Jordan-Paige Sudduth accepting an award at a prior Youth Film Festival.

The 2019 Philadelphia Youth Film Festival is now open for submissions from creative high school students in the Greater Philadelphia area and beyond. Founded in 2017 by Germantown Friends School students to increase accessibility for film sharing and critique, PHYFF continues to be a free festival dedicated to helping teenagers find their voice in a rapidly expanding and influential community. This student-run festival is a great opportunity for young filmmakers to show off their work and gain feedback, as well as make connections with peers.

Films can be developed on any medium, including a phone, in a studio or on a computer, and entry categories include: Narrative Short, Documentary Short, Screenplay and Experimental/Other. Films will be judged by experts on a variety of factors including creativity, scripting, messaging and meaning, design and execution. The festival will conclude with a day of workshops, networking, screenings and an awards ceremony on Feb. 23, 2019 on GFS’ campus in Philadelphia.

“We’re creating a space where high school students can collaborate with industry professionals to gain confidence in their filmmaking talents, without needing to compete with college-level productions who have access to expensive equipment,” said Noah Weintstein, co-director of the PHYFF and senior at GFS.

Raia Stern, also a co-director and senior at GFS, added, “We want to support students throughout the city who may not have access to extensive film programs or professional equipment, but who have a vision for a film they feel needs to be seen.”

Creative Outfit, owned by 2007 GFS graduate Alex Favin, is an event sponsor. Favin wants to give back to creative students like he was back in high school.

“I’m proud to support the Philadelphia Youth Film Festival as someone who went to grade school and college in this community,” said Favin. “Storytelling is a powerful tool for communication that filmmakers need to foster. It helps create important dialogues and challenge the status quo. I hope my involvement in the Festival can inspire other filmmakers to create a role they want for themselves in the Industry and tell the Stories that are important to them.”

Students can submit films from now until Jan. 7, 2019, via Filmfreeway. For more information, visit phyff.com

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