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The BEST OF 2021 90-Second Newbery Film Festival: Online Screening!

April 14, 2021

It’s hard to believe, but this is the TENTH YEAR of our 90-Second Newbery Film Festival!

It’s an annual video contest I founded in which kid filmmakers create short movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery-winning books in about ninety seconds. Every year we put on big live screenings at libraries and theaters in fourteen cities around the country. We can’t do in-person screenings this year, obviously, but you can click on these links to see the virtual screenings we did this year for New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Tacoma, Boulder, and Assorted Cities.

This year, I decided also to put on a special virtual screening for twelve of the best 90-Second Newbery movies we received for 2021. It was very difficult to pick just twelve. You can watch it above!

The screening is hosted by me and Keir Graff (author of The Tiny Mansion and many other great kids’ books). In it, we share the best 2021 90-Second Newbery videos from all over the country—created by young filmmakers from New York to Washington, from Wisconsin to Texas, and Oklahoma, Utah, Tennessee, and Illinois!

The show opens with a brief skit that investigates the MYSTERIOUS FATES of previous participants in the 90-Second Newbery over the past ten years. And of course there is a ludicrous and embarrassing musical number. (Special thanks to guest star Freya Trefonides, who played Meg Murry in the A Wrinkle in Time movie that was the very first 90-Second Newbery ten years ago. Here’s a post I did about her way back in 2009! And while you’re at it, go ahead and buy some of her cool art here.)

Want to learn more about the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival? Visit our official website at The deadline for submitting movies for next year is January 14, 2022.

Thank you to all the young filmmakers for their fantastic movies. Thanks also to the families, teachers, and librarians who assisted them! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the video above.

Here’s the program order:

1. My Father’s Dragon (Ruth Gannett, 1949 Honor Book) by Lily Manning, Chicago, IL

2. The Westing Game (Ellen Raskin, 1979 Medal Winner) by the 11th and 12th Grade Language Arts Class of the Compass Homeschool Initiative, Tulsa, OK

3. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White, 1953 Honor Book) by Galileo Elizarraraz of the Advanced Learning Academy, San Antonio, TX

4. Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Paterson, 1978 Medal Winner) by Mary, Brynlee, Everett, Zane, and Audrey of Orem Elementary, Orem, UT

5. Millions of Cats (Wanda Gag, 1929 Honor Book) by Eian-Gabriel Sinclair, Rochester, NY

6. Hatchet (Gary Paulsen, 1988 Honor Book) by Stella Barry of Summit Trail Middle School, Maple Valley, WA

7. Hatchet (Gary Paulsen, 1988 Honor Book) by Allie Said of Gladeville Middle School, Mt. Juliet, TN

8. The Dark Frigate (Charles Hawes, 1924 Medal Winner) by Jillian Parrino, Albertson, NY

9. Lincoln: A Photobiography (Russell Freedman, 1988 Medal Winner) by Juarez Elizarraraz of the Advanced Learning Academy, San Antonio TX

10. The Giver (Lois Lowry, 1994 Medal Winner) by Maya Schneider, Green Bay, WI

11. New Kid (Jerry Craft, 2020 Medal Winner) by Cedric Ranon and Ethan Machaya of Lincoln Hall Middle School, Lincolnwood, IL

12. A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle, 1963 Medal Winner) by Riley Levine, Highland Park, IL

Thanks so much for your movies! I hope you make movies for next year, too.

P.S. Do you want to support the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, so we can keep this crazy show going every year, coast to coast? Please make a tax-deductible donation to the 90-Second Newbery here so we can keep bringing this program to everyone across the country for yet another ten years! The 90-Second Newbery is under the nonprofit fiscal sponsorship of Fractured Atlas.