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NFFTY – National Film Festival for Talented Youth – Celebrating and Showcasing the Best New Emerging Filmmakers from Around the World

NFFTY 2017 National Film Festival for Talented YouthThe largest and most influential festival for filmmakers ages 24 and under marks its 11th year with their biggest program yet with 257 films from 27 countries.


NFFTY (pronounced “nifty”), National Film Festival for Talented Youth, has announced the complete schedule for its 11th festival, taking place April 27 – April 30, 2017 in Seattle.

The 2017 selections include 257 films from 27 countries, with filmmakers ranging from ages 6 through 24. NFFTY is also launching NFFTYX — NFFTY’s first foray into virtual reality and 360° and immersive storytelling that includes a 360° gallery, workshop and more.

“NFFTY showcases the world’s best new filmmakers and this year is no exception. This is the festival where you can meet tomorrow’s Martin Scorsese or Kathryn Bigelow,” states Stefanie Malone, Executive Director of NFFTY. In addition to a stellar lineup, NFFTY continues a commitment to support emerging female filmmakers. For the fourth year, over 40% of the films are of directed by women, a major accomplishment compared to Hollywood where women direct less than 9% of films.

NFFTY 2017 takes on a number of contemporary and provocative issues at this year’s festival with programming that reflects the interests and concerns of the next generation. Highlights include:

  • Opening Night Gala: The Opening Night lineup includes an outstanding collection of short films from some of the best young directors, including “Seven Dates with Death” directed by Mike Holland and Garrett Nicholson – a powerful look at the life of an African American man who spent decades on death row before being finally justice was served and he was released. Program available for preview.
  • Femme Friday: A collection of some of the strongest films from NFFTY female filmmakers around the world. From The Netherlands is “Self,” an animated look at social anxiety through a variety of artistic styles by Romée van Benten (21). “August Beach” by Leyah Barris (15) tackles the dreams and obstacles of African-American youth in the modern age.
  • The Human Race: Powerful documentaries that explore race and culture, including ”The New Europeans” – an intense, at times harrowing look at the changing borders of Europe as they deal with the refugee crisis on the island of Lisbon, Greece. The Danish documentary “Black White Milwaukee” features an in-depth look at two different racial groups experiencing very different lives within one American city.
  • Closing Night’s American Dreams: For many Americans, life in the land of the free can be a grueling, isolating journey. These eight stories examine the struggles, triumphs and hardships facing various populations within our borders. Closing Night films include “Hell You Talmbout” – a collaboration between Seattle filmmaker Tyler Rabinowitz and The NW Tap Connection dance company.
  • A Globe Less Traveled features a collection of dramatic films spanning around the world – an ancient Chinese dynasty, the war in Afghanistan, and a present-day disease outbreak in Denmark.


At this year’s festival, NFFTY is launching a 360º and virtual reality track called NFFTYX with support from fearless 360°, a start-up devoted to developing content, curriculum and programming for traditional and immersive media.

The 360º Shorts Gallery will invite participants to pull on a headset and experience how young makers are utilizing the 360° form including a line-up of fiction, nonfiction and experimental stories and immerse us in new worlds. Participants can be transported to the Mexican Border and explore the plight of undocumented immigrants in Carolina Marquez’s (21) “Life and Death at the Mexican Border.” “Family Portrait” by Kelsey Sante (22) explores domestic violence through the eyes of a child.

NFFTYX Bootcamp is a two-day hands-on, intensive workshop to learn how to conceptualize and shoot in 360° at NFFTY. Short 360° films will be created and presented at the NFFTY Closing Night party.


Aside from the top quality films produced by young filmmakers, attendees of NFFTY this year are in for a big treat. NFFTY 2017 is lined up with a series of engaging panels and discussions. NFFTY continues to work with Station Next and the Scan Design Foundation to provide a Masterclass on filmmaking, with this year’s focus on low budget, short-form filmmaking with Oscar-nominated director Aske Bang (director, “Silent Nights”).

NFFTY’s keynote speaker this year is Chris Moore who will be talking about his own journey in the field with advice to emerging filmmakers and producers. Mr. Moore has a long, rich history in Hollywood, producing films such as Good Will Hunting, American Pie, and the Oscar-nominated film Manchester by the Sea.


Although NFFTY searches the globe for the best new directors, there are some incredible gems from the Northwest featured in NFFTY 2017.

  • “Plastic is Forever” (Screening: #UpperLeftUSA) directed by Dylan D’Haeze (13) is an engaging and thoughtful look at plastic pollution and what we all need to do to confront it.
  • With a penchant for the creepy, Wynter Rhys (17) is back this year with “Jouska” (Screening: Powerful Grit) a dramatic experimental with exceptional production design.
  • “Mirror” (Screening: Edge of Your Seat) directed by Hadley Hillel (21) is a menacing thriller centered on a girl’s battle with her own reflection.
  • With its panels, discussions and networking opportunities, the festival has served as an incubator for the next generation of filmmakers, including Seattle-native Ben Kadie (21) who has participated in NFFTY every year. For 2017, Ben will share “Down the Wormhole” (Screening: Variety Hour)
  • “Transformative” (Screening: Come As You Are) directed by Krystelle Kurz (15) is a thoughtful look at the rights of transgender people through the lens of legislation in Washington state.


More About NFFTY

NFFTY is the largest and most influential film festival in the world for young filmmakers. NFFTY occurs each spring in Seattle and includes over 200 film screenings panels, contests, parties and networking opportunities for young filmmakers. Young filmmakers from around the world submit feature-length and short films in narrative, documentary, animation, music video, and experimental. Since its launch, NFFTY has screened films from over 2,500 filmmakers, ranging in age from 5 – 24 years.

Founded by three then-teenagers Jesse Harris, Kyle Seago and Jocelyn R.C. in 2007, NFFTY has since expanded its reach to an ever-growing number of young artists and audiences of all ages. It expects an audience of over 12,000 for 2017.

NFFTY now looks toward its 11th festival, happening April 27 – April 30. Over 1,200 emerging filmmakers from around the globe submitted their work for considering in this major milestone of the festival’s history. The festival will also launch its first ever foray into 360° storytelling and exploration of virtual reality through NFFTYX.

Tickets are available at nffty.org. The festival is held at the Cinerama (2100 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121) and Uptown Cinema (511 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109).

Visit the official website, NFFTY.org for more information about this year’s event, and to purchase tickets.

NFFTY is pleased to acknowledge its Presenting Sponsor of the 2017 Festival, including NFFTYX: Oculus.