Horror Movies and Kids: A Scary Combination — Betsy Bozdech, Brandy McDonnell, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow and Liz Whittemore comment

Research shows that, on average, kids see horror movies as young as 7 years old. And we’ve all noticed members of the PG crowd at decidedly R-rated movies — in fact, when my daughter was in the second grade, she had multiple classmates who’d seen “It.” And that’s a problem. While research indicates that media violence doesn’t directly make kids who are exposed to it more aggressive, some studies do suggest that, combined with other risk factors — including things like substance abuse and conflict at home — media violence can contribute to violent behavior.

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Bentonville FF: Karen Day on BAMBOO AND BARBED WIRE -Betsy Bozdech interviews

Karen Day has done everything from war-zone reporting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda, and more to co-authoring a book (Seal: The Unspoken Sacrifice) to raising four children. She turned her attention to feature filmmaking with 2014’s Girl from God’s Country — a documentary about pioneering female filmmaker Nell Shipman. Now, with Bamboo and Barbed Wire, she explores the parallels between Japanese American internment during World War II and our current political climate and attitude toward refugees

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Bentonville FF – Ani Simon-Kennedy and Kishori Rajan on THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD – Betsy Bozdech interviews

Director Ani Simon-Kennedy — a veteran of commercial shoots and socially conscious projects — screened her second narrative feature, The Short History of the Long Road, at this year’s Bentonville Film Festival after premiering it at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. She has received support from the Sundance Institute, The Tribeca Film Institute, IFP, Film Independent, Chanel and AT&T. Accompanied by producer Kishori Rajan, Simon-Kennedy — who’s based in New York, where she and her producing partner Caitlin Yatsko run Bicephaly Pictures — talked to AWFJ about her film, a road movie starring Sabrina Carpenter and Danny Trejo, and female filmmakers.

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Bentonville FF: Amy Goldstein and Anouchka van Riel on KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL- Betsy Bozdech interviews

Since graduating from NYU film school, Amy Goldstein has directed everything from music videos to critically acclaimed shorts , award-winning features, a hip-hop musical and more. After making 2014’s The Hooping Life, she began documenting the life of British rocker Kate Nash, who shot to fame in the MySpace era and now co-stars on Netflix’s GLOW. Joined by producer Anouchka van Riel, Goldstein sat down to talk about the frank, endearing, music-filled documentary, Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl Read more

Bentonville FF: Linda Goldstein Knowlton on WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS – Betsy Bozdech interviews

An experienced, Emmy-nominated director and producer Linda Goldstein Knowlton attended the 5th annual Bentonville Film Festival this year for her latest documentary, We Are the Radical Monarchs. The uplifting, fist-pumping story of a new kind of scouting troop for young girls, the film underlines the importance of inclusion, representation, and activism in today’s world.

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Bentonville FF: Dawn Valadez on THE PUSHOUTS – Betsy Bozdech interviews

As both a filmmaker and a social worker, Dawn Valadez has spent her career focusing on the experiences of young people of color. Those experiences are front and center in The Pushouts, which looks at how the system fails so many at-risk kids — but celebrates the mentors and decisions that can help disrupt the cycle. Valadez, who co-directed and produced the film was at the 5th annual Bentonville Film Festival to screen The Pushouts and talk about its mission of social justice.

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Bentonville FF: Amber McGinnis on INTERNATIONAL FALLS – Betsy Bozdech interviews

Amber McGinnis’ feature film directing debut is International Falls, which stars Rachael Harris as a dissatisfied Minnesota woman who finds her way to stand-up comedy. The film is part of the line-up at this year’s Bentonville Film Festival, which McGinnis is attending with her 3-month-old daughter.

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Bentonville FF: Rebecca Stern on WELL GROOMED – Betsy Bozdech interviews

Rebecca Stern makes her feature directing debut with Well Groomed at the 5th annual Bentonville Film Festival. Chronicling a year in the life of competitive dog groomers, the upbeat film is a joyous romp through a world you might have not seen before. And it’s really about dogs and passion and art and enjoying oneself in hobbies and your environment. It’s sure to appeal to both canine lovers and fans of quirky subcultures.

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Common Sense Media Scores Kids’ Movies’ For Kindness – Betsy Bozdech reports

Raising a kind kid takes a lot more than showing them good movies, but the films Common Sense Media has selected can spark conversations about kindness and why it’s important. From learning to appreciate differences to seeing the importance of friendship, acceptance, and tolerance, these movies might help inspire random acts of kindness in your kids.

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Horror Movies and Kids: A Scary Combination — Betsy Bozdech, Brandy McDonnell, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow and Liz Whittemore comment

It’s not realistic to expect that we can shield kids from scary or gory content forever. And, in fact, it can be counterproductive to prevent children from seeing any kind of conflict, loss, or trauma on screen. Far better to use these moments, when they come, as opportunities to help them through hard stuff in a safe place. Continue reading…

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