Young Guns

Young Guns is a portfolio competition awarding creative professionals 30 years and under, including designers, illustrators, entrepreneurs, and more!

2020: Let's face it — this was not going to be a normal year for anybody in the creative community. COVID-19 has affected everyone in ways great and small, but we knew that Young Guns 18 would carry on. After all, this is an award that honors a young creative's body of work over multiple years, not just what could be done over Zoom and with social distancing. And so the call for entries was opened in June, and the global response far surpassed expectations that had been muted by the pandemic.

Believing that diversity breeds diversity, this year's Young Guns jury was expanded to include more than 80 creatives from around the world and across many cultures and disciplines. With the usual split between past Young Guns winners who know firsthand of the glory this accolade brings, alongside other respected professionals bringing their own unique perspectives, the jury spent nearly three months going over hundreds of submissions. After multiple rounds of scoring, they settled on a finalist list of 83 entrants, all leading to spirited discussions that resulted in this year's class of 31 new inductees into the Young Guns family.

Alas, the raucous New York awards ceremony that is a hallmark of the Young Guns experience was not to be this year, but we still managed to salute the Young Guns 18 class virtually, from wherever they are in the world.

Young Guns 18

Meshal Aljaser


AlJaser was born 1995 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He began his filmmaking career in 2012 when he was 17. Cinema had been banned in the Kingdom for 80 years. To showcase his films, AlJaser depended on YouTube. He wrote and directed films on his channel “FOLAIM”, which collectively has 80 million views. He also wrote for Telfaz, another comedy YouTube channel. On Telfaz he wrote on “KHAMBALA” which gained 200 million views and directed and wrote on “LA YAKTHAR” and “TMSA7LY” which gained 400 million views. In 2016, Saudi Arabia started its cinema industry and removed the ban on theaters. AlJaser was chosen to represent the government’s new industry with his film “Is Sumyati Going To Hell?” and premiered in Paramount Studios and the Ace Theater. In 2020, the film was bought by Netlflix. In 2016, AlJaser won The First Prize Qumrah Award for best short film out of 22 thousand contestants with “Under Concrete“. In 2018 Aljaser created a pilot for a TV series “Another Planet” which was sold for SBC channel and funded for 30 episodes. His latest film, “Arabian Alien”, was an official selection in Sundance 2020 in the American narrative competition. It also won Atlanta Film Festival as best narrative film and screened at Palm Springs Film Festival. In 2020, AlJaser graduated with BFA in screenwriting.




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