Young Filmmakers Shine at CineYouth Festival: Donate Now and Your Contribution Will Be Matched

There’s something about the way young minds see the world. Untethered to mortgages and high-stress jobs and raising young children, they are more carefree, hopeful yet concerned about the future, and full of ideas for how to change things. 

From April 22 to May 1, step inside the world of youthful, imaginative storytelling at the CineYouth Festival — an eight-day hybrid film festival that showcases the work of filmmakers 22 years old and younger. CineYouth 2022 will be held in-person in Chicago at Facets on April 22 to 24, and will be available virtually worldwide from April 25 to May 1. Admission to all screenings are free with pre-reserved tickets. 

Courtesy of CineYouth Festival

Featuring 71 short films from around the world written and directed by diverse young filmmakers, this year’s CineYouth schedule includes films from 17 countries, with more than half of the titles directed or co-directed by female-identifying filmmakers, and ten films by filmmakers identifying as nonbinary. 17 titles will be holding their World Premieres at CineYouth, and another 12 will be celebrating their U.S. debut. Select, award-winning CineYouth films will be screened at the 58th Chicago International Film Festival in October 2022.​ 

The CineYouth Festival not only offers young filmmakers a public place to showcase their films outside of a school settings and meet and create connections with peer youth filmmakers globally, it also includes a series of free workshops and events led by film industry experts to train and inspire the next generation of filmmakers.

“As CineYouth returns to in-person screenings at Facets, these young filmmakers are setting the bar for the next generation of cinema,” said CineYouth Festival Director Ryan Saunders. “These artists have created inspiring, challenging, and insightful films despite the uniquely difficult environment in which they have worked over these last two years.”​

Courtesy of CineYouth Festival

Several CineYouth alums have gone on to make films receiving awards and recognition at major festivals. ​Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan’s latest short, The Headhunters Daughter, won the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2022, and Carol Nguyen​ made waves at the Toronto International Film Festival, DOC NYC, and SXSW with her short film, No Crying at the Dinner Table.​ 

To support the CineYouth Festival and its mission to enable aspiring young filmmakers to have a platform to share their impactful work, the Make It Better Foundation has pledged a $10,000 matching grant for anyone who donates beginning April 12 through May 3 at chicagofilmfestival.com

donate now

Other sponsors of the festival include Acqua PannaDark Matter CoffeeDePaul UniversityIllinois Arts Council Agency and Make It Better Media Group


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Donna Berry Glass

Donna Berry Glass is a freelance writer in Marin County who writes mostly about family and kid-oriented topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family exploring the natural beauty of Marin, snuggling with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel while reading a good book or whipping up something delicious in her space-challenged kitchen. Donna is a supporter of the California Academy of Sciences, a world class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much needed services to seniors and disabled individuals.