Project Twenty1 would like to thank the Philadelphia Cultural Fund for continuing to support Project Twenty1 and so many other amazing members of the artistic community in Philadelphia.

Their 2022 grant, and the support of the City of Philadelphia in general, allows us to continue to serve and nurture the greater Philadelphia area community through art and culture.


Our Mission

Project Twenty1’s mission is E.P.I.C.

We Educate, Promote, Inspire, and Connect artists and aspiring artists alike 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.


Our Beginning

Project Twenty1 was founded in 2006 in Philadelphia, PA.

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 Philadelphia 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 at least 23 states and 11 countries. We have connected over 28,000 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 is best known for our flagship program, The 21-Day Filmmaking Competition.

  • 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

Matt Conant

Artistic Director

Matt has over fifteen years of experience as a writer and director on shorts, features, and episodic content, including digital series Moot, Nerd vs. Geek, Living in 8 Bits, OverAnalyzers, Super Plumber Bros, and Society: Why It’s Wrong. He is a writer for Netflix’s reboot of cult favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000, as well as on the MST3K Live! Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour. He is the founder of Cinevore Studios, which creates smart comedy, sci-fi, and fantasy stories for film, TV, digital, and publishing.

Our Board of Directors

Matt Conant


Matt is a screenwriter, novelist and show creator, and founder of Cinevore Studios.

John Duffy


Rivergate KW Residential

Nikko Nelson

Board Member

Account Executive, Paypal

Chris Potako

Board Member

Creative Director, Idryonis Studios

Advisory Board Members

Michael Tabb

WGA Screenwriter & Author

Screenwriter, active member of the WGA, award-winning screenwriting educator, author of Prewriting Your Screenplay

Stephanie Yuhas

Director Emeritus

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