While you're spending extra time at home, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get recommendations for streamable films, discussion topics and creative activities in your inbox.

Rec Sign-Up

We'll post the newsletters here on our blog, plus follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

SHORT TAKES - Thursday, September 24th, 2020

In honor of this week’s National Voter Registration Day, we are sharing resources for everyone, big AND small, to be a superperson in this year’s election process.

Did you know that in many states you can be a poll worker even if you’re not yet of voting age? (Here in New York state, you can serve if you’re 17 or older!) Check out Poll Hero for more details wherever you may be; they make doing your civic duty fun by offering points and prizes as you get more and more involved!

And for this week’s film rec, we bring you, Superperson by Philip Watts! Because we all need a superperson (or a few, actually) in our lives right now.


Recommended ages: 7+

Animation, Philip Watts, 2017, 2 min.


A citizen needs rescuing. Luckily, there’s a superhero on hand who just needs somewhere to get into costume…

Talking Points:
– Did anything surprise you about the short film Superperson? If so, why did you find this to be surprising?
– What are some ways that you could be a superperson in your community, even if you don’t have special powers?
– Why do you think the filmmaker might have chosen the title Superperson for this film?

Check out “8 Ways You Can Make a Difference in the Election—Even if You Can’t Vote,” from Common Sense Media!

LONG TAKES - Thursday, September 17th, 2020

We’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a spotlight on Jorge Gutiérrez, NYICFF juror and acclaimed animator! We’ve got recs for kids and grown-ups alike.
For grown-up filmmakers and film fans, join what promises to be a fascinating and lively discussion about creating community and fostering diversity in the animation industry through Friday’s free Netflix panel on Latino Creatives in Animation (Sept 17). Sign up here!
And for kids and families, settle in over the weekend to enjoy Jorge’s 2014 groundbreaking feature film The Book of Life.

The Book of Life

Recommended ages: 7+

US, In English
Animation, Jorge Gutiérrez, 2014, 95 min.



Manolo, torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest challenges.
Plus! Hear Jorge Gutiérrez’s inspiring talk on creativity and the making of the film in this ten-minute Ted Talk titled Every Picture Tells a Story.

Available to rent on Amazon Prime or YouTube.

LONG TAKES - Thursday, September 10th, 2020

We know you’ve been hearing all about the new Mulan remake by director Niki Caro. And we’re here to share the good news that you can stream her classic Girls’ POV film Whale Rider for FREE!
An award-winner that garnered a Best Actress Oscar nomination for young star Keisha Castle-Hughes, Whale Rider is an inspiring and visually stunning film about Maori culture, family, tradition, and both embracing and challenging expectations.

Whale Rider

Recommended ages: 11+

New Zealand, In English
Girls' POV, Live Action, Niki Caro, 2002, 105 min.



Available to stream on Tubi, or to rent on Amazon or iTunes.

In a small village of coastal New Zealand, by tradition only a male heir to the Maori Chief can be named Whale Rider. Pai, at 12 years old, is the only available heir, but the Chief refuses to acknowledge her. Pai must summon both grit and grace in order to claim her destiny.