Thirteen young adults of various races and genders on a stage with older woman facing them. Screen behind them reads 2024 Spring Student Film Festival.
Student filmmakers at the end of the Spring Student Film Festival.

The 54th annual festival showcased 16 films of various genres, all directed by Adelphi undergraduate students.

Every semester, students taking film, screenwriting and production classes offered by the Department of Communications work hard on creating their individual short films. They work under the guidance of professors in the department, including Joan Stein Schimke and Terrence Ross. While the films, which range from comedy to thriller to documentary, reflect each student’s vision, the students collaborate with one another, giving them the opportunity to highlight their work at the end of each semester. And then there’s Jack.

Jack Furtado, technical director, has become a legend in the department, from offering production assistantships to students, to production club and being a mentor to students. He’s teaching a new class next semester called “S/T: Audio Production and Post Production for Film.” Once again, he hosted the department’s Instagram reel, where filmmakers discussed a little snippet of what their films are about. And student Landon Ohanian even made him the star of the opening segment shown in the beginning of the festival as a theater-like promo for what was to come.

After the screening, attendees headed to the production room of Blodgett Hall for an after-party, which is held at the end of every film festival and where winners are announced. Alumni and faculty judges, including Sebastiano Ricci ’20, now a professional puppeteer, met with students along with Gabriel Flores ’19 and adjunct faculty member Erika Bagnarello-Arguello.

“The best part of the festival is that students get a chance to share with the larger community what they have worked to create,” Ross said. “It is a great motivator to get students to complete their movies—their knowing it might be screened for an audience on the big screen. It also creates such a strong sense of community—since everyone works on everyone else’s movies and then we come together to celebrate them.

This year, a new category was introduced for best screenplay to acknowledge student screenwriters who did not submit a film but still wanted to share their work.

The award for Best Screenplay went to Mariane Sagna for Please Listen. Ethan Bloch ’24 and Ghila McBrien were named finalists for Damage Control and With Love, A Goodbye, respectively.

Student Films and Filmmakers

The films screened, in order of appearance, and their filmmakers are:

  • Absence of Color, Gabbie Banton ’24
  • American Dream, Mariam Shvangiradze
  • Undetected, Nina Berntzen ’24
  • Green Your Block, Eva Haishun ’24, first place, best editing
  • Blacking Out, Harrison Borod
  • Resonance, Jonathan Bauman, second place, best cinematography, best sound design
  • Que Quieres Decir, Kennie Dionisio ’24, best comedy
  • Gemini, Olivia Reid
  • Mystery Trip, Emily Kelliher
  • Andrea, Brian Bucalo ’24
  • Get a Clue, Lizz Panchyk ’24
  • Chant du Cygne, Emilia Matarrese ’24, audience choice

Student filmmaker Olivia Reid said, “I would encourage people to submit to the festival or simply attend because it’s fun, first and foremost. Especially if you have friends whose films are being shown, the festival at its heart is just a fun community experience at the end of the semester.”

Watch more Adelphi University Communications Department videos on Vimeo.

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