A Visual Introduction To Student Selects at the Columbia University Film Festival

This year marks the first time the Columbia University Film Festival will be hosting Student Selects, in a screening on campus at Miller Theatre on May 12. The program features the 8 best films out of the 42 screened at the Festival this year, as chosen by a committee of students comprised of representatives from each of the five class years in the School of the Arts Film Program.  This first-ever Student Selects event compliments CUFF’s annual “Faculty Selects” night, and we are pleased to be able to make the students’ opinions heard.  This Student Selects screening showcases the breadth and quality of Columbia film, spanning genres from drama to comedy, and action to surrealism. (Check out the full list, including links to interviews and trailers, below.)

The student committee views all of the CUFF short films, and after lengthy, spirited debate, democratically decides “Student Selects”.  Their choices are kept top secret until April 29 after all the films in the Festival have premiered and screened at the IFC from April 25-28.  The committee also gives a wide range of awards including Best Film, Best Directing, Best Screenplay, Best Directing of Actors, Best Producing, Best Challenging Production, Best Dialogue, Best Editing, and Best Original Vision.

Other exciting awards will be presented at the May 12 event, including the IFP Audience Choice Awards, Film Program Award for Best Film 12 Minutes or Under, and several development awards that will provide seed money to make films that will screen in next year’s festival.

The films chosen to screen at Miller on May 12 are:

The Recorder Exam written and directed by Bora Kim
Nine-year old Eunhee anxiously prepares for her recorder exam as she struggles to find a place within her own family.

Under directed by Mark Raso
To get over her drug addiction Sydney journeys to a country cabin with her fiancé Tom.

Jiboia (Boa) written and directed by Rafael Lessa
When desire clouds judgment, Aurora, a hairdresser in Sao Paulo’s red-light district, discovers that love is only skin deep.
Trailer * Interview with the writer/director and producer

The Runner written and directed by Ana Lazarevic
In the lush and weedy Serbian countryside, a first time human trafficker becomes stranded with the Roma boy he is to deliver.

Motherland directed by Shariq Siddiqui
Amed has to find a way to deal with his overbearing Indian mother so he can get back to his waiting girlfriend, but his mother has other ideas…
Interview with the director

Lucky Duck written and directed by Colin Elliott
Jordi, a lonely seven-year-old girl, forms an unexpected bond with a recently hatched duckling.
Interview with the writer/director and producer

First Match written and directed by Olivia Newman
No amount of practice on the mat can prepare Mo for the challenge she faces at her first high school wrestling match.
Interview with the writer/director and producer

Rolling on the Floor Laughing written and directed by Russell Harbaugh
Two grown brothers return home for their widowed mother’s birthday, only to find themselves competing with a strange man for her affection.
Interview with the writer/director


Lydia Cavallo

Director, Columbia University Film Festival

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