The National Film Festival for Talented Youth, or NFFTY, has grown into the world's largest film festival for young directors. Every year, the works of under-24-year-olds are showcased in an international setting, providing unparalleled experience and exposure.
NFFTY's mission is "to enable, nurture, promote and encourage the next generation of filmmakers to inspire, lead and entertain the world with their stories." Now in its ninth year, the festival runs from April 23-26 in Seattle, Wash., and a highlight will be the "Come As You Are" program, which features six short films dealing with LGBT issues.
The teenage filmmakers set out to "explore the struggles and triumphs that we all encounter when establishing our own identities in today’s world." Here's a roundup of the films:
Border Woods (Michigan, US): When Rowan loses his friends in the woods the night of their last camping trip before college, he is plunged into a fantastical world where he must face his hopes, fears, and sexuality, as he is pushed ever closer to the border of the unknown. (Miles Dupuis Carey, 18; Mida Chu, 18; Kathryn McCarthy, 17; Leah Yrastorza-Daghman, 17)
Boy (Denmark): Emilie, born a female, wishes to be a boy. Sadly, her mother doesn’t wish for the same thing. Emilie attempts to convince the world that she’s trapped in the wrong body. (Lucas Helth Postma, 15; Mikkel Nordfang Philipsen, 16; Freja Maegaard, 18; Olivia Karoline Fløe Lyng, 16)
Clipped Wings (Washington, US): On the journey to Eagle Scout, discrimination gets in the way. These are the stories of those most affected by the Boy Scout’s ban on gay members. (Coleman Andersen, 16; Duncan Gowdy, 16; Leo Pfeifer, 16)
A Kiss From Your Lips (California, US): A one-take swing dance film with a twist. (Allison Tate, 22)
Out Again (Washintgon, US): A 16-year-old boy named Sam attempts to come out to his crush Jordan. After his failure, he discovers an ability to travel through time and fix his mistakes until he can get the “perfect” coming out. (Greg Chu, 16; Tai Payne, 16; Emma McKittrick, 15)
We're Okay (North Carolina, US): Delilah has decided to kill herself on her 18th birthday, but her friend Lena surprises her with a birthday party. We see how Delilah is truly feeling in her stop-motion animated, circus-world mind. (Kira Bursky, 18; Miles Carey, 18; Elena Jacob, 18; Gintare Zukauskaite, 17)
'Come As You Are' is being presented in partnership with Three Dollar Bill Cinema. For more information, visit the NFFTY website.