Our Vision

The Festival


The Austin Youth Film Festival is an organization that seeks to create film opportunities for young, independent filmmakers and foster a lifelong love of the media arts.  Through competitions, screenings, and mentorships we actively work toward providing events catered to youth in the media arts. 

Created in 2013 by local film teachers who saw the need for there to be more media arts programming for youth, Alex Thomas (Khabele School) and Carrie Evans (Rawson Saunders School and Austin School of Film) founded the festival  and have watched it grow each year with great success and praise.  Ultimately, our goal is to extend the youth-oriented festival to include more competitions, networking and internship  opportunities, field trips, screenings and events exclusively aimed to educate and promote young filmmakers.

Currently, there are a host of film organizations in Austin, TX that create festivals, screenings, and events which foster our independent filmmaking community. Many of these festivals, non-profits, and businesses offer very few opportunities for the eighteen-and-under population. However, the Austin Youth Film Festival is the only running Texas festival which revolves entirely around finding, screening, and rewarding films produced entirely at the hands of youth.   


The festival is going into its fourth annual run and we anticipate another year of significant growth.  We are proud of the success of our festival so far, and with your help we hope to expand it into an industry event that even more filmmakers, young and old, will want to attend.  In fact, in our short time as a festival:

  • Over 30 film programs and schools in Austin have participated.
  • Our screening has sold out at the Alamo Drafthouse every year.
  • We have received nearly 100 film entries each year.

Student filmmakers have had the chance to rub elbows with industry professionals that have included: Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland, Kat Candler, Ya’Ke Smith, Bryan Poyser, PJ Raval, Scott Rice, Heather Kafka, Chris Doubek, Jason Wehling, and more.

And with your help we only see this event getting bigger in the future!

AYFF Alums and Co-Founder, Carrie Cates meeting Richard Linklater after an AYFF Meet and Greet at AFS.

AYFF Alums and Co-Founder, Carrie Cates meeting Richard Linklater after an AYFF Meet and Greet at AFS.