NFFTY was the first venue for me to show my films to the public. There aren't many festivals for an 11 year old filmmaker. The early networking, mentoring were vital to my growth and development as an artist. The exposure to so many other young filmmakers work opened me up to different genres and techniques. I think the most important part of NFFTY is the atmosphere of a helpful family. As an 11 year old I got advice and guidance from older filmmakers. Now at 18 younger filmmakers are asking me for advice, while I still learn from and collaborate with my peers and the older filmmakers.
NFFTY is an organisation that truly understands, motivates and encourages young artists. Focused on supporting filmmakers and alumni with opportunities and a network that extends beyond the event, this is a unique community of like minded, honest and passionate people. I first attended the festival in 2013 and was amazed by the pure energy and happy spirit. I was introduced to a number of highly talented creatives from all around the world and continue to collaborate with them even today.
I've seen NFFTY grow from a small one-night event into a 4-day magical experience. Although the mission of the festival is to provide a home and voice for young filmmakers, the impact of the festival is felt throughout the entire community - parents, teachers, and filmmakers alike. NFFTY has helped jumpstart amazing careers but most importantly it has made young filmmakers feel as though they have a home, a powerful voice, and a support system that will always be there.
I've observed NFFTY from the sidelines since the beginning. NFFTY excels at centering the voices of the youth who submit their films, empowering and inspiring them to grow in the process. The festival occupies a rare place in the non-profit world--a wholly youth-centric space where young people flourish, showcase their amazing work, and then mentor the next generation of filmmakers themselves. A truly virtuous cycle.
NFFTY is an inspiring and amazing insight into youthful creativity. As a first time attendee, it was truly wonderful to see the future of film being cultivated and nourished through such a well done event. I can't wait until next year!
As a young filmmaker, I couldn't wait to start my internship with NFFTY. And it didn't disappoint. The entire team took a mentorship role with me. I felt supported and appreciated. And that was just the beginning... I was a part of this rich environment with other young filmmakers who became my friends and collaborators. What NFFTY does to nurture the arts is nothing short of magical.
NFFTY is responsible for the momentum I have experienced thus far in my career as a filmmaker. If it wasn't for the people I met through the festival I would simply not be where I am today. The best program of its kind hands down!
NFFTY has been a huge stepping stone in my journey towards success as a filmmaker in the Seattle community and beyond. Because of NFFTY I have started my career several years earlier than others my age. I have made several invaluable connections from networking at the festival- directors, producers, marketing professionals, and directors of photography; many whom have been huge advocates for my growth. I've learned and become a better filmmaker because of the festival. No joke. NFFTY is praised nationwide as one of the best film festivals in the world, and is the largest youth film festival internationally- really the only festival that both showcases youth talent but also advocates for their success in the industry.
I attended my first festival in 2011 and had a film in the action sports category, sponsored by the likes of xbox, nike, volvo and bing. The showing was sold out; I had the chance to view my film on a true large format screen and it was a thrilling experience any aspiring young filmmaker needs to have under their belt. The nerves, anticipation, sweaty palms and audience questions following the screening were a test of my confidence, but ultimately rewarding. I wouldn't trade that night for anything.
Following that first year, I have had a film in every year of the festival since 2011, and I attended my first masterclass in 2012 with Owen Craft. The skills and on-set experience I learned through NFFTY programs have been incredibly valuable, and like I said earlier, got me my job. I have been employed in a full time starting position at a major production company in Seattle for almost a year now. If a filmmaker plays their cards right, NFFTY can be all they need to become successful in the film industry. I am now on my way upwards- growing every day and closer each day to my goal of working in the camera department. I have connections in LA that I've made through the festival, and hope to transition down to the hub in the next few years.
I know it sounds cheesy pinning my success on a film festival in Seattle, but every filmmaker who has attended will tell you it's an incredibly valuable experience that they wouldn't trade for anything. I could go on for hours about how great NFFTY is, but that is my condensed story. NFFTY is great people, great films, awesome learning opportunities, networking and, could very well be the start of an exciting career in the coolest industry you could work for- film.
They aren't kidding with their tagline...
"Film Starts Here".
I've seen the impact of NFFTY firsthand as a teacher and a mother. As an attendee at their amazing festivals I saw how young filmmakers' lives were changed. Shy, introverted individuals grew over the years to be confident, articulate innovators. The festivals brought young filmmakers from across the globe together to learn, share and grow. These young people make you realize that our future is in good hands. There's nothing like it!
NFFTY changed my life as a young filmmaker when I was 16 and is the gift that has kept on giving. It was so integral to my confidence as a filmmaker to be able to have my work taken seriously and supported and screened at that age. It gave me a reason to keep making things and a group of filmmaking friends that have become my collaborators, co-workers, employers, roommates, pen pals, the list goes on and on. It is the future of the film world.
NFFTY was my first film festival experience while in college and it's an amazing stage for peer review, networking, and early exposure for a young filmmaker. Not only are you able to see your own work, maybe on a big screen for the first time, but you're surrounded by amazing films from others in your age group, experiencing the same professional growing pains as yourself. Top that with great industry speakers and events during the festival itself, and you get NFFTY, which prides itself on being the "Sundance for a young filmmaker" and that statement rings absolutely true.
I have had the pleasure of volunteering my time for NFFTY for the past three years and intend to do so for many more. It's a wonderful film festival that helps to provide a venue and program support for up-and-coming filmmakers. The filmmakers, the team, the volunteers are all tremendous. It's an inspiring four days. :)