New York International Film Festival is online!


A pandemic silver lining means that we can all attend film festivals from home. The New York International Film Festival starts on March 5 and looks terrific.

Common Sense has partnered with the New York International Children’s Film Festival and the fun starts tomorrow. The event was written up in the New York Times today – read that here – and the festival provides a nice opportunity to explore a world of great content together with the family.

This festival runs from March 5-14 and has many options; attached is a flyer with a schedule, but I advise exploring the website as you make decisions.

Attending a film festival requires an explorer’s mentality, where unknowing is part of the pleasure. Most of the shorts are from other countries, and I recommend sitting down and watching several at once; that’s the best way to enjoy the diversity of perspectives and different modes of storytelling.

I am particularly interested in the opening and closing night programming: 

3/5  City of Ghosts – The first episode of a new animated TV show for kids from Netflix that explores different neighborhoods in LA through… ghosts!

Here is where you can watch City of Ghosts on Netflix.

3/12 Raya and the Last Dragon – A much anticipated full length animated feature.

And, here are two newly-added events: one which we are co-sponsoring, and the other which is all about technology in our lives.


Special Event Q&A

March 11, 1pm

Directed by Lena Khan and based on the Newbery Award-winning book by Kate DiCamillo, Flora & Ulysses is a superhero movie for the whole family! Watch the film on Disney+ then join us March 11th for this special Q&A.

In partnership with Disney+ and Common Sense Media The Flora & Ulysses Q&A is a free event and is open to all! Feel free to share the event with any teachers and schools you think will be interested in attending. You can find more information here:



Special Sneak Peek of Footage and Q&A

March 14, 5pm

Produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse) and directed by Michael Rianda, The Mitchells vs. The Machines is an original animated comedy from Sony Pictures Animation and Netflix about an everyday family’s struggle to relate while technology rises up around the world! When Katie Mitchell (voiced by Abbi Jacobson), a creative outsider, is accepted into the film school of her dreams, her plans to meet “her people” at college are upended when her nature-loving dad Rick (voiced by Danny McBride) determines the whole family should drive Katie to school together and bond as a family one last time. Join us for this very special sneak peek of footage and behind the scenes Q&A. Presented in partnership with Netflix.