NFFTY is the world's largest and most influential film festival for emerging directors. In 2019, we screened 265 amazing films from the best filmmakers 24 and younger representing 24 states and 26 countries, with over 10,000 in attendance. We provide a first-class festival experience that includes four days of film screenings, parties, networking events and panels.

We're going hybrid this year! In an effort to keep young filmmakers connected and growing professionally during COVID-19, NFFTY will release all official selections online in our inaugural virtual festival, October 23 - November 1, 2020. Physical programming in Seattle, WA, will be held October 23 - 25, 2020.

In 2014 and 2016, MovieMaker Magazine rated NFFTY as one of the top 50 festivals worth the entry fee.

- Two filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest will be selected to attend TheNextFilmFestival International in Odense, Denmark during the summer of 2021 with flight and hotel costs covered thanks to the generous support of the Scan Design Foundation.

- Jury Awards – We are committing to awarding the best short films created by filmmakers 24-and-under from around the world. We are proud to announce that a $500 cash prize will be awarded to the Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short, and Best Experimental Short for both student films and non-student films, as well as Best Music Video, for a total of nine Jury Prizes and $4500 in total cash prizes in this category.

- Other Festival Prizes & Awards – We’ll be announcing additional Jury, Audience, Special Awards closer to the festival. In 2019, we gave out over $7,000 in cash awards, over $5,000 in software and gear, and over $40,000 in additional scholarships.

- Original Content Projects – In the past few years, we’ve given out over $50,000 in cash to NFFTY Alumni to produce special branded projects. Once you’ve had a film accepted into NFFTY, you will be eligible for these opportunities.

- At The Festival – When you attend NFFTY as a Filmmaker, you get to meet fellow young filmmakers from around the world, network with industry leaders and grow as a filmmaker. It’s truly a once in a lifetime experience.

- The film’s director(s) must have been 24 years of age or younger at time of filming.

- All music and other copyrighted material used in films must be properly licensed. See our Resource Guide.

- All films must be in English or subtitled in English.


View the Official Rules & Guidelines here:

View Frequently Asked Questions here:

View info on Music Licensing here:

Overall Rating
  • My favorite film festival ever. There's no place like NFFTY- the greatest weekend of the year.

    February 2020
  • Elle Luan

    Hands down the BEST YOUTH FILM FEST EVER! I'm so glad I attended NFFTY in Seattle with my short documentary, it was incredibly supportive, encouraging and heartwarming. The quality of all the official selection films were amazing and you cannot ask for a better group of organizers!

    January 2020
  • Isaiah Berra

    I travelled from Vancouver to NFFTY with members of the cast and crew of my film. It was wonderful to see our efforts rewarded with a big screen showing. The festival was attended by thousands of other emerging filmmakers. Bring business cards! Through events, screenings, and after-parties, our team made contacts in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and beyond. Thank you to the incredible NFFTY organizers for the opportunity to be a part of your tremendous festival!

    January 2020
  • Laine Elliott

    Had a wonderful time, and was able to network with several other filmmakers. Definitely a strong sense of community here - I look forward to submitting more work in the future!

    December 2019
  • Check this festival out! NFFTY is extremely impressive. The festival was well run with a diverse line up of both foreign and domestic films that had enjoyable Q/A. NFFTY is everything you'd want out of a film festival.

    November 2019