SU students and alum have award-winning showing at 2019 National Film Festival for Talented Youth

Written by Karen L. Bystrom
November 5, 2019

Films by Seattle University students Barb Hoffman ('20) and Hailey McGill ('21), and by recent alum Mathew MacDonald ('19) screened at this year’s prestigious National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY), a Seattle-based international film festival for filmmakers under the age of 25.

Mathew MacDonald, Hailey McGill, Suzanne McAuley, and Barb Hoffman on the NFTTY red carpet.

Screenshot from the film KeysHoffman's film “Keys,” McGill's film “Melons” and MacDonald's film “Mormor,” were all produced in SU Film Studies courses. Selected from a pool of more than 1,200 submissions, they were screened among the 265 films by filmmakers from 24 states and 24 different countries.

In Hoffman’s film, “Keys,” a college student goes to write his essay at the last minute when he discovers something strange with his computer.

Image of filmmaker's grandmother in the film Mormor“Mormor” is personal essay film about grief, through the lens of MacDonald’s relationship to his grandmother and the things she left behind after passing away.

McGill’s film, “Melons,” is described as a fruity depiction of life with a large chest.

 “Mormor” received the audience in the “Family Ties” category and “Melons” received the audience award for the category “Reclaiming Me."

Globe shaped awards for the film MelonsBased on the quality of “Melons,” McGill was also invited to apply for, and won, the T-Mobile Foundation's "T-Mobile Uplifting Voices Challenge." The challenge award includes a $2,500 cash prize for McGill's next film project, and mentorship from T-Mobile Content Studio producers and creatives. It also guarantees that McGill's next film (or a work-in-progress) will screen at NFFTY in 2020.

The National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) is the flagship program of The Talented Youth, a non-profit arts organization that was founded in 2007. Since then, NFFTY has grown into the world’s largest film festival for emerging directors, showcasing films by directors 24 years of age and under.

NFFTY and The Talented Youth support young filmmakers by offering professional level workshops year-round. In addition, NFFTY.org hosts filmmaker resources, tips, news and information. Within NFFTY lies a creative production company, NFFTY Creative, which connects brands with emerging talent to produce original content.

NFFTY is also led by an SU alum, Dan Hudson, Managing Director, who earned his MFA in Arts Leadership in 2017.

Photos, top to bottom: Mathew MacDonald, Hailey McGill, Suzanne McAuley, and Barb Hoffman on the NFTTY red carpet; image from “Keys;” screenshot from “Mormor;” and image from “Melons.”