Notre Dame Film, Television, and Theatre presents the 30th annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival

Author: Stacey Stewart

30th Annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) announces the 30th Annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival, in the Browning Cinema at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, January 25 through 27. 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 directors of the winning film after the final screening.

An annual launching pad for student filmmakers as they begin their careers in the film, television and entertainment industries, the Notre Dame Student Film Festival screens films that were made by undergraduate students during the past year as class projects in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre.  

“It’s amazing to look back at 30 years of Notre Dame student filmmakers and see where they are now,” says festival founder and FTT faculty member Ted Mandell. “Netflix, Lionsgate, Dreamworks, Disney, HBO, NBC Universal, the list goes on and on.  Writers, directors, producers, editors and network executives, our alumni are truly some of the most creative professionals in the industry.”

The festival has featured the first films of future award winners such as Peter Richardson (2011 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award winner, "How To Die in Oregon") and John Hibey (2012 Sundance Film Jury Award Winner for Short Filmmaking, "Fishing Without Nets"), as well as numerous others. Many films from past festivals have also been selected for national and international film festivals, including:

"Breaking the Cycle" - 2018 New York City Short Film Festival (Best Documentary Short), 2018 USA Film Festival (First Place Non-Fiction Short Film), 2018 Ivy Film Festival (Best U.S. Undergraduate Documentary)
"Peace at the Pipeline" - 2017 San Pedro International Film Festival, 2017 Riverside International Film Festival
"patrolling sandy hook" - 2016 USA Film Festival (Winner, Special Jury Award), 2016 DocuWest International Film Festival (Winner, Women Who Doc Award)
"Spark of Madness" - 2016 Naperville Independent Film Festival (Best Student Film Nominee)
"Eat. Ride. Sleep." - 2015 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Midwest Emmy Award Nominee
"Curry & Erin" - 2015 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (Special Jury Prize, Collegiate Documentary)
"The Suicide Disease" - 2014 Sunset International Film Festival (Winner, Best Short Documentary)
"The Last Free Place" - 2014 Anchorage International Film Festival
"Project Hopeful" - 2012 Re:Image Film Festival (Winner, Best Picture, Collegiate Category)
"King of the Park" - 2012 CineYouth Film Fest (Winner, Best Comedy, Senior Division)
"The Elect" - 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, 2012 Dallas International Film Festival
"Picking Up America" - 2011 Ivy Film Festival (Winner, Social Change Award)

Among the films featured in the 2019 Notre Dame Student Film Festival:

"Shelter Me" - Zach Lawson. The only hope for a million stray cats and dogs in Texas may be one woman … and her camera.


"Emma." - Saskia Hennecke, Grace Tourville. Making the transition to college might be a challenge, but transitioning in college is definitely daunting.


"Glacialis" - Zach Huffer, Joey Warner. A scientist searches for the solution to save her town frozen in time.


"Mama Yen" - Jiale Hu. Thousands of miles from home, international students find a mother figure in a dining hall worker from Vietnam.


"Supernova" - Jarissa Sabal, Brian Raab. An Uber-screwball comedy.


"Thou Shall Not Steal" - Naj Harrabi, Hap Burke. Some home security systems are better than others.


"Impression" - Alex Mansour, Kenny Xu. A symphony of brush strokes paints the tale of a boy lost in the canvas.


"Drift" - Beatty Smith, Grace Tourville. Stranded on a country road? Welcome to the farmhouse over yonder.


"Mesmer" - John McDonough, David Troyer. A hypnotic journey into a memory lost.

"Arielle" - Gretchen Hopkirk, Kelli Smith. It's a tall task on election day at the Office of Voter Registration.

"Off Track, On Track" - Jarissa Sabal, Brian Raab. A retired thoroughbred horse in the Bluegrass state still has a life to live.

Tickets: Tickets for the Notre Dame Student Film Festival are $7 for the general public; $6 for faculty, staff, and 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 (M-F, noon-6 p.m.).


Friday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 26, 3 p.m., 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 27, 3 p.m., 7 p.m. (Audience Choice Award will be presented after the 7 p.m. screening on Jan. 27.)


Running time: Approximately 120 min. Some films may contain mature content.


Parking: Free parking is available daily after 5 p.m. in the Stayer Center parking lot, just north of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. An accessible lot for disabled patrons is available immediately adjacent to the center; a valid hang tag or license plate is required. There is a 10-minute parking zone on the north drive of the center for ticket pick-up; during inclement weather you are welcome to drop off guests in this area and proceed to parking. Non-campus parking (free for the first two hours) is also available at Eddy Street Commons, just south of the center. 


Originally published by Stacey Stewart at on Jan. 7, 2019.