Young filmmakers from Lebanon, Taiwan, UK, and US selected as 2018 MIFF finalists


November 17, 2017 – 10 young filmmakers from Lebanon, Republic of China (Taiwan), the United Kingdom, and the United States are selected as finalists for the 6th Manhattan International Film Festival (MIFF), an annual cultural initiative of the World Youth Alliance (WYA) seeking to recognize promising young directors around the world committed to exploring the depth of the human condition. The finalists were selected based on the following evaluation criteria: Content and Relevance to WYA’s Mission, Technical Excellence, and Overall Quality.


This year’s roster of finalists tackled the topic of human dignity through exploring themes like the family, disability, man’s progress through time, travel, and more. Aside from their differing countries of representation, finalists’ age and experience range from as young as 15 years old to multi-awarded film directors in the field. 


The list below is in no particular order:

  • Stephanie Dieter, USA, Anthems: A Journey Around The World
  • Benjamin Schweky, USA, Chocolate Cake
  • Anthony Scalia, USA, Jimmy Scalia: An Honest For Portrait
  • The Institute for Documentary Filmmaking Life in Strides team, USA, Life In Strides
  • Maria Jacobs and Margaret Graves, USA, My Mind Is A Medicine Cabinet
  • TJ Noel-Sullivan, USA, Role Model
  • Gloria Tauk, Lebanon, RONDO
  • Harrison Fuller, USA, Sentiment
  • Phoebe Holman, UK, Towards Harmony: A Musical Integration
  • Joe Lee, Taiwan, What I Called Love  


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 27, 2018 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 6th edition of the festival. WYA will start accepting submissions to the 7th edition in December 2017.