90-Second Newbery


Get started on your 90-Second Newbery video today!

How to Start:

  • Round up a group of friends and choose a Newbery award-winning or Newbery Honor book to read.
  • Read the book.
  • Check out our Tips & Tricks post.
  • Write a script for a 90-second long retelling of the book.
  • Film your movie. (Be creative! Have fun!)
  • Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and then fill out this form to ENTER THE CONTEST
  • We will contact you before our February 15, 2020, film festival at the Witte Museum to let you know if we will be showing your film, but everyone is welcome to come to the film festival and celebrate! Get a free ticket today!

For handy tips from the creator of the 90-Second Newbery contest, check out 90secondnewbery.com.

The Rules:

  • Films must be student-driven.
  • Films should be about 90 seconds long.
  • Films must be about a Newbery award-winning or Newbery Honor book.
  • No book trailers! No video book reports! We're looking for full-on dramatizations, with mostly child actors, that manage to tell the entire story of the book in 90 seconds.
  • Be creative! Change the genre! Use your imagination!
  • Submit your video by January 10, 2020, using this form.
  • The 90-Second Newbery San Antonio Film Festival will be held at 2pm on Saturday, February 15, 2020, at the Witte Museum's Mays Family Center. Please join us to watch the top video entries!

The Prizes:

  • The top submissions will be chosen to screen at the Mays Family Center on February 15 at 2pm. Get your free tickets today!
  • Prize money will be awarded towards a literacy initiative, school library, or non-profit organization of the winner's choice.
  • Prizes will be awarded in two categories
    • In the Kindergarten through Grade Six category:
      • $250 for third place
      • $500 for second place
      • $750 for first place
    • In the Grade Six through Grade 12 category:
      • $500 for third place
      • $750 for second place
      • $1,000 for first place

We wish you all good luck!



90-Second Newbery San Antonio Film Festival Winners in 2019

Need some inspiration? Check out these amazing films from the 2019 90-Second Newbery San Antonio winners! James Kennedy's also has a collection of some of the best 90-Second Newbery videos of all time on his website

Grand Prize Winner

Adaptation of The Giver by Lois Lowry (1994 Newbery Medal Winner)

Adapted by Ethan Q., Shane C., Conner D., and Miguel E. from Boerne, TX

Second Place Winner

Adaptation of Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman’s (1988 Medal Winner)

Adapted by Alinne and Brenda from the Young Women’s Leadership Academy

Third Place Winner

Adaptation of The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo’s (2004 Newbery Medal Winner)

Adapted by Rome, Andrew, Manuel, Mac, Maddie, and Edrick from St. Anthony Catholic School

Honorable Mentions

This adaptation of Gary Paulsen’s 1988 Honor Book Hatchet by Utopia ISD and this adaptation of Arnold Lobel’s 1973 Honor Book Frog and Toad Together by Galileo of the Advanced Learning Academy. 


Submit Your Video

Finished filming your amazing take on a Newbery Award Winning or Newbery Honor Book? Great! Here's how to submit it to our contest:

STEP ONE: Upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo

STEP TWO: Fill out THIS FORM to let us know who you are and where your video is (in the form, you'll give us the URL of your video)

Questions? Please let us know.


2018 San Antonio Screening Winners

Find even more inspiration from these amazing films from the 2018 90-Second Newbery San Antonio winners! James Kennedy's full article about the San Antonio screening is also available online

First Place

A grand prize of $1500, was awarded to Robert L. Vale Middle School of Northside ISD, for this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2009 Medal Winner The Graveyard Book by Daniel V., Makayla B., Iyannah G., John O., and Gia B. Check it out! 


Second Place

A prize of $750 went to SAISD's Madison Elementary for Vincent B. and Francisco R.’s Lego stop-motion adaptation of Gary Paulsen’s 1988 Honor Book Hatchet. Check it out!


Third Place

Maverick Elementary of SAISD won $500 for this adaptation of Ruth Stiles Gannett’s 1949 Honor Book My Father’s Dragon by Alek C., Derek M., Aiden U., Anthony S., Julianna A., and Sarai C.

Honorable Mention

This movie of Victoria Jamieson’s 2016 Honor Book Roller Girl won an Honorable Mention and $250 for Rhodes Elementary of Northside ISD.


About 90-Second Newbery

The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is an annual video contest in which young filmmakers create short movies that tell the entire story of a Newbery winning (or Newbery Honor) book--all in about a minute and a half!

The Mission

  • Entice students to read and discuss Newbery books (especially older, forgotten titles)
  • Encourage the close reading necessary to write a script that creatively sums up a book in 90 seconds
  • Give students opportunities to use new technologies, such as video equipment and editing software, in a creative way that promotes literacy