Director of Programming &

“Narrowing 260 films into 5 picks is no easy task, but with the quality NFFTY showcases across the board, you really can’t go wrong! My deep love of profile documentaries in on display in my picks, with two of the more intimate, touching stories leading the charge. Rounding out the lot is an eclectic mix of hard-hitting narrative, tender family epic, and, well, Bennifer!”


Come As You Are
Nyles Washington - 23, Mackenzie McMahon - 23 | California

"This beautiful character study follows in the footsteps of Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight but quickly develops a unique voice of its own. Director and lead actor Nyles Washington firmly establishes himself as one to watch with a tour de force performance as a controlling romantic partner and shows a keen directorial eye centered around emotional nuance. Touching on themes of brotherhood, sexuality and male fragility, this film takes hold of your heart in the first seconds and doesn’t let go until the end credits.”

Global Currents
Elle Luan - 24, Guoxiu Jiang - 24, John Baxter - 24 | New York
"Director Elle Luan takes us on a multi-year journey following a Chinese lesbian couple fighting ancient systems of oppression that stand in their way of getting married and starting a family. At times driven by intimate interviews and at times a verite look at modern life in a small Chinese village, Rainbow Mothers finds its truth in quiet moments of longing and triumph. Wife and wife Sesame and Bean courageously fight for their human rights and look to create a worldwide community for those fighting antiquated marriage and family laws while raising their own children to be conscious global citizens. This film stands on its own as a masterful homage to a powerful couple.”

Reclaiming Me
Kira Findling - 21 | California

"Kira Findling turns the camera on herself and creates a work of art that is about as raw and intimate as it gets. Using the cinematic art form as a video diary, Kira weaves a heart-wrenching and endearing tale of finding her own identity, defying a world that forces young women to act ways that contradict the way they truly feel. Baby Steps works so well because it translates a life lived digitally into a cohesive, relatable narrative that speaks directly to the young generation. I was rooting for Kira from the second I realized what the film was about, and in the end my support turned to awe as I realized how masterfully she had documented her difficult-yet-beautiful journey to self-love.”

After Hours Absurdity
Ryan McGlade - 24 | New York
“Every year, we tend to see one film that makes the entire programming team do a wide-eyed “huh?” Sometimes it’s positive incredulousness, other times it’s just pure confusion. Bennifer induces a special brand of “huh?” that comes from the land of true absurdity produced with high production value and attention to detail. With masterfully strange writing brought to life by incredible actors, director Ryan McGlade draws you into the land of a young man returning home to a family transformed. The ridiculousness runs rampant but somehow it all feels normal, because in the land of Bennifer, what is real?”

Existential Epics
Matthew McGuigan - 20 | United Kingdom

"Drawing its central themes from the title of the screening in which it will be shown (or maybe it’s the other way around?) Limbo is existentialism at its finest. Exquisite cinematography and top-notch acting anchor this Northern Irish epic where a man is let in on his ailing mother’s life secret, which sends him on a seafaring investigative journey to a remote island and an encounter with a mysterious man. Packing immense depth and a whole lot of story into a 20-minute runtime, I felt as if I’d watched a full feature film, but still wanted more..”