Saturday, April 15, 2017


Two short films by students in the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program have been named Official Selections of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY).  This competitive, international festival showcases outstanding work by filmmakers age 24 and younger.  NFFTY is a rare opportunity for high school students to share the spotlight with college students from our nation’s best undergraduate and graduate film schools.  This year NFFTY will feature films from 27 countries.  NFFTY opens at the Seattle Cinerama Theater on Thursday, April 27 and continues through Sunday, April 30 at the Seattle Center.  

The Official Selections from Ballard are both documentaries.  Transformative, by Maureen Brown, Claire Elliott, Krystelle Kurz and Sorcha Marron, examines the experience of a transgender teen and our current political climate.  It will be shown in the Come as You Are screening at the Uptown Cinema 1 on Saturday, April 29 at 3:30.  (Transformative is the only selection in this screening not produced by college students.)  My Bike & Me, by Braiden Hayes, Bergen Johnson and Cameron Miller, follows resilient college freshman Duncan Bozko as he learns to ride a bike.  It will be featured in the UpperLeftUSA screening at the Uptown Cinema 2 on Sunday, April 30 at 1 pm.  Both screenings will have an Audience Award, so come and vote! 

BHS also has a team competing in the 48-hour Film Off.  Teams from various high schools have two days to produce a short from start to finish.  The winner (selected in part by the audience) will win funds for their school’s production program.  Ballard’s team consists of Aven Fay, Ethan Hawthorne-Dallas, Krystelle Kurz, Jessica Lueck, and Wylie Soltes,  You can catch the 48-Hour Film Off – and cast your vote - on Saturday, April 29 at 11 am at the Uptown Cinema 1.  

In addition to screenings and awards, NFFTY includes forums on filmmaking.  For a complete schedule of events, show times, and ticket information, visit
NFFTY itself was the brainchild of Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking 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.)  The festival was co-founded by Harris, Kyle Seago (’07) – a Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking student at the time - and Jocelyn RC (Bellevue High School, ’07).  A growing list of sponsors and partners paved the way for this tenth annual event.