The Manhattan International Film Festival, January 27th & 28th 2012, showcased 15 short films of young directors from Belgium, England, Spain, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Philippines, India, Pakistan, and the United States, who were selected as finalists by the World Youth Alliance’s 2011 international film competition. The festival featured keynote speaker, Krzysztof Zanussi, a renowned Polish director who spoke on the topic of Constructing Reality in a Post-Modern World and presented his feature film, "With a Warm Heart".
At the conclusion of the festival, prizes were awarded to 5 young directors who presented their work.
The People’s Choice Award, determined by popular vote and awarded to the film most enjoyed by festival attendees, was presented to Lance Katigbak for his film, "Fine Dining". Lance is a college freshman studying Broadcast Communications at the University of Philippines.
The World Youth Alliance Dignity Award, a prize for the most innovative portrayal of the dignity of the person through film, was presented to Solomon Nana Yaw Yeboah for his film, "Frank’s Tin Car" and Benjamin Lorenzo for his film, "Tengo Hambre". Nana is a 29 year-old film-maker from Ghana who is producing a series of films capturing the stories of children living in his country. Benjamin lives in Madrid, Spain and has received numerous awards for his work, including 2nd place in the Pepsi International Short Film Festival.
The World Youth Alliance Artist Award, a prize for the most creative cinematography that seeks new ways to express human ideas, was presented to Cécile Mavet for her film, "The Calling", and Jason Stefaniak for his film,"The Garden". Cécile, a French film director who lives and works in Brussels, spent several years in the United Stations and directed her first short films at Vassar College. Jason is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts in Film Production at New York University.
These top five films recognized by the Manhattan International Film Festival will be screened at the United Nations during an April, 2012 cultural event hosted by the World Youth Alliance.
The Manhattan International Film Festival aims to gather films that present authentic accounts of the human experience, drawing viewers into deeper contemplation of the human condition. Applicants are asked to submit films that explore themes such as the triumph of the human spirit, the individual’s heroic use of freedom, and the power of solidarity among people from diverse backgrounds. To apply for the World Youth Alliance’s 2012 film competition, email firstname.lastname@example.org.