Columbia University Film Festival: A Recap

I love that as part of my life as a film blogger I can shed some love on film-related goings-on that may not get the same level of exposure as other film events. This holds especially true in a city like New York where everywhere you turn there is some big (or not so big) “cine-event” taking place.

Thus was the case earlier this month (May 9th to be exact) when I had the pleasure of attending the Awards Night for the 2013 Columbia University Film Festival.  This event is the culmination of the efforts made by MFA students in the Arts Film Program at Columbia University and which is a showcase of their thesis short films, feature screenplays and teleplays. Before the concluding events on Thursday, the shorts were exhibited in a series of programming blocks at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Awards Night was held at the historic Paris Theatre in midtown Manhattan, where we were treated to a screening of all of the 2013 Jury Selects:

Above the Sea
A Grand Canal
Gloom
Keep the Change
Socks and Bonds
Total Freak

While I could not stay for the entire event, I was able to catch Above the Sea, Gloom and Socks and Bonds. I was particularly moved by the drama and emotions evoked in Above the Sea (Written/Directed by Keola Racela) and Gloom (Written/Directed by David Figueroa García).

PERFIDIA_StillStill from Gloom

AbovetheSea_StillStill from Above the Sea

Folks in the LA area will have the opportunity to screen the films next week (June 4-6) at the Linwood Dunn Theater housed in the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study.

Another part of the Awards Night festivities was the presentation of the annual Sarris Award to filmmaker Adam Davidson. Named after the noted film historian and author Andrew Sarris (1928-2012), since 2002, the Sarris Award honors artistic excellence as exemplified by distinguished alumni of Columbia’s film program. Previous recipients of this prize include James Mangold, Kathryn Bigelow, Kimberly Peirce and Lisa Cholodenko.

Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees!

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 9.39.39 PM

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* A special thanks to Rick Dikeman for arranging my attendance to the event.

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