PR Newswire

New York City's First Boot Camp for Young Film Critics Makes it to Prime Time

Friday, Aug 26, 2016

BROOKLYN, N.Y., Aug. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- For the second consecutive year, the HITN-TV / KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp has graduated another class of future movie critics. And in the coming months, many of these new graduates will start critiquing major motion pictures - but they'll have to finish their homework first since these up-and-coming film reviewers are all school-aged!


In early August, a group of young participants were invited to the studios of HITN-TV - which are located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard - to develop critical thinking skills, learn the art of writing and videotaping their film reviews and practice on-camera interview skills. Once the young participants complete the weeklong camp, they have the opportunity to join the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics team. This group of national youth reporters attend press screenings, interview talent on the red carpet, and review new film releases rated PG-13 and younger. These young film critics - ages 8 to 18 - and their reviews are seen, read or listened to by more than 7 million people every month.

The weeklong camp is designed and administered by Ranny Levy, founder of KIDS FIRST! and developer of the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics program. Many of this years' campers were awarded a scholarship by HITN-TV to cover the full cost participating in the camp. At the completion of the Boot Camp, participants have developed their critical writing skills, learned advanced communications skills and explored media as a career option. The Film Critics Boot Camp is a first of its kind in New York City and is the result of partnership between HITN-TV and KIDS FIRST!.

After a successful inaugural year, the HITN-TV / KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp added a second weeklong camp designed for youth who have already participated as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic or have extensive media experience. As part of the camp activities, the students meet with special guests from the entertainment industry including actors, film critics and producers. This year Sandy Kenyon, the venerable Entertainment Reporter and movie critic for ABC Eyewitness News in New York City visited the camp. Mr. Kenyon spoke to the group about entertainment reporting and offered tips such as the importance of not becoming friends with famous celebrities since that makes its harder to later critique their role in a film. Mr. Kenyon also graciously invited the group to tour ABC Studios in Manhattan and appear on-air as guest film critics the same day he reviewed the amazing reboot of Disney's cherished family film, Pete's Dragon.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp is a project of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media, a national, nonprofit (501-c-3) organization founded in 1991 whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children's media. For more information, visit

HITN-TV provides educational programming in Spanish in the United States, reaching more than 40 million households in key Hispanic markets across the country. HITN-TV is distributed in the US and Puerto Rico on DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse TV, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast, Charter, Cablevision and Mediacom, and in other markets on Time Warner Cable. For more information, visit

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