May 22, 2019
Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) hosted the Spring 2019 student film festival on May 15 in Theater One at 199 Chambers Street. The competitive semi-annual event, produced by the BMCC Video Production Club, showcases student films from both BMCC as well as other CUNY colleges.
The festival was founded in 2013 by students in the Video Production Club who wanted to have a more official and prominent event to showcase their work.
Only films where BMCC students serve as producer, director, screenwriter or main talent—acting, music or dance—are eligible for the competition. Each film featured in the festival is a short—ranging in length from 15 seconds to 20 minutes.
There were 319 submissions to this semester’s event and 48 of those were screened during the festival. Of those screened, 41 films were eligible for the competition. Six submissions from other CUNY schools were among the outside films screened.
BMCC Media Arts and Technology Professor Anastassios Rigopoulos said he enjoys working with the students to produce the event.
“It seems the festival is gaining popularity, as each semester sees an increase in submissions from BMCC students, including more and more animation projects,” said Rigopoulos.
Three guest judges: Hyonok Kim, an award-winning choreographer and filmmaker; Nydia Marsella, an Emmy-nominated TV producer, director, editor, on-air host and BMCC graduate and Lisa Milinazzo, a director and playwright decided the winners of the competition.
Films were judged in ten different categories including best: narrative, documentary, director, cinematography, sound, editing, screenplay, public service announcements, experimental music video, animation and best acting performance.
This semester’s winners include:
Best Narrative: “Hair” by Liza Fedorovskaya
Best Documentary: “Project Growth” by Isaiah Black
Best Director: Szymon Dybowski for “December 14th”
Best PEM (Public Service, Client-Based, Experimental or Music Video project): “Carmen” by Sherouk Morsi
Best Cinematography: Kevin Jalo for “Amateur”
Best Performer: Andrew Davenport for “Leaders and Liters”
Honorable Mention to Sally Al-shiri for “Ends First”
Best Animation: “Slow” by Shani Shields
Honorable Mention to “New Planet” by Joel Ramirez
Best Editing: Kooyar Hosseini Golkou for “The Singer Has Become a Deejay”
Honorable Mention to “Greatness” by Vincent Bustamante
Best Screenplay: Kennedy Freeman for “This is America”
Best Sound: Kennedy Freeman for “This is America”
Honorary mention for Production Design “Must Be Khaleessi” by Andrew Davenport
Also, Devin Kendall Ward won the The Michael Vincent Rosen-Pipitone Award—named after Pipitone, a BMCC student who died unexpectedly in 2013. Pitpitone’s parents have attended the BMCC film festival since its inception in 2014.
Many of the BMCC students who screen their work at the festival hope to eventually find jobs in New York City’s thriving film, media or animation sector. The film industry employs more than 170,000 in New York City, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Media Arts and Technology (MEA) department at BMCC helps students get a foothold in the industry by providing them with necessary tools not only to further their college education, but also to land work in a media-related field. The MEA Department combines extensive hands-on experience with theoretical coursework in a comprehensive academic program. Students work in a state-of-the-art digital environment in BMCC’s media labs, television studios, audio studio, and post-production laboratories.