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All-Access Passes Now Available for June 13-20 Virtual Event

CHEVY CHASE, MD – Wednesday, June 8, 2022 – The DADvocacy Consulting Group's (DCG) Daddy Appleseed Fund (DAF) and KIDS FIRST! announced today the student and independent filmmaker finalists for the inaugural KIDS FIRST! Daddying Film Festival (KFDFF). The virtual KFDFF begins Monday, June 13, and runs through Father’s Day weekend. FREE all-access Festival passes are available now at KFDFF’s Eventive site:


Student and independent finalists were selected by a panel of experts in the entertainment industry, arts, and academia from KFDFF submissions spanning 17 countries! Here are the 2022 KFDFF Award finalists:


Elementary School (1st-4th grade) students


  1. My Dad Anthony Fleg by Shandíín E Fleg, age 7

  2. Wicked Witch by Virginia Adams, 10


Middle School (5th-8th grade) students


  1. A Letter to My Dad by Brock Brenner, age 11

  2. I Scream by Marino, 13, San Domenico School Film program

  3. P.S. I Love You by Kaari Sholeen Tabor, 13

  4. He Teaches Me by Bah’Hozhooni N. Fleg, 11

  5. The Good Dad by Felice, 14, San Domenico School Film program


High School (9th-12th grade) students


  1. Hey Dad, It's Me by Leela Malladi, age 18

  2. Walk With Me by Yohan Hong, 17, and Joaquin Foster, 16, San Domenico School Film program

  3. Delhi Days by Eshaan Mani, 16


College Undergraduate students


  1. PATER et FILIO by Pablo De Estrada, age 28

  2. My Father’s Son by Kyle Davison, 24


Independent/Non-Student Filmmakers (eligible for “Best Film” and “Best Short Film” Awards)


  1. Red Balloon by Avi Federgreen, Canada

  2. My Other Son (Mi Otro Hijo) by Gustavo Alonso, Argentina

  3. Dad for Hire by Aaron Scully, Australia

  4. Jack and the Treehouse by Jim Schneider, USA

  5. How the Titanic Became My Lifeboat by Bjarney Ludviksdottir, Iceland

  6. Rainbow Stories – Peter, Mark, James and Einstein by Adam Bailey, United Kingdom

  7. Make It Count by Romeo Jennison, USA

  8. Christmas Summer by Ignacio Borderes, Argentina

  9. Baggage by Einat Keshet, Israel

Our 2022 KFDFF VIP Judging Panelists:


  1. Alysia Reiner, award-winning stage and screen actress, producer, mother, humanitarian, and outspoken environmentalist. Just this week, Alysia officially joined the Marvel-verse as Agent Sadie Deever on the new Disney+ series Ms. Marvel. Prior to this big news, Alysia was best known for playing Natalie “Fig” Figueroa in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the ensemble cast. She’s often still recognized as Christine, Thomas Hayden Church’s fiancée/bride in the Oscar-winning film “Sideways,” for which she won another ensemble SAG Award. Her many other TV roles include Blue Bloods, The Sopranos, 30 Rock, Law & Order, and The Starter Wife. “Speed Grieving,” the award-winning short film Alysia created and starred in, screened at more than a dozen festivals, and is now used as a grief counseling tool in every Cancer Support Community center in the country.

  2. David Alan Basche, actor, producer, director best known for the role he played for 5 seasons on the hit TV Land sitcom The Exes. He also starred as Debra Messing's despicable ex-husband in the hit USA Network series The Starter Wife. His other TV credits include recurring roles on Frasier and Rescue Me, as well as guest spots on CSI: Miami, Blue Bloods, Chicago PD, all the Law & Order shows, Ed, Elementary, and As The World Turns. In films, he can be seen calling the title fight for Hugh Jackman in Real Steel, chasing Matt Damon in The Adjustment Bureau, and stealing Tom Cruise’s wife in Spielberg’s War of the Worlds. David portrayed passenger Todd Beamer (famous for his last words of “let’s roll”) in Universal’s Oscar-winning film UNITED 93. With his wife, actress Alysia Reiner, he helped produce the hit feature film "EQUITY," bought by Sony Pictures Classics at the Sundance Film Festival before it even premiered.

  3. Margaret Parsons, film curator who founded the film program at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, where she was Head of Film for more than 30 years. She has served as a board member for major film organizations, including the Robert Flaherty Seminar and Washington Environmental Film Festival, and on the editorial boards for The Moving Image and the Getty Trust’s Program for Art on Film. She has been a judge for a number of international film festivals and her work in film preservation has earned her awards from the governments of France, Czech Republic, Italy, Romania, and Georgia.

  4. Dr. Carol Darcy, a lifelong educator who worked with the World Organization for Early Childhood Education’s US Chapter to organize an annual “film festival” at the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conference until 2016. She is an advocate for appropriate and skillful use of media for young children, families, and teachers, and created the professional development workshop “Being A Pro-Active Media Literacy Advocate.”

  5. Fredda Weiss, film producer and member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 1987, she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Film for producing Love Struck.


Public online voting for KFDFF winners will be open from Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, at 11:59 pm EDT. Awards will be presented to student and indie winners in an online ceremony, Saturday, June 18, at 4 pm EDT.



KFDFF encouraged students, 1st grade through college undergraduates, to express themselves and their perspectives on relationships with their dads or dad figures by creating and submitting 1- to 5-minute short films or videos for FREE with the theme “A Letter to My Father/Father Figure.”


The inaugural KFDFF provides a stage for kids to use film as a vehicle to communicate the importance and impact of fathers/father figures in their lives. KFDFF Awards will be presented to one student winner in each of four grade-level categories – 1st through 4th grades, 5th - 8th, 9th - 12th, and college undergrads – and two independent/non-student winners at a virtual event the Saturday (6/18) before Father’s Day 2022.


All student finalists receive a $250 award for use toward an activity or project to enjoy with their dad/dad figure. Student and indie KFDFF winners will receive an “Atticus,” a trophy that symbolizes Atticus Finch from the film To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the novel by Harper Lee. Finch, an iconic single dad, represents several ideal daddying qualities. Specifically, he is attuned to his children’s feelings and ideas and takes the children as seriously as they take themselves. Along with their Atticus trophy, student winners will also receive an additional $500 award to advance their studies or create a project encouraging positive dad involvement.


Independent, non-student films are eligible to win a “Best Film” or “Best Short Film” Atticus Award trophy. The four student category winners and two “best film” category winners will be selected by public online vote during the Festival.


Judging Criteria

Before films were considered by the VIP judging panel to select finalists, all student and non-student (indie) submissions were screened and evaluated by KIDS FIRST!/DADvocacy Consulting Group youth and adult preliminary jurors. The criteria jurors used to evaluate each film submission are reflected in KFDFF’s mission:


  • To shine a spotlight on the importance of fathers/father figures in their presence and in their absence.

  • To provide an opportunity for children to reflect upon and express their feelings and wishes about what daddying qualities are most important to them.

  • To provide opportunities for emotional authenticity, creativity, and originality.

  • To portray a variety of family dynamics in order to explore and encourage constructive relationships.

  • To demonstrate film- and/or video-making skills and production values.


A copy of the complete KFDFF juror evaluation form can be found HERE.


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The Coalition for Quality Children's Media is a national, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1991, whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children's media. The Coalition's KIDS FIRST! program evaluates, rates, and endorses films, DVDs, audio recordings, TV shows, digital media, apps, screenplays, and games using volunteer, community-based juries of adults and children from diverse backgrounds and offers a variety of means to showcase and enhance consumer awareness of endorsed products. The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics program is a national group of 65+ youth reporters that offer entertainment news For Kids, By Kids. Their written and videotaped reviews and coverage reach as many as 7 million people per release. KIDS FIRST! is supported by major industry leaders, teachers, librarians, media professionals, policymakers, child advocates, parents, and families nationwide. Support comes from national nonprofits, including the National Education Association, REEL Fathers, National Assoc of Elementary School Principals, and the National Council of Women’s Organizations, with a cumulative membership of over 17 million.



The DADvocacy Consulting Group (DCG) acknowledges the vital roles of fathers and mothers alike. Founded in 2017 by Allan Shedlin, DCG’s mission is to enable every father to become the dad he wants to be – for the good of his children and/or grandchildren, his family, his community, and himself. DCG brings together a team of DADvocates from diverse backgrounds – each with more than 20 years experience in the fatherhood field. Shedlin founded the Daddy Appleseed Fund and Daddy Wishes Fund in 2018 and launched the Daddying blog in February 2020 to amplify the voices of a broad diversity of parents and colleagues and to raise awareness and promote the benefits of lifelong dad involvement.


The Daddy Appleseed Fund (DAF) exists to support organizations that use creative means to encourage positive involvement by fathers and father-figures with their children. Created in 2018 as a donor-advised fund at the Greater Washington Community Foundation (GWCF), the DAF is tax-exempt and can receive donations through GWCF. Given its benefactor, DCG founder Allan Shedlin’s long history of hands-on experience working with children, fathers, and families, the DAF is well-aware of the need to support organizations whose idealism, passion, commitment, creativity, and gumption exceed their limited resources. Thus, the DAF seeks out smaller organizations in which its funds will have the greatest impact. The DAF has often approached such organizations with ideas for creating unusual methodologies and programs. It is partial to the arts and to under-served, diverse populations.

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