2020 Manhattan International Film Festival Finalists Announced

February 6, 2020, New York, USA – The World Youth Alliance is happy to announce the top ten films that have qualified as finalists for the 8th Manhattan International Film Festival (MIFF). The MIFF is an annual cultural initiative of the World Youth Alliance (WYA) seeking to recognize promising young directors around the world who are committed to exploring the depth of the human condition.


This year, young filmmakers from Greece, the United States, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom were selected based on the following criteria: Content and Relevance to WYA’s Mission, Technical Excellence, and Overall Quality. The roster of finalists for 2020 tackled the topic of human dignity through exploring themes like migration, war, death, sickness, and more. Aside from their differing countries of representation, finalists’ age and experience range from young filmmakers to multi-awarded veterans in the film industry.

The list below is in no particular order:

  • Spyros Katsihtis, Greece, Philotimo
  • Xuedi Wang, USA, Between (the) Doors
  • Jordan Hwang, USA, The Mask From Home
  • Alvin Seenauth, USA, For You
  • Jake Oleson, USA, Please & Thank You
  • Rita Attieh, Lebanon, Emma
  • Brian Blum, USA, My Daughter Yoshiko
  • Georgie Yukiko Donovan, United Kingdom, AMA
  • Chun Gee Hong, USA, Because They Were Hurt
  • Ryan Zhang, USA, Waiting

Previous films recognized by the festival have examined themes relating to family, community, suffering, empathy, the pursuit of happiness, truth, and the transcendent. The top five winning films will be screened to a public audience on March 2, 2020 at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, New York City. Finalists will receive a certificate of recognition and their films will be screened in WYA regional offices around the world.

WYA would like to thank all of the young filmmakers for sending in their entries to the 8th edition of the festival. WYA will start accepting submissions to the 9th edition until November 2020. For inquiries, you may email the MIFF Secretariat at events@wya.net .