Yale Student Film Festival

Celebrating Student Film

The Yale Student Film Festival (YSFF) is an emerging student-run short film festival, providing the opportunity for university-level filmmakers, both foreign and domestic, to exhibit their work.

Now in its fourth year, YSFF takes place annually at Yale University in New Haven, CT. The three-day-long event will include feature film screenings, workshops, and panels led by Yale alumni in the entertainment industry, culminating in a competitive student block and awards ceremony.

Founded in 2015, the festival began as a collaboration between the Yale Film Alliance, Yale Film Study Center, Yale Film Studies Program, Films at the Whitney, and the Yale College Dean’s Office to highlight the small, but growing community of filmmakers on Yale’s Campus, who create work outside of a traditional film school environment.

View past years of the Yale Student Film Festival

2018 Official Selections

Narrative Shorts

Liberation Still
Liberation Still

Liberation

Dir. Veronica Andersson (Winner, Best Cinematography)

Fourteen-year-old Magda is raped. Together with her mother, she sets out on a journey through Poland to find a hospital that will perform an abortion.

Veronica Andersson was born in 1982 in Stockholm, Sweden. She is currently pursuing a film diploma at Warsaw Film School. Liberation, her debut, has been screened at festivals around the world, winning the Grand Prix for Best Short Film at the 2017 Female Eye Film Festival (FeFF) in Toronto.

Liberation
dir. Veronica Andersson (Winner, Best Cinematography)
Train Man Still
Train Man Still

Train Man

Dir. Alex Barsky

A social outcast makes a home for himself inside of a train car.

Alex Barsky is an animator based in Brooklyn, New York.

 
Train Man
dir. Alex Barsky
She's (Not) My Sister Still
She's (Not) My Sister Still

She's (Not) My Sister

Dir. Anna Wowra

Dagmar, a dispassionate university student, has to look after her half sister for a day. Elena tries to trust her new guardian. 

Anna Wowra is a Polish filmmaker and recent graduate of the the Krzysztof Kieślowski Faculty of Radio and Television University of Silesia.

She's (Not) My Sister
dir. Anna Wowra
My Lithuanian Summer Still
My Lithuanian Summer Still

My Lithuanian Summer

Dir. Agne Jurkenaite

A uniquely animated film about childhood, trauma, and life cycles. My Lithuanian Summer won Best Animated Film at the 2017 Chiyoko Film Festival and competed in the official selection at the 2018 FiSH Film Festival.

Agne Jurkenaite is a student filmmaker at University of the Arts London.

My Lithuanian Summer
dir. Agne Jurkenaite
Old Salt Prigent Still
Old Salt Prigent Still

Old Salt Prigent

Dir. Georges Hauchard-Heutte (Winner, Best Narrative & Best Director)

After six years of sailing as a marine, Samuel returns to his native French village. But his homecoming takes an odd turn when he realizes the deep jealousy his father nourishes toward him.

Georges Hauchard-Heutte is a French film student and director. He recently graduated from Ecole de la Cité film school in St-Denis, France. Old Salt Prigent was his final project there.

Old Salt Prigent
dir. Georges Hauchard-Heutte (Winner, Best Narrative & Best Director)
Roshnij Still
Roshnij Still

Roshnij

Dir. Shaool Levy, Noy Friman, Maja Garmulewicz, Zuzanna Stach

A small ceremony of water droplets that raises a lot of questions. Roshnij is a short film about our place in society.

Shaool Levy, Noy Friman, Maja Garmulewicz, and Zuzanna Stach are filmmakers at the Sapir Academic College in Israel.

 
Roshnij
dir. Shaool Levy, Noy Friman, Maja Garmulewicz, Zuzanna Stach
Burdie Still
Burdie Still

Burdie

Dir. Justina Hnatowicz

Tired of being stuck in his cage and far too pudgy to fly, little Burdie devises a plan to escape that just may work.

Justina Hnatowicz is currently a junior at Syracuse University. Just this past year, she was introduced to the art of CG and simply fell in love. Since then, she has made it her mission to learn absolutely everything about creating animated films so she can bring her ideas and stories to life.

 
Burdie
dir. Justina Hnatowicz
Pan Still
Pan Still

Pan

Dir. Anna Roller (Winner, Best Editing)

Secretly, Juno dreams of Pan, the god of the forest. On a techno party in a house close to the forest, she meets him – the real Pan, a normal guy, loved by all the girls. But of course he does not even notice her. But something is changing inside of Juno. She becomes that animal from her dreams. She goes on a hunt – to get Pan.

Anna Roller is an award-winning filmmaker from Munich, Germany. She is a student at the University of Film and Television Berlin.

 
Pan
dir. Anna Roller (Winner, Best Editing)
The Electric Chair Still
The Electric Chair Still

The Electric Chair

Dir. Evgeniy Zverev

When a museum employee challenges her superior to a game, the playful becomes lethal and the sentenced the executioner.

Evgeniy Zverev is a student filmmaker at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow.

 
The Electric Chair
dir. Evgeniy Zverev
Beach Scene Still
Beach Scene Still

Beach Scene

Dir. Goncalo Ribeiro

A cab rolls up to a beach. Its driver and passenger have an argument.

Goncalo Ribeiro is a film student from Portugal. He recently started school at the London Film School. A Beach Scene is his second short film as director.

 
Beach Scene
dir. Goncalo Ribeiro
Limit Still
Limit Still

Limit

Dir. Javad Daraei

A disabled man runs frantically about his neighborhood trying to find help. No one can understand him, and all fear what lies inside his apartment. Moving through the streets of Baghdad, Limit is equal parts horror and drama and keeps its viewers in the dark until the final reveal.

Javad Daraei is a 25-year-old filmmaker from Iran. Limit is his second short feature to gain international acclaim.

Limit
dir. Javad Daraei
Paco Still
Paco Still

Paco

Dir. Catalina Jordan Alvarez

Paco spends his days on a park bench calling people to sit on his lap. Zany, bizarre, and beautifully shot, Paco is about the way we recognize our neighbors and interact with our community.

Catalina Jordan Alvarez is a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Media Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia. She has degrees from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute.

Paco
dir. Catalina Jordan Alvarez
Applause for Lazic Still
Applause for Lazic Still

Applause for Lazic

Dir. Marko Markovic

Nemanja has been arrested. His friends, Borko and Filip, figure out what to do about the guys who snitched on him.

Marko Markovic is originally from Belgrade, Serbia. He obtained degrees in dramaturgy and film at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. Applause for Lazic received its national premier at the 2017 Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival and its international premier at the 2017 Balkan New Film Festival in Stockholm.

 
Applause for Lazic
dir. Marko Markovic

Experimental Shorts

Connect Still
Connect Still

Connect

Dir. Hi-Jeong So

When a group of living pebbles turns violent, one stone leaves the pack behind.

Hi-Jeong So was born in Aachen, Germany. After moving to South Korea for middle and high school, she returned to Germany to study animation at Filmuniversity Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. Currently, she works as a background artist at the animation studio Meditation With a Pencil.

 
Connect
dir. Hi-Jeong So
Phimabong Still
Phimabong Still

Phimabong

Dir. Jakkrapan Sriwichai

Phimabong flickers between daydream to nightmare in its mystifying story of two men who spend the day at a rainforest cabin.

Jakkrapan Sriwichai is a student filmmaker at Chiang Mai University in Thailand.

Phimabong
dir. Jakkrapan Sriwichai
Nine Still
Nine Still

Nine

Dir. Ankita Panda

Nine connects the mathematical loops derived from the number 9 to the endless cycles that we go through in life and after life. We are all ‘strange loops’ part of larger ‘strange loops,’ and these infinite series of loops have been proven mathematically through the number 9. In the spirit of Hoftstader’s magnum opus, Godel, Escher, Bach.

Director Ankita Panda is an MFA candidate at USC.

 
Nine
dir. Ankita Panda
The Glass Horizon Still
The Glass Horizon Still

The Glass Horizon

Dir. Denis Pavlovic

A nightmare in Niedersachsen begins when Andrei, an Eastern European slaughterhouse guest worker, is denied employee lodging and forced to build a shelter in the nearby forest. Inspired by a real newspaper clipping, The Glass Horizon makes palpable the horror of factory life for guest workers in Germany.

Denis Pavlovic is a student at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg pursuing a degree in documentary filmmaking.

 
The Glass Horizon
dir. Denis Pavlovic
Embodying Voice Still
Embodying Voice Still

Embodying Voice

Dir. Ala Nunu Leszynska

A short animated work of lip-syncing inspired by a recording from the British Library.

Ala Nunu Leszynska is a Polish 2D and stop motion director and animator. She currently studies at the Royal College of Art in London.

 
Embodying Voice
dir. Ala Nunu Leszynska
Lotus Lantern Still
Lotus Lantern Still

Lotus Lantern

Dir. Xingpei Shen

A surreal peek into a Buddhist home shrine. Lotus Lantern is a tribute to the late Chinese singer Zhou Xuan, a missing link between the filmmakers’ queer identity and Chinese heritage.

Xingpei Shen grew up in mainland China and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2017. Lotus Lantern had its world premiere at the 14th Animation Block Party in New York and has since screened at festivals from Toronto to Mexico to Greece.

Lotus Lantern
dir. Xingpei Shen
Replica Still
Replica Still

Replica

Dir. Nic Yulo

A figurine painter struggles to finish her work amidst incessant external distractions.

Nic Yulo is a third year writer-director at Columbia University’s MFA Film program. A New York Women in Film & Television Scholarship Awardee, Nic is also the recipient of a Breaking Barriers Award for Female Directors for her Columbia MFA thesis film Horizon and a winner of an Adobe Design Achievement Award for Film & Video.

Replica
dir. Nic Yulo
Travelogue Tel Aviv Still
Travelogue Tel Aviv Still

Travelogue Tel Aviv

Dir. Samuel Patthey (Winner, Best Experimental & Best Animation)

A young art student from Switzerland arrives in Tel Aviv and sketches the striking incongruities of his environment over the following six months.

Originally from Berlin, Samuel Patthey received his Bachelor’s Degree in 2D Animation from the Lucerne School of Design and Art. Travelogue Tel Aviv is his thesis film and was awarded the Lucerne School of Design and Art Alumni Prize.

Travelogue Tel Aviv
dir. Samuel Patthey (Winner, Best Experimental & Best Animation)
324 Still
324 Still

324

Dir. Tandis Shoushtary

What goes on at 324 E 13th Street at night? A short verité, shot using an in-camera matting technique on hand-processed 16mm film.

Tandis Shoushtary is a 19-year-old BFA candidate at Cooper Union who learned the culture and language of her Iranian heritage in the context of migration. Focused mainly on animation and 16mm film, her work investigates quieter narratives, the shaping of identity and its hybrid forms resulting from relocation.

 
324
dir. Tandis Shoushtary
KCLOC Still
KCLOC Still

KCLOC

Dir. Ninaad Kulkarni

KCLOC is a 3D animated documentary about perceptions of time. A selection of brief interviews provides the voices for ten meticulously designed CGI clock characters placed in a variety of real-world settings.

Ninaad Kulkarni is a filmmaker from Mumbai, India. He made KCLOC, a semi-finalist in the 44th Student Academy Awards that has screened at over 32 film festivals across the globe, while pursuing his MFA in Computer Art at New York’s School of Visual Arts.

 
KCLOC
dir. Ninaad Kulkarni
Fool(ed) Still
Fool(ed) Still

Fool(ed)

Dir. Emily Van Loan

The struggles of a woman attempting to cope with her trauma. Highly textured, hand processed black and white images are intercut with stark color and accompanied by sounds of manipulated voices.

Emily Van Loan is a recent graduate of Binghamton University. Fool(ed) was her senior thesis project.

 
Fool(ed)
dir. Emily Van Loan
Are You Tired of Forever? Still
Are You Tired of Forever? Still

Are You Tired of Forever?

Dir. Caitlin Craggs

In this playful rhapsody of sensory cinema, the filmmaker juggles multiple selves. Chattering away and vying for attention, they bring to light a highly personal universe filled with paper teacups, a sugar-sprinkled beard, and carrot lipstick.

Caitlin Craggs is an animator living in Brooklyn. She received an MFA in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts, where she coordinated a visiting-artist series and experimented with writing and performance.

 
Are You Tired of Forever?
dir. Caitlin Craggs

Documentary Shorts

The Wall Within Still
The Wall Within Still

The Wall Within

Dir. Juan Manuel Ramírez (Winner, Best Documentary)

In Arizona, forensic anthropologists must analyze the remains of thousands of migrants who die each year crossing the Sonoran Desert into the U.S. Meanwhile, armed American vigilantes patrol the border.

Juan Manuel Ramírez is student at the University Center for Film Studies of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the oldest film school in Latin America. The Wall Within won Best Documentary at the Cono Sur International Film Festival.  

 
The Wall Within
dir. Juan Manuel Ramírez (Winner, Best Documentary)
Every Grain of Rice Still
Every Grain of Rice Still

Every Grain of Rice

Dir. Carol Nguyen

A beautiful clipboard of textures, sounds, and sights all come together in this audiovisual essay about the filmmaker’s relation to her Vietnamese heritage.

Carol Nguyen is an award winning 19-year-old filmmaker based in Toronto and Montreal. Her films have screened at festivals such as Nashville Film Festival and Los Angeles Film Festival.

Every Grain of Rice
dir. Carol Nguyen
Black Dog Still
Black Dog Still

Black Dog

Dir. Tomas Faiman

The myth of the Black Dog structures the life of these Argentine villagers. Capturing their stories and beliefs, this documentary traces how myths shape our identities and world.

Tomas Faiman is a documentary filmmaker from Villa Crespo, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studies Image and Sound Design at Buenos Aires University.

 
Black Dog
dir. Tomas Faiman
Havenofear Still
Havenofear Still

Havenofear

Dir. Jakub Gajdos

Religious fanaticism has many faces. Some detonate bombs; others wear masks of Jesus. Havenofear depicts Islamophobia in the small village of Nebosja, which lies at the border between Slovakia and Hungary.

Jakub Gajdos is a filmmaker from Banska Bystrica, Slovakia. He is currently a student at the Academy of arts in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia.

 
Havenofear
dir. Jakub Gajdos
Memorándum Still
Memorándum Still

Memorándum

Dir. Jennifer Lara

The corridors of former maternity hospital Barros Luco Trudeau echo with the anguish of the hundreds of women whose children were stolen from them.

Director/producer Jennifer Lara received her degree in film at Universidad Mayor and is currently based in Buenos Aires. Memorándum was awarded a Special Mention at the Festival of Argentinean Political Cinema and won first prize in the category of New Audiovisual Narratives at GRABA Festival in Mendoza.

 
Memorándum
dir. Jennifer Lara
At the End of the Day Still
At the End of the Day Still

At the End of the Day

Dir. Pedro Miguel Goncalvez

A portrait of a homoparental family: Marta and Mariana are married and live with their two young children, Matias and Maria Mar, and Madiba, a Dalmatian. At the End of the Day explores the importance of small gestures in a family’s intimate spaces.

Pedro Miguel Gonçalves is a documentary filmmaker from Almada, Portugal. After completing a two-year technical course at ETIC in Lisbon, he is pursuing a degree at the Lisbon School of Film and Theatre.

 
At the End of the Day
dir. Pedro Miguel Goncalvez

Yale Filmmaker's Block

Untitled Tenderness Project Still
Untitled Tenderness Project Still

Untitled Tenderness Project

Dir. Rebecca Shoptaw

Over the course of the rehearsal process for a tragic gay play, two boys in a college theater class do some thinking about the nature of representation.

Rebecca Shoptaw is a senior majoring in film and media studies. She has written and directed a number of award-winning short films about LGBTQ+ characters, along with the web series “Middlemarch: The Series,” which recently finished airing on YouTube. 

Untitled Tenderness Project
dir. Rebecca Shoptaw
Expectations Still
Expectations Still

Expectations

Dir. TJ Noel-Sullivan

When Brittany, a single mother struggling to get by, gets an unexpected visit from her estranged brother, Anthony, she is understandably suspicious. Anthony offers her a ride home, and it seems as though they might be able to reconnect. However, when the topic of their disabled father comes up, both siblings must reconcile what they owe to their family.

Originally from Hartford, CT, TJ is a Sophomore and Film and Media Studies Major in Saybrook College at Yale University.

 
Expectations
dir. TJ Noel-Sullivan
Bread and Bark Chips Still
Bread and Bark Chips Still

Bread and Bark Chips

Dir. Evan Billups

Bread and Bark Chips is a short, non-linear film that explores a teenage girl’s psyche as she deals with an eating disorder and grapples with the idea of home.

Evan Billups is from Portland, Oregon. She is a Sophomore and American Studies Major in Morse College at Yale University.

 
Bread and Bark Chips
dir. Evan Billups
Runaway Still
Runaway Still

Runaway

Dir. Matt Nadel, Lucie Rhodes Evans

James and Liz, young and in love, desire nothing more from life than each other. When social pressures get the best of them, however, they decide that their relationship will thrive only in isolation. Running away from their homes, families, and lives, James and Liz seek to start a new, pure life together. Instead, they are torn apart.

Matthew Nadel is from Boca Raton, Florida. He is a First Year in Grace Hopper College at Yale University.

 
Runaway
dir. Matt Nadel, Lucie Rhodes Evans
The Sheep and the Wolf Still
The Sheep and the Wolf Still

The Sheep and the Wolf

Dir. Ronan Day-Lewis

A woman returns to her family home in rural Ireland to find herself caught in a cruel mind game with someone she had forgotten.

Ronan Day-Lewis is from New York City. He is a Sophomore and Art Major in Berkeley College at Yale University.

 
The Sheep and the Wolf
dir. Ronan Day-Lewis

THE 2018 LINEUP

Poster for 2018 Film Festival Schedule