Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Six short films by students in the Ballard High School Video Production Program have been named Official Selections of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). This international festival opens at the Seattle Cinerama Theater on Thursday, April 29 and continues through Sunday at the Seattle Center. It features 190 films by filmmakers age 22 and younger from 33 states and 16 countries.

The honored Ballard films are The Crumb by Emily Deering, Karli Lafferty, Sarah Maloney & Taylor Rubright, Girl’s Best Friend by Georgia Peck, Elizabeth O’Laughlin & Madi Fowler, Gourmandizing by Levi Friedman & Matthew Law-Phipps, Manimal by Levi Friedman, Matthew Law-Phipps, Esther Magasis & Ryan Zemke, Reflection by Sheridan Koehler & Blair Scott, and The Umbrella by Parker Davis, Kaelan Gilman & Henry Shenk. (The Umbrella was further honored by being selected for the opening night screening at the Cinerama.) Between them, these shorts have previously been honored by the Young People’s Film & Video Festival, the Images of Youth Video Festival, and the international Festival do Rio.

NFFTY itself is the brainchild of Ballard High School video alumnus Jesse Harris (’04). Harris made history in 2004 when Living Life, the feature film he had written and directed as a senior project, was purchased by FilmMates and given a theatrical release. (It opened in Seattle in April, 2005.) A growing list of sponsors and partners, such as Volvo, Nike, and the socially conscious production company Take Part, have paved the way for this third annual event.

Prizes are awarded by a jury of industry professionals. (Last year Ballard High School video students won the Jury Prize for Best Documentary Film over college competition.) However, like the Sundance Film Festival, NFFTY includes forums on filmmaking in addition to screenings and awards. Alternative Distribution:The New Model, Finding Your Success in Hollywood, Being a Professional Screenwriter, The Art of Movie Sound, Directing the Actor, and Green Screen on a Budget, are several current examples. Admission to these forums is free of charge if you have a festival pass. For a complete schedule of events, show times, and ticket information, visit