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. :)
NFFTY gave me the tools turn film-making from my hobby to my career. Not only was NFFTY an amazing film festival that helped get me recognized in my craft but it created working relationships with filmmakers around the globe and gave me amazing work opportunists. NFFTY gave me opertunities to shoot commercials, travel the world to shoot projects and open millions of doors for me as a filmmaker.
Now at age 24 I am just finishing up my second feature length film and I am collaborating with a composer I met at NFFTY, actors I met at NFFTY and other filmmakers I've gotten to know through NFFTY. I've been involved in a number of not for profit film-making communities but non compare to NFFTY. I hope that it is around for a long time.
I discovered NFFTY as a filmmaker in my final year of eligibility for the festival...and I'm thankful I did. Amidst a sea of national and international film festivals, all with varying degrees of prestige and competitiveness, NFFTY stands out to me as the most encouraging, nurturing festival existing today. NFFTY is a great first platform for the most up-and-coming of filmmakers to feature their work, as they treat new filmmakers with the same professionalism that more senior filmmakers can attest to. Not only that, but it's a great place to truly discover talent before the rest of the world does.
I myself loved the camaraderie between young and old(er) filmmakers alike, and I was pleasantly surprised at the sheer quality of the work exhibited. And beyond that, NFFTY does a wonderful job of reaching far and wide, attracting filmmakers worldwide not only to submit, but to attend as well.
I look forward to seeing NFFTY grow, expand, and influence the youth movement of filmmaking for years to come!
I had the distinct honor of serving on the screening committee for NFFTY this past year, as well as attending the festival offerings and I can tell you that NFFTY is a top-notch film festival. NFFTY seeks to serve and promote the storytellers of tomorrow. This isn't just a film festival, but a great development experience for those seeking to strengthen their filmmaking and storytelling skills. It's a mixture of the best films from emerging filmmakers, panel discussions, workshops and networking opportunities. It is a bright spot in the Seattle film scene with a wide, global reach. I was proud to be a small part of the festival this year and look forward to returning next year.
I am a 15 year old female filmmaker from Ottawa, Ontario. This past year, my film was an official selection at NFFTY 2014. I was thrilled, and knew it would be an amazing experience for me, but didn’t realize just how amazing it would end up being.
Those four days were probably some of the best days of my life. I met and networked with countless amounts filmmakers, both my age and older (some of which I now call my best friends), saw some great films, and just generally had a blast.
NFFTY has allowed me to have experiences I would have never had before, and also given me an extreme boost in confidence on being able to speak in public.
It’s evident to me, and I’m sure many others, that NFFTY is special. There really is nothing else like it, and I stay true to that statement.
I’m looking forward to the next Christmas in April.
I am a female filmmaker from Norway. For me attending The National Film Festival For Talented Youth has single handedly changed my life and encouraged me to go on and keep making films, as I am. I have gotten to know so many extraordinary young talented filmmakers all around the world and every moment at the festival has been full of positive energy and full of the spirit of hopeful youth. I am so very grateful for having been a part of this magic community of a film festival.
This past year one of my films was an official selection of NFFTY. After some planning, everything fell into place, and I was lucky enough to attend the festival. Let me just say: my time at NFFTY was honestly one of the main highlights of senior year of high school. I met oh so many inspirational and talented individuals, I saw work that made my passion for film swell even more, and I had the most enjoyable, exciting time. Every moment was jam packed with a new memory, new friend, or new piece of knowledge to take with me into the future. I seriously hope with all of my heart that I get to go back again! NFFTY is something that you don't want to miss. Seriously.
(NFFTY alumni 2014)
I'm a filmmaker from South Africa and one of my films got selected for NFFTY 2014. It was my first ever experience at an international film festival and the experience wouldn't have been possible without the help of NFFTY. Overall it was a great experience and exceeded my expectations. I was treated professionally and with great respect. I learned so much about the film industry throughout the festival and received so much helpful tips and advice that I can apply to my projects in the future in the future.
The discussion panels were really great and I enjoyed all the speakers and industry professionals they got to share their wisdom and stories.
NFFTY also open the gates of the film industry to me and gave me an enormous boost into the world of film. My experience at NFFTY 2014 was priceless.
I can't wait to attend the next NFFTY and to learn even more.
I feel that in my short experience as a filmmaker I have been lucky enough to travel to festivals quite a bit. From fancy glamorous ones (the ones with gourmet dinners that are usually half the portion you were expecting and expensive fees that might as well be spent to make another short) to small and cozy ones where you are mostly disappointed by the low attendance.
I honestly thought NFFTY was going to be small and cozy.
The first time I attended the festival it felt like I stepped into a mesmerizing film making party. The organization and organizers were beyond any expectations. The venues were not gigantic but felt grand, and the people I met have become close friends that I cherish still today. The movies selected were outstanding, sometimes frightening because suddenly confronted with younger people with, in all honesty, much better skills than mines.
NFFTY was not only a place where I met some of the most interesting people in the field, but it is where I learned from them, thanks to a surprising humbleness and willingness to listen and be listened.
Ever since the first year I attended, NFFTY has become the spotlight of my Spring. There was no need for fancy dinners, no expensive fees or impressive line-ups of celebrities. Just great movies, great people, and an experience that has thought me a lot leaving me eager to show up every year for more.
My brothers and I were introduced to NFFTY in 2006, just before its first kick-off season in 2007. For over 5 years we participated greatly and learned so much about filmmaking; we met tons of talented filmmakers and other professionals in the field during our memorable tenure. NFFTY helped me personally with not only my confidence as an ambitious director but also opened my eyes to film diversity. I owe a lot to NFFTY and what it stands for - helping young people and inspiring them to fly beyond the clouds. It certainly helped me...
Producer, 343 Industries | Microsoft Studios
NFFTY Alumni (2006 - 2011)
No doubt about it, NFFTY is playing a critical role in fostering the careers of young filmmakers around the globe. The quality of the films submitted for consideration is truly inspiring and somehow get better every year. For those whose work is screened at the festival, the event is life changing - you can see it in their faces. I am excited for the future of the industry knowing that this type of talent and energy is coming down the pipes.
NFFTY is so inspiring to me because the organization was founded by young people for young people and has made such a difference in so many people's lives. It has given shy teenagers from all over the world a voice and a way to learn so many practical skills. To make a film you need to learn so much about people, project management, budgets, persuasion, disappointment and re-commitment - all the skills you need to grow into a productive life.
I've always believed it is important to encourage youth in making art and film is one of the most powerful mediums of our time, which is why I've attended the NFFTY film festival for five years and have been board president for 3 years. There is an amazing group of volunteers, staff and young filmmakers who work year round to create this wonderful youth film festival gathering in Seattle every spring. Our mission is to enable, nurture, promote and encourage the next generation of filmmakers to inspire, lead and entertain the world with their stories.
I love watching the young filmakers arrive from all over the world and begin connecting with each other and talking shop with the film professionals and adult supporters. I've been privileged to hear participants share their stories of transformation and dreams in speed networking sessions, after screenings and parties. We've been growing steadily and the board is committed to expanding the opportunities for our filmmakers to create and show NFFTY films beyond the festival. I encourage everyone to support our organization and attend the festival.
I have attended the NFFTY Film Festival twice and been a Board Member for almost two years. The NFFTY festival represents a tremendous opportunity for young filmmakers to have their films seen and for the audience to experience the vision and talent of these young filmmakers. But really, it's much more than that. The film festival begins with the young filmmakers walking the red carpet and having their photographs taken. Media is present. Sponsors (including Volvo with its shiny new vehicles) are present. The filmmakers are provided with a wonderful taste of what many of them hope to enjoy more of in the future as filmmakers. To simply see the looks of excitement on their faces as they walk the red carpet, see the spotlights and cameras and meet other filmmakers, the inspirational effect is so very clear. After the red carpet introductions and for the next few days, the films are screened and the audience gets to see just how talented they are. The quality of the films is extraordinary and it's greatly appreciated by the audience and their fellow filmmakers and family members. For me, it is an honor to be part of NFFTY and I am looking forward to seeing many more films and many more young filmmakers show the world what they have to offer. As a nonprofit, NFFTY is creating a positive global artistic impact for everyone to enjoy.
I have crossed paths with NFFTY numerous times over the past four and a half years. Since 2009 I have attended the festival as an audience member, two time filmmaker, a volunteer and sponsor. My experiences during the 2010 and 2011 festivals when I had my own films screen completely changed my life and ultimately jumpstarted my career. The things I learned and the people I met ultimately lead to me getting an internship with PBS Seattle. Less than a year later at the age of only 19, I found myself producing an Emmy award winning independent film series with the station and helping launch another. I owe everything to this organization and today I am proud to now call myself an employee of NFFTY. I have seen many other filmmakers experience very similar success stories and I know that NFFTY is responsible for all of the opportunities these filmmakers are starting to take part in. It is a one of a kind organization. There is literally no other youth oriented film festival in the world that operates like NFFTY and does what it does for young directors. NFFTY provides a first class festival venue to showcase your work and meet and network with not only other young filmmakers but top industry professionals. NFFTY changed my life, and I know that it will continue to change the lives of other young creative visionaries in the years to come.
I have recently joined the board after attending the festival for the past 3 years. What touched me personally was that due to innovations in content creation, the youth of today have the ability to share their voice, passion and views of the world in ways we could never experience before. NFFTY is the leader in providing this opportunity for the youth around the world. I am honored to be connected with this organization and look forward to growing the exposure of young filmmakers.
My first NFFTY experience was opening night in 2010; what an amazing array of short films that moved me from laughter to tears. I was so memorized and inspired by what these young future storytellers and film makers produced. There was a film maker who was 8 years old! At the age of 8, I don't think I had the focus to write, storyboard a film, gather a team together to shoot and produce a short. After the opening night festivities, I had to volunteer and assist in any way I could. I'm still a volunteer and Board Member, and I don't have children; I just want to further the platform NFFTY provides for these young voices to touch the world.
I've been a volunteer for NFFTY for the past two years and my son has participated in the festival for three years. It has truly enriched our lives and given solid direction to our son. We all have made valuable contacts through NFFTY and have had the privilege to see work produced by some of the most amazing young artists worldwide. What I really appreciate about NFFTY is the efficiency, organization and outstanding degree of communication it has exhibited. The three NFFTY festivals I've attended have been very well organized, were run smoothly and I felt like there was no money wasted on frivolity. Every dime goes to supporting the young filmmakers!
I have been a volunteer film screener for 3 or 4 years now. I love seeing the variety of films and points of view these young filmmakers have. The volunteers are instructed to judge films on age as well as ability. Watching a wonderful film by an 8 year old and then a film by a 21 year old you can see the potential evident in these artists. There is so much creativity and ingenuity involved in filmmaking!
No other youth film program helps such a broad spectrum of young people. For beginners, it inspires, trains, and motivates. For the most proficient, it has become the most loved and attended film festival. Everyone enjoys meeting each other, seeing each other's work, and learning, learning, learning.
NFFTY is far and away the best film festival we have participated in. Their organization and enthusiasm are amazing! The fact that most filmmakers accepted into the festival show up to attend every year is a testament to that and I am not talking just local filmmakers but young filmmakers from all over the world!