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Fall Film Festival Debuts Students’ Incredible Work

By Lizz Panchyk

You may have noticed the colorful Barbie posters that were designed by junior Josh Brafman and were hanging all around campus last semester. They were promoting the student fall film festival that took place on Dec. 12, 2023. This festival, which occurs each semester, allows for students to show off their semester-long work and talent and also gives them an opportunity to win an award.

Student filmmakers line the stage following the screening of their short films. Photo by Lizz Panchyk

Ranging from comedies to documentaries, this festival had it all. Students and staff of the Communications Department, along with family and friends attended the event held in the Olmsted Theater. Professor Joan Stein Schimke and Associate Professor John Drew acted as speakers and hosts for the night. Stein Schimke said, “The festivals provide an opportunity for the students to share their films with a wider audience on a large screen. There’s nothing like hearing the audience respond, whether it’s through laughter, or surprise or even sadness.”

Jade McClinton Dorley ’23, who was a communications major during her time at Adelphi, switched from having her films on the big screen to helping run the festival. She had the pleasure of helping Jack Furtado, the technical assistant, run the event and record it. She also interviewed accepted students and pushed the event through social media. 

“It was actually really nice to just sit back and watch the movies,” she said. While it was a change, it was one she embraced on a successful night. Plus, she even starred in senior Nina Berntzen’s film called “A Scene From Volver.” 

Landon Ohanian ‘25 starring in his first-place short film “Overdue.”

While there were many films, there were also many winners of various categories. The winners are as follows: Best Cinematography, “The Lighthouse - Hark!” by Brian Bucalo and Christopher Holt. Best Actor, Peter Sansky-Traficanti. Best Actress, Emily Kelliher. Best Director, Nina Berntzen. Best Editing, “Perception” by Christian Hoereth. Best Documentary, “The Twilight of the Humanities” by Sarah Alexander. Best Comedy, “Spider-Bum” by James Canell. First place, “Overdue” by Landon Ohanian. Second place, “Bilingual” by Malika Burieva. Audience Choice, “Spider-Bum” by James Canell.

First place “Overdue” by junior Ohanian revolved around someone who had forgotten to return library books that were now due, receiving threats from library workers and being stalked until he gave the books back. Ohanian was initially inspired to create this dark comedy when he himself forgot to return an overdue library book. Throughout the film, the audience couldn’t stop laughing.

“The idea that I could make a project with such talented people while having an amazing time and being rewarded for that experience fills me with so much joy,” he said.

Ohanian had a great time not only working with his friends but creating something that could be shared and enjoyed by so many people. “Almost every film I saw I thought could be the best one shown and I’m glad Adelphi has created this avenue for creators to do the work.”

If you haven’t already consider submitting your film to the spring film festival when the time comes so that you too can experience this. 

 “I really felt an increased energy this year and I hope the excitement continues to feed and inspire our students to create more work,” Stein Schimke said.

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