At my daughter's urging we attended the "Centerpiece Gala" show Saturday night at NFFTY, the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. To be honest, I wasn't too thrilled to be seeing a bunch of short films made by kids. Man was I surprised.

Both the Jury Award for best short and the Audience Award for the Centerpiece Gala went to The End, written, directed by, and starring Dom Fera, a 19-year-old sophomore at New York University. This kid is a future star, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him on TV or in the theaters sometime soon. In the meanwhile, I've embedded the full film above.

Sitting right in front of us was another Centerpiece Gala director, 21-year-old Vancouver BC based Joel Ashton McCarthy, who was showing Why Does God Hate Me? a short film covering the coming of age of a gay boy raised in a God-hates-fags Christian community. Funny. Sweet. Great acting by the kids. Can't find an embed code for it, so here's a link to the trailer.

Anyway, young filmmakers are lucky to have a venue like NFTTY, and we're fortunate to have this festival right here in Seattle. Corporate sponsors fund the festival, but NFTTY largely relies on individual donations to fund their year-round operations. If you have some lose change, it's well worth throwing them a few bucks.