The Butler and the Ball has been selected by the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. As a result, The Butler and the Ball will be made available to more than 50 venues affiliated with KIDS FIRST! including established film festivals, museums, film societies, and other similar venues. The listing on the KIDS FIRST! website for The Butler and the Ball can be found here.

Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, write, “This is a completely charming short film produced by an 8-year-old boy. The Butler and the Ball follows a young, lonely boy that enters a contest to become the butler of a lonely artist. Ashton, the young boy, is a believable character. He is played by Andrew Chan-Possemato, an eight-year-old, who is also the writer and director. Ashton is self-reliant, lives in New York City and, it is fun to watch him navigate life on his own.

“The story is a wonderful fantasy. Ashton’s ability to navigate the city on his own is only surpassed when he travels to Africa on his own. Obviously, that’s a fantasy, but it’s a good one and well executed. I have to say that my heart goes out to this young boy whose mom leaves him a note saying she is out speed-dating and to grab dinner for himself. We never see the mom’s presence at any time. Fortunately, this kids seems to have his wits about him. However, some viewers might be concerned about the lack of safety here in this whimsical tale. So, be forewarned.

“This film is very well produced. The story flows very well from scene to scene. It is well shot, with excellent lighting in the various locations. The audio is very clear. I have seen a lot of adult productions that are not half as well produced. I enjoyed the camera work, especially the close-ups where you can see the emotion on people’s faces. The sets and locations are excellent. The mansion where Bob Chan lives is beautiful on the outside although the interior shots are somewhat underwhelming. The film footage in Africa is a fun addition; especially the shots with the hippopotamus. I like the sound effects, especially the sounds of Snickers at the beginning and the hippo sounds. I liked seeing the ball travel from the city to Africa. Andrew Chan-Possemato’s performance is really quite good and believable. For a first time filmmaker, I’m impressed.

“The message of this film is about finding a way to overcome loneliness and make connections. I give this sweet short film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12.”

The Butler and the Ball is directed by eight-year-old Andrew Chan-Possemato, who wrote and produced it with Albert.

The KIDS FIRST! program is an initiative of The Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, 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.