Department of Film, Television, and Theatre presents the 26th Annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival

Author: Stacey Stewart

2015 Notre Dame Student Film Festival

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) announces the 26th Annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival, taking place Jan. 29-31 (Thursday-Saturday) in the Browning Cinema at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

As in recent years, audience members are invited to vote for their favorite film via text message. The Audience Choice Award will be presented to the student director(s) of the winning film after the final screening. Last year’s Audience Choice Award winner, “The Suicide Disease,” went on to win Best Short Documentary at the Sunset International Film Festival in Los Angeles.

An annual launching pad for student filmmakers as they begin their careers in the film, television and entertainment industry, the Notre Dame Student Festival has featured the first films of future award winners such as Peter Richardson, 2011 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award winner for “How To Die in Oregon,” and John Hibey, 2012 Sundance Film Jury Award Winner for Short Filmmaking for “Fishing Without Nets,” as well as numerous others.

The festival screens films that were made by undergraduate students during the past year as class projects in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. Festival founder and FTT faculty member Ted Mandell said, “Honestly, I can remember every film from every year. Unfortunately, I can’t remember much else.”

This year’s festival features the following 11 films:

  • “Cold Open” (7:16), Brian Lach, Lesley Stevenson. Writer’s block meets actor’s ambitions in a slick trip through a rough draft.
  • “The Way Things Were” (10:20), Blake Avery, Zuri Eshun. A teenager’s stable world cracks when his desire for a college education forces him to confront the weight of his damaged family — and ultimately, his closest friend.
  • “Much Ado After School” (15:35), Brian Lach, Nicole Sganga. An ambitious after-school program brings out the inner Bard in a group of South Bend students.
  • “The Night Out” (10:56), Mitchell Abraham, Zachary Ostapchenko, Weibo Chen. There’s a party at the house down the street … or is there?
  • “Eat Ride Sleep” (15:15), Mikey Nichols, Lauren Josephson. Nine-year-old CJ Burford hears God’s call to ride his bike across America, with the family RV right behind him, and the media tagging along.
  • “Metta Johnson’s Video Portfolio” (8:18) Will Neal, Nick Desmone. Metta Johnson wants to be a big-time Hollywood director. But he has no talent and no creative skills. Here’s proof.
  • “Love Thy Neighbor” (9:40), Bryan Daly, Jill Chipley. The girl next door is looking for love in all the wrong faces.
  • “Isn’t It Pretty to Think So” (16:56), John Rodgers, Carleigh Coyne. After a short stint in a rehab facility, Owen comes home to find that some things never change.
  • “Curry & Erin” (9:30), Eric O’Donnell, Maureen Gavin. Stricken with ALS, and blessed with a loving husband, a day in the life of Nashville artist Erin Brady Worsham is like no other.
  • “Reparation” (9:26), Anthony Patti, Bryan Dimas. Stylishly haunting, a young woman attempts an escape from a prison-like mental institution.
  • “J2K” (12:15), Grace Carini, Hunter Speese. A dermatologist, a librarian and a grocery store clerk. Not exactly the three wise men, but some pregnancies are just surreal.

Tickets for the Notre Dame Student Film Festival are $7 for the general public, $6 for faculty and staff, $5 for seniors (65+) and $4 for students. Tickets may be purchased online, by phone at 574-631-2800 or in person at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center ticket office.

Screenings will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 29 and at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Jan. 30 and 31. Running time is approximately 124 minutes. Some films contain mature content.

Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre offers both a scholarly and a creative context for the general liberal arts student at Notre Dame as well as those students seeking intensive preparation for advanced study in these fields. The hands-on nature of the curriculum, coupled with a very high degree of student-faculty interaction, provides students with a singular educational opportunity at a university known for its teaching excellence. The Notre Dame Student Film Festival is a direct outgrowth of the department’s academic program and an integral component of students’ artistic development.

Originally published by Stacey Stewart at on Jan. 14.