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Ossining Kids' Newbery Book Film to be Screened

OSSINING, N.Y .—A three-minute film scripted, acted and produced by Ossining children is slated to be shown at a film festival on Saturday at the main branch of the New York Public Library in Manhattan.

A dozen children ages 10 to 13 met six times over the summer at the Ossining Public Library to produce a film based upon the Newbery award-winning children's book, "The Whipping Boy" by Sid Fleischman.

"They wrote the script themselves and we filmed it using a flip camera and edited it in iMovie," said children's librarian Marci Dressler.

The project started with the library's Newbery group, which invites kids to read and discuss Newbery award-winning books. When Dressler and children's librarian Debbie Fletcher found out that the New York Public Library was inviting children to make 90-second films based upon Newbery books, they decided to ask kids to participate.

"We picked the book and who would play each part, but it was really (the children) who made the film. It was their script," Dressler said.

The film starts with a prince dressed in royal garb and a boy being whipped by a foam tube. The boy being whipped is the "whipping boy" who is whipped for all the bad things that the naughty prince does.

The prince decides to run away with his "whipping boy" and during their adventures, the prince is believed to be the "whipping boy" because of his mischievous character, and the "whipping boy" is mistaken as the prince. In the end, the two return to the palace and become best friends.

"It's a short and funny book. I picked it because I could see the scenes already in my mind," said Fletcher.

The children's film ended up longer than 90 seconds, but that is okay by the NYPL rules, Dressler said.

Children who participated in making the Newbery book-based film were Brian Dockery, Maggie Ford, Elliot Ocheltree, Giancarlo Naranjo, Joshua Haroon, Eric Schmid, Lauren Jones, Brandon Jones, Lucas Slavin, Madison Hennessy, Skyler Jones and Valentina Garcia.

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