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.

Continuing this theme, this year’s festival will celebrate emerging student work from those taking the first steps towards a professional career, and aims to provide a platform to encourage conversation and camaraderie across schools and experiences. In the liberal arts tradition, we aim to bridge film with relevant social and intellectual issues.

The festival features three separate student competitions: the narrative film competition, the documentary film competition, and the experimental film competition. It will also feature a works-in-progress category, designed to showcase work in various post-production phases, and will be an opportunity to receive feedback from peers and professionals. The Yale Filmmakers Block and the Yale Thesis Films Block bookend the student screening and showcase work by our very own students.

a person giving speech a person walking in trees students laughing
student looking out of window person eye with paint brush students talking and laughing
students setting up camera on tripod student walking in hallway teacher teaching student
students taking notes student picture in front of Yale Student Film Festival poster





President, Yale Film Alliance

Lily Weisberg 


Image of Festival Director Joshua van Biema

Festival Director

Ryan Benson                                                                           

Ryan Benson is the Director of the Yale Student Film Festival. She is a Junior in Hopper College, majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing.                                               


Image of Associate Director Lily Weisberg

Associate Director

Ayla Khan                                                                                 

Ayla is a History Major from Karachi, Pakistan. Her favourite types of films are documentary/fiction hybrids, and indie thrillers. She aspires to create films which explore social, cultural and political practices in, and histories of the Global South. Other than that, she loves monochrome visuals, and is notorious for sounding like a goat when she laughs.  


Image of Director of Programming Filip Sestan

Technical Director                                                           

Marc Bertoni

Marc Bertoni is a first-year Film Studies major in Trumbull College. He is excited to be a part of YSFF this year!                       


Image of Outreach and Publicity David Hurtado

Graphic Designer

Meher Hans                                                                           

Meher is a junior majoring in computer science. She also loves graphic design and is very happy to be the film fest’s graphic designer. The last movie she saw and loved was The Bee Movie, but before that it was Parasite.                    


Eve​nt Coordinator

Reina Bonta

Reina is a Junior Film & Media Studies major from the Bay Area. Here at Yale, she is a member of the Varsity Women’s Soccer Team as well as Shades of Yale, a mission-based acapella group that sings music of the African American Diaspora. In her spare time, she enjoys black and white analog photography and directing narrative and documentary short films. 

Event Coordinator

Kiran Baucom                                                                           

Kiran is junior American Studies major who loves students, films, and festivals. Their future career plan is to become a member of brockhampton, America’s favorite boyband.       



Ayelet Kalfus

Ayelet Kalfus is a first-year from NYC. Planning on studying physics, Ayelet loves writing, exploring cities and spending time with friends and family. She is grateful to be on this year’s board and is excited for the festival! 


Publicity Coordinator

Eva Herman 

Eva Herman is a prospective Humanities major from Santa Barbara, California and Geneva, Switzerland. Her favourite movie is the Big Lebowski with Jeff Bridges, and her favourite animated movie is Surf’s Up, also with Jeff Bridges.                


Publicity Coordinator

Charlotte Hylinski

Charlotte is a junior majoring in Film and Media Studies. She is from Charlotte, NC, which makes her name very easy to remember (although, she was born in Chicago).
She is on the Yale Varsity Swim team, and loves traveling, writing, and watching movies- her favorite is The Breakfast Club. 


Pilar Galvin                

Pilar is a sophomore in Benjamin Franklin College. She is studying Art and Anthropology. In her free time she writes musical discourses and films ordinary things. She enjoys watching anything by Christopher Nolan and listening to anything by the band Rainbow Kitten Surprise.                                                          



Silver Liftin