BMCC Film Festival Showcases Student Talent

Excitement is building for the Fall 2018 Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Student Film Festival December 13, beginning at 3 p.m. in Theater One at 199 Chambers Street.

The competitive semi-annual event, produced by the BMCC Video Production Club, showcases student films from both BMCC and other CUNY colleges. Only films where BMCC students serve as producer, director, screenwriter or main talent—acting, music or dance—are eligible for the competition. Films featured at the festival are shorts, ranging in length from 15 seconds to 20 minutes.

The festival was founded in 2013 by students in the Video Production Club who wanted to have a more official and prominent event to showcase their work.

BMCC Media Arts and Technology Professor Anastassios Rigopoulos said he expects more than 30 films from BMCC students will be submitted by the December 6 deadline for the competition.

“We are excited to have our student’s films presented in a venue as prestigious and beautiful as TPAC’s Theater One. Watching their work with an audience and sensing the crowd’s reaction should be a profound learning experience and hopefully, encouragement for our participating students,” said Rigopoulos.

Three guest judges—independent filmmaker William Tyler Smith (Kiss Me Again, The Third Mind), actor Claire Hsu (You Were Never Really Here, The Hard Problem) and independent filmmaker Mehmet Guney (Love 1.0 Even Without You, Enduring- A Mother’s Story) will decide who wins the competition.

Guney, founder of the production company Synergy Motion, is also a BMCC graduate.

Films will be judged in ten different categories including best: narrative, documentary, director, cinematography, sound, editing, screenplay, PSA/experimental music video, animation and best acting performance.

Also, one member of the Video Production Club will be awarded the The Michael Vincent Rosen-Pipitone Award—named after Pipitone, a BMCC student who died unexpectedly in 2013. Pitpitone’s parents have attended each BMCC film festival since the event’s inception in 2014.

Many of the BMCC students who screen their work at the festival hope to eventually find jobs in New York City’s thriving film, media or animation sector. The film industry employs more than 170,000 in New York City, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Media Arts and Technology department at BMCC helps students get a foothold in the industry by providing them with necessary tools not only to further their college education, but also to land work in a media-related field.