Posted October 18, 2023

JBFC KIDS expanded to every Saturday starting November 2023

The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is proud to announce an exciting expansion of its beloved JBFC Kids series starting November 2023. Every Saturday, the JBFC will transport viewers of all ages into the enchanting world of cinema with carefully curated films, while select screenings will feature free post-screening activities for all ticket buyers. As part of this series expansion, JBFC Kids will offer sensory-friendly screenings on the first Sunday of every month starting January 2024.

JBFC Kids is a longstanding series that brings families together to share the magic of cinema. This diverse program spans decades, continents, and various forms of media, ensuring a rich and engaging experience for all. Moreover, it provides a unique platform for parents and caregivers to introduce their little ones to cherished stories from their own childhoods.


“We are excited to nurture the next generation of passionate theatergoers, and the JBFC Kids expansion is our investment in building future audiences” said Mary Jo Ziesel, JBFC Executive Director. “Our commitment goes beyond entertainment; it’s about cultivating a lifelong appreciation for storytelling, art, and the shared experience of watching films on the big screen. By offering these screenings regularly, we are not only making high-quality family programming more accessible, but also creating lasting memories and traditions for families in our community.”


“When I program this series, I look to incorporate diverse stories, like recent personal favorite Coco, bring back some of my own childhood favorites such as The Last Unicorn, and introduce a new generation of moviegoers to silent classics like Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last, or timeless musicals like Meet Me in St. Louis,” noted Monica Castillo, JBFC Senior Film Programmer. “There’s so much to share from over a century’s worth of film history. I look forward to playing these movies and more for our JBFC Kids audiences.”


Upcoming JBFC Kids programs include: The Last Unicorn, The NeverEnding Story, Anastasia (on 35mm), Meet Me in St. Louis, Frozen Sing-along, Happy Feet, Akeelah and the Bee, and The Princess Bride. Screenings with activities include The Gold Rush, which will be introduced by author Gary Golio (Pleasantville local and author of SMILE – How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)), Soul with a post-screening activity with Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, and Enchanted, which will be followed by an art activity.

The JBFC recently piloted a Sensory Friendly Screening program, and will be bringing it back as a permanent fixture starting in January 2024. Sensory friendly screenings cater to the needs of individuals who may find traditional moviegoing overwhelming by turning up lights, turning down sound, and not playing any trailers or ads before the film. The audience is encouraged to move around, talk, or make noise as needed, creating an accepting and accommodating environment where everyone can feel comfortable and enjoy the moviegoing experience.


As part of our commitment to providing exceptional family entertainment, select JBFC Kids screenings come with special bonuses and complimentary activities that enhance the overall cinematic experience. Past screenings have featured an array of engaging activities, including Lego-building sessions in collaboration with the Legoland Discovery Center following a screening of The Lego Movie, and a stop-motion animation workshop following The Boxtrolls. In another delightful instance, families had the chance to meet live sheep from the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture before a heartwarming screening of Shaun the Sheep Movie.

These post-screening activities serve as a welcoming space for young people and their families to explore, play, and delve into filmmaking techniques and concepts through interactive, hands-on experiences. All JBFC Kids activities are offered free of cost to ticket buyers and are often presented in collaboration with local organizations. Previous partners have included Super Awesome Artland!, Arc Stages, and the Greenburgh Nature Center, to name a few. All JBFC Kids screenings are presented in partnership with the Westchester Library System.


While JBFC Kids is available to the public, the JBFC has offered school-based programs for over twenty years, including “Classroom to Screening Room” which elevates the film-viewing experience with post-screening discussions led by JBFC Educators. The JBFC’s film library features diverse stories from around the world, encouraging cultural understanding and empathy, while the discussions cover film techniques, story structure, character development, and more. This program is free for schools with resource constraints, emphasizing our commitment to equitable education access.

The Jacob Burns Film Center is proud to receive generous support from:

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