Finalists for the 2019 Manhattan International Film Festival Announced

January 17, 2019 – The World Youth Alliance is happy to announce the top ten films that have qualified as finalists for the 7th 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 Mexico, the Philippines, the United States, the Netherlands, 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 2019 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 as young as 16 years old to multi-awarded veterans in the film industry.

The list below is in no particular order:

  • Brian Adamkiewicz, Mexico, Build Ramps Not Walls
  • Caitlin Brunnock, USA, Finding Refuge
  • David Siev, USA, Year Zero
  • Daniela Maria Magsaysay, the Philippines, Daybreak
  • Jacqueline Prata, USA, Bitter Sweet
  • Jose Bryan Nonay and Ayie Bueno, the Philippines, Indak ng Panahon
  • Tamino Parren, the Netherlands, The Mirror of the Artist
  • Tommy Creagh, United Kingdom, Father of the Man
  • Will Garofalo, USA, Jesus Loves Bikers Too
  • Erin Cutler, USA, Bow with Me


Previous films recognized by the festival have examined themes relating to family, community, suffering, empathy, the pursuit of happiness, truth, and the transcendent. The ten finalists’ films will be screened to a public audience on March 25, 2019 at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, New York City. The winners 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 7th edition of the festival. WYA will start accepting submissions to the 8th edition until December 2019. For inquiries, you may email the MIFF Secretariat at