Young Guns 18: Phillip Youmans

By Alixandra Rutnik and Brett McKenzie on Nov 18, 2020

Highlighting the creative superstars that make up the class of Young Guns 18

2020 has been one rollercoaster of a year, but fortunately, the spirit of creativity can't be dampened. Want proof? Check out the winners of Young Guns 18!

Beginning with our largest and most diverse jury in history, acclaimed creatives from across the globe spent three months reviewing hundreds of submissions from insanely talented young professionals seeking validation for all of their hard work. After narrowing down the field to 83 top-notch finalists, the jury engaged in virtual discussion and debate, deciding who will win one of the most career-impacting honors in our industry.

In the end, we are honored to present the 31 incredible winners of Young Guns 18, a diverse collection of artists, filmmakers, animators, designers, illustrators, and others, all of them representing some of the very best that their fields have to offer.

We invite you to learn about all 31 Young Guns 18 winners in this series of interviews.







When did Young Guns first pop up on your radar?

I first heard about Young Guns through a colleague.

You're a first-time entrant — congrats! What made you enter this year?

Thanks! I decided to enter this year becasue of the advice from my production company Smuggler.

Young Guns is as much an exercise in self-curation as it is in sheer creative talent. After all, you are only allowed to submit six projects. How did you go about deciding which pieces to submit and which to leave out?

I went with the pieces I felt the most strongly about, and with the ones I was the most proud of today.

What went through your mind when you discovered that you won, knowing how difficult it is to make it into Young Guns?

I was absolutely elated.

If you had to pick one of the six projects that you entered as your favorite, which one would it be and why?

One of my favorite projects is probably "Imagine A Moon Colony," because I’m in a Afrofuturism wave right now.

If you had to describe your creative style, the part of your work that’s most distinctively “you”, what would it be?

My kinetic, yet patient camera work.

Who are some of the biggest influences on your work and career, people who may have had a hand in mentoring and supporting you?

My biggest influences are defintiely filmmaker Benh Zeitlin, and filmmaker and instructor Isaac Webb.

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a pretty crazy year, with a global pandemic and social upheaval shaping so many facets of our lives. Aside from the positive news of winning Young Guns, how has this year been for you?

Through this year, I’ve learned that my family and my art bring me the most peace.

Name a creative/professional dream that you have yet to fulfill — hey, maybe Young Guns can help propel you in that direction!

I want to start my own magazine called Voodoo Magazine.

Any last words about winning Young Guns 18 that you'd like to share?

Thank you so much for highlighting me and my work!


"Phillip Youmans is a force to be reckoned with. He tells real stories, with a deliberate and natural style. He weaves the viewer through confronting narratives, while still capturing the small joys and fleeting moments in everyday life. His vision and values are embedded into his lyrical filmmaking, and he is truly deserving of his success to date."

Gemma O'Brien
Artist & Designer
Young Guns 13 Winner

"So young, brave and bold! In his very young age, Phillip Youmans already shows his unique director's voice, creating very atmospheric pieces — it's hard to believe some of these works were done when he was just a teenager! The way he frames his shots is very original and artistic. I was stunned by such a new look. "Inner Wave OOF" was my favorite; a good example of how you can create a stunning visual narrative with a simple set, but a great vision."

Kirill Karnovich-Valua
Creative Director

"Phillip Youmans has found a way to use the film medium as a vehicle for time traveling. One could argue time traveling is precisely the business that filmmakers are in, but Phillip (who hasn’t even been around that long himself) has turned time into more than ‘simply’ a storytelling instrument. At the risk of sounding too much of a fan, I think his interesting oeuvre tries to explain something about ourselves, some fresh new way of looking at ourselves. It's as if he’s saying ‘your opinions, your feelings, your whole belief system… all those things depend hugely on the moment you’re creating them. And although that’s stating the obvious, it might not be very helpful. So simply take your time forming an opinion and don’t jump to conclusions.’ All of which is done with a great eye for photography and form and ditto an ear for music and sound."

Maartje Slijpen
Art Director/Creative Partner

"Phillip’s vision is one of a kind, and he’s simply a great example of extraordinary talent. His genuine taste and sensibility turns everything he sees and everything he wants to tell into poetry through a camera lens."

Directors + Photographers
Young Guns 16 Winners



Make sure to check out all the Young Guns 18 Winners in the archive!

Young Guns 18 Archive



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