Opening the Doors for Many to Dream Big and Explore What is Possible

​NFFTY's Opening Night Gala by Tracy Montes

Nffty At Mohai

An evening that ignited excitement, joy and appreciation for the art and talent of young directors is the best way to describe the amazing gala celebration that kicked off the 2014 National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY).

The gala was held at Cinerama, where hundreds of spectators were excited to experience firsthand the talent of the young directors who opened the festival with high-quality films that varied in content and style. As crowds walked down the vibrant red carpet that lead to the theater, photographers, press, and audience members young and old gathered to celebrate NFFTY 2014.

The auditorium at Cinerama was full of excitement and vibrant murmurs of joy. Stefanie Malone, managing director for NFFTY opened the ceremony as she welcomed the audience and shared important facts that characterized this year’s lineup of films. Currently, NFFTY is celebrating its eighth anniversary, and this year the organization experienced a record in submissions with more than 800 films submitted from more than 40 participating countries, so the selection of films this year was a particularly difficult task. In like fashion, Malone addressed the notorious gender inequity among film directors in the field. She emphasized how it was NFFTY’s goal to continue to support emerging female directors, encouraging them to be involved. To exemplify this vision, Malone announced that more than 40% percent of the young filmmakers selected in this year’s festival are young women.

Subsequently, founder Jesse Harris took the podium and emphasized how NFFTY is really a gateway for young people to see that dreams are possible and can become a reality. As Harris introduced each director to present their featured films that evening, the crowd laughed, clapped, and gasped in awe of the honesty and, at times, humorous approach behind the perspectives of the films showcased that evening.

After the screening, audiences were invited to take their places on shuttle buses that transported viewers to the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) for an amazing all ages after party. The celebration at MOHAI continued with audiences gathering together to get to know one another, dance, enjoy, and congratulate the filmmakers for their dedication and work. Local businesses and sponsors handed out samples, food, and drinks as audiences danced the evening away to the sound of energetic music.

Bringing NFFTY’s celebration into MOHAI was a great way for young audiences and festivalgoers to explore art, film, and music as they celebrated the largest youth film festival in the world, opening doors for many to dream big and explore what is possible.

April 24 - 27

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