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NFFTY 2016: World’s Largest Youth Film Festival Opens in Seattle This Week

April 27, 2016

The world’s largest youth film festival takes place right here in Seattle. Opening this Thursday, the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. What sets NFFTY apart from other film festivals is that it is dedicated to providing a showcase for filmmakers age 24 and younger. What this means for the audience is a chance to discover what the auteurs of tomorrow are making today. And, to me, that’s pretty special indeed.

Also infuriating.

Let me tell you why: As I watch these phenomenal movies — some of which are made by children younger than that bottle of ketchup that is currently sitting in my refrigerator — I can’t help but feel inspired. Their raw talent, their ingenuity, and their drive to do what they love is utterly impressive — also a little intimidating. Yes, maybe I should throw away that ketchup … but it’s really far back there on the shelf, and, frankly, I’ve grown afraid of it over the years.

But that’s not the point.

The point is this: Over the past decade, NFFTY has provided a unique platform for young filmmakers to share their ideas and passion for movies with the public … and that is a beautiful achievement. To get a glimpse at what the festival has in store this year, check out the NFFTY 2016 trailer:

Unsurprisingly, this year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than ever. This precocious pre-teen is already well established as one of the most exciting festivals on the planet. And while it brings in films from all around the world, NFFTY is also a festival that loves celebrating its roots — showcasing films from numerous Northwest filmmakers.

Now, let’s get to the details: Featuring over 200 films from more than 20 countries, NFFTY is sure to quench your thirst for fresh, inventive cinema over the course of this weekend. The festival will kick off with the Opening Night Red Carpet Gala on April 28 at the Cinerama Theater in downtown Seattle, and continue on through Sunday, May 1 with screenings at the Uptown Theater in Queen Anne. 

Photo still from Opening Night film, ‘Take Flight’, directed by Joe Sill

In addition to the films, this year’s festival will also feature some stellar filmmaking panels that convene filmmaking luminaries such as Oscar-nominated Danish director Christian E. Christiansen.

Audience participation is also encouraged at NFFTY; for instance, on Saturday, April 30 at 1:30 p.m. there will be a special screening of 14 short films made by local high school students during a 48-hour film contest. During the Saturday screening, audience members will be asked to vote for their favorites, and the winning films will be awarded prizes!

Don’t worry — there are films for cinema-goers of all interests at NFFTY. The festival’s screenings are organized into thematic categories such as “Northwest Is Best” for audience members looking to discover contemporary films young local filmmakers are producing today; or take a trip back in time with the “Turn Back the Clock” screening of films set in the past. Other notable categories include “Femme Friday,” “The Last Laugh,” and “The Human Race.” 

Photo still from Turn Back the Clock film, ‘Bail’, directed by Ben Kadie

For more information on the full lineup of screenings and events, check out NFFTY’s schedule here.

Though the Opening Night Gala is currently soldout online, tickets may be available at the festival boxoffice on the night of the event, so if you’re hoping to snag a last-minute ticket, please arrive early. Get tickets online here


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NOTE: KCTS 9 is a proud sponsor of NFFTY 2016, celebrating works of young filmmakers from around the globe.


Find out more at NFFTY >>