PHYFF is a student-run event dedicated to helping teenage creatives find their voice in a rapidly expanding community of young filmmakers. This festival is a great opportunity to show off work and get critiques, as well as to network with peers from the area and make industry connections. Our festival is free to enter and attend, in order to allow an equal opportunity for all filmmakers and film enthusiasts to participate.

In past years the event has featured workshops by industry professionals on such topics as:
Jacob Mazer's STRATEGIES OF EXCLUSION: THE ART OF NOT SHOWING. We often think of cinematic storytelling as a process of showing things to the audience. What are various ways in which not showing—composing shots to leave out, turn away from, or truncate a subject—can be used as a narrative tactic?

Alison Standefer's HOW TO MAKE A SCENE WORTH WATCHING. What goes into making a compelling scene—a scene worth watching—which is always the goal? What are some common pitfalls young directors encounter, and what are some tricks that can help you avoid making the dreaded 'meh' scene? We will analyze some existing scenes and discuss how they were made. Some of the topics we will touch on are; getting a good performance via actable goals, actor business, subtext vs. text of a scene.

Tom Myers' SOUND DESIGN FOR FILM. Breaking down the concepts of sound design and how to craft an articulate sound track.

Kathy Van Cleve's SCREENWRITING: STRUCTURE IS EVERYTHING. A practical examination of the narrative backbone of beloved movies, including JAWS, EX MACHINA, THELMA & LOUISE and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. Students will read aloud portions of a script, learn the basic three-act dramatic structure, and complete a collaborative exercise where a character is created and a film premise is developed.

Patricia White's WOMEN AND FILM: ACCESS AND ACTIVISM. If half of the students enrolled in film school are women, why are there so few women directors working in Hollywood? Situating current conversations about gender equity in film and television in a history of feminist film culture, Professor White will introduce initiatives designed to encourage diverse voices in filmmaking.

Emory Van Cleve: LIGHTING WITH NO BUDGET. A workshop for student cinematographers and directors to make the most of natural light and simple affordable lighting set-ups.

This year's workshops will be announced soon!

1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each category will receive a certificate, as well as being promoted on and on social media. This also applies to the special category awards. Each of the major awards will receive prizes to be announced soon.

The contest is open to youth ages 14-19, currently enrolled in a high school program (or international equivalent). A valid high school ID must be attached with the submission.

All movies must have begun production while the students involved were of high school age, including the summer before freshman year and the summer after senior year. Writing and pre-production may be earlier.

Primary positions for talent and crew must be within the specified age range. Only secondary roles may be from outside the age bracket. Writing, crew, and post production must be done by those of age within their division. If any crew or primary talent are outside the division age bracket, they will be ineligible for consideration.

Minimal adult help is allowed. This means adults may advise or demonstrate with the goal of teaching. Adults may drive, help secure equipment and locations, or cater for longer shoots.

All music copyright, talent, and location releases must be submitted with each entry. Best Original Score award will only be considered for original musical scores written specifically for this entry.

Accurate and complete credits are required on-screen and on-file.

An additional backup flash drive or DVD may be sent, just in case.

Films should be under 12 minutes.

Overall Rating
  • Rachel St. Pierre

    I am a teacher at Raw Art Work's and submitted work created by my students. The Philadelphia Youth Film Festival did a great job communicating with us throughout the process. One of my student's won Best Short Documentary and was congratulated personally via email by the festival director. It was such a kind gesture and made her feel extremely proud and accomplished. We will definitely submit again next year!

    November 2017