alex bohs

For those who don't know, NFFTY (pronounced "nifty") is the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, which has grown into the largest youth film festival in the world over the past seven years. Even better, NFFTY routinely features terrific films that induce viewers to forget the makers' ages and get lost in beautiful work. Among the offerings in NFFTY 2013:

Finding Franklin

Directed by 22-year-old Alex Bohs of Illinois, this moody 14-minute drama follows a young woman called home for her grandfather's funeral who stumbles upon a mysterious link to her grandfather's past. It's all gorgeously shot and tastefully spare, with significant stretches passing wordlessly before closing with a revelatory (and still spare) conversation. (Spoiler alert: LGBT themes.)

Lost and Found

Coming on like a King County CSI, this locally made short jumps between a mystery in a medical examiner's office and flashbacks on how this mystery came to be. Along the way, it paints an elliptical portrait of a father and daughter's troubled relationship, and if you're tempted to note the occasionally clunky exposition, allow me to point out that the film was made by two 16-year-olds (Chase Crittenden and Kayla Loy) and a 12-year-old (Asher Handaly).

Strawberry Blonde

This impressionistic short, from Denmark's Andrea Sand Gustavson and Anna Malmkjaer Willumsen, follows a pubescent girl as she babysits her little sister at a family party, where both girls stumble into some forbidden knowledge. It's a lovely portrait of barely budding sexuality and sisterly connection. recommended

NFFTY 2013 runs April 25–28 at the Cinerama and SIFF Uptown. Full info at nffty.org.

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