylie C.

The One and Only Ivan by Anna M and Margaret M.

Last Stop on Market Street by Emma D. / ShadowCreations845

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Savannah

Roller Girl by 5th & 6th Critic’s Club of Trinity Episcopal School of Austin, TX

The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Danielle, McKenzie, Maria, Selena, Ashlynn, Sebastian, and special guest Ms. Tondre

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Elise, Jann, Melissa, Jonesha, Aaleya, Chloe, Olivia, Maleah, Kaylah, and Eva

The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Angelica C., Alexis S., Taylor V., Sarah C., Carlos S., Stephanie B., and Lisa A. of BiblioTech Outreach Group

Walk Two Moons by Noah C. and Ally R. of Alamo Heights High School

Thanks to all the filmmakers, and the teachers and parents and others who helped them! In case you missed it, here’s the closing montage of all the videos we showed at the San Antonio 2018 screening. I’m looking forward to seeing what Texas has in store for next year! The deadline of January 11, 2019 is coming sooner than you think. And we’ve already reserved the same venue for the screening, on February 9, 2019. That’s just a year away! Start working now!

* Some of the pictures in this post by Adam Raymond Peche of SAY SÍ.

Do you like the 90-Second Newbery? Do you want us to continue into next year and beyond? Please consider making a tax-deductible donation. We are under the nonprofit fiscal sponsorship of Fractured Atlas.