Yale Student Film Festival

Celebrating Student Film

The Yale Student Film Festival (YSFF) is a student-run short film festival, providing the opportunity for university-level filmmakers, from Yale and from around the world, to exhibit their work.

Founded in 2015, YSFF takes place annually at Yale University in New Haven, CT. The three-day-long event includes feature film screenings, workshops, and panels led by Yale alumni in the entertainment industry, culminating in a competitive student block and awards ceremony.

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 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

 

2019 Official Selections

Documentary Shorts

A collection of interviews from people about their fathers. Featuring the director's father, aunt, sister, girlfriend, Annakeest
A collection of interviews from people about their fathers. Featuring the director's father, aunt, sister, girlfriend, Annakeest

What's There to Say

Dir. Robert Gordon

A collection of interviews from people about their fathers. Featuring the director’s father, aunt, sister, girlfriend, Annakeesta, and Jacob.

 
What's There to Say
dir. Robert Gordon
Herzblut
Herzblut

Herzblut

Dir. Matthis Waetzel

The traditional craft dies.

And yet, there are still a few out there who cling to their craft, who live and love their convictions and their passion with their profession. Despite to the difficult prospects, they do not give up and continue their work for decades. Herzblut is a trinational project about three people with three different and traditional professions. In this context, we accompanied the blacksmith Sepp Eybl from the Ybsstal in Austria, the fisherman Johann Rieger from the Walchensee in Bavaria and Ernst Vogel, hiking shepherd on the pasture of Andermatt in Switzerland. We want to show the fascination, stamina and passion that stands behind these professions and we want to draw attention to the fact, that these people still do something special and should not fall into oblivion.

 
Herzblut
dir. Matthis Waetzel
Eau de Toilette
Eau de Toilette

Eau de Toilette

Dir. Arman Grigoryan

Mario and Ingo know a face of Berlin which is unfamiliar for most people. Instead of iconic night clubs and on-trend vernissages they see the daily waste water produced by the metropolis: They are sewerage workers. A portrait of a job that keeps the system running and shows the differences between a world above and below the surface.

 
Eau de Toilette
dir. Arman Grigoryan
My World is No Longer the World I Knew
My World is No Longer the World I Knew

My World is No Longer the World I Knew

Dir. Weiye Su

18 years later, I revisited my first “home.” Nothing seems to change, and nothing seems the same.

My World is No Longer the World I Knew
dir. Weiye Su
One Room School
One Room School

One Room School

Dir. Om Satalkar

In the final academic semester of National Institute of Design, the Design Project allows a student to take up a documentary film as the project. It involves research, pitching the project, direction, editing and sound design of the film under a budget of 100$ in 10 weeks by an individual student.Ek Orda ni Shala (One Room School) is a documentary film on efforts taken by a school called Helpline Education Home in Ahmedabad. Having an aim of making a better India, the school only coaches underprivileged kids who cannot afford education, guidance and a good environment for self development. The film observes the beneficiaries as a medium to explore the subject, its success and failures.

 
One Room School
dir. Om Satalkar
Exist
Exist

Exist

Dir. Peyam Shadniya

She is a mother of a fish capsule and then sells her capsules of oxygen for her baby.

 
Exist
dir. Peyam Shadniya

Experimental Shorts

Off Season
Off Season

Off Season

Dir. Lang Orsolya

In a small fishing village during off season a day is like another. The inhabitants live side by side like the elements of the landscape. But a small sway is enough to break the routine, and the closed worlds become close words. Special days reveal themselves only when they come close to end.

 
Off Season
dir. Lang Orsolya
Sweet Sweat
Sweet Sweat

Sweet Sweat

Dir. Jung Hyun Kim

A child recognizes the erotic relationship between the parents. Curious but overwhelmed, the child takes control.

 
Sweet Sweat
dir. Jung Hyun Kim
Heilerijk
Heilerijk

Heilerjik

Dir. Zoë Boogaerts

The caretaker of an old woman who tries to find peace at the end of her life helps her in her final moments and protects her when a demon enters her room. A tale about tenderness.

 
Heilerjik
dir. Zoë Boogaerts
Sofa_r
Sofa_r

Sofa_r

Dir. Yu-An Jao

A process of endless missing.

 
Sofa_r
dir. Yu-An Jao
The Nest
The Nest

The Nest

Dir. Marta Skoczeń

“The Nest” is the first short film made by Marta Skoczeń, shot in 2018 in Southern Poland. It tells the story of two young girls living in isolation in a faraway village. They spend their time doing nothing of great importance; they sew, play, or sleep. Their leisure and boredom are accompanied by a fear of confrontation with the outside world, represented by the nature surrounding them, full of metaphorical beehives. The contrast between the inside and the outside is emphasized not only by different aesthetics, but also by a changing rhythm and a varied sense of time. Comforting interiors create shelter from the invasive and unsettling world of bees while their structured life may symbolize movement, growth and expansion of the human, adult world. The rising inner tension provokes a need to break out and see what really lies outside in one of the girls. The film, shot entirely on DV cassettes, is visually coherent with the artist’s photography - often evoking nostalgia and the inner world of a young girl, far from the reality of big cities.

 
The Nest
dir. Marta Skoczeń
JA:PA
JA:PA

JA:PA

Dir. Jiri Karmasin

Did you ever wondered what’s right back in the world where you actually living? Sometimes we rather accept our own reality instead real one, which is too vague. Short dance film, made by students of two schools from Czech Republic.

 
JA:PA
dir. Jiri Karmasin
Black Dog
Black Dog

Black Dog

Dir. Joshua Tuthill

Utilizing archival footage and stop-motion animation, Black Dog is set during the US and USSR space race of the 1960’s amidst a time of heated social and political tension. Two brothers must deal with the sudden loss of their parents. As one falls into the darkness of a troubled marriage, the other must find an escape from the evil that is devouring his family.

 
Black Dog
dir. Joshua Tuthill
Mediterranea Film
Mediterranea Film

Mediterranea Film

Dir. Alix Bortoli

A warm summer on the mediterranean coast is interrupted by a fire.

 
Mediterranea Film
dir. Alix Bortoli

Narrative Shorts

In Bloom
In Bloom

In Bloom

Dir. Maya Armon

A young generation preparing the old one to its tragic death.

In Bloom
dir. Maya Armon
In Bloom
In Bloom

Normal

Dir. Hanna Mironenko

High school student Sasha from a small town has to pretend to be a stupid scumbag to become a part of local teenage crew. In the meantime he dreams of moving to a big city and learns hard to get an education in university. But Sasha’s first love and parents keep their power over him.

 
Normal
dir. Hanna Mironenko
Press "A" to Start
Press "A" to Start

Press "A" to Start

Dir. Emily Dickson

A lazy girl is given an important quest.

 
Press "A" to Start
dir. Emily Dickson
Passage
Passage

Passage

Dir. Simon Feat

When the sun goes down, terrestrial activity slows down and falls asleep. The stars become visible in the true, deep, black sky. The short and lively cycles of terrestrial life give way to cosmic eternities. That is the moment chosen by a tiny soul to leave the Earth plane.

 
Passage
dir. Simon Feat
The Kid Who Drowned at Summer Camp
The Kid Who Drowned at Summer Camp

The Kid Who Drowned at Summer Camp

Dir. Marianna Hersko

Multimedia traditional animation made with charcoal, white-out, and sharpie.

The Kid Who Drowned at Summer Camp
dir. Marianna Hersko
Wiki
Wiki

WIKI

Dir. Veronica Andersson

Wiki is a autistic, and curious young girl, who has to face really harsh reality of living with an alcoholic mother after her grandmother dies. Luckily amongst all this chaos, she meets Mateusz - a huge fan of Warsaw city busses - who brings back real sunshine to her life.

WIKI
dir. Veronica Andersson
Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

Dir. Evie Gaffney

A train stops in the middle of nowhere. Who is on board?

Golden Eagle
dir. Evie Gaffney
Fireflies
Fireflies

Fireflies

Dir. Amelia Nanni

An afternoon, two children, two worlds meet.

 
Fireflies
dir. Amelia Nanni
Fino Alla Fine
Fino Alla Fine

Fino Alla Fine

Dir. Giovanni Dota, Premiere Film

A gunshot breaks the silence of the night. Four men run away from the scene of the crime. Umberto “Yes and no”, the infallible killer of the Caputo clan, has just killed the wrong man. Now he will have to report it to the boss. Unfortunately, the victim is the nephew of Tonino O ‘Infame, the city’s most feared boss. But this does not seem to be the biggest problem: in fact, Umberto “Yes and no” hides a terrible secret.

 
Fino Alla Fine
dir. Giovanni Dota

Yale Filmmaker's Block

120 Years
120 Years

120 Years

Dir. Matt Nadel

120 YEARS tells the story of Scott Lewis, a citizen of New Haven, Connecticut who was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he never committed. Over the course of two decades, Lewis built his case from behind bars, poring over legal texts, writing to attorneys, and holding out hope that one day he might walk free. This story traces the ramifications of his wrongful conviction on a family that lost 20 precious years together, a community shaken by corruption, and an exonerated man desperately making up for lost time. 120 YEARS won Best Short Doc at the Pan African Film Festival and the Human Rights Award at the Mystic Film Festival.

 
120 Years
dir. Matt Nadel
distance
distance

Distance

Dir. Ryan Zhou

Distance is a short film about Justin, a college freshman who is struggling with his feelings about his long-time high school sweetheart, now long distance girlfriend, Callie. After a tough disagreement over FaceTime with her, his roommate Brendan attempts to connect with him despite them not being close. Distance takes a look at long distance relationships, not only in how they fail, but why we still attempt them and how we move on once they’re over.

 
Distance
dir. Ryan Zhou
illusions of motion
illusions of motion

Illusions of Motion

Dir. Anna Yu

Illusions of Motion is a short documentary intrigued by the New York Subway systems. Vehicles expand and compress our experience of time and space, illusions emerge from intersections of stillness and movement. In this film the illusions are categorized into four parts, Into the Dark, Moving on the Track, Abandoned Classicism and Switch of Scenes.

 
Illusions of Motion
dir. Anna Yu
Aprés Ski
Aprés Ski

Aprés Ski

Dir. David Hurtado

This is an experimental short made primarily with Google Earth footage of industrial zones in the Salt Lake Valley (Utah).

 
Aprés Ski
dir. David Hurtado
letter
letter

Letter

Dir. Joshua van Biema

A video using family archives to explore relationships to land, faith, and violence across four generations.

 
Letter
dir. Joshua van Biema
the affair
the affair

Affair

Dir. George Tang

Mary falls in love with John, her soulmate who’s in a committed relationship. She tries to hide her feelings in the film they’re making, but they soon realise that their relationship is more complicated than they thought. Cinema imitates life, and only beneath layers and layers of film, can we finally face our true feelings.

 
Affair
dir. George Tang
hungry
hungry

Hungry

Dir. Mariah Kreutter

An exhausted woman chases a few simple pleasures, none of which are quite so simple to get.

 
Hungry
dir. Mariah Kreutter
eating women
eating women

Eating Women

Dir. Mariah Kreutter

An experimental memoir film about bodies, mothers, and daughters.

Eating Women
dir. Mariah Kreutter
Skin is, My
Skin is, My

Skin is, My

Dir. Miho Carey

Skin Is, My is an experimental short, providing commentary on the hyper-association my brother and I have experienced throughout our lives as children of mixed race. With an ambiguous name like “Miho,” no one even associated me with the heritage of my mother or my mother at all. Although the public eye never assigned me to the person that birthed me, I remained linked to the person who was birthed alongside me: my older brother, John-Henry. Without representation of mixed race families growing up, we formed a bond through our mutual exclusion from the American family portrait. Using the chaotic yet mechanical song, Skin Is, My, by Andrew Bird, I attempt to relay Bird’s feelings of distance between his soul and skin to my own experience. Although this isn’t the way I feel about my skin, the detachment Bird feels resonates with our experiences: our skins create a distance between the woman who birthed us and ourselves.

Skin is, My
dir. Miho Carey
untitled
untitled

Untitled

Dir. Daniel Onuoha

I was very inspired by Bill Greaves’ Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: take one when I arrived at the formal concept of this film project. I wanted to utilize his explorations of performance, authenticity, film, and artistic self-awareness to understand a fairly quotidian feeling that has been occupying my brain of late: finding a sense of home. This project began very simply - as a self-referential capturing of the process of recreating and performing an archival moment. It would manifest a fixation of mine (on how people situate themselves in space) while giving the audience the opportunity to question the accuracy and authenticity of a project aimed at capturing a moment in time.

Untitled
dir. Daniel Onuoha

Yale Thesis Films

Seeing Things as They Are
Seeing Things as They Are

Seeing Things as They Are

Dir. Daniel Stein

“Seeing Things as They Are” is a live action short film about a newly blind teenager coping with hallucinations and struggling to maintain relationships with her sister and best friend.

 
Seeing Things as They Are
dir. Daniel Stein
Athol Park
Athol Park

Athol Park

Dir. Clark Burnett

Fiercely independent 14-year-old Audrey Gaines enlists her two best friends to investigate the disappearance of their new school teacher, Frederick Monroe.

 
Athol Park
dir. Clark Burnett

THE 2019 LINEUP

Poster for 2019 Yale Student Film Festival Schedule