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Anisa Raoof accepts a Dorry on behalf of Providence Children's Film Festival

Anisa Raoof accepts a Dorry on behalf of Providence Children's Film Festival

In recognition of the region's "best, most interesting art and culture" The Law and Order Party held its first annual award celebration, the Dorrys, on September 27. Matthew Lawrence's  Law and Order Party: 365 Things To Do In Rhode Island This Year is a website, event calendar, and weekly newsletter that highlights one local cultural event for every day of the year (some suitable for kids, others events are the perfect break from parental duties), in addition to guides and features including "movie lounge" and "restaurant madness". Fun fact: "Law and Order Party" and the "Dorrys" are a throwback to the Rhode Island political party of the 1840's at the time of the Dorr Rebellion, not embracing any affiliation but simply the quirkiness that weaves through the Rhode Island identity.

The Dorry award winners represent the best of local creative forces, from the trailblazers to the enduring in categories of art, books, drama, film, music and performance. We've assembled a handful of noteworthy winners that have been particularly impactful on kids and families in the Ocean State including the non-profit organizations Manton Avenue Project, Providence Children's Film Festival, Girls Rock! Rhode Island, and Everett, working directly with Rhode Island youth to nurture creative expression and skills.

Visit the Law and Order Party: 365 Things To Do In Rhode Island This Year to view the calendar and subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter of artful and interesting Rhode Island happenings to explore.

Brown University and Kidoinfo team up for the return of Summer Movie Nights! Films are family-friendly, free, and open to the public.


BYO-blanket or low chairs for the lawn and Brown will treat you to free popcorn and other treats!

Both events are outdoors at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, 154 Angell Street.  For more information, including weather cancellations, contact or 401-863-3717. Please check the Brown website for rescheduling details

Rhode Islanders cling to the warmer months with such tenacity that even the movies are brought outside. The silver screen meets summer sunsets across the Ocean State, from retro drive-ins to BYO-Blanket venues on the lawn.  So set your toes in the cool grass, smell the salt air, and watch new and classic family films under the stars. Follow the links for schedules and additional information. Many of these film series also keep up-to-date facebook pages and event listings, so keep in the loop for specific times, updates, and inclement weather changes.

A few open-air movie tips:

Summer Movie Nights presented by Brown University and Kidoinfo

Summer Movie Nights presented by Brown University and Kidoinfo, Providence

Summer Movie Nights at Brown University, presented with Kidoinfo
Brown joins Kidoinfo to welcome the community to college for free flicks, popcorn, and treats on the lawn of the Granoff Center for the Arts at 154 Angell St. (Free!)
When: Wednesdays, July 27 at 8:00 (Inside Out) and August 17 at 7:30 PM (The Muppet Movie, 1978)

Movies on the Block, Providence

Movies on the Block, Providence

Movies on the Block, Grant's Block, Providence
Downcity beckons film buffs to Grant's Block on Westminster St. all summer long. Some of the screenings are more suitable for a date night without the kids but family-friendly fare includes Snow White and Superman. (Free!)
When: Thursdays June through September at dusk

Movies on the Rocks, Ballard Park, Newport
If experiencing movie magic cast on a quarry meadow isn't on your bucket list, you must not know about Movies on the Rocks. Seating on the grass. (Free!)
When: Wednesdays at dusk, August 3 (Hotel Transylvania), August 10 (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), August 17 (Dirty Dancing), August 23 (The Karate Kid).

Rocky Point Movies in the Park

Rocky Point Movies in the Park, Warwick

Rocky Point Movies in the Park, Rocky Point Park, Warwick
The beloved amusement park of yesteryear may be gone, but the fun lives on in family films on the grass overlooking Narragansett Bay. Food truck fare available! (Free!)
When: Friday, June 17 (Happy Feet), Thursday, July 14 (Minions), Thursday, July 28 (TBA). Gates open at 5:30.

Movies in the Park, Crescent Park, Riverside
When the carousel calliope quiets and the horses go to rest, the movies take over Crescent Park! (Free!)
When: Sunday June 24 and Fridays July 15, August 19, September 2 at dusk (family film titles TBA).

Movies on the Beach, Narragansett

Movies on the Beach, Narragansett

Movies on the Beach, Narragansett Town Beach, Narragansett
To be captured by a movie while ocean waves crash behind you, head to the North Beach Clubhouse Deck. Food trucks in the North Lot from 6-9PM. (Free!)
When: Wednesdays at dusk, July 13 (Kung Fu Panda), July 20 (E.T.), July 27 (Mission Impossible III), August 3 (Jaws).

Outdoor Movies at Roger Williams Park, Providence
2016 marks the first season of movies at Roger Williams Park! Films will be shown on the lawn adjacent to the Dalrymple Boathouse, across from Carousel Village. $1 popcorn available and showtimes follow Food Truck Friday from 5-8PM. (Free!)
When: Fridays at dusk, June 24 (Moonrise Kingdom), July 29 (TBA) , August 26 (TBA)

Misquamicut Drive-In, Westerly

Misquamicut Drive-In, Westerly

Rustic Tri-Vue Drive-In, North Smithfield For an authentic 1950's experience while catching current double-feature flicks to FM audio "streaming", head to the drive-in, daddy-o! ($27 per carload)
When: April through October, nightly showings on 3 screens

Misquamicut Drive-In, Wuskenau Town Beach, Westerly
As if movies on the beach weren't enough to celebrate, 80's kids rejoice with classic crowd-pleasers like The Goonies, Back to the Future, and The Breakfast Club. Concessions and restrooms available. ($10 per car)
When: Fridays and mid-summer Thursdays, May-August at 9PM, September-October at 8PM. Gates open 1 hour before showtime.

Nathan Bishop Middle School PTO presents the film, SCREENAGERS Growing Up in the Digital Age, a documentary about one of the biggest parenting issues of our time. The screening takes place, Friday, May 20 at 7pm and is open to the community. (Tickets required, see details below.)

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that happening with her own kids and began a quest to uncover how it might impact their development. As with her other two award-winning documentaries on mental health, Ruston takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and also offers solutions on how adults can empower their kids to best navigate the digital world to find balance.

This film brings up some interesting issues - and as a parent of teenagers the digital world is full of challenges but also exciting opportunities for our kids and families. Thinking about my own multi-tasking digital use and how it impacts my life and the example I set for my kids. Looking forward to the conversations that unfold.


Sponosred by Nathan Bishop PTO
Friday, May 20, 2016 @ 7pm
Nathan Bishop Middle School - 101 Sessions Street, Providence, Ri
Tickets: $10 Adults / $6 Students (All funds support Nathan Bishop PTO school programs)
Buy tickets here:

More about the film:

By Megan Fischer, Interim Executive Director, Providence Children’s Museum

Providence Children’s Museum and Providence Children’s Film Festival proudly partner to present the Providence premiere of “The Land” – a powerful 2015 documentary short film about the nature of play and risk – on Thursday, October 22 from 6:30 - 8:00 PM at Providence Children’s Museum (100 South Street in Providence).

The Land title

The film is set in The Land, a Welsh adventure playground where children climb trees, light fires and use hammers and nails. It’s a playspace rooted in the belief that kids are empowered and understand their own capabilities and limits when they learn to manage risks on their own. The film has attracted national attention after being featured in a number of recent articles including “The Overprotected Kid,” a provocative piece in The Atlantic by Hanna Rosin that provides a look at adventure playgrounds and how “a preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery – without making it safer.”


Following the screening, join a lively conversation about the film, adventure play and the benefits of risk to kids’ physical and emotional development. Discuss ways to foster healthy risk-taking in kids’ play, and how to provide kids with opportunities for adventure play with panelists Erin Davis, “The Land” filmmaker; Michele Meek, filmmaker and educator; and Janice O’Donnell, Providence PlayCorps director.

The Land flyerThe screening and conversation are part of Providence Children’s Museum’s commitment to advocate for and raise awareness about the critical importance of self-directed play for children’s healthy growth and development.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited – click here to RSVP.

Click here to learn more about the film.

Also check out these recent articles about adventure play and the importance of risk to children's development:

Brown welcomes the community to campus!

Summer Movie Nights at Brown University
Presented with Kidoinfo. Free. Open to the public.

Movies2.preview-1Join Brown University and Kidoinfo for free, family-friendly movies outdoors.  You bring a blanket to sit on, Brown will provide the popcorn and other treats!

Both events are outdoors at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, 154 Angell Street.  For more information, including weather cancellations, contact or 401-863-3717. Please check the Brown website for rescheduling details.

PCFF_15_horiz3The Providence Children’s Film Festival (PCFF) returns this February for its sixth exciting year, February 12 to 22, showcasing 18 feature films including both a USA and Rhode Island premiere, over 50 shorts from around the world and the 2nd Annual Youth Filmmaker Showcase. Coinciding with the February 2015 School Vacation, the Festival presents the highest quality independent films for ages 3-18, but are sure to appeal to all audiences with compelling stories and worldwide adventures. We have expanded this year’s festival offerings including a variety of film talks and presentations to deepen the movie-watching experience.

PCFF has forged a new community partnership this year with the Providence Public Library/Providence Community Library. Free movie screenings, post-film discussions and workshops will be offered during school vacation week at four libraries in Providence.

a91a0128-0148-472f-bced-ea1d3fe7d2f1This year’s programming is as international as ever and brings to area youth a wide range of storytelling and experiences from around the globe, including France, The Netherlands, China, Brazil, U.K., Sweden, Denmark, Japan, and Germany. The program will also include a wide variety of genres and forms—classic cinema, live action, animation, and documentary—paired with an expanded offering of “Film Talks,” PCFF’s own brand of post-screening discussions that aim to deepen understanding of subject matter and foster critical watching skills.

PCFF is committed to nurturing the work of young “amateur” filmmakers and so is proud to present a juried program of films all made by youth—from here in Rhode Island and around the world—and to provide an opportunity for young filmmakers to talk about both the fun and the challenges they face during the creative process. This exciting screening is designed to encourage talented and committed up-and-coming young filmmakers, and to inspire those who are just thinking about it. This special screening includes a Q&A and discussion with those filmmakers who are able to attend plus a group workshop reel created by students whom attended the PCFF filmmaking workshops.

Visit the 2015 Film Directory for a complete list of films screening at the 2015 Festival.

Avoid sold out shows. Buy tickets online in advance! Enjoy a Film Fanatic discount when you purchase multiple tickets in a single transaction (online purchases only). 20 % off for 10+ tickets and 25 % off for 20+ tickets

4 Providence Venues

Our family are now big fans of Shuttercal – a new way to journal – utilizing today's technology to document everyday life though photos and text. Designed to store one photo per day in a personal online calendar Shuttercal challenges us to reflect on and curate the single photo / story that best represents each day. The bonus add on (and what convinced us to sign up) is to have real prints delivered to your house each month.

Living in a digital world surrounded by so many cool gadgets offers us numerous ways to document our daily lives. The abundance and ease of today's technology does not necessarily make us more creative, rather the volume of photos and video I take on a daily basis can dilute or distract from what is significant. My computer is bursting with media captured with a camera (point and shoot, iPhone, video…) and rarely do these get "printed" to hold and share in real life instead of the rotating slide show on a digital screen. Sharing photos is so easy today with a touch of a few buttons we can easily email first day of school pictures with the grandparents living across the country but at the same time I'm nostalgic for and crave things that feel more personal and tactile and do not always involve my laptop…sitting around the living room with my family listening to albums on the turntable looking at photo albums or reading books or magazines made of paper is a favorite way to spend family time in our house.


My boys learned about Shuttercal this summer while attending their first Providence Geeks Dinner with dad. Not only did they have a blast hanging out at AS220, they liked hearing local entrepreneurs share their business story. How cool is that?

Both boys enjoy using the written word and images to tell stories, and often incorporate technology into their storytelling. They liked how Shuttercal could be used to document their daily life. And after seeing how easy it was to upload a daily photo, add a caption, text, or story they both put a Shuttercal subscription on their holiday wish list.

Although hesitant at first whether they would commit to the daily photo updates, my husband and I decided to take a chance on what seemed like a perfect opportunity for our kids to manage their own web accounts while giving them the freedom to make their own creative choices on how they documented their days. And if they do stick with the project for the year - their box of photos will document their transformation from a preteen to a teenager.


The Shuttercal folks live locally in Providence and asked our family to be in a short commercial. We had a blast getting to know Kim and Scott, the brains behind the company along with their local film crew, Andrew and Andreas. By the end of the session, we felt like old friends. As you can tell from the unscripted commercial, we are huge fans.

We can't wait to see Felix at TIFF Kids 2014For the past two years, Flack and I have taken the long drive up to Toronto, Canada to attend the TIFF Kids film festival to find films for the PCFF. We've seen some incredible films, not to mention the pleasure of reclining in the irresistibly comfy theater chairs, perusing the building's movie bookstore, and just staring in awe at the Bell Lightbox building. This year, we'll be back again and the lineup of films looks as good as ever. We'll hopefully be bringing you written updates all throughout next weekend, starting on Friday and going through Sunday. For now, here are the films we're looking forward to.


A fourteen-year-old boy wants to become a proffesional musician just as his late father was. His mom, however, isn't supportive of this dream. Felix will have to win over his mom, face up to school bullies, and find the aid of his dad's bandmate in order to follow his dreams. This has all the makings of an feel-good family drama.


Pelle, a 12-year-old living in a small Danish town, has a boring, average life. But all it takes is a bite from an ant and he's given superpowers. Pelle must face the villain Flea who is terrorizing his town and in doing so, cope with his new powers and learn the meaning of being different. Enter Antboy. Could be the perfect superhero adventure for younger ones.

Side by Side

The intriguing trailer for this brother-sister runaway film manages to clip together a lot, while still leaving questions unanswered. Equal parts adventure, drama, and coming-of-age story, the film promises to be both exciting and harrowing at the same time.

In addition to these films, we’ll also have access to the “Screening Room”, where we'll be able to choose from a library of DVD’s (from this year's festival) to watch on a computer workstation. It’s one of the many privileges of having Industry Passes.

See you in Toronto!

The gang's all here in Muppets Most Wanted (2014)Muppets Most Wanted, Kermit and friend's latest big-screen adventure, opens with an epic, infectious musical number titled "We're Doing a Sequel". It may be the film's highlight; it's an elaborate, show-stopping sing-along with cameos, comedy, and obscure movie in-jokes abound. "We're doin' a sequel/That's what we do in Hollywood!", sing Kermit and Fozzie Bear. "And everybody knows that the sequel's never quite as good!" Unfortunately, that last line rings true of the film.Dominic Badguy (Rickey Gervais) and Kermit-look-alike Constantine in Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

In 2011, Disney re-united the gang for The Muppets, a sentimental reunion adventure that also starred Jason Segel and Amy Adams, plus Walter, a new Muppet. The film wasn't a monster success but it was an immensely entertaining movie and the perfect way to introduce the Muppets to a new generation. This time around, the reunion plot is out of the way, so the filmmakers could've gone in any direction.

Prison supervisor Nadya (Tina Fey) hires Kermit to run a musical in Muppets Most Wanted (2014)Muppets Most Wanted scraps all of it's predecessor's story lines (and human characters) for an international caper/prison-break musical. The film begins with The Muppets signing Dominic Badguy (Rickey Gervais) as manager for an upcoming world tour. Dominic, who happens to be an evil criminal, quickly takes control from a sad-faced Kermit. Before long, Dominic's amphibian partner Constantine swaps places with Kermit, who ends up in a Siberian prison lead by Nadya (Tina Fey). The rest of the group doesn't notice anything, of course, so it's up to Kermit to escape from prison and prove Dominic and Constantine as criminals.

With top-notch musical numbers, a suitably bizarre plot, and an all-star cast of comedians, the right ingredients are all here (it's a Muppets movie for goodness sake!). But despite some fantastic elements the parts never really come together. Let's start with the major issue: the script. There's simply too much going on as the movie cuts between four plot-lines: Kermit in prison, the Muppets' world tour, Dominic and Constantine's epic heist plans, and a comedic-sub-plot involving an Interpol inspector (Ty Burrell) and CIA detective Sam the Eagle. It's too bad the screenwriters didn't give all these threads enough time to develop. Unfortunately, the whole movie feels like a lesser re-tread of previous Muppets outings.

A cluttered script isn't the film's only problem: The climactic sequence drags, individual Muppets don't have enough to do, some of the jokes fall flat etc.

Interpol inspector Jean Pierre (Ty Burrell) and CIA detective Sam the Eagle in Muppets Most Wanted (2014)Still, there's plenty of reasons to be entertained by Most Wanted. Not all the one-liners works but this is a Muppets movie and there are plenty of moments throughout to keep you laughing. The human cast, while not as interesting as last time, features a truly top-notch roster of comedians. Rickey Gervais, Tina Fey, and Ty Burrell are all wonderful in small, comedic roles (who knew all three could sing!?). The puppeteering here is also pretty phenomenal, as our furry stars manage more elaborate hilarious stunts than ever before.

Like its predecessor, Most Wanted is a full fledged musical (a rarity these days). While not quite as wittily written as The Muppets, the musical number's are still contagiously fun. Songwriter/actor Bret McKenzie's songs draw on 60's girl groups, 70's disco, and classic show tunes to create a pastiche of infectious pop fun.

It's too long, too cluttered, and too unoriginal but Muppets Most Wanted manages to serve up enough bizarre Muppets mayhem to keep you entertained. Director James Bobin keeps the laughs funny, the songs catchy, and the action exciting. I'll take the Muppets over The Lego Movie any day. Waka-waka! is published by Gale Force Communications

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