Young Guns 20: Amara Abbas

By Alixandra Rutnik and Brett McKenzie Posted on Nov 02, 2022

Spotlighting the stupendous class of Young Guns 20

Nearly 100 renowned industry professionals made up the jury for Young Guns this year. And after revealing the 84 finalists, it is finally time to unveil the 31 winners who make up the class of Young Guns 20.

Every year, we add another class of young talent from all over the globe to the exclusive Young Guns community. The winners of Young Guns 20 are your next project directors, animators, designers, editors, illustrators, artists, photographers, storytellers, coders, and writers. So this is your cue to follow them on Instagram immediately– because they are our industry’s future legends after all.

In two weeks, the winners will fly into NYC from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments, make new friends, have a few cocktails, and take home their official Young Guns Cube. We can’t wait to celebrate with them at Sony Hall on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at 6:30 PM– and we hope to see you there too!

Before the party begins, we took the time to get to know each of our winners so you can read up on the highly creative individuals who make up Young Guns 20.







How did you first hear about Young Guns? What were your initial impressions of the Young Guns competition — the award and the community?

I first heard about Young Guns through friends at an ad agency. I have always admired the organization as a way to recognize and uplift talent.

What motivated you to enter this year?

I was nominated by a former Young Guns winner– the very talented Raphaël Ajuelos (YG19) encouraged me to apply!

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 decide which pieces were best to enter and truly reflected you and your work?

I chose my projects based on those that felt the most me and represented my sensibilities. I was cognizant of selecting projects where I was able to work with talented collaborators who helped to push the process and craft, and made the creative journey more special and honest.

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

I found out while working on a script. What better timing to receive the news? In filmmaking, sometimes your dreams can feel so distant. There are a lot of variables involved in getting an idea from the page to the screen. So getting the the news while working on a script was encouraging– a special and needed dose of inspiration.

"In filmmaking, sometimes your dreams can feel so distant... So getting the the news while working on a script was encouraging– a special and needed dose of inspiration."

How would you describe your personal brand in one sentence?

Hmmm! Honestly, I don't see myself as a brand - I see myself as a person. But the best way I can describe myself is an internationalist with soul and curiosity.

Who are some of the biggest influences on you and your work and career?

Kiarostami, Tarkovsky, Celine Sciamma, Jacques Audiard, and Khalil Joseph have in some ways all shaped me in my approach to filmmaking.

Alexis Kay, a Creative Director I met while at Apple, is a great friend and mentor. My reps at Iconoclast and New–Land have been a wonderful and inspiring support system to me in the last year. It all has me very excited to see what is next.

Now that you’re in the Young Guns crew, are there any past winners you look up to and admire? What is it about their work that you love?

To be confident in your craft and your own unique perspective in the world can be a scary, but special thing... so I have a lot of respect and admiration for all of the previous Young Guns winners who've found their voice and use it to share their gifts with the world.

Name a creative dream that you have yet to fulfill — hey, maybe Young Guns can help propel you in that direction! Who would you love to collab with?

I have a lot of dreams to fulfill! In short form, I would love to shoot a music video soon– maybe with someone like Sampha or Jamie XX. It would be really great to do some sort of visual album.

This is YG20, but what do you imagine you’ll be up to when YG30 rolls around in 2032, both personally and professionally?

Professionally, still making films, but hopefully more in long form– features would be ideal. Personally, still staying curious, still learning, still continuing to prioritize the people and things I love.



Come party with us and celebrate all the Young Guns 20 winners on Wednesday, November 16 at Sony Hall!

Get tickets! It's party time!

The class of Young Guns 20



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