Project Twenty1’s mission is EPIC. We Educate, Promote, Inspire, and Connect artists through film and animation programs, in order to help build their creative passions into careers. While schools provide many skills needed to create great work, they rarely provide tools such as access to collaborators, funding, theatrical public exhibition, or distribution. Project Twenty1 strives to fill those gaps, to help each artist, no matter where they are in their career, to reach the next step.
Project Twenty1 was founded in 2006 by Philadelphia-area animator Stephanie Yuhas and Matt Conant, a live-action filmmaker. The pair realized that their talented friends had stopped being creative, in part because school had not prepared them for the realities of the industry, and they now had “real jobs” to pay the bills. Project Twenty1 was created to provide motivations that were hard to find outside of school: 1) inspiration, 2) a deadline, and 3) an audience.
Over the years, Project Twenty1 has run many programs from The Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival which welcomed thousands of people to the city from around the world, to 1-on1 student Mentorship programs. Project Twenty1 programs have resulted in the creation of over 300 original short films, and the exhibition of over 1,000 films and animations to over 15,000 attendees. We became a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in 2010.
Films screened at PFAF have sold to Netflix and other distributors. Others have received Academy Awards. 21-Day films have received screenings in 23 states and 11 countries. We have connected over 24,000 emerging media artists to paid opportunities. Post-festival surveys show that 52% of our creative community reports receiving paid work in their field for the first time as a result of our programs.
Throughout the years, we at Project Twenty1 are best known for our flagship program, The 21-Day Filmmaking Competition. We are excited to announce the return of this program in the autumn of 2019 in an exciting new format.
Stephanie Yuhas co-founded Project Twenty1 after graduating from the Philadelphia University of the Arts with Honors (BFA, Animation.) As a professional media artist, she saw a need in the market for an organization to support aspiring media artists who did not have access to education, cast, crew, equipment, or screening opportunities. She is most well known for her work on Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return (Netflix) and Moot (WHYY-TV.) She lectures on topics such as “Women in Film & Animation,” “Filmmaking on a Shoestring,” and “Networking & Pitching for Introverts.”
Matt Conant co-founded Project Twenty1 after graduating from Temple University Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Film & Media Arts. Matt Conant has over fifteen years of experience as a writer and director on shorts, features, and episodic content for web and broadcast, including the series Moot, Nerd vs. Geek, Living in 8 Bits, OverAnalyzers, Super Plumber Bros, and Society: Why It’s Wrong His work has been featured on UpWorthy and Kotaku. He is a writer for Netflix’s reboot of cult favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000. He is the founder of Cinevore Studios, a narrative fiction content house based in the Philadelphia region. Matt is a member of American MENSA.
Ryan Leib, President – Keystone Wealth Management Group of UBS
John Duffy, Treasurer – Rivergate KW Residential
Matt Conant, Secretary – Crystalline Studios
Courtney Baxter – 30 Under 30 Film Festival
Deborah Bookstaber – Element Associates
Jim Flanagan – Mentor, RSVP
Jenni Powell – New York Film Academy
Stephanie Yuhas – Cinevore Studios
Event Photography by Lee Rosenfeldt. Typewriter photo by Pereanu Sebastian