Our Mission

Project Twenty1’s mission is E.P.I.C.

We Educate, Promote, Inspire, and Connect artists through film and animation programs, in order to build 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 is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit entity.

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Matt Conant & Stephanie Yuhas.

Our Beginning

Project Twenty1 was founded in 2006 by writer and animator Stephanie Yuhas, and live-action filmmaker Matt Conant.

The pair realized that many of their talented friends and colleagues had stopped being creative, in part because film 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-on-1 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.

Surveys of our creative community show that 52% report receiving paid work in their field – often for the first time – as a result of our programs.

We at Project Twenty1 are best known for our flagship program, The 21-Day Filmmaking Competition. We are proud to announce the return of this program in the autumn of 2019 in an exciting new format.

  • 2006

    First 21-Day Competition

    21 Teams, 21 Days. Our first-ever competition hosted teams from as far as Miami, Los Angeles, and Japan. Yet our winning team was a group of UArts students from Philadelphia, PA. The other teams gave them a standing ovation. That was the moment we knew our community was something special.
  • 2010

    Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival Debuts

    Combining our 21-Day Competition with a submission-based film led to the creation of the 4-day-long Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival. The festival led to some amazing creative collaborations, international guests to Philadelphia, and over $550,000 in economic impact to the Greater Philadelphia Region*. Over 50 Teams participated in the 21-Day Competition; some for the first time, some for the fifth! (*Source: Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance)
  • 2013

    Scaling Up

    Project Twenty1 is ranked among Moviemaker Magazine's Top Festivals. The 21-Day Competition hosts 70+ teams, and is hosted by Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000, who also selects the year's "Secret Element" all films must contain. (It was "Jump.") PFAF receives over 500 submissions, and screens over 100 short and feature-length films, including everything from first-time filmmaking masterpieces to episodes of Adventure Time and Weird Al music videos.
  • 2019

    National Launch!

    In 2019, Project Twenty1 relaunches its competition with an eye cast towards truly international participation. Taking full advantage of social media and advancements in screening technology, the single-screen Philadelphia experience is replaced with a series of screenings with not just local but global online reach!

Our Staff

Stephanie Yuhas

Executive Director

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 (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

Artistic Director

Matt Conant co-founded Project Twenty1 after graduating from Temple University 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, and has been the Artistic Director of Project Twenty1 since its founding in 2006. He is also the founder of Cinevore Studios, which creates smart comedy and genre content for film, web and broadcast.

Our Board of Directors

Ryan Leib

President

Asst. Vice President, Keystone Wealth Management Group of UBS

John Duffy

Treasurer

Rivergate KW Residential

Deborah Bookstaber

Board Member

President, Element Associates

Stephanie Yuhas

Executive Director

A co-founder of Project Twenty1, Stephanie is a writer and producer of film for broadcast and cable TV and digital content.

Jim Flanagan

Board Member

Executive Consultant

Jenni Powell

Board Member

Emmy-award-winning Producer; Faculty, NYFA

Matt Conant

Artistic Director

Matt is an indie writer/director, and founder of Cinevore Studios in addition to his work at Project Twenty1.

Courtney Baxter

Board Member

President, 30 Under 30 Film Festival

Our Advisory Board

Zachary Hoover

Advisory Board

Manager, State/Federal Gov't Affairs & Public Policy, Orlando Health

Priya Prakash Royal, Esq. LLM

Advisory Board

Managing Attorney, Royal Law Firm, PLLC

Mark Wille

Advisory Board

Principal, MRW Consulting

Dave Conant

Advisory Board

Former Executive Director, WRTI 90.1FM Philadelphia