New output firm to put Kids First!

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Maitland Primrose Film Distribution is partnering with the Coalition for Quality Children's Media to create Kids First! Moving Pictures, a theatrical and DVD division set to acquire and release children's films throughout North America.

The new label will release several of the films recommended by Kids First!, the coalition-owned organization that gives film endorsements for kids in discrete age brackets from 2-18. KFMP will also acquire some projects from the traveling Kids First! Film Festival, which partners with more than 100 different venues to host the nationwide event, along with other features not connected with the fest.

There will be several cross-promotional initiatives involving the various labels. Moving Pictures Magazine, which is owned and operated by MPFD parent company Maitland Primrose Group, will review many Kids First! titles throughout the year. MPG will also sponsor an award within the Kids First! Best Awards Celebration.

Later this year, MPG will introduce the monthly Kids First! Saturday Matinee at select theaters across the country. Short films and features will be shown to help create awareness of upcoming theatrical and DVD releases. Films released under the new label will be branded with "Kids First! Presents" or "Kids First! Moving Pictures Presents."

The first KFMP release is Jane Beaumont Hall's adventure film "The Tillamook Treasure," which will receive a platform release throughout the fall. The film, featured in the Kids First! fest, tells the story of teenage sleuth who searches for a legendary treasure buried in the mountains of Tillamook, Ore.

"This new partnership provides a tremendous opportunity for our company as we align ourselves with quality films and organizations that are focused on making a difference. Kids First! and (CQCM founder and president) Ranny Levy are pioneers in movies for children of all ages," MPG president Margaret Tritch said. "We are pleased to lend our experience and expertise to help increase the visibility and availability of quality children's media as Kids First! joins our film distribution arm."

"Margaret Tritch's commitment to quality media for children and families resonates with ours, both coming from a deep commitment to the potential of positive social change through media," Levy said. "What a great way to positively impact the future."

Kids First! rates and endorses children's feature films, videos, audio CDs and television programs using volunteer, community-based juries c omposed of child development professionals, teachers, policy makers and a diverse collection of parents.

MPG's Moving Pictures Magazine recently signed a deal with AOL to provide the company with film content across its online network. MPG and the publication are headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., with branch offices in Santa Monica, Calif. and New York.
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