BMCC Student Film Festival Showcases Rising Directors, Animators, Producers and More

Still from Boutique by Jeremiah Chaparro
Still from Boutique by Jeremiah Chaparro

May 19, 2022

The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Student Film Festival, presented by the Cinema Arts Club (formerly known as the Video Production Club), took place virtually on Sunday, May 15. The festival can be viewed here at You Tube.

Still from Chronicles of a Volunteer by Raul F. Villasboa
Still from Chronicles of a Volunteer by Raul F. Villasboa

The mission of the BMCC Cinema Arts Club, which meets each week, is to enable aspiring student filmmakers to network with professionals and gain understanding of various roles and career paths in the film industry.

This year’s festival showcased 41 BMCC student films produced over the last two years that were selected from 63 submissions. The films represented a variety of genres including documentary, fiction, experimental, animation as well as Public Service Announcement (PSA)  and commercial and music videos.

Still from Connect by Philip Choi
Still from Connect by Philip Choi

The festival, which began in 2013 was presented biannually —Spring and Fall—in the years leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic. Organizers were forced to cancel the festival in Spring 2020 and Fall 2021. Plans call for the festival to return as an in-person event at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center in December 2022.

The festival is overseen and organized by filmmaker and Media Arts and Technology Professors Philip Weisman and Anastassios (Tassos) Rigopouls.

“The festival is important because it is often the first opportunity for our students to share their films with the public,” said Professor Rigopoulos.  “It is an encouragement and a way to celebrate their effort with friends and family. A public screening also allows our students to observe how others react to their work: this is quite revelatory for all artists.”

Still from In The Time I Spent With You by Jiin Yun
Still from In The Time I Spent With You by Jiin Yun

This year’s three-member jury — filmmaker and professor Ali Akarcesme; filmmaker Mirto Ioanna Kassis and actor Luis Pedron, founder and director of the International Film Festival Manhattan — presented the following awards and honorable mentions:

Michael Vinton Rosen Pipitone (MVRP) Foundation Rising Star Award

The MVRP Foundation was created by the mother and stepfather of Michael Vincent Rosen Pipitone, a BMCC student and club member who passed away in 2013. The award is given in his memory.

Cinema Arts Club member Megan Arnold

Best Fiction Film

“Harmony,” directed by Jeremiah Chaparro 

Honorable Mention: “Pig in Quarantine,” directed by Cady Finlayson

Best Documentary Film

“Chronicles of a Volunteer,” directed by Raul Flecha Villasboa

Honorable Mention: “Diana,” directed by Nino Gendzekhadze

Best Experimental Film

The Human Connection: “Aggression,” directed by Jonah Goldstein

Honorable mention: “Between Two Worlds,” directed by Jonah Goldstein

Best Music Video

“In the Time I Spent with You,” directed by Jiin Yun

Honorable Mention: “Diving Up,” directed by Stelios Psillos

Best Commercial or Public Service Announcement (PSA)

Honorable Mentions: “Connect,” directed by Philip Choi and “The Suspicious Bag,” directed by James Martinez

Best Animation

“Duet,” created by Iulios Kouroupis

Honorable Mention: “Sci-Fi Hallway,” directed by Javier Chen

Best Director

Raul Flecha Villasboa for “Chronicles of a Volunteer”

Best Screenplay

Jeremiah Chaparro for “Harmony”

Best Cinematography

This recognition was a tie: Jannio Vera for “Young and Vintage” and Raul Flecha for “Villasboa for Chronicles of a Volunteer”

Honorable Mention: Renzo Esposito for “Turbulent Water”

Best Editing

Jeremiah Chaparro for “Harmony”

Honorable Mention: Cady Finlayson for “Pig in Quarantine”

Best Sound

Jonah Goldstein for “The Human Connection: Aggression”

Best Performance

Stelios Psillos for “Diving Up”

Honorable Mention for “Best Message”

“Busy?” directed by Hakan Bayraktar, “I Am More Than What You See,” directed by Larissa Sarto and “Boutique” by Jeremiah Chaparro.

BMCC’s Media Arts and Technology Program Prepares Students 

BMCC’s Media Arts and Technology Program prepares students for careers in video production and post-production, studio television production, audio recording, editing and mixing, 2D and 3D animation,  computer graphics, web design, programming for games, and others. Students have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art software, as well as sophisticated video production gear. In addition, students learn a great deal about media history. theory and aesthetics, and develop their writing skills in several classes, including script writing.

Students showcasing and competing in a film festival supports BMCC’s strategic goals including Strategic Goal 3: Integrating career development throughout the student experience.

  • BMCC Student Film Festival, organized by the Cinema Arts Club took place online on Sunday, May 15
  • Festival showcased 41 BMCC student films produced over the last two years and selected from 63 submissions
  • Documentaries, experimental films, animation, PSAs and music videos were judged by three industry professionals; festival was organized by filmmaker and Media Arts and Technology Professor Anastassios (Tassos) Rigopoulos

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