National Film Festival for Talented Youth | Seattle Youth Film Festival | Student Film Festival

PANEL // Create A Career: Life After NFFTY

Friday April 26, 2:00 pm

SIFF Uptown 1
511 Queen Anne Avenue North

Over the years, many filmmakers have used NFFTY as a launching pad to help catapult them into a career as a successful working filmmaker. However, being a successful filmmaker doesn’t always mean being a director. NFFTY alumni have branched out to become well-known editors, cinematographers, writers, production designers and costume designers, among many other positions. Join four prominent NFFTY alumni as they discuss their career choices, finding a specific trade and how to navigate the film industry to create a prosperous career after NFFTY.


Kyle Seago – Moderator

The son of an acclaimed deaf actor, Seattle native Kyle Seago was raised with a visual eye and a creative mind. In high school, Kyle’s film projects earned awards at international film festivals. After helping start NFFTY, Kyle traveled to Los Angeles to attend film school at Loyola Marymount University. Shortly after, enticing job offers from MTV took him down the path of reality television, where he worked as a producer on shows such as CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” and MTV’s “The Phone.” As a TV producer, Kyle has produced over 30 hours of primetime television and traveled to Italy, Morocco, Greece, and Macau for international shoots. Since moving his home base back to Seattle, Kyle has produced commercials for Microsoft, including ad campaigns for Internet Explorer 9, Windows 8, and Microsoft Surface. His recently completed projects include the official music video for Alex Clare’s chart-topping song “Too Close” and a documentary about paralyzed athletes. This year, he is working as Festival Manager for NFFTY.


Kevin Klauber

NFFTY Alumni ’08
Kevin Klauber is an editor, writer, and director.  Working in the documentary world, he edited Cameron Crowe’s “Pearl Jam Twenty”, Academy Award-Nominee Brett Morgen’s “Crossfire Hurricane” (the HBO Rolling Stones documentary), and the 2013 Sundance hit “Twenty Feet From Stardom”.  In 2012, Kevin was nominated by the WGA EAST for the feature documentary he co-wrote and edited “Beauty Is Embarrassing” and has been nominated twice for the Golden Reel Award in sound editing by the MPSE.  In addition to documentaries, he’s worked on network TV, music videos, commercials, narrative feature films, and sizzles.  Past clients include Sean Penn’s Haiti nonprofit JPHRO, The Food Network, A&E, PBS, FOX, The Getty Foundation, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  He studied film at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and in 2012 was selected to attend WERNER HERZOG’s Rogue Film School.


Colin Levy

Camera & Staging Artist – Pixar
NFFTY Alumni ’12, ’13

Colin Levy is a 24-year-old Camera & Staging Artist at Pixar Animation Studios.  Before studying filmmaking at the Savannah College of Art and Design, he spent his middle and highschool years playing and experimenting with both live-action and computer animation.  He has undertaken several ambitious projects both in and out of school, independently and professionally, including the 3D animated short Sintel, which now has over 3.5 million views on YouTube.  His most recent work can be seen in June on Monsters University.


Caleb Slain

NFFTY Alumni ’11, ’12, ’13

Caleb Slain is a writer/director/editor and Grand Rapids native. At age 19, Slain directed THE LOST & FOUND SHOP, which received praise around the world, recently winning the prestigious “Best Young Filmmaker Award” at Corona’s Fastnet Festival in Ireland. At 20, he directed the cinematic short documentary IT AIN’T OVER which premiered at South by Southwest 2012, and went on to screen at countless other film festivals including Telluride and Palm Springs Shortfest. Commercially, Slain directed the notorious “Surface” ad for Microsoft, acquiring over 8 million views and earning him personal spotlights in both Business Insider and Huffington Post. Additionally, his short film DESIGNED AROUND YOU won the NFFTY sponsored Volvo brand contest in 2012. Presently, Slain is penning his first feature, directing an experimental app for creative writing, and preparing to release his second short documentary JUGGLE & CUT. He is currently represented by Supergoober in the European commercial market.


Erica Sterne

Director of Post Production – The Weinstein Co.
NFFTY Alumni ’08

Since screening her film at NFFTY ’08, Erica has gone on to serve various roles in production and post-production, mainly in the studio feature film world. She coordinated post-production on various features for Focus Features, Relativity and New Line Cinema, assisted Wes Craven throughout Scream 4, from pre-production through post-production, and spent, spent the past year line producing commercials for Google, Flickr and other tech companies as well as a campaign for Munchkin baby products. Recently, she Production Supervised a low budget feature – which convinced her to run, not walk, away from the freelance indie feature world and straight into the arms of The Weinstein Company. She began at The Weinstein Company in January producing in post production and managing overall productions.


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