CUNUFF – Results 2008

Host & Judges

Host: Connor Paolo

Connor is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the adolescent Alexander the Great in Oliver Stone’s Alexander and his portrayal of Erik Van Der Woodsen of The CW series Gossip Girl.

Judge: Sandra Luckow

Sandra worked for various icons in the filmmaking industry including Frances Coppola, Bonnie Timmerman, Paul Schrader, and Eleanor Bergstein. In 1996 she made “Belly Talkers” for Harvey Weinstein at Miramax. She completed a stint as an associate director at the ABC soap opera “One Life to Live.” She has been teaching film production at Yale University’s School of Art since 1997 and has taught workshops at Columbia University, Barnard, SUNY Purchase and The Chinese International School in Hong Kong. She has developed and run a unique six-week production program at Yale Summer Sessions.

Judge: Sara Cross

Sara is the producer of The Order of Myths, a feature documentary about Mobile, Alabama’s racially segregated Mardi Gras. The Order of Myths premiered at Sundance 2008 to positive reviews and was selected for SXSW, True/False, Full Frame and Stranger than Fiction. Sara was the associate producer of Murderball, a feature documentary that won the Audience Award at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Documentary Academy Award. She was also the AP on 21 Up America and part of the U.S. version of the acclaimed British documentary series 7up.

Judge: George Suarez

Vice President of Film at 11 Media

Judge: Thom Heyer

Thom Heyer is a New York City based costume designer and visual artist. He has designed on and off-Broadway for Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Regionally he has designed
for Columbia University, the Yale Dramat, Paper Mill Playhouse, Stamford Center for the Arts, Capital Repertory Theatre and Merrimack Repertory Theatre among others. Thom has assisted on film (The Age of Innocence, Mars Attacks, Sunshine State) and television (MTV, Viva Variety, All My Children, TV Funhouse).

Judge: Stephen Quandt

New York City based designer Stephen Quandt designs lighting for Theatre, Dance, Opera, and Industrials, and has worked On Broadway, Off Broadway, regionally (including LORT) and internationally, including The Pirates of Penzance (Off B’way), Always…Patsy Cline (Off B’way), Manhattan Tap Dance Co., The Joyce Theatre, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, HERE!, The Samuel Beckett Theatre, Merkin Concert Hall, Circle in the Square/Bleeker St., The Naked Angels, Columbia University, Aaron Davis Hall, The Variety Arts Theatre. (Regionally) Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Kennedy Center, Washington DC.


~ Best Picture ~
Sweet Jesus
Swati Kapila of New York University

~ Concord Award (Best Film Voted by the Audience) ~
Sweet Jesus
Swati Kapila of New York University

~ Best Directed ~
Sweet Jesus
Swati Kapila of New York University

~ Best Screenplay ~
Drew Foster & Max Grey of Harvard-Westlake School

~ Jury Prize ~
Kid Show
Tom DesLongchamp of Rhode Island School of Design

~ Frontiers Award (Most Original Film) ~
Missed Connections
Elena Megalos of Columbia University

~ Outreach Award (Best Film Dedicated to Community Service or of a Humanitarian Nature) ~
Still Standing
Lindsay Fauntleroy of Educational Video Center

~ Best Editing ~
J.R. Cox of Montana State University

~ Best Acting ~
Drew Foster & Max Grey of Harvard-Westlake School

~ Best Cinematography ~
Benjamin Nicholas of New York University

~ Opus Award (Best Use of Music & Sound) ~
A Long Way Home
Vincent Lin of New York University

Official Selections: Finalists

Benjamin Nicholas of New York University

couples One of three vignettes surrounding the discontinuities that arise when couples withhold secrets from one another

J.R. Cox of Montana State University

possession A student struggles to hunt down a piece of paper that escapes from him while he tries to write an essay

A Long Way Home
Vincent Lin of New York University

long way home A commuter finds himself alone with a strange man, as he makes his way home on a dark night.

Missed Connections
Elena Megalos of Columbia University

missed connections A stop motion tale dedicated to anyone who searches for contact and recognizes that failed connections can be small successes.

Sweet Jesus
Swati Kapila of New York University

sweet jesus 2nd grader Priya Varma just wants to be like the other children in her all-Christian school…but being Hindu, she clearly is not. After convincing her best friend Maggie to let her try a communion wafer one day, she develops quite a taste for the sacrament!

John M. Zazik III & Eric Leiser of Cleveland State University

wormhole An outerspace captain must overcome his dependency and save his ship from the Mad Doctor who has unleashed a horrible creature

Kid Show
Tom DesLongchamp of Rhode Island School of Design

kid show Three brothers laugh and play. A surrealist look at the imagination of children

Still Standing
Lindsay Fauntleroy of Educational Video Center

still standing Still Standing provides an intimate portrait of the challenges faced by Hurricane Katrina survivors six months after the storm. Ms. Gertrude is a determined grandmother struggling to return home and rebuild

Drew Foster & Max Grey of Harvard-Westlake School

ticklish A young couple discovers that being ticklish can be a very sensitive matter

The Wes-Sylvia Ticket
Alexander Gao, Dan Chen, Matt Reagan, Shannon Schnittker, Will Dai of University of Southern California

wes-sylvia ticket Wes is a young adult caught up in the throes of love. Today is the day that he will finally gather enough courage to ask out Sylvia. The only obstacles that stand in his way are the disagreeable emotions clashing in his brain.

Three Syllables
Chris Ripley of Yale University

three syllables Tristan is in love with a girl who works at a newspaper stand in a train station. The only problem? In three years, he’s only been able to work up the courage to utter three syllables to her

Honorably Mentioned Films

Jean’s Postmodern Masterpiece
Jason Outenreath of Oberlin College

Lint Filter
James C. Jenkins of College of Santa Fe

Escape to Verna
JD Marlow of Emerson College

Oh, Paprika
Anna Krutzik of University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

364 Cranes
Vincent Lin of New York University

Figure From the Past
Elizabeth Lyons of Smith College

Super Fitness
Kunal Savkur of Northwestern University

Flings Fall Apart
Brad Wilson of Cornell University

Smell the Roses
Victor Suarez of Columbia University

Out of Sight
Christopher Seaton Manning of Columbia University

Tell Me About Your First Kiss

Rachel Mersky of Barnard College

The Tell-Tale Heart
Justin Levine of Harvard-Westlake School

Every Mile a Memory
Julie Nicole Pechanek of Cary Academy High School

Sitting and Standing
Spencer Gentz of Art Institute of Portland

A Little Atomic Bomb

Adam Long of Art Institute of Portland

Escape from the Fire
Joel Dunn of New York University

Third-Tier Award Winners

Another Man’s Shoes
Royce Gorsuch of Montana State University

Losing Ground
Andrea Williams of Educational Video Center

People or Puppets?
Ivana Espinet of Educational Video Center

America’s Invisible Backbone
Miriam Neptune of Educational Video Center

Are You Game?
Miriam Neptune of Educational Video Center

Under the Skin
Davide Fabbian of Columbia GS University

Kiss and Don’t Tell
Patrick Hibler of Harvard-Westlake School

The Life and Times of Buster Chaplin
Evan Hamilton, Alex Wilke, Danielle Quiat, Ethan Mantel, David Pressberg of Harvard-Westlake School

85 Years and 16 Presidents
John Lazzaro of University of Vermont

Bernard Garcaeu III of Baylor University

I Want To Fly
Misha Sundukovskiy of New York University

Bird Girl
Jeremy Keller of Cherry Hill High School East

Matthew Infante of United Nations International School

Undocumented Dreams
Theron Corbin, Janette Hoffman, Kim McLaughlin of Tufts University

Veterans Day
Douglas Foote, Marissa Maren, Louis Marshall of Tufts University

John School
Everett Hendler, Jeremy Strauss, Gabe Wilson of Tufts University

Drinking Under the Influence: Students Fight Against Bottled Water
Brian Agler, Eren Bucak, Laur Fisher, James Hughes of Tufts University

The Real Human Element
Jake Gutman of Harvard-Westlake School

Jude Sihingle of Allegheny College

The Captives
Sean Smith of Ohio State University

The Thing About New York
Caroline Cantone of The Calhoun School

Belize Project
Lisa Revson of Columbia University

The Girl Can’t Help It
Lisa Revson of Columbia University

The Face of Justice
Jerry Turner of Art Institute of Portland

The Hipster Documentary
Mariusz Kaczmarczyk of City College of New York

Daniel Gruen of UC Santa Barbara

Lissi Sogn of Westview High School

Filmmaker Bios

Benjamin Nicholas (Couples) of New York University

In his four years at Tisch Benjamin has honed his skills as a director, cinematographer and editor. He directed a music video that premiered on MTV and BET for the rap duo Kidz in the Hall. Recently he directed another video for the artist Guru, formerly of Gangstarr. Benjamin is also a founder of Dawn of Man Productions, a small production team consisting of four NYU students with the common goal of transcendent filmmaking.

J.R. Cox (Possession) of Montana State University

A three screen theatre in a rustic Alaskan town. It’s a hot, dusty day,and my family and I are running late. We enter the theatre struggling to find four open seats as our eyes adjust and a man on screen examines a large orange rock. I believe that movies are magical. I believe it because every time I see Jurassic Park, it’s 1993 and I’m back in that theatre. I know it seems corny, but the prospect of giving that magic to another five year old in the years to come is what inspires me as a film maker. I hope my movies can be enjoyed on many levels, but mostly I just want people to have fun watching them. After all, that’s what made me fall in love with the movies in the first place.

Vincent Lin (A Long Way Home) of New York University

Vincent Lin graduated from New York University with a degree in Film and TV. He is the founder of Mints in Tin Pictures, a multimedia design and production house. Vincent has worked on projects with IFC Films, DreamWorks SKG, @radical Media, CTV Inc (Taiwan), and most recent SMUGGLER, Inc.

Elena Megalos (Missed Connections) of Columbia University

Elena Megalos is a 21 year old English and Creative Writing major from Venice, California. A current senior at Columbia, she would like to thank her father for his patience and support, and Tim Or for his music.

Swati Kapila (Sweet Jesus) of New York University

Swati Kapila is a producer, director and actress who resides in New York City. In 2007 she graduated from the film program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she also belonged to Tisch’s prestigious group of Scholars. Swati recently wrapped postproduction on her senior thesis film, “The Undertaker” and is currently producing a 35mm black and white comedy titled “#9.”

John M. Zazik III & Eric Leiser (Wormhole) of Cleveland State University

Eric Leiser and John M. Zazik III are both seniors at Cleveland State University studying Film/Digital Media and our expecting to graduate in 2008. Their short film, “WORMHOLE”, recently received “Most Original” film at the 2/3rds Film Festival at Baldwin-Wallace College on February 22nd 2008. John and Eric are inspired by the work of their professor Dr. Evan Lieberman whose film, “Kathy T Gives Good Hoover”, received the “Audience Award” at the 2007 Palm Beach International Film Festival. The CSU community is excited about their accomplishments, as it brings recognition to the new Film/Digital Media program at CSU. John plans on moving to San Francisco after graduation with his lovely wife Melissa. Eric plans on producing more films in Cleveland.

Tom DesLongchamp (Kid Show) of Rhode Island School of Design

Tom DesLongchamp is a recent Film/ Animation/ Video graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. He is married to Jessica Phoenix and has one cat named Renton. He resides in Seattle, Washington. He is very happy and takes piano lessons.

Lindsay Fauntleroy (Still Standing) of Educational Video Center

Lindsay Fauntleroy is the Program Director of the Educational Video Center (EVC), a non-profit youth media organization dedicated to teaching documentary video as a means to develop the artistic, critical literacy, and career skills of young people, while nurturing their idealism and commitment to social change

Drew Foster & Max Grey (Ticklish) of Harvard-Westlake School

Drew Foster is 18 years old and lives in Los Angeles. He´s been making movies with his best buddies Aaron Leder, Max Grey, and Justin Kuritzkes throughout these years of high school and will continue to do so. He is psyched to have this piece in the festival. Max Grey is a senior at Harvard Westlake High School in Los Angeles, California. He likes to read and watch movies on dvd. Ticklish was made in his junior year with a group of his closest pals. He will try to make movies for as long as he can.

Alexander Gao, Dan Chen, Matt Reagan, Shannon Schnittker, Will Dai (The Wes-Sylvia Ticket) of University of Southern California

Dan, Alexander, Shannon, and Will are film undergraduates in the prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts, Dan being a writer and director, Alexander directing as well as being an all-around post-production specialist, Shannon directing and producing and aspiring to one day be a film editor, and Will directing and specializing in art and design. Matt is a music industry major in USC’s Thornton School of Music, knowing the ins and outs of sound recording, mixing, and mastering. The Wes-Sylvia Ticket was written by Dan Chen, directed by Alexander Gao, recorded ad mixed by Matt Reagan, scored by Derek Zhao (Thornton School of Music), and supervised by Shannon Schnittker and Will Dai.

Chris Ripley (Three Syllables) of Yale University

Since receiving a bulky VHC-C camera at age 8, Chris has been writing and directing short films. In the course of filming, he’s had to solder together shorted-out, burning hot 16mm battery packs, build a 35mm lens depth-of-field adaptor from everyday materials, and have little rubber erasers thrown into his eyes. He’s also written a feature length screenplay entitled “Outboys”, and served as cinematographer and editor for a number of projects. When he’s not working on films, Chris often runs around with a still camera, taking grids of hundreds of photos that he digitally stitches into ten-foot-wide panoramas. Chris is currently a sophomore studying Film at Yale University.

2007 best picture award

And the 2010 Winners are...

~ Best Picture ~

Action World
Aaron Fronk, Vince DeGaetano, and Cooper Johnson
Columbia College Chicago

~ Concord Award (for Most Popular Film) ~

Jonathan Ong
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

~ Best Directed ~

Action World
Aaron Fronk, Vince DeGaetano, and Cooper Johnson
Columbia College Chicago

~ Best Screenplay ~

Jason Outenreath
Oberlin College

~ Frontiers Award (for Most Original Film) ~

Old Man's Tomb
Matt Reynolds
Bates College, and The Maine Media Workshops

~ Best Editing ~

Wandering Star
Anthony Hays and Matt Yoka
University of Colorado, at Boulder

~ Best Acting ~

"Garbage Day!"
Victor Suarez and John Sadlik Columbia University of New York / University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaigne

~ Best Cinematography ~

Warren Budd and his Propeller Plane
Jackson Adams
Emerson College

~ Opus Award (for Best Use of Music & Sound) ~

Erica M. Hart
Northwestern University

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