New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival Announces 2016 Jury




NEW YORK (January 20, 2016) – The critically acclaimed New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival has announced its 2016 jury and slate preview for the upcoming event, which runs February 26-March 20 at New York’s Bow Tie Chelsea, DGA Theater, IFC Center, Museum of the Moving Image, Scandinavia House, SVA Theatre, and Village East Cinemas. Now in its 19th year, the Festival is the nation’s largest for children and teens and will present all new animated, live action, documentary and experimental shorts and features from approximately 30 countries. The complete festival lineup will be announced on January 26 and tickets for the festival will go on sale at

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My Likes And Dislikes Of My New York City Trip


It has been a few days since I returned from an amazing trip to New York City. I was there on a media trip to cover an event put on by Swiffer.

But for the most part, my time in The Big Apple was free time. That meant sight seeing, eating, walking, experiencing and having a blast. I did as much as possible for one guy to do in the time I had. I walked over 50 kms while I was there. I went as high as Central Park, as low as Ground Zero and hit the water on the east and west side.

Being on foot in a city like New York is a must. It allows you to get your bearings. It gives you a real sense of where everything is located. I had little problem figuring out the streets and where I was going. I admit I used my Google Maps a few times, but for the most part, I did a great job of just figuring it out on my own. Plus it is always fun just to explore without a destination.

I saw a lot of cool things. I witnessed New Yorkers doing their thing. I had to deal with some very annoying trends.

Here are five things I liked and disliked about my first time in New York City.

New York Likes

  1. Stoops. It was one of the first things I noticed as I was driven to my hotel. The stoops that are so common in TV shows and movies. Rows and rows of Brownstones, each with a stoop that I could picture myself sitting on in the summer.
  2. The Energy. No matter where you went, it was electric. The pace was fast, people had a purpose and it was fun to join the masses. I am a fast walker, so I fit right in.
  3. Central Park. I have always bragged about how much I love High Park in Toronto. But walking into Central Park was like nothing I have ever seen. Surrounded by the city on all sides, but sitting in a relaxed green space was quite special. I can’t wait to take the boys there one day.
  4. The bridges. Flying in, it was so cool to see all the bridges. I miss Halifax for this reason. The Brooklyn Bridge looks as cool as it does on TV. It was also a bonus to go over one on the car ride back to the airport.
  5. Pizza. It was my mission to have some classic New York pizza. I had two amazing slices on my last day. The crust was perfect, the sauce was clearly homemade and the atmosphere in the pizza shop was everything I dreamed it would be.

New York Dislikes

  1. Selfie Sticks. Can we rid the planet of these things now? I was blown away by how many people were waving these things around. They were sold of street corners. They were close to hitting people at major landmarks, they are destined to fill Value Village for years to come.
  2. Extra Height. I went up the Empire State Building. I paid to hit the 86th floor like everyone else. But I fell for the extra cost of going to the 120th floor. It was not worth it for photographs as you are enclosed with dirty glass. Save the 20 bucks.
  3. My Hotel. It was in a great location, but it was not my thing. The Ace Hotel catered to young and hip kids, mostly dudes. It was a hipster, male dorm with free wi-fi and way too many groomed beards. The bed was short, the shower was tiny and there was zero natural light.
  4. Data shortage. I got killed on my data even though I was using #RoamLikeHome from Rogers. Not your fault New York, but it was a definite dislike.
  5. My Stomach. It was not big enough. I want to go back with the metabolism I had at 18. Too many times I got full and had to tap out. I had some amazing BBQ, burgers, fried chicken, fancy food and pizza. I still feel full.

Photo Gallery

Escape To New York


Unlike Kurt Russell, I was escaping to New York. A little break from the daily grind of parenting. After three days it was time to escape back. I had to. I had to get back to my family after 72 hours in the greatest city in the world. I can say that now, since I have had a taste.

New York City was everything I thought it would be. The sites, the sounds, the smells and the tastes. I can’t believe I got to go on my own and do what I wanted, when I wanted. I will forever remember it.

There will be more detailed stories and posts to come but I wanted to start the train even though I am very tired, very full and trying to get back into routine.

Seeing the boys this morning despite one covered with marker and the other covered in snot, was the best. They were happy to see me, but not overjoyed. I liked that. I liked that I can go away and they live on. I know they missed me. I missed them. But it makes it so much easier when not being present does not alter moods.

I also got to see my partner in crime. Seeing my wife up late, looking like she had gone 12 rounds, was the perfect end to my three days of travelling. Her support and help after all, made it possible for me to go. She wins this, although I did not actually buy it for her.


I am looking through photos, sending messages to those I met and reliving it all in my head. New York is so alive. So many different people. It made Toronto seem small. Even walking the boys to school today, everything felt slow. Like the city was dragging. Then I realized nothing had changed. I was just used to the hyper-speed of NYC.

My belly and legs are recovering. According to my phone I walked around 50 kms in NYC.

My feet took me to Ground Zero, up the Empire State Building, down Bleecker Street, up Madison Ave and all over Central Park. By the time I was done, I knew my way around.

I tried the best BBQ, the best pizza and the best hot dogs.

I heard drivers yell at pedestrians and pedestrians shame drivers stuck in intersections. New Yorkers don’t put up with shit. They will walk over you if you are trying to email and stroll at the same time.

I saw more selfie sticks than I needed to and more British people bitching about the number of Starbucks.

It was a trip for the ages. I can’t wait to go back with the family.

So stay tuned for more stories, for details on why I was there in the first place and of course more photos.

I did not even go into how “hipster” my hotel was. Roncesvalles, you have a long way to go.