The Philly Youth Film Festival 2019 is complete. Thank you to all those who submitted and attended, and make sure to watch out for next year's film fest!


1st Have You Ever Been In Love? Kaya Trefz

2nd Welcomer Sam Gualtieri & Jalen Ramseur-Williams

3rd The Guitar Brianna Quimby


1st iRony Radheya Jegatheva

2nd Fictional Characters Ivana Noa

3rd Journey Radheya Jegatheva


1st Maya Rajkishore Mohapatra

2nd The Island of Music Lily Annenberg

3rd We Are Now Carlos Escobar, Kimberly Gonzalez-Ramirez, Verite Igiraneza, Yohannes Gezahegn, Merry Hailegeorgies


1st Gone Fishing Noah Eisenstein

2nd Hearing Aid Juliana Santamauro

3rd Have You Ever Been In Love? Kaya Trefz


SATURDAY FEB. 23, 2019


Refreshments and lunch will be available during registration and breaks.


Event Registration, Lunch and Networking Sharpless Lobby


Keynote Speaker: Nathaniel Kahn Yarnall Auditorium


Break Sharpless Lobby


Workshop Session 1 Sharpless Classrooms


Break Sharpless Lobby


Workshop Session 2 Sharpless Classrooms


Break Sharpless Lobby


Awards and Screening Yarnall Auditorium




Nathaniel Kahn is an award-winning filmmaker. His documentary My Architect, about his father, Louis I. Kahn, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003 as well as being nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards and an Emmy. Kahn also won the 2004 Directors Guild of America award for outstanding direction of a documentary. His short films include the Oscar- and Emmy-nominated Two Hands (2006), about the internationally celebrated pianist Leon Fleisher. Kahn has also made several films on science including Telescope (2015) and Dark Side of the Sun (2016) for Discovery. He is currently at work on a feature-length documentary on the Webb Space Telescope as well as a new screenplay, which he will direct.


Founded last year as a student initiative at Germantown Friends School, PHYFF is a student-run event dedicated to helping teenage creatives find their voice in a rapidly expanding community of young filmmakers. We sought to create an environment where our peers could have their work recognized without massive budgets or extensive training. We recieved submissions from Philadelphia schools and accross the world, and we recieved an even greater volume of submissions this year.

This festival is a great opportunity to show off work and get critiques, as well as to network with peers from the area and make connections. Filmmaking experts will judge and rank submitted films in four categories: narrative, documentary, experimental, and screenplay. This year we're also offering eleven workshops on a variety of common and niche filmmaking focuses.

The Festival is open to high school students in the greater Philadelphia area and beyond, with free participation for all students, and it includes an awards ceremony for the winning films. Visit the attend section to learn more.


NOAH WEINSTEIN is a senior at Germantown Friends School. He loves music production, tech and travel. Noah has recently begun filmmaking and enjoys creating cinematic drone videos. He is a leader in Tech Theater, often involved in plays and musicals, and he manages an aquaponic farm on campus that he designed and built.
RAIA STERN is a senior at Germantown Friends School. She enjoys making and watching films, writing short fiction, and taking photos in nature. She is multimedia editor of Earthquake magazine, a passionate climate activist, and is involved with neuroscience and primate research at the University of Pennsylvania. Raia has lived in Philadelphia her whole life, and seeks to connect with the city's vibrant communities through art and civic engagement.
TOMMY VICTOR is a junior at Germantown Friends School. He's interested in natural sciences, and has done paleontology, geology and botany work. On campus, Tommy is involved with the aquaponic farm and the beehive. Tommy got his filmmaking start with parody action movies and rap videos, and has made documentaries too.
BEN RAUFER is a Junior at Germantown Friends. When it comes to filmmaking he is one of the three creators of the popular comedic B-Dawg movie and song series but is also interested in working on more serious movie projects. His other non-film interests include drawing, writing, and running Cross Country.
BEN ROSIN is a Junior at Germantown Friends School. He enjoys running for the school track team and helping out at GFS's computer science department. Ben helps with the public face of the festival, contacting potential sponsors or collecting entries. His interests include outreach and marketing, but he's eager to do whatever it takes to host the Philly Film Fest at GFS!
CALEB RADER is a freshman at Germantown friends. He's interested in engineering and art. He likes to skateboard and play with his siblings in his free time. He's helping to coordinate judges and workshop presentations for the 2019 Festival. He also runs track with other members of the PHYFF team.
CASEY SPARKS is a freshman at Germantown Friends School. He is a huge fan of film, comedy, and animation. He spends his free time writing reviews and voice acting, and is also a guitarist and martial artist.
CHARLIE BRODKIN is a freshman at Germantown Friends School. He is a Fine Art Photographer, and an aspiring Videographer, Designer, and Web Developer. He is currently working on a Documentary on John Phillips and Gina Michaels casting as well as developing stock photography and retouching businesses. He also enjoys running Cross Country and Track, writing, music, and watching films. On the PHYFF team, Charlie helps with Publicity and Graphic Design.
EVA SUN is a junior at Germantown Friends School. She lives and breathes literature, writing, and music. She is the founder and leader of both GFS's literature club and the academic journal, The Ellipsis. She writes, frequently and fervently, for GFS's publications. Eva is especially interested in the making of documentary films, i.e. field study and the ethics of observation. She is invested in social justice issues. Eva is a violinist as well as a member of GFS Mock Trial.
GRACE RAUFER is a ninth Grader at Germantown Friends School. She loves music, film, theater, and writing. She has written her own original songs and has submitted writing to national competitions. She has always loved recording and making videos and music since she was a little kid. She has participated in the school musicals and plays and also enjoys running cross country and being outdoors.
HENRY FARNHAM is a junior at Germantown Friends School. After making his first movie in his backyard, his love of film grew. In 2017, his documentary on Vernon Park was acknowledged by the Bridge Film Festival and the Philadelphia Youth Film Festival. Henry is interested in politics and is a flutist in the GFS Orchestra, a Baritone in the GFS choir, and a witness on the Mock Trial team.
JESSICA YOUNG is a senior at Germantown Friends School. She is a National Scholastic Arts award winner and teaches a group of art students at a local language school every Friday night. Jessica has worked with a professional Philly artist on the Comcast Building tunnel’s public art installation and also with the business branch of a Chinese Gourmet School on commercial advertisements.
SEAN PARK is a sophomore student who attends Germantown Friends School and is the Submissions Coordinator of the Philadelphia Film Festival. Some of his hobbies and outside-school pursuits are jazz/rock drums, squash, and filmmaking. Sean is also involved with “Philly Reading Coaches” which aids young and underprivileged kids in basic educational skills. He hopes to pursue his dream in a career in neuroscience in the future.
SONGQI (STEVEN) PU is a junior at Germantown Friends School. He has been making films for three years. Having lived in Beijing for many years, Songqi is very interested in discovering similarities and differences between cultures and identities through the lens. He has also participated in many intercultural/border programs in the past year. Recently, he is working on an intercultural project with Mozilla Foundation.
THOMAS SHAW is a Junior at Germantown Friends. He enjoys computer science, music, and film related avenues, and hopes to combine them into a more powerful medium. He is currently working on a documentary about the choir he attends, and hopes to continue his film career with the help of friends and teachers at GFS. Thomas manages the PHYFF website and is willing to help out wherever he can with the PHYFF team.
WILL HAGELE is a Junior at Germantown Friends School. He is interested in electronics and computer programming, and looks for ways to apply these concepts to real-world situations, such as the PHYFF website. Will also enjoys playing tennis and bass.