NFFTY is the world’s largest, most influential film festival for emerging filmmakers 24 years old and younger. In 2020, we screened over 250 amazing short films representing 26 states and 29 countries. We provide a first-class festival experience that includes four days of film screenings, parties, networking events, panels, and more!

To help address systemic inequity and underrepresentation in film, we’re offering a 50% discount to all films submitted to our 15th edition by Black and Indigenous directors, as well as to films created by directors with disabilities and/or featuring performers with disabilities using the following codes:


We also consider additional discount and waiver requests on a case-by-case basis. To make a request, please fill out this short form:

The 15th edition of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth will be held in Seattle, Washington, April 28th - May 1st, 2022.

Jury Awards - We are committed to awarding the best short films created by filmmakers 24 and under from around the world, and we will be awarding a $500 cash prize to both student and non-student films in the Narrative Short, Documentary Short, Animated Short, Experimental Short, and Music Video categories, as well as best overall Episodic, for a total of eleven Jury Prizes and $5,500 in cash.

TheNextFilmFestival Award - Two filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest will be selected to attend TheNextFilmFestival International in Odense, Denmark during the summer of 2022 with flight and hotel costs covered thanks to the generous support of the Scan Design Foundation.

Other Festival Prizes & Awards - We’ll be announcing specific Audience and Special Recognition Awards closer to the festival. We'll also have awards and recognition for best films in the age categories of "14 and Under" and "15-18". This includes the JDogg Scholarship, available to rising high school seniors to attend the college-level film program of their choosing. In 2020, we gave out over $7,500 in cash awards, over $5,000 in software and gear, and over $240,000 in additional scholarships.

Distribution - All NFFTY official selections are eligible for distribution deals. We work with some of the most prestigious shorts platforms in a variety of first look deals and work closely to pair with curatorial sensibilities which will best grow an audience. NFFTY involves curators and buyers from these platforms as workshop leaders, panelists, jury members, and more, so getting selected for and attending NFFTY can net you valuable industry contacts!

- The film’s director(s) must have been 24 years of age or younger at the time of production. Because of the dramatic impacts of COVID-19 on film productions over the past year, for the 15th festival we will accept projects from directors who were 25 at the time of production if COVID-19 safety concerns hindered your ability to complete principal photography before turning 25.

- To be considered for a Jury Award in the Student category or any Middle/High School-specific Awards, films must be conceived, produced, and finished by filmmakers 24 years old or younger with teachers and other mentors acting in advisory roles only.

- Films must have been completed no earlier than January 2020.

- All music and other copyrighted material used in the film must be properly licensed. This includes Student Music Videos.

- All films must be in English or subtitled in English. All films that are selected are required to provide an .srt file or open captions for accessibility (English SDH) during public exhibition.


View the Official Rules & Guidelines here:

View Frequently Asked Questions here:

Overall Rating
  • Mark Kuhlmann

    Thank you to all of the team for making this a very special festival! I hope to be back in the future! Thanks for having me.

    November 2020
  • If you are reading this you better submit -- do itttt!

    Best staff, best films, best festival hands down.

    November 2020
  • Summer Li

    awesome festival,
    love the content, the community and the networking, there are so many like minded people, i made some valuable friends that i wont be able to make anywhere else!
    it is the best experience i had in my life!
    thank you

    November 2020
  • This was an amazing festival. So many awesome filmmakers. I was honored to have been included.

    November 2020
  • Lego Crafter Studios

    A fantastic film festival. Despite the limitations of a virtual film, it was an immensely rewarding process to participate in. 10/10.

    November 2020