CONTACT: INFO@NFFTY.ORG | 206.905.8400



SEATTLE – February 20, 2018 – NFFTY – the National Film Festival for Talented Youth – announced today that Ben McCarthy has been hired as the new Managing Director, taking over the position held by Stefanie Malone since 2013. He will transition into his new role at the end of the month.
Ben McCarthy comes to NFFTY from SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival), where he has served as Director of Philanthropy since 2015, leading the day-to-day operations of SIFF’s individual giving, membership, and special events. During his time at SIFF, the organization’s membership base grew from 6,000 to over 7,000 as well as increased success in giving through the Annual Fund and the annual Sip for SIFF Gala. 

Previously, McCarthy was Leadership Development Manager at Seattle Works, an organization focused on nonprofit board training and connecting young professionals to volunteer opportunities in the community. Prior to moving to Seattle, he led the event production and operations for the Southeastern Theatre Conference and the North Carolina Theatre Conference. McCarthy holds a Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership from Seattle University. 
McCarthy will take on leadership as NFFTY’s fourth Managing Director since its founding in 2007. “NFFTY is thrilled to welcome Ben to the team!” said Kyle Seago, NFFTY Co-Founder and Board President, “He has a proven passion for the arts and will bring energy and vision to the community of over 1,500 filmmakers that are affected by NFFTY. Ben’s financial and philanthropic expertise will help NFFTY grow into the future as we strengthen our year-round programming and seek to develop new initiatives to support young filmmakers from all backgrounds in the coming years. On behalf of the NFFTY board and community, we are honored and excited for what the future holds with Ben at the helm.”
NFFTY is proud to have had SIFF as a supporter and partner since its inception. SIFF has served as a mentor for the Festival, sharing guidance and best practices in creating a strong financial foundation and industry presence. “We cherish our long-term partnership with NFFTY whose mission compliments ours so perfectly, and I can’t think of a better organization for Ben to put his talents into,” said Sarah Wilke, SIFF Executive Director. “The film community is lucky to have Ben there to help move forward the future of film.”

“I have long admired the work that NFFTY does to develop young artists and provide a platform for professional exhibition of their work,” said McCarthy. “I look forward to continuing to build upon the long-standing partnership between NFFTY and SIFF while further developing NFFTY’s role in the Seattle film community and beyond.”

Founded in 2007 by three [then] teenagers, the National Film Festival for Talented Youth is the world’s largest and most influential film festival for emerging filmmakers. Based in Seattle, WA, the four-day film festival includes over 200 film screenings, panels, contests, parties, and networking opportunities for emerging filmmakers. Filmmakers from around the world submit feature-length and short films in narrative, documentary, animation, music video, and experimental categories. Since its founding in 2007, NFFTY has screened films from over 2,500 filmmakers ranging in age from 5 -24 years. The 12th Annual National Film Festival for Talented Youth will take place October 25 through October 28, 2018.




NFFTY is the world’s largest and most influential film festival for emerging directors, showcases work by filmmakers 24 and younger from around the globe.  NFFTY returned for its 11th consecutive year April 27 - April 30 in Seattle, Washington with thousands attending the festival.  This year’s festival featured 257 films from 25 states and 27 countries, with directors ranging from age 6 to 24 years.  The award winners – including jury, audience and special awards – have been announced.

The winning school of the 48 HOUR FILM OFF will receive a $1000 cash prize for their school from NFFTY through the support of Cornish College of the Arts. NEW TALENT AWARDS (Ages 14 and Under, 15 - 19, and 20 - 24) will receive Magic Bullet color correction software suites from Red Giant.  Winner of BEST EMERGING FEMALE FILMMAKER will receive a G-Tech Hard Drive.  Winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY receives DaVinci Resolve by Blackmagic Design. Jury Award Winners for Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, Music Video, Animation, 360• and Female Filmmaker receive the Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription for one year. Winner of STORY STARTS HERE will receive $500 cash prize and all finalists of STORY STARTS HERE will receive a Final Draft scriptwriting software license.


  • BEST NARRATIVE SHORT - Buckets - Julia Jones
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY – I’m Free - Edvard Karijord
  • BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM – Ok, Call Me Back - Emily Ann Hoffman
  • BEST MUSIC VIDEO – Atlas World – Morgana McKenzie
  • BEST ANIMATION – Reflections - Morgan Gruer
  • BEST 360° FILM Presented by Oculus - Parched - Adam Hersko
  • BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - Princess Yun - Tiger Tse
  • BEST EMERGING FEMALE FILMMAKER - Emma Penaz Eisner - There’s More Than One Way To Skin A Man


  • AGE 14 AND UNDER presented by Relativity School – Alina Foley - Denial
  • AGE 15-19 – Chelsea Eisen - Daisy Head Mayzie
  • AGE 20-24 – Justin Leyba – The Alien, Nate


  • 1ST PLACE – Roosevelt High School
  • Honorable Mention - Tahoma Senior High


Annabelle Attanasio - Frankie Keeps Talking


Isabella Pierson


WINNER: Emily Yue - Love Bruises


  • River Fork - Vuk Lungulov-Klotz
  • Gray - Liv Coron
  • Hello, Goodbye - AJ Lodge


  • OPENING NIGHT - Frankie Keeps Talking - Annabelle Attanasio
  • AFTERNOON ECLECTIC - Warm Springs - Sean Wang, Nic De Bellis, Sam Davis, Rayka Zehtabchi
  • A GUIDE TO GROWING UP - Damn Graduation - Emliie Beck, Jon-Andre Hakvog
  • CINEMATIC JOURNEY - The Tale of The Glass Dome - Mauritz Solberg
  • FEMME FRIDAY - A Horse Named Allan - Tanne Sommer
  • HAPPY FRIDAY SHORTS - Hi-Glow Retro - Alex Morsanutto
  • DOUBLE DISCOVERY - The Light Ground - Lukas Väth
  • FRIDAY NIGHT SHORTS - The Alternative - Sachin Dharwadker
  • POWERFUL GRIT - Satisfaction Guaranteed - Yue Ma
  • THE LAST LAUGH - Chainsaw Charlie - Dan Lesser
  • BRING THE KIDS - Brave Boy - Alejandro Lombard
  • THE HUMAN RACE - The New Europeans - Johannes Skov Andersen, Aske Petersen, Peter Kappel
  • ART IN MOTION - Fish Hook and Eye - Chloe Atkas, Kevin Rios, Lucy Ross, Andrew Hebert
  • COME AS YOU ARE - Transformative - Krystelle Kurz, Claire Elliott, Sorcha Marron
  • MUSICAL MASTERPIECE - Vulfpeck - Back Pocket - Tim Hendrix
  • A GLOBE LESS TRAVELED - Lau & Laudrup - Charlotte Brodthagen
  • CENTERPIECE - Ampersand - Charlotte Dewulf
  • EXPERIMENTAL VISIONS - Continue? - Tony Weaver, Jr.
  • EDGE OF YOUR SEAT - Lamia - Arturo Alanis, Remington Long, Sam Wolff, David Britton
  • LIGHTEN UP! - Northern Belles - Lael Rogers, Christian Leonard, Maddie Downes, Isabela de Compos
  • #UpperLeftUSA - Baby - Ryan Zemke
  • REEL ANIMATION - ei: emotional intelligence - Dennis Sungmin Kim, Adam Parham, Nicholas Escobar
  • OUTTA THIS WORLD - Beside Myself - Jack McCafferty, Madison McMahon, Anthony Marotta
  • STORIES OF US  - Gardeners of The Forest - Ceylan Carhoglu, Nicole Jordan Webber
  • VARIETY HOUR  - Paint By Number Person - Peyton Miller
  • CLOSING NIGHT - AMERICAN DREAMS - Hell You Talmbout - Tyler Rabinowitz, Denzel Boyd


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 emerging filmmakers. Filmmakers from around the world submit feature-length and short films in narrative, documentary, animation, music video, and experimental categories. This year, NFFTY launched a dive into 360° and virtual reality with the first of its kind 360° gallery, bootcamp, and panel that are aimed at young filmmakers. Since its launch in 2007, NFFTY has screened films from over 2,000 filmmakers, ranging in age from 6 – 24 years.  For updates and news on NFFTY, visit or

NFFTY is pleased to acknowledge its Presenting Sponsor of the 2017 Festival: Oculus. An additional thanks to our Premier and Partner Sponsors: Cornish College of the Arts, Relativity School, Starbucks, KEXP, Seattle Theatre Group, KCTS 9, Mediterranean Inn, The Maxwell Hotel, Heal Creative, Vulcan and Cinerama. Thank you to our Media Sponsors: KING 5 and KUOW 94.9.

A special thanks to Adobe, Blackmagic Design, Final Draft, G-Tech, and Red Giant for their prize donations to our winners.

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For more information:
Phone: 206.905.8400